STEAM IN ASC
Aveiro can count on a vibrant cultural tech and art tech environment, that is growing every year. Starting from this context, the sensitivity of local administrators led to a vision on STEMs expanded in order to include the field of the arts, going in the direction of the most innovative public policies, considering that these intentions date back to 2018 (at the time of writing the application for the UIA program).
Therefore, through ASC it was possible to launch innovative initiatives that could support and foster the STEAM paradigm, such as:
- Artistic residencies and MTF labs
- Criatech festival and Prisma Festival
Artistic residencies and MTF labs
The two programs aim to cross creativity in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The first program is implemented by teachers from ESAD and the University of Aveiro, the second one is curated by Michela Magas. Programs’ targets are people linked to the creative or technological industries, creators, artists, students and anyone who has the ambition to develop new projects in the area of the multimedia arts. These initiatives aim to provide candidates with practical and theoretical tools on the production of technological artifacts that result in innovative artistic projects.
“Criatech Artistic Residence”, in particular, aims at promoting the development of STEAM competences in a collaborative ideation context, with the participation of professionals and adult students from various creative areas. Artists involved work together in order to produce as final output an artistic artifact or a performance to show during the so called “Criatech Festival”. In its first edition, 24 people participated in the residences, however, due to Covid-19 pandemic, activities were readapted to remote participation. The second edition was launched with Patrícia J. Reis who collaborated as mentor and in October 2021 the presentation of the 2 winning projects was hosted at Criatech 2021 Festival.
Another artistic residency was ideated and developed in 2022, in collaboration with the city of Oulu, in Finland, appointed to be European Capital of Culture in 2026. The STEAM Artistic Residences 22/23 aim to promote, specifically in the Intermediate Schools, the development of artistic content using the STEAM methodology, involving artists, teachers and students in the same project. So, in this case artists will implement STEAM innovative approaches in a local school (2nd and 3rd Cycle of education) in Aveiro. Simultaneously, in a collaborative way, Oulu undergoes the same process, providing all those involved with the experience of the same creative process. This edition is addressed to all entities in the cultural and creative sector, headquartered in one of the 11 municipalities in the Region of Aveiro (Cultural and Recreational Associations, Micro and Small Enterprises and Sole Proprietorships), which develop or intend to develop artistic activity using the STEAM methodology.
The participation prize for the cultural and creative sector entity is awarded in the amount of €4,000 (four thousand euros). According to the program, Project implementation is foreseen from October 2022 to May 2023 and in June 2023 the presentation of final results and exchange with Oulu will be held.
It is important to underline that the collaboration with the Finnish city, in addition to pushing the Aveiro project towards the contamination with the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) ecosystem, has generated an intention between the mayors of the two cities to launch a new European network together, in 2023, dedicated to STEAM Education.
The artists involved in this latest edition reported that a curriculum that brings together the different disciplines with a common practical objective has been very stimulating for them and led them to apply to the public call, as well as the integration with the activities run by the “Fabrica de sciencia viva” and its dynamics/activities that could become part of some regular education programs.
The most positive result achieved with the residency, according to the artists who attended the program, was the final performance combined with the “so positive feedback saw in students and parents; these processes have a very strong emotional burden, leaving positive marks deep in each of those who participate and especially in the children / young people who have integrated the program. This is undoubtedly the best in the end, to see this help in building positive memories in the course of these lives under construction”.
Criatech festival and Prisma Festival
Criatech festival is the annual event that promotes artistic creation and unites digital arts and technology in a public and heritage space. The Criatech festival, in these years, was able to meet the general and specialized public, presenting works by authors from renowned national and international figures. This year the 4th Edition recently took place from Oct 10th to 15th, during the Aveiro Tech Week; Criatech 2022 explored different performances under the topic “Echoes of the Future”.
Prisma festival / ART LIGHT TECH, established in 2019 and organized by Teatro Aveirense and the Aveiro City Council, invites artists, designers, light artists and lighting professionals as well as students and institutions to submit their proposals in order to combine several works of contemporary art, including projections, installations and shows of sound and light, to be presented in various spaces in the city. The festival is intended to bring an important contribution to the growth of CCIs in Aveiro and its last edition took place on 14 – 15 October 2022, during the Aveiro Tech Week.