A festival of critical technologies & digital adventures

Desde el 21 de noviembre 2019
al 23 de noviembre 2019


Espacio: Matadero Madrid

Tentacular is a festival for our complex and convoluted times: a gathering of artists, designers, journalists, researchers, activists, and technologists who are crafting new aesthetics and narratives to help us grasp  the dominant technocultural forces shaping our world today.

A collection of narratives about, and responses to, the systemic crises of the 21st Century, the event brings together unconventional projects, critical analysis and artistic research in three days of talks, workshops, performances and new commissions.

The theme of the second edition of Tentacular is Extremophilia. This concept originally refers to microorganisms capable of thriving in extreme conditions considered hostile to most life forms, and it allows us to think about the tendency towards extremes that increasingly characterizes both contemporary culture and our material reality.

As our world experiences extreme weather and ecological distress, as well as mounting ideological extremism and polarization, a sense of existential dread permeates all facets of contemporary culture. At times like these, extremophiles, which embody the very definition of adaptation and resilience, make for worthy paragons. What can we learn from those who exist at the margins and beyond? What new modes of (co)existence can we derive from the concept of “extreme love”?

Participants this edition include journalist and author Paul Mason, a first-hand witness of the political and economic convulsions that have de-stabilized societies all over the world since the 2008 financial crisis. Acclaimed artist, writer, and journalist James Bridle, whose art and writing continually probe the darkest corners of the networks, systems and services that mediate our existence. The festival presents a long-planned meeting between composer and singer Holly Herndon, and public intellectual Evgeny Morozov, to discuss how to imagine a future for AI that doesn't rest in the hands of global corporations. Pioneering net artist and filmmaker Shu Lea Cheang will trace her concept of “viral love” through her science fiction films and video installations, and synthetic biologist Christina Agapakis will explore the potentialities and pitfalls of designing living things. Other sessions include artist Cécile B. Evans examining the value of emotion in contemporary society, and the bracing speculative scenarios developed by Anab Jain, founder of influential design fiction studio Superflux.

Tentacular also includes presentations by Alicia Kopf, Marta Peirano, Javier Lesaca, Mat Dryhurst, Asia Bazdyrieva and Solveig Suess (Geocinema), live performances by Martin Messier and YRO, Elías Merino and Tadej Droljc and a new screen-based  piece by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.

The festival is also a platform for the production of new ideas in contemporary digital culture, and will premiere new works co-commissioned with international organizations. Commissions for Tentacular 2019 include: Dust, a video essay on the biopolitics of pollen, based on the work of architect and cultural theorist Nerea Calvillo co-produced with art collective DIS for the edutainment platform DIS.ART; an excerpt of the forthcoming creative documentary DIS-EASE by artist and filmmaker Mariam Ghani, presented in partnership with Eyebeam; and the virtual reality work Meat Growers: A Love Story by artist Rindon Johnson co-produced with Rhizome.

Tentacular will also feature Freeport 0, Matadero Madrid’s newly developed independent study program, which is designed to promote radical artistic research and creative production. The festival will also hold the second edition of Madrid’s Internet Yami-Ichi (Internet black market), a marketplace of Internet-inspired arts and crafts.


Full Pass: 30€
Day ticket: 15€
Late Night ticket: 8€
Free Pass: Internet Yami-Ichi
Freeport 0: Upon previous registration

Thursday, November 21 th:
18.30-23.30 h.
Friday, November 22 th.:
18.30-23.30 h.
Saturday, November 23 th:
12-01 h.


The Shu Lea Cheang activity, scheduled on Thursday, November 21 at 21 p.m., is recommended for people over 18 (indicated in the schedule detail)

A project by Matadero Madrid.
Curators: Julia Kaganskiy and José Luis de Vicente with Bani Brusadin.



In collaboration with:

© Matadero Madrid

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