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Home Columns Culture IMPAKT festival 2020 "Zero Footprint" presents critical art and design in Utrecht

IMPAKT festival 2020 “Zero Footprint” presents critical art and design in Utrecht

Last updated 4 months ago by Michael Darmanin

On 28th October to 1st November 2020, there will be a five-day multimedia event that includes exhibitions, film screenings, lectures, panels, performances, presentations, and artist talks at locations in Utrecht by the media arts organization IMPAKT. The IMPAKT festival presents critical and creative views on contemporary media culture and on innovative audio-visual arts in an interdisciplinary context. The theme this year is “Zero Footprint”, which examines issues about living and connecting on a damaged Earth.


IMPAKT is a media arts organization based in Utrecht and founded in 1988. Their aim is to identify emerging paradigms in transglobal culture, by focusing on the relationship between society, media, technology and arts. IMPAKT examines issues around society, digital culture, and media from various angles and within a range of disciplines in the arts, academia, and technology.

Their main project is the annual IMPAKT Festival at different locations in Utrecht. The theme of the IMPAKT festival varies every year.

More on the theme of IMPAKT Festival 2020

Global warming is one of the big global issues happening right now, at a much faster rate than we thought. A lot of people and animals are already bearing the devastating consequences. IMPAKT is aware of this problem, and so this year, the IMPAKT Festival 2020 Zero Footprint presents critical art and design with the potential to create change right now. The works are inspired by the alternative worlds found in science fiction, perspective changes offered by Indigenous knowledge and the stories from people that are experiencing climate change first-hand.

Activities of IMPAKT Festival 2020 Zero Footprint

From 28 October till 1 November, you can experience all the screenings, games, performances, exhibitions, panels and talks on Planet IMPAKT: a unique online festival experience. The exhibition is the only part of the festival that does not take place exclusively online and that can be visited physically at the IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture.

Turning Torrents: HKU Fine Art and HKU Photography exhibition

Apart from the huge effects by global warming, at the same time our current social, political and cultural conditions are significantly influenced by the pandemic. Change comes in ripples or waves, and at times with torrential force.

The works in Turning Torrents draw connections from the ecological, climatological and biological realm towards culture, politics and economy, and back. IMPAKT believes in an urgent need to increase our understanding of the direct and indirect interactions that shape ecosystems drastically. Meanwhile, the artists from IMPAKT festival 2020 would like to discuss on whether leaving “zero footprint” is a real solution and if it is even possible.

Starting with a seminar and workshops in June, ten students from HKU Fine Art (BA and MA) and HKU Photography worked together with curators and artists from IMPAKT and HKU Games and Interaction. Together, they respond to the program of this year’s IMPAKT Festival: Zero Footprint – Living and Connecting on a Damaged Earth.

Turning Torrents takes place in and around AG Space for new art and media, the exhibition space of HKU in Utrecht city centre, as well as online. 

The first part of the exhibition runs from 28th October (Wed) untill 7th November (Sat), from 13.00-18.00h, with works by Anon Chaisansook, Elliot McDonald, Lapis Lazuli & Vince van Rossum, Lobke Roenhorst & Siem de Boer, Lola Beekhuijzen & Jente-Floor Olthof.

The second part of the exhibition runs from 11th November (Wed) until 21st November (Sat), from 13.00-18.00 with works by Alёna Vinokurova, Arno Westerberg, Benjamin Pompe, Lapis Lazuli & Vince van Rossum, Lola Beekhuijzen & Jente-Floor Olthof.

Sound Installation Art “Crescent”

Recording session of “Crescent” at IBB HKU. Photo by Ariel Lee.

One of the works in the second part of the exhibition is a sound installation art “Crescent” led by the HKU Fine Art student Benjamin Pompe. Crescent is an eight speaker set installation, positioned in a circle with each speaker projecting a single voice, expressing an individual narrative. In this way the voices add to one another and form an overarching group narrative. 

A group of singers, including Ariel Sin Yu Lee, Charley Harsema, Elijah Hill, Femke Bun, Francesca Vincentie, Iver Bogen Griffiths, Maarten te Paske, Marcella van Dijk and Melchior Koch, from culturally diverse backgrounds has joined forces for this project. They come together and explore their connection with the ocean, in relation to each other, as well as their own voice. The group drew on a broad range of inspirations; from local stories and mythology, to the pure textural range of one’s voice. The piece moves between language, spoken word and choral singing, creating a constant flux.

For more information on programme and ticketing, please visit https://impakt.nl/festival/2020/

Ariel Lee
Ariel Lee
Ariel Sin Yu Lee is a singer, song-writer, vocal coach, flutist, flute teacher and actress from Hong Kong. She obtained her master in voice degree in HKU Utrechts Conservatorium in 2019. Besides music, she also did one year of journalism study in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Ariel’s musical styles include classical, pop & jazz, folk and musical theater. Ariel dedicates her life to arts and welcomes new challenges in the Netherlands.


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