Isea 2022 - Possibles



From June 13 to 15

Keynotes – Open to the public

Venue: CCCB


Open to the public with previous registration. Attendees registered in ISEA2022 Barcelona do not need to register to this specific event and will be able to access by showing accreditation. Once the capacity of the CCCB’S Theater is full, public will be able to follow the keynote speeches live from the Raval Room of CCCB.

Expanding the program open to the public, the CCCB, the epicenter of the Symposium, will host four keynote speeches at its Theater by leading figures in their respective fields: Olga Goriunova, academic and curator in the fields of digital arts and cultures; Joan Fontcuberta, internationally renowned photographer and conceptual artist; Christl Baur, head of the prestigious Ars Electronica Festival; and Ricard Solé, expert in complex systems analysis and synthetic biology.

Joan Foncuberta – June 13th at 10 am
he age of monsters


Abstract: “Il vecchio mondo sta morendo. Quello nuovo tarda a comparire. E in questo chiaroscuro nascono i mostri”.
[“The old world is dying. The new one is slow to appear. And in this chiaroscuro monsters are born”]
Antonio Gramsci
Almost without realizing it, we have become addicted to images. The old world (photography as a commitment to truth and remembrance) is dying and the new one (images created by artificial intelligence) is striving to emerge. From document to speculation, from natural to synthetic images, we now need to trawl through the chiaroscuro, pointing out their emerging monstrosities: monstrosities of language, of technology, of politics.
From the ruins of photography – archive pictures and family albums that decay and become amnesic – to predictions of potential futures and algorithms, with which we don’t know if we are dealing with nightmares or guarantees of progress. What is clear is that algorithms and artificial intelligence are taking the place of the eye and the camera at the core of visual culture.

Biography: For more than four decades, Joan Fontcuberta (Barcelona, 1955) has developed an artistic work focused on the field of photography, also carrying out a plural activity as a teacher, essayist, exhibition curator and historian.
Both his creative and reflective production is situated in a critical perspective of language and focuses on the conflicts between nature, technology, photography, memory and truth regimes. His projects, usually of a multidisciplinary nature, explore the narrative and documentary condition of the image, parodying its authoritarian aspects.

Moderated by Jorge Luis Marzo, art historian, doctor of Cultural Studies, curator of exhibitions, audiovisual director and professor at BAU Centre Universitari de Disseny de Barcelona. He has developed several national and international collaborative research projects, in exhibition, audiovisual or editorial format, often in relation to image policies.

Christl Baur – June 13th at 6:30 pm
GiriGiri – On the Edge of Possibilities


Abstract: Neither naive escapism into virtual worlds, nor the technological ultra-topia of space colonization will save us from facing the big, uncomfortable questions. How will our life on this planet have to look to prevent ecological super disaster? What actions must we take and what consequences must we accept? How much persuasion, how much effort, how much pressure, how much coercion will be necessary, and what “collateral damage” will be involved?
We have been teetering on the edge for decades, knowing what is going to come, but choosing to largely ignore it. The Japanese term “GiriGiri” describes this dangerous but thrilling feeling of living on the edge.
We don’t have a planet B, and science nor art can solve our problem. Science can point at it while art and artists, through their work, have the ability to open a space of “art” thinking. This might be our chance for change as change is required when there is no way out. Through artists we can explore the possibilities of our futures.

Biography: Christl Baur (DE) is the head of the Ars Electronica Festival, researcher with an interdisciplinary background in art history, cultural management, and natural science. She is particularly interested in the conjunction of aesthetic and social practices that center on collaboration and experimentation and challenge dominant social, political, and economic protocols. Her research field encompasses topics such as video art, new media technologies, computer art, biotechnology, and interactive art, and she works at the nexus of art & science.
Over recent years, she has curated, produced and delivered large-scale exhibitions and performances, research, residency & publication projects—most recently in cooperation with universities and scientific associations such as Google Arts & Culture, Frauenhofer, ESO, ESA, Hyundai as well as the Chinese University of Art Beijing. She has published several articles and works closely together with artists whose practice is situated at the interface of art, science, and technology.

Moderated by José Luis De Vicente, cultural researcher and exhibitions curator specialized in culture, innovation and design. He is the curator of Sónar + D, Sónar Festival Barcelona. He has curated multiple exhibitions for CCCB Barcelona, Fundación Telefónica Madrid, among many others. His latest project is Mirador Torre Glòries, a permanent installation in Barcelona that reinvents the concept of a viewpoint.

Olga Goriunova – June 14th at 10 am
Abstract people and model characters


Abstract: When data analytics abstracts people today, it follows some of the routines of statistics. However, understanding statistics paired with machine learning technologies is not enough to grasp what these newly abstracted people are like and what they do to us. This talk engages with these processes to show how model frameworks and idealising setups are used to delineate data-crunching in cultural, political and aesthetic terms. Ideal people and model characters are results of the work of collective imaginaries and the exercise of power beyond computing. Their embodiment of a return of the ideal calls for a re-think of our time in history.   

Biography: Olga Goriunova is Professor at Royal Holloway University of London and author of Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (2012) and Bleak Joys. Aesthetics of Ecology and Impossibility (with M.Fuller, 2019). The editor of Funand Software. Pleasure, Pain and Paradox in Computing (2014) and author of noted articles on new media idiocy, memes and lurkers, she was a co-curator of software art platform (2003) before the age of social platforms. 

Moderated by Pau Alsina, general Chair at ISEA2022 Barcelona and professor and researcher in Arts and Humanities Studies at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, where he coordinates and teaches courses on art and contemporary philosophical and scientific thought. He is also editor in Chief at Artnodes Journal. He is the author of books such as Arte, ciencia y tecnología, co-author of Monstruos y quimeras: arte, biología y tecnología, of teaching textbooks such as Estética y teoría del arte o Pensamiento contemporáneo.

Ricard Solé – June 15th at 10 am
Science, Art and evolution: the Game of the Possible


Abstract: What are the limits of natural forms? Could there be an alternative life based on alternative rules? Why don’t mermaids exist? Will alien minds be different from ours? Does human creativity have limits? Could an artificial system achieve the creativity of van Gogh? Could music be different from the way we know it?
Science explores the organizing principles of (living and non-living) systems and the formulation of laws that can define the boundaries of the possible. Using very diverse examples from life, artificial life and art as a reference for what we assume to be limitless, we will explore these and other questions.
Physics, mathematics, computation, biology and chemistry intersect with science fiction, painting and literature and allow us to raise new questions and look at reality with the vision of complexity.

Biography: ICREA Research Professor at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), where he leads the Complex Systems Laboratory (IBE-UPF), and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute (USA). His academic background combines biology and physics, the discipline in which he earned his PhD, allowing him to focus his research career on complex systems.
His research covers very diverse fields, from the study of the evolutionary dynamics of viruses to synthetic biology and its application in the bioengineering of ecosystems, as well as the study of “liquid” cognitive systems and the origins of major evolutionary innovations. He has collaborated with the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) as a popularizer and scientific advisor for the exhibition +Humans and is one of the promoters of the Science at Christmas program. In addition, he has written the books Redes complejas (Empúries, 2009; published by Tusquets in Spanish), Vidas sintéticas (Tusquets, 2012), La lógica de los monstruos (Tusquets, 2016) and Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems (Princeton University Press, 2018).

Moderated by Pastora Martínez Samper, Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation at the  Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. She is responsible for the UOC’s strategic planning dealing with the contribution of the University to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the implementation of the Open Knowledge Action Plan. She is also contributing to the involvement of both Catalan and Spanish Universities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.


  • CCCB

Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona

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