Geneva, a city synonymous with luxury, order, and peace, is feeling digital waves seeping through the Alps. The city offers numerous hubs, galleries, and spaces, but their presence is not as stark and evident such as in cities like Berlin, New York, and London. Geneva is a little bit like an oyster: the shell is hard to penetrate, but when you do you find a shiny pearl.
DISCOVERING THE DUST BUNNIES
The long observed traditions of watchmaking, luxury tailoring, and chocolate making are still king, but they are being refashioned with a new generation of collectives, creative hubs, and events. Since its inception in 2005, the annual Mapping festival is partly responsible for this cultural shift – it continually creates opportunities for the diverse players in the digital art world to join forces in search of one main goal: computer generated fun.
Alice – having moved from grungy, economically depressed Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city that has seen better days yet is flourishing creatively – always associated shambles, mayhem, and disorder with creativity. Geneva initially resembled a sterilized petri dish; the dirt and the chaos seemed to be kept at bay. The mess and freedom so closely related with the process of making art appeared to be confined. At the outset, art in Geneva appeared to be kept neatly framed in shiny glass and intricate molding. But little by little, Alice saw the dust bunnies in the corners of the city and discovered a Geneva full of innovative and creative people, projects, and places.
A REVOLVING DOOR
These very gems that newcomer Alice could not see, are what Mina, co-director of Go Out! Magazine, experienced prior to taking her position at Geneva’s monthly cultural and lifestyle magazine. The magazine opened a door to the rich diversity and it is now what she tries to highlight in each months edition. Having lived in Tokyo as a trend scout and having traveled extensively to art fairs and festivals throughout the world, she now realizes the value and the unique position that Geneva holds in the digital art world.
Geneva is like a revolving door, many expats come and go and the city’s population is always in flux. The communities that invest in incubating artistic ventures might be hesitant to open their doors too wide to these fickle residents. We can only hypothesize as to why the digital art world continues to simmer below the surface, but we are excited to share some of our favorite occurrences, places, and people with DOTS.
Written June 2014, by Mina Sidi Ali and Alice Boudreau. Check their profile here