ISEA2019: 25th International Symposium on Electronic Art

ISEA2019:  [Overview] [Venues] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events] [Gallery]

25th International Symposium on Electronic Art


Gwangju, South Korea


22 June – 28 June, 2019

Organised by:

Art Center Nabi and Asia Culture Institute (ACI)



ISEA2019 took place in and around the Asia Cultural Center in Gwangju ( “The ACC, which opened in November 2015, is a Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism–affiliated institution established for the advancement of mutual understanding and cooperative growth with different Asian countries through exchange, education, research, and other efforts with regard to Asian culture”. It provided the rooms for all academic elements of ISEA2019 as well as a museum quality exhibition space. Performances and screenings were staged both inside and outside the building. The closing ceremony, including a spectacular art performance was staged at the Gwangju Traditional Culture Center (

“Known as the ‘City of Light’, Gwangju enjoys its position as both a center for freedom and a center for art” ( Gwangju is marked by the May 18 (1980) Democratic Uprising (, about which a memorial museum is located adjacent to the ACC. “Gwangju citizens took up arms (by robbing local armories and police stations) when local Chonnam University students who were demonstrating against the martial law government were fired upon, killed, raped and beaten by government troops”. Since 1994 Gwangju organises a major Art Biennale (

Integrated with ISEA2019 was the ACT Festival 2019: ‘FoodHack’. “Through extensive programs including ACT showcases, A/V performances, talks & lectures, workshops and screenings, it seeks pleasure in food itself while also interrogating the aftermath and speculating possible options”.

Video overviews of the art events of ISEA2019:

The “making of” ISEA2019:

ISEA2019 is the 25th ISEA Symposium. This jubilee was memorized by, among others, an animation called “The International Symposium on Electronic Art: From The Netherlands to the Republic of Korea in 25 Great Achievements” created by some of the ISEA pioneers from The Netherlands, as a present from the Online ISEA Symposium Archives. Thanks to financial help of the Dutch embassy in Korea, the animation was distributed via the conference bags on specially designed USB-cards.

Organising Committee:

Click to Collapse the Organising Committee

Organising Committee and Production Team

  • General Chair: Soh Yeong Roh, Director, Art Center Nabi
  • Honorary Chair: Kwangyun Wohn, Chairperson, National Research Council of Science and Technology
  • Academic Directors: Juyong Park, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST, Juhan Nam, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST, Jin Wan Park, Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Chung-Ang University
  • Artistic Director: Namhee Park, Team Leader, ACT Festival Team, Asia Culture Institute
  • Poster / Demos Chairs: Yongsoon Choi, Associate Professor, Department of Art & Technology, Sogang University Jiyoon Chun, Associate Professor, Department of New Media, Seoul Media Institute of Technology
  • Workshop / Tutorial Chairs: Hyun Ju Kim, Associate Professor, Department of New Media, Seoul Media Institute of Technology Byungjoo Lee, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST
  • Artist Talks Chair: Su Hyun Nam, Assistant Professor, Department of Transmedia, Syracuse University
  • Institutional Presentation Chair: Boa Rhee, Professor, Department of Computer Art, Chung-Ang University

Introductory and Welcoming Notes:

Associated Events:


Click to Collapse the Symposium Theme

Inspired by the meaning of the name of the host city Gwangju (City of Light), Lux Aeterna raises issues open to complex interpretations in culture, science, and history with equal fervor and significance. In religion, for instance, light signifies divinity and immortality; In science, on the other hand, it is an energetic particle-wave; In the humanities, enlightenment and rationality. The presence of light also creates Umbra, its own antithesis, with Penumbra between the two. Such multifaceted nature of light will lead to the free cohesion of procedural logic based on human sensibilities and technology of artistic inspirations, which is the ultimate goal of ISEA2019.


Click to Collapse the Subthemes

Aeternitas : Eternity of the Mortal

Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity. – John Milton

※ Related Research Fields:
Bio Art, Neuroscience, Hypernatural, Technological Singularity, Human Brain, Artificial Life, Brain-Computer Interface, Digital Undertaker, ‘Right to be forgotten vs. Freedom of expression, New Aesthetic, Adaptive Technology, Computational Humanities etc.

