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This year's festival will address the questions: How does crypto art relate to climate change? Can artificial intelligence offer solutions to environmental problems that human intelligence has so far failed to do? Furthermore, will the persistent ignorance of our natural environment ultimately compel us to transition to a metaverse—a virtual world providing an idealized digital simulation of our real world?

These are a few of the questions that will be discussed this year at the annual RIXC Art Science Festival, in Riga and online, September 20–22, 2023.

With this year's theme Crypto, Art and Climate, the RIXC Festival will discuss how the landscape of art and culture is currently changing, influenced on the one hand by the development of artificial intelligence, blockchains and immersive technologies, and on the other by another challenge of contemporary society - environmental issues and climate change.

The key event of the festival is the opening of the international contemporary media art exhibition at the National Library of Latvia, Riga on Wednesday, September 20 at 19:00. 

The festival program continues on Thursday 21 September with an international artathon (art hackathon), where young people are invited to discuss the challenges of a green and digital future with festival artists and experts in the field. On the third day of the festival, the symposium Crypto, Art and Climate will bring together more than 30 international artists, researchers and experts to discuss artificial intelligence and the future of European media art, green discourse in digital art, NFT and crypto, immersive media and art in the metaverse.

Further information: 

Festival passes and Early Bird tickets are available until September 15.

RIXC publicity image

Today, not only the RIXC Festival and the digital arts, but society as a whole is focusing on a range of new technologies - blockchain networks, Web 3.0 and NFT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual and augmented reality and the vision of the metaverse - that are changing the landscape of art and culture, and raising new environmental issues.

Digital media artists are among the first to explore, exploit and critically reflect on the possibilities offered by the latest technologies to create new forms, aesthetics or experiences. But digital artists are no less interested in the environmental impact of these dominant technologies and whether there are meaningful solutions to mitigate climate change.

What does crypto have to do with climate change? At first glance, it seems impossible to connect it to environmental issues, as crypto-art uses blockchain technologies that consume large amounts of resources. However, blockchains also have the potential to address environmental issues due to their transparency and decentralized network technology.

Similarly, the use of artificial intelligence requires enormous energy resources, the cost of which is mostly borne by users - as Joan Moll (Spain), the festival exhibition artist, reveals in The Hidden Life of an Amazon User artwork, every time a user searches or places an order, an unimaginably long and complex code is run, which would take thousands of pages to print out.
Even more resources will be needed to develop the new Web 3.0 network, based on decentralised blockchain technologies, enabling the metaverse - an exciting vision of a 3D digital world in virtual and augmented reality, connected by a single World Wide Web... So more critical artists looking for the most environmentally friendly ways to make art on blockchain networks often don't find them.

There are also artists - such as crypto pioneer Memo Akten from Turkey, based in the US - who have explored these networks in depth and have found ways to use more environmentally friendly technologies. Memo Akten is one of the key artists of the festival exhibition and also the symposium's keynote speaker, whose keynote talk titled Distributed Consciousness will take place on Friday, September 22, at 11:00 (online from Melbourne). He will introduce his artistic work, innovatively experimenting with ideas of artificial intelligence, algorithms and aesthetics, searching for connections between biological and digital systems, and discussing the possibilities of a more ecologically oriented art in the decentralized network of blockchains.

Memo Akten. Photo: Hanna Radek

Distributed Consciousness artwork by Memo Akten,  featured at the festival exhibition began as an NFT collection of 256 unique cephalopod-like “Tentacular Critters

” (octopus-like creatures), covering themes such as biological and artificial intelligence, distributed computing and cephalopods, and is a meditation on consciousness, free will, life, death, art, technology, ritual, ecology, economics and sustainability, co-created by man and machine.


Memo Akten. Distributed Consciousness, 2021. ACMI Melbourne, Australia, 2023. Photo: Phoebe Powell.


The potential of blockchain technology to address environmental issues is not only in the "techno-ecological" arts, but also in the field of "climate finance", such as the carbon offset market. Although this area has already faced criticism, blockchain technology is still seen as one of the potential areas that can contribute to climate change mitigation which will be explored at the festival by another keynote speaker, Eric Nowak, Professor, Expert in Sustainability and Climate Finance and Director of the Centre for Sustainability Finance at the Swiss-Italian University (SIU) in Lugano, Switzerland.


The festival program will start at the National Library of Latvia, on Wednesday, September 20 at 17:00 with keynote talks by the festival exhibition artist Anna Ridler (UK), and Chris Salter, Professor at the University of the Arts Zurich and Director of the Immersive Art Space. The opening program will be continued by the festival exhibition opening at 19:00, featuring a guided tour by the RIXC festival curators Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits. The exhibition will feature 13 artworks created by artists from the European Media Art Platform EMAP, as well as Latvian artists and other internationally renowned artists:
Memo Akten (TR/US), Nico Angiuli (IT) & Katerina El Raheb (GR), Emanuel Gollob (AT), Nicolas Gourault (FR), Carolin Liebl & Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler (DE), Rosa Menkman (NL), Joana Moll (ES), Paula Nishijima (BR/NL), Jurģis Peters (LV), Anna Ridler (UK/US), Līga Vēliņa (LV), Ieva Vīksne (LV), Zane Zelmene (LV).

Curators: Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits (RIXC / LV).
The festival exhibition will be on view at Exhibition Hall (ground floor) at the National Library of Latvia until November 11. Admission free.


Līga Vēliņa. Shifted Realities, 2023.


The festival program will be continued by the opening of the Augmented Reality (AR) SensUs. Augmented Nature-Cultures exhibition at the Latvian National Museum of Natural History, Thursday, September 21 at 12.00, and a guided tour with exhibition artists and curators in Esplanade Park. Augmented Reality artworks are simultaneously on display in Riga and Karlsruhe, the UNESCO City of Media Arts in Germany. The augmented reality artworks are created by Riga and Karlsruhe-based artists:
Jung Eun Lee (DE/KR), Isabella Münnich (DE), Anna Manankina (UA/DE), Jurģis Peters (LV), Sabīne Šnē (LV), Rihards Vītols (LV), Zane Zelmene (LV). Curators: Daria Mille (DE/NAIA), Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits (LV/RIXC).

The virtual artworks in the city can be viewed by downloading the Sensus Art app:


The AUGE 2ND (Augmented Europe): Challenges for Green & Digital Future artathon (art hackathon) will take place at the National Library of Latvia Thursday, September 21 at 15.00 gathering around 30 local participants onsite and another 100 participants virtually from Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, 

The Artathon program will start with exciting keynote lectures aimed specifically at young audiences, led by: professor, sustainability and climate finance expert Eric Nowak (Switzerland); digital and crypto curator Eleonora Brizi (Italy); and artist working with natural data visualisations and curator Jane Tingley (Canada). The keynote lectures will be followed by workshops where young people will discuss topics such as AI and Blockchain, Art, AI and Metaverse, Green Digital Utopia and Digital Future Challenges together with guest speakers and artists of the festival exhibition.

Eleonora Brizi. Publicity photo.

Youths (under 30) are welcome to register for Artathon and receive a free festival ticket to other festival events as well:

Artathon is organised by RIXC in collaboration with other European media art organisations - MEET from Milan, PAL from Berlin, Espronceda from Barcelona, Laznia from Gdansk.

The artathon will be followed  by a sound art performance program at the RIXC Gallery, Lenču iela 2 at 19.00 by the artists:
Platons Buravickis (LV), Krista Dintere (LV), Juan C. Duarte Regino (MX/FI), Patrick Borgeat (DE), Elza Zīverte & Kaspars Jaudzems (LV), Raivo Mihailovs (LV), Paula VĪTOLA (LV).

The Crypto, Art and Climate symposium program will take place at the National Library of Lativa and online on Friday, September 22, from 11.00, gathering more than 30 art, science and technology experts and researchers and interdisciplinary artists.

