A festival of critical technologies & digital adventures
Matadero Madrid – November 21-23, 2019


A product of our increasingly complex, convoluted times, Tentacular is an interknit gathering of artists, designers, philosophers, activists, and technologists who are crafting new aesthetics and narratives to help make legible the dominant technocultural forces shaping our world today. The festival brings together unconventional projects, research, and critