VIA's focus on the visual-electronic arts is sometimes overshadowed by the music lineup (especially since we're writing about it for the music section of the paper). But the festival organizers are equally dedicated to both aspects of the experience, drawing talent both locally and internationally. And the multimedia events frequently offer a kind of art that can't fit neatly inside a frame or on museum walls. Parts of the visual experience edge more into academic realms than the party sphere, but there's always overlap.
This year, VIA is taking the audio-visual element beyond the past format of one visual artist to one musical artist. Instead, the festival is building what Goshinski referred to as a "super team of artists."
The "super team" consists of h3D Space, which will span all of the Friday and Saturday events. Arguably VIA's most ambitious and all-encompassing visual-arts project to date, h3D Space is a combination of curated, live and crowd-sourced imagery with virtual appearances from artist-avatars. Each night, CGI video content and the real-life/virtual-presence dichotomy will be presented from a different angle. Also expressed: a fascination with the tension between high-gloss spectacles and the inherent imperfections in 3-D technology.
Beyond the h3D, VIA feature screenings and new media performances from artists including: Casey Jane Ellison, of the Internet-famous "What the F*shion"; Peter Burr, with a multimedia performance called "Special Effects"; Jose Hamilton, who makes online artwork using the Tumblr platform; twohundredfiftysixcolors, an experimental film that charts the evolution of the GIF; and many more. For a complete schedule, see www.via-pgh.com.