This topic includes various perspectives associated with the eternity of the human being. Humans are finite beings. In contrast to their physicality, their achievements embody transcendental personalities beyond time. Scientific research, on the other hand, denies time transcendence because it is based on the experimental modification. In the near future with the technology’s singularity, humans may have to confront a moment to make a decision whether to physically gain an eternal life or to bestow transcendent personalities upon their traces. We look for works and researches in the theme of eternity and mortality that are inspired by religious, scientific, humanistic, and artistic aspects.

Symphonia : Harmony of Noise

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. – Carl Sagan

※ Related Research Fields :
Sound and Music Computing, Signal Processing, Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Physical Computing, Socio-Technical System, Data Science, Complex Network, Data Visualization and Analysis, Computational Aesthetics, etc.

Since both sound and light are wave-like phenomena (by possessing the characteristics of wavelength), a research topic in both sound and light can be expanded to Vision technology and the Signal Processing in engineering. In fact, there have been emerging opinions about Vision Insight that machines could be more accurate than humans when looking into the essence. However, not only limited to the field of science but also in many other fields, an unrefined signal could open up various possibilities of perspectives in interpreting the nature of collections of data. For example, in Phaidon, Simmias mentions the attunement referring to the remaining sound even after the destruction of Lyre. This topic, involving the two different types of wavelength invites a wide range of researches on light and sound, Data Analysis, Data Visualization that would extract meaningful signals from noise, and harmonization.

Illuminatio : Enlightenment of A.I (Artificial Intelligence) & A.E (Artificial Emotion)

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. – Laozi

※ Related Research Fields :
Perception, Cognition, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Emotion, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Impact of A.I on Society and Arts, Education, Media Art Education, Creative Coding, STEAM, Social Impact, etc.

Eighteenth-century Europe embraced Enlightenment ideals in order to advance culture and civilization by the power of the human intellect and rationale. The influence of the Enlightenment movement in the society is similar to that of Artificial Intelligence(AI) which could happen in the near future-breaking down the old customs and discovering and spreading the universal truth through objective observation. AI has been a controversial topic because it is uncertain how SNN(Spiking Neural Network) that mimics the thinking process of human’s social and artistic brain activity will be able to solve problems. Even if SNN gains the problem-solving ability, various kinds of questions still remain. For example, SNN’s decision-making process and the purpose for solving problems is vague. This topic seeks a type of projects and researches that explores AI’s ability to configure human’s creativity and emotion. In addition, assuming the feasibility of Artificial Emotion (A.E), this topic invites works and research that deal with the essence of a man in the near future.

As the significance of redefining human creativity and ingenuity is emphasized with the advent of AI, ‘education’ in the regard of incubating the talents the contemporary society needs is also being highlighted. The role of education in the era of the machinery is not only restricted to nurturing the capability to stay abreast of the latest innovations and implement science and technology to the today’s everchanging turmoil of interests. There are active discussions on the education reflecting the transitions and transformations of the contemporary society from programming, code literacy, to STEAM, aiming to further present how the essence of humanity could be innovated. We await various researches and opinions on the importance and role of media art, focusing toward the direction of education for the present and the future.

Penumbra : In-between

Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones. – Paul Cezanne

※ Related Research Fields :
Robotics, Altered Reality(VR/AR/MR), Immersive Media, Interactive Art, Internet Art, Blockchain, Value Creation, Urban Media, Curatorial Practice, Digital Fabrication, Digital Preservation/Conservation, Game Art, etc.

We look for various topics for research that are not mentioned above. Light and shadow are relative concepts. A research that might be deemed a failure for some researchers could be seen as the process of the search for the truth from the perspective of another research field. The topics of the paper mentioned so far are the signposts for guidance and inspiration. However, beyond our narrow point of view, we would like to hear your very own stories. We hope to encounter works and research that are full of imagination and creativity, beyond our limited frame.

Under this theme, a special session on art, technology, and money will take place. This session will explore new ecosystem(s) among art, technology, and money. Most of us in art and technology field have had to rely on governmental funds or private charity. But with the rise of social impact investment, there may be a new horizon opening up for creating new values, where artists and technologists find new ways of communicating with the public. In this special session, we want to explore new opportunities as well as possible risks.

