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THE MAN BEHIND IDFA DOCLAB

CASPAR SONNEN

Since 1988, Amsterdam’s been host the the world’s largest documentary festival: IDFA. This year, Cucalu is part of IDFA Doclab, the festival’s new media and digital storytelling branch. Initiator and longtime curator of IDFA Doclab is Caspar Sonnen. We talked to him about his curation process for this year’s Immersive Reality programme.

Caspar: “IDFA Doclab is an exhibition of new media. But new media aren’t that novel. The internet has been around for almost 25 years, and lost its innocence along the way. Our privacy is under threat and we’re literally hooked on our devices. But, technology also discloses new possibilities. We can make good use of the fact everyone’s carrying a powerful computer in their pocket. Right there, on the verge of dream and nightmare, we find the most fascinating projects.

We’ve got projects literally illustrating surveillance culture, and projects demonstrating in what way new media belong to the arts. In that sense, Cucalu is a little extraordinary: it’s not a pamphlet, nor a cry-out. Most projects express the perils of new media, whereas Cucalu lures you into something beautiful. It’s just as addictive as Farmville, as it makes smart use of human’s compulsive nature, but it does so for a higher purpose. Cucalu is not about pulling you into your phone, but rather about seducing you into looking around: to discover reality. I know that for some people, playing Cucalu will lead to a chain of personal discoveries. I believe that to be touching, and exceptional.”

Daniel and Yuki will be shining on stage on November, 26 at 8:00PM in de Brakke Grond (Nes 45, Amsterdam) for Doclab Live: Stories from the Digital Lowlands. Tickets here. Or visit the exhibition anytime between 9:00AM-11:00PM during the duration of the festival.

Foto © Corinne de Korver