Art-o-thlon (the First International Championship of Arts) takes place in Vlinius (Lithuania)
within the frame of live VILNIUS’09 – European Capital of Culture 2009 / European School of Arts / European Commission

‘Art-o-thlon’ is the first international championship linking contemporary art with the popular media. This project seeks to present the birth act of a piece of art as special form of active relation with reality. Its format resembles the structure of the Olympic games and its content – intellectual games.

Art-o-thlon features art projects created and implemented under the watch of filming cameras and covered live on TV and on the web. The project blends the friendly atmosphere, creative joy, academic knowledge, the pleasure of contesting and public attention.

Art-o-thlon integrates the different fields such as painting, photography, architecture, design and media art. It ushers the movement of art beyond gallery spaces and more active communication with the public, highlights trends of interdisciplinary art and new teaching techniques and questions conventional types of art education. Art-o-thlon is related to reality shows for its form, but its content is close to serious cultural programmes which update on latest trends in art, the most outstanding artists and the most relevant processes in art. Art-o-thlon seeks active interaction between social value structures and art, which not necessarily preserves a safe distance between the content of a piece of art and the relevant cultural context.

This project submerges participants (students, artists, teachers) and the outcomes of their activity (works of art) into the context of popular culture. Show business is the theme and artistic technique of this project. Art-o-thlon could be referred to as the accelerator of cultural particles which seeks a deep collision of popular culture with conceptual art in the hope to capture the often unnoticed hybridized cultural anomalies, the processes of a piece of art and the outcomes of creation.

© 2008 Žilvinas Lilas ir Mindaugas Gapševičius

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