Other Committees:

Click to Collapse the Other Committees
  • Special Session Chairs: Won Kon Yi, Professor, School of Fine Arts, Dankook University Soo Hee Lee, Professor, Organisation Studies, University of Kent Jina Kim, Ph.D, Nabi Future Studies, Art Center Nabi, YoungJae Oh, Professor, College of Art and Design, Seoul National University of Science and Technology
  • Exhibition, Performance, and Event Chairs and Co-Organisers:
    Art Center Nabi: HyeIn Jeon, Team Leader, Curatorial TeamHee-Eun Kim, Suhun Lee, Yoojin
  • Exhibition, Performance, and Event Chairs and Co-Organisers:
  • Art Center Nabi: HyeIn Jeon, Team Leader, Curatorial TeamHee-Eun Kim, Suhun Lee, Yoojin Chung, Soyoung Lim, and Heeyoon Choi
    Asia Culture Institute: Hyehyun Kim, Mihyun Jang, NamKyoon Kim, Jeongseok Lee, and Sangon Wi Yang Hyun Kim, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Chonnam National University Gwangju Cultural Foundation, Gwangju Traditional Culture Center Chosun University Gwangju Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Artistic Program Management and Supervision:
  • Art Center Nabi: HyeIn Jeon, Hee-Eun Kim, Suhun Lee, Heeyoon Choi, Yoojin Chung, Yeajin Cho, Yukyung Chung, Hahlra Kim, Soyoung Lim, SangWook Han, Junho Choi, SoHyeong Lee, Homan Kwon, and JaeYoung Kim
  • Opening Performance <Drunken Drone>: LEE LeeNam, Robolink, Pablo Air, GongMyoung and Art Center Nabi
  • Closing Performance <Fiat Lux>: Jayoung Chung, Art Center Nabi, and Gwangju Traditional Culture Center
  • Local Engaged Workshop <Searching Darkness>: Marcus Neustetter, Ji-Eun Lee, Art Center Nabi, and Gwangju Cultural Foundation
  • Administrative:
    Art Center Nabi: A-Young Cho
    Gwangju Metropolitan City: Yongsup Lee (Mayor), Hyang Park, Byungjae Moon, Minsuk Shin, and Myeongju Jo Asia Culture Center: Jinsik Lee (Acting President) and Seongkwon Jang Asia Culture Institute: Gipyo Lee (President) and Jeongseok Lee Gwangju Cultural Foundation: YoungSoon Kim, JinKyoung Jeong, HwanHee Suh, HanKyoung Kim, and Jinsil Choi Gwangju Traditional Culture Center: Gang Bae Park (Head), Kyung Dong Park, and Jun Woo Park Gwangju Convention & Visitors Bureau: Yongheon Lee (CEO), Wongi No, Jeongsuk Jeong, and Aeseon Lee
  • Design:
    Claire Choi, Pansydaisy Corporation, Label1571, and DAADA Graphics
  • Operations and Tech Partners:
    miceone Gana Enterprise

International Programme Committee:

Additional Information:

The series of ISEA symposia is coordinated by ISEA International. Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology.

2019 marks the 25th ISEA symposium


    Click to Collapse the Details
    • Hosted by:

    City of Gwangju
    ACC Asia Cultural Center
    KAIST (formerly Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
    CT Graduate School of Culture Technology

    • Sponsors:

    Korea Tourism Organization
    Institut Francais
    Japan Foundation Seoul
    Crown Goose bedding brand
    The Korea Financial Newspaper

    • Partners:

    City of Québec (Canada) Australia Council for the Arts
    Pablo Air
    Gwangju Cultural Foundation
    Korea Performing Arts Center
    KOFAC Korean Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity
    Kingdom of the Netherlands
    Gwangju Convention & Visitors Bureau
    University Industry Collaboration
    American Arts Incubator
    KOSMA Korean Society of Media & Arts
    KSBDA Korea Society of Basic Design & Art


Click to Collapse the Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the city of Gwangju for their support.


Click to Collapse the Video