Theme Related Realities

Earlier this year, artists and scientists revealed the first visual illustrations and evidence of a black hole in the M87 galaxy. Meanwhile, experiments in quantum physics showed that there is no such thing as one objective shared reality, but rather, multiple co-existing realities. Inspired by these revelations, Backlight Photo Festival announces the theme for its 2020 edition: Related Realities.

How do different realities relate – or not – to each other? And what could their impact be in our daily lives or in politics, if we saw the connections between them? If there are different realities, can we trust reality-as-truth? Backlight invites artists and photographers to submit photographic works, installations, augmented reality, virtual reality and multimedia projects that investigate and discover the connections between a multiplicity of our world’s realities, using science, technology and art. We hope to see inspiring works that will attract not only curators and specialists but also new audiences, who would see art as a critical intervention and a catalyst of change.

From challenges such as the unsustainability of economic growth, the immigrant versus expatriate, the coming extinction of fossil fuels, the Trolley Problem and self-driving cars, to new technology that lets us see a supernova exploding in a galaxy about 930 million light years away, gravitational waves below the level of the nucleus, and to the politics of the spectacular images of outer space, we ask you to look at the micro and the macro, and to share with us the connections you see in our realities, in imaginative, surprising and evocative ways.

The approach you take in doing so is open. You are free to use computer-assisted photography, virtual technologies, added and mixed realities, and sound and exhibition design. Or you might go for a more straightforward approach. The choice is yours. We encourage collaboration with researchers but do not require it. Research and science can be perceived and analysed from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, including the humanities, social sciences, media studies, philosophy, history, environmental studies, psychology, medicine, and technology.

We hope that your work may lead to new ways of seeing current global and local problems—as well as our own sense of being in the world.