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The National Library of Latvia  / Zoom


17.00 Opening Keynotes / Artist Talks: 


19:00 RIXC Festival Exhibition Opening (Admission free)



12:00 SensUs. Augmented NatureCultures

Opening of Augmented Reality (AR) Exhibition followed by a guided tour. Free admission by registering at

The Latvian National Museum of Natural History, Kr. Barona iela 4


Blockchains, art and climate: challenges for a green and digital future. (AUGE2) artatons

The National Library of Latvia,  Virtakas room (1st floor) / Zoom


15.00 AUGE Artathon: Keynote Panel

Eleonora BRIZI (IT) / Eric NOWAK (CH) /Jane TINGLEY (CA)

16.30 Artathon Workshops (4 Parallel Sessions/Challenges)

19:00 Sound Art and Live Performances

RIXC Gallery, Lenču iela 2




The National Library of Latvia  / Zoom


11.00 Keynote Talk.Memo AKTEN (TR/UK).  Distributed Consciousness 

12.00 Panel 1 [AI] Artificial Intelligence and Future of Media Art

14.00 Panel 2 [Green] AI, Art and Climate Change

15.30  Panel 3 [XR] AI and Art in the Metaverse

17.00 Panel 4 [Crypto] NFTs and Art on the Blockchain

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More information (detailed programme): 

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Free Festival events (no registration required, free admission)

1. Exhibition Opening - Wednesday, 20 September, 19.00, National Library
2. Exhibition - 21 September – 11 November, 2023, National Library (during library opening hours).
3. Guided tour by SensUs artists showing Augmented Reality artworks in Esplanade Park - Thursday, 21 September, 12.00 (meeting at the The Latvian National Museum of Natural History), please register in advance via 

4. AUGE Artathon taking place on Thursday, September 21, 15.00-18.30 is addressed to young people, but participants age is not limited! Registration for the Artathon is free of charge - and by participating in Arthaton, you will also get free festival pass (for all events): 


The Festival Pass (for all days onsite and online) provides access to the following events:

1. Opening Keynote Lectures (Chris Salter, Anna Ridler) - Wednesday, 20 September, 17.00-18.30, LNB (11th floor choir)

2. AUGE Artaton Keynote Panel (Eric Nowak, Eleonora Brizi, Jane Tingley) - Thursday, 21 September, 15.00-16.30, National Library (11th floor choir) + workshops

3. Sound Art and Performance Programme at the RIXC Gallery - Wednesday, 21 September 19.00-22.00, RIXC Gallery, Lenču iela 2, Riga (tickets for this event can be purchased separately).

4. Symposium "Crypto, Art and Climate" – Keynote Talk (Memo Akten, online) + 4 Presentation and Discussion Panels - Thursday, 22 September, 11.00-18.30, National Library (Conference Hall A)

Festival events are held in person (at the National Library (LNB) and RIXC Gallery) and online. A ZOOM link will be sent to remote participants after registration, and will be available from the festival website:


Full price 36 EUR / Early Bird discount - until 15 September: 18 EUR

Students: 50% discount - full price EUR 18 / Early Bird until 15 September: EUR 9

Performance programme ticket (if purchased separately):  

full price EUR 9 / EUR 4.50 discounted if purchased until 15 September.


Creative young people under 30 are invited to apply for the Artathon on Thursday, September 21. Registration for the Artathon is free of charge, and you will also get free entry to the other festival events: 


25358541 (Līva Siliņa)

Further information:

State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, European Media Art Platform (EMAP), EU programme "Creative Europe", Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, project "AUGE 2ND", EU programme "Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values" (CERV), Liepaja University New Media Laboratory MPLab, ASTE Gallery, Art Academy of Latvia, LG Electronics, Reverie, Art Academy of Latvia

Partners: National Library of Latvia, The Latvian National Museum of Natural History Riga, State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.

Informative support: Echogonewrong, Arterritory, Satori, Wemakemoneynotart, Diena, Delfi.


+371 67228478 (office)

+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)