CYNETART International Media-Art Festival in Dresden is along with Ars Electronica in Linz, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, and transmediale Berlin one of the most important institutions of contemporary media art in Germany. The festival's special focus is in the area of body and movement in connection with new media, it is the most important German festival for computer-assisted performances and interactive environments. The festival is organized by the Trans-Media-Akademie Hellerau (TMA) and currently headed by Thomas Dumke. Until 2005, the festival was headed by Klaus Nicolai, who currently acts as Head of the TMA.
CYNETART has been showing new trends of cultural developments in the media arts since 1997. The consequences of the prevailing progress of civilisation and the introduction of new information technologies in all fields of social life lead to the disembodiment of perception triggering the examination of a new sensitivity for physical experience and for the perception of one’s own body. The international festival focuses on the broaching the issue of this change of the perception of the body by new information technologies. Herein, the performance of the new technology is less important, it is rather about their cultural potential for mediation. This applies e.g. to linkages between existential questions of humankind and how they are perceived. It also applies to the sensual approach to scientific methods of research and the interconnections between the arts.
In November every year, CYNETART brings together a lively mix of creative programmers, skilful engineers, innovative sound technicians and media artists from all over the world. The festival presents current trends in the artistic debate around, and application of, computer and network technologies.
The CYNETART Competition and Awards are announced every two years and offer an extraordinary venue for public presentations and the performance of inter- and transdisciplinary media art investigations. With a total prize money of 28,400 Euro it ranks among Europe’s top media art awards. An international expert jury chooses the winners of the CYNETART Award from more than 300 submissions and 30 countries (2011). It also awards a sponsorship prize and an artist-in-residence-scholarship funded by the Saxon State Ministry of Science and Art.
"CY-NET-ART testifies to the life of intertwined species and shows options of connectivity with specifically designed perception architectures. The modelation of coexistence reflects our understanding of ourselves. Our demand for contact among each other and to other species, whether purely energetic or mediated, is ongoing.
In the sense of cybernetics, comprehension relationships between disciplines and types are drawn, networked together, set into relation to each other. The technical interfaces form the interfaces of the transformation of bodies (ant colonies, human, organic crops, etc.) into data, thus in possible information for process control and the processing of technical procedures. Due to their informal qualities feedback loops offer connections and thus confirm the assumption that all is connected to everything, all mutually conditionally." (CYNETART Web 2014)