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New Media Fest kicks off

“We’re a small organization with a wonderful working board and supportive community volunteers,” a modest Mariannah Amster, co-executive/artistic director of

—Santa Fe’s international new media festival—says.

Launched over a decade ago with the clear mission of “keeping the emphasis on an innovative, accessible approach to new media at the interface of art and science,” the Parallel Studios-produced show is renowned for its cutting-edge programming.

Amster tells SFR that this year’s installment includes a heavier performance factor that, along with their video component, offers “very different takes on interactivity,” and  “more intimate and delineated spaces.”

Spreading over two weeks and calling many indoor and outdoor venues home, this year’s CURRENTS also reflects ever-changing, new-media technology.

While the festival is far from typical Southwestern art, Amster thinks it’s a perfect fit for Santa Fe.

“New-media art brings traditional fine arts together with science and technology, transmuting them into something entirely different,” she says. “New Mexico has a history of being a home to both disciplines, and Santa Fe has a reputation of being the City Different, so it’s a natural fit.”

“We think we add a new look to Santa Fe style,” Amster assures.

Some might consider it niche, but Amster says, thanks to its broad schedule of events—which range from water sculptures at El Museo Cultural to “Fanta Se,” a bash in celebration of the De Vargas Park—the festival has mass appeal.

“As artists ourselves, we have a love for the medium and believe that relationship to technology is already part of people’s lives, [turning it into] a form of expression and exploration that is already connected to the wider community,” she says.

With that in mind, Amster says, the festival’s expansion is guaranteed.

She calls the festival’s growing reach an “organic” one and is sure it’ll “continue to include more citywide venues and independent satellite events” in future incarnations, “ultimately becoming a destination event for folks from all over.”


June 14-30. Free.


for detailed schedule

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