IMPAKT Festival 2016 (Utrecht, Netherlands)

The Value of Authenticity in the Post-Digital Age

Impakt is thrilled to announce the 2016 programme theme.

Does Authenticity still matter? In our hyperlinked network culture, it seems that the valuation of characteristics like hybridity and reproducibility have shifted. At the same time, omnipresent marketing and self-representation strategies more than ever emphasise sincerity as both a life goal and an experience. How may we understand this paradox? Throughout 2016 Impakt, appointed curators Barbara Cueto & Bas Hendrikx will map the compelling new notions of authenticity from the perspectives of arts, technology and society, culminating in the Impakt Festival from 26 – 30 October 2016.

The dominant definition of authenticity as being ‘of undisputed origin’ and not a copy, may need reconsideration, or even a redefinition to accurately apply to the post-digital realm and its configurations. Authenticity, traditionally perceived according to Romantic notions of introspection, has shifted meaning in the post-digital age and as such rather presents itself now as a marketing strategy or self-branding tool.

IMPAKT Festival 2015 (Utrecht, Netherlands)

This years Impakt Festival takes place from 28 October-1 November 2015 and is themed A World Well Documented (The Future of History): a five-day multi media festival with exhibitions, lectures and screenings at different locations in the city of Utrecht.

We live in a world in which more information was recorded over the past decade than in all the centuries that came before. Exabytes of information and expanding all the time. The Impakt Festival 2015 will be about the changes to our conception of private and collective histories that this mass data collecting brings about. Will digital technologies, social media timelines, all our uploads and e-mail histories allow us to keep perfect accounts of the past? No more guessing what someone looked like or what actually happened? Will advanced presentation technologies make going back in time a more real, accurate and even immersive experience – or should we, paradoxically, worry about digital amnesia?

The recording and distribution of data not only influences our perception of the past, the analysis and extrapolation of data can also create a different perception of the future. In a World Well Documented we will investigate how concepts of personal and collective memory and the general perceptions of history and future are changing.