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and science influence each other. Though they circumvent a prescribed definition, emerging media incorporate derivatives of virtual reality, social media, video, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence to push the boundaries of art and explore how the global community interacts in these realms. According to Chris Jonas, the Emerging Media Alliance chair and executive director of the Santa Fe–based art community Littleglobe, the idea isn’t to supplant existing artistic forms but rather to include them in the conversation. He asks, “How do we as New Mexicans embrace our rich cultural history while stretching into domains like new media in such a way that the new media doesn’t eradicate the complex beauty of our cultural history?” The answer for EMA seems to be cross-disciplinary collaboration and amplification. To that end, in June 2018, EMA members collaborated on a promotional campaign that supported and connected several local events happening at the same time, including their own official launch party, the annual Currents New Media Festival, the first annual Santa Fe Institute InterPlanetary Festival, and coordinated events from Meow Wolf and other EMA member groups. Though the events were operated by individual organizations, they were sponsored by the EMA umbrella, and members contributed to their promotion and success. The festival is estimated to have reached 1.5 million people through social media and brought thousands of people out in real life during its two-and-a-half-week run, 130 TREND 20th Anniversary Summer 2019

which featured an unprecedented explosion of emerging media shows, happenings, and panel discussions. It was such a success that Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber declared the month of June “Emerging Media Month.” EMA plans to continue to direct the festival going forward. Since the summer tourist season in Santa Fe starts in July, says Caitlin McShea, director of the InterPlanetary Festival, June is the perfect month to showcase these works. “School is out but the July arts events have not yet started. EMA wants to demonstrate this other amazing thing that is happening in Santa Fe,” she says. The purpose of the InterPlanetary Festival is to connect complex systems science on a level that the nonscientists and/or artists will be able to absorb and apply to their unique experience of the world, which is a primary mission of the Santa Fe Institute, a research institution founded in 1984 in the foothills above the Santa Fe. Last year, the InterPlanetary Festival brought esteemed scientists and researchers from across the country to speak on panels with science fiction writers, artists, and moviemakers, not just about space but also about how we interact with our planet. This year, they will include panels discussing the definition of “life,” time and space travel, social and economic engineering, blockchain and crypto-currencies, world-building and colonialism, and a panel of Afro-futuristic poets discussing how identities are created by experiences of displacement. Says McShea, “We rely on science and technology to make the future happen, but as humans, we are limited by our experi-

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Trend Summer 2019  

Trend Summer 2019