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Last week we travelled to the Netherlands to experience first-hand the new edition of BLEND, the festival that seeks to expand the perspective on the post-digital visual culture that we told you about a few days ago.  After analysing the profiles that would take part in the numerous (and very interesting) round tables for 3 days, the very complete program of activities and the perfect synchrony between all the members of the organization and agents involved, we could not miss the appointment. And we were there from November 2 to 4, in a call that this time took place between Breda and Amsterdam.

From Lorenzo Fonda and his exceptional creative vision to Fons Schiedon, who has created video content for Beyoncé's Formation World Tour and has collaborated with FKA Twigs on her live experience. We already told you about some of the creatives that would participate in this edition of BLEND in this article. But after having travelled to the Netherlands to experience it, we can say that the International Fest on Motion Design & (Post)Digital Culture led by Playgrounds has exceeded our expectations.

It’s not only the panel of experts they have that should be highlighted, among whom we find the always wonderful Lois Cohen, who shot Sevdaliza's cover for the last METAL Magazine print issue. Its organisation, settings and topics addressed – where different people from diverse artistic disciplines have met and have generated synergies among many of the attendees – have also been outstanding. BLEND is consolidating itself as a perfect place to network and meet other people with similar interests and concerns about the future. And not only that, but it's a place for developing your image and exploring what new technologies can bring to the field of art and creativity. All in all, it's a meeting point for all those who think out of the box.

Inspiring would be the adjective that best defines the BLEND festival. Beyond knowledge, the speakers connect with the audience through their personal experiences, their childhood memories or the most unusual anecdotes they have experienced in their careers. We have had the privilege of getting to know the details of the creative and development process of Studio Birthplace, a creative studio telling ecological and humanitarian stories for our planet, whose audiovisual pieces manage to connect with the audience. Or listening to the experiences of the Sierra Leonean visual artist Ngadi Smart, whose illustration work is motivated by the representation of minorities, highlighting cultural identity and racial discrimination.

Having the opportunity to see The Panics, who have walked their own path since 1998 by making films of all shapes and sizes, was a privilege. Besides the expert-led talks (thumbs up for Phygital Studio by Bastiaan de Nennie and his great communications skills), there was also space to showcase some artwork live. We highlight the work of Michela Pelusio and her ability to create a performance in which sound, light, shapes and action are mixed.

We also had the chance to attend the artist talk of the experimental artist and designer Ari Weinkle, Zeitguised or Thonick, a collective of designers making culture visible. Or learn more about the work of Le Cube, Christian Borstlap, Federica D'Urzo and Taraneh Karimi. Also not missing were DRIFT, the studio founded in 2007 by Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, You + Pea as a talk and demo artist, ShayShay's stunning live performance regaling everyone with tales of Faggots & their friends between revolutions by Larry Mitchell, and Daniels, who were interviewed online by BLEND Director & Curator Leon van Rooij.

The director of the festival together with Paulien Mandos, Marketing Communication Manager & Talent Program Next, and Jacklyn Cornelisse, Creative Producer & Artist Management, have done exceptional work -along with the whole BLEND team, of course- they have given their all to make this new edition of the festival a success. And they’ve achieved it. Do you want to rewatch some of the talks? You can do it here. Now we just have to wait for their next edition. Stay tuned!


Words
David Alarcón
Photography
Willeke Machiels

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