Cinevolution's Digital Carnival Z features a speculative sci-fi exhibition at Richmond Art Gallery April 24 to June 5

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      The Cinevolution Media Arts Society has announced the return of its annual flagship event, Digital Carnival Z.

      The festival of cutting-edge media art will be headlined by UNION, a speculative sci-fi exhibition created by Nancy Lee and Kiran Bhumber to be held at the Richmond Art Gallery from April 24 to June 5.

      Set in the year 3000, UNION imagines a world in which the nation state has collapsed, touch has become forbidden, and access to cultural memories have been lost.

      "UNION is about two beings discovering their ancestral memories through the longing for touch," reads the event info, "and rituals practiced in their post-apocalyptic wedding ceremony. Attendees will become immersed in this new world via a series of experiences including a short film, 3D printed sculptures, propaganda messages, two futuristic bridal dresses, 16-channel interactive sound and visual projection map installation reflecting the multiple worlds where UNION is set, and a web XR virtual environment that can be experienced online."

      The creative process behind UNION has been a deeply personal experience for both Bhumber and Lee, according to their statements in a press release.

      "I have felt like a stranger to many aspects of my Punjabi heritage," says Bhumber. "Only in the last few years have I explored creating works interrogating this estrangement. I want to experience the feeling of belonging to culture by performing rituals that connect me to my ancestral past--rituals that, due to familial circumstances, are not available to me."

      Nancy Lee and Kiran Bhumber, UNION, still.
      Image courtesy of the artists

      "I wanted to challenge the conservative gender expectations of women within East and South Asian cultures," adds Lee. "The story UNION tells is set in a distant, post-apocalyptic future precisely because my experience as a Taiwanese, non-binary femme in the present feels so constricted that I felt it necessary to abandon the present world entirely."

      Apart from Lee and Bhumber in UNION, other artists taking part in Digital Carnival Z include Natasha “Courage” Bacchus, Margaret Dragu (with Justine A. Chambers), Danielle Long, Mickey L.D. Morgan, Kofi Oduro, and Juli Saragosa.

      For more info visit the Digital Carnival Z website here.