American Arts Incubator is a creative exchange program that utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to instigate dialogue, build communities, bolster local economies, and further social innovation while addressing a local social or environmental challenge. This year’s iteration in Austria was led by artist Rashin Fahandej, who ran the “Future of Inclusion Lab”, a series of co-creation workshops that provided technology and resource access to Austria-based creatives.
Future of Inclusion Lab
American Arts Incubator (AAI) is a creative exchange program that utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to instigate dialogue, build communities, bolster local economies, and further social innovation. Each incubator addresses a relevant social or environmental challenge such as economic equity, youth empowerment, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. Since its inception in 2015, incubators have been held in 27 countries on five continents.
This year’s incubator in Austria was hosted by Ars Electronica and led by U.S. artist Rashin Fahandej. Fahandej ran the Future of Inclusion Lab, a series of co-creation workshops that consisted of listening/witnessing sessions, field research, and story and data collection activities. The workshop participants produced immersive experiences using emerging technologies and created poetic reflections on the state of social inclusion from a diverse array of perspectives.
Rashin Fahandej is an Iranian-American multimedia artist, filmmaker, and educator. Her projects center on marginalized voices, and the role of media, technology, and public collaboration in generating social change. Her methods take on the lens of “Art as Ecosystem,” creating a network of collaborations with a multiplicity of narratives that investigate social systems and occupy public sites as a critical discourse. The workshops explored social inclusion by investigating new media literacy and by providing access to cutting edge tools and technology to co-create prototypes for immersive and poetic reflections and experiences.
Team Members: Clara Roth, Robbie Ierubino, Peter Sauleda, Maria Kallionpää, Kathi Schulz
Harmony fosters an inclusive atmosphere among strangers, reframing the concepts around co-creation and collaboration. Co-composing can be intimidating at times, as there is pressure to perform.
Team Members: Esma Bosnjakovic, Max Haarich, Barbora Horská, Nicole Schanzmeier
Project Home will diese fast schon utopische Erzählung neu definieren, indem es persönliche Geschichten von Menschen sammelt und teilt, die aus freien Stücken oder aus anderen Gründen mit dem traditionellen Konzept der Heimat kämpften. Dadurch hoffen wir, andere zu inspirieren, einige der einschränkenden Überzeugungen in Frage zu stellen und ihren eigenen einzigartigen Weg „nach Hause“ zu erkennen.
Team Members: Asma Aiad, Parisa Ayati, Rebecca Merlic, Ines Mahmoud, Mateja Rot
Anhand von drei Sakralräumen in Österreich wollen wir ein Beispiel für verschiedene Gemeinschaften setzen und deren Anliegen sichtbar machen. Viele Gebäude, sehen von aussen lediglich wie ein normales Haus aus. Trotz ihrer Unsichtbarkeit sind sie Teil der Stadt. Ihre (Un-)Sichtbarkeit sagt viel über die soziale Integration in unserer Gesellschaft aus.
Neo Christopher Chung
The world is at a critical junction where polarizing forces are working hard to keep us divided and troubled. We are witnessing the rise of exclusionary laws and policies, fueled by the dark side of the Internet and algorithms. Across Europe and beyond, the challenges of civil unrest and human rights are negatively affecting marginalized populations and creating intractable divisions. How can we use public platforms and new media to create inclusive outlooks and to create new political spheres?
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
American Arts Incubator℠ is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs developed in partnership with ZERO1. American Arts Incubator — Austria 2020 was led by Rashin Fahandej and produced in collaboration with U.S. Embassy Vienna and Ars Electronica.
ZERO1 is a nonprofit arts organization that aims to address complex social challenges by producing community-driven media art projects. We believe that artistic experimentation with emergent technologies inspires novel creative strategies and broadens our critical understanding of the world. Through a global network of partners, we bridge governmental, academic, corporate, and cultural worlds to build engaged and vibrant communities that drive social action.