C H A I N      R E A C T I O N

3rd Upgrade!International meeting

The meeting theme Chain Reactionillustrates the network itself, the way it works and functions, correlates and interacts. The Upgrade!International started as a creative spark that gradually grew into an international group of nodes influencing each other continually through permanent communication. The meeting gathers Upgrade! nodes into one core event in Macedonia and will hopefully cause a positive chain reaction. Upgrade! network gathers annually or bi-annually, each time in a different city for a festival by artists who participated in the Upgrade! meetings around the world.

“Chain reaction” was initiated by 5 partner nodes (Upgrade! Belgrade, Upgrade! Berlin – Public Art Lab, Upgrade! Sofia – InterSpace, Upgrade! Istanbul – NOMAD and Upgrade! Skopje – Line Initiative and Movement) that are responsible for the main coordination and communication of the project with other nodes from the network.

The outcome of the meeting is a 4 day festival with various activities that are created by common effort of the Upgrade! International nodes. On this occasion 50 international artists, curators, and arts producers will gather in Skopje to meet, present art projects and further develop the network. The artistic program of this project is rich, diverse and presents the latest developments of the new media scene on international level.

The artistic program comprises 6 parts:

+ Exhibition

+ Public interventions

+ Live a/v performances

+ Performances

+ Screening program

+ Workshops

These events will take place in different cultural spaces in the city centre. The vibrancy created by having the event happening throughout the city also serves to increase the opportunity for dialogue and place-making, letting the city and its people become part of the festival.

One major aim of the Upgrade! International 2008 meeting is to establish new forms of cultural exchange among the neighbouring countries in the Balkans. The partner nodes in the Balkans are working to show that culture continues to be a powerful force for regional cooperation. The nodes have already hosted smaller exchanges amongst themselves and have worked in a peer-to-peer mentorship capacity to help start and support new nodes in the area. This cooperation has allowed the organizers and local participants to foster a sense of confidence and unique identity amongst new media practitioners internationally. Due to our limited opportunities for mobility and cultural activism on a European and international level, the meeting in Skopje will be of great importance for the region. It’s an outstanding opportunity for many of the local cultural operators, artists, and curators to increase their knowledge and experiences and to share their expertise with others. Hosting the international meeting in Skopje in partnership with neighbouring nodes is a step forward towards creating ongoing cultural linkages in the Balkans.