Impakt Festival

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The Impakt Festival is a yearly manifestation on media art, that started in 1988 in the city of Utrecht, Netherlands. It showcases films, video art, performances, music, conferences and other special events with works from international artists.


The Impakt Festival started in 1988 as a festival for experimental arts. Since its first edition the Impakt Festival has been offering a variety of events including video and film screenings, exhibitions, conferences, talks, concerts and dance nights. Besides the annual Panorama program, which is still Impakt official's selection of recent film and video productions, the festival also has a thematic program that is focused on contemporary matters. The thematic program is usually curated by visiting curators, chosen on purpose for curating those thematic sections.


The 1990s editions were characterized by an, already proven, experimental research that formed a positive stimulus to the past image and soundculture and a necessary supplement to the mass media’s supply of entertainment.[1] During those editions were screened works from Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Mathias Muller, Bruce Conner, Bill Viola, Kurt Kren, Dereck Jarman and William Wegman.


Those festival’s editions increased the Impakt’s prestige as a European media art festival, known all over the continent. In those years, Impakt started creating its single festival thematic program. In 2005 the program of the Impakt Festival was not dominated by a single theme though but by features various thematic lines. Nevertheless, there was clearly something that all these programs had in common. They were all ‘Adventures in Sound and Image’.[2] Following editions’ themes were: 2006 The great outdoors 2008 Your space 2009 Accelerated living During the 2000s editions works from Annika Larsson, Magnus Wallin, Norman McLaren, Reynold Reynolds were screened at Impakt Festival.

Impakt Festival 2010[edit]

Matrix City was the theme of this year's festival. Impakt Festival program focused on the various different perceptions of what elements constitute a city and what a city should look like.

Impakt Festival 2011[edit]

Last festival edition was focused on the theme The Right to Know, in which Impakt dove into all dilemmas inherent in our modern data society, with conspiracy theories and cover-ups, digital dissidents and banned videos, data journalism and fear management, fine print messages and big secrets.[3] Together with the Panorama screenings, Impakt organized exhibitions, music nights, sweatshops and fieldtrips, talks and conferences.


The screenings of last past editions were in Theatre Kikker and T’Hoogt, festival locations since the early 1990s. In the past few years Impakt has make use of other venues for exhibitions, talks, conferences as Academie Galerie, Studio T (Utrecht University).


Impakt has developed its two different screenings’ programs, one thematic and Panorama. Collateral events are the workshops yearly organized and often focus on year’s theme. Music nights are an integral part of the festival program: in the past years Toro y Moi, Kode9, James Blake, DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad, Demdike Stare and more played at Impakt Festival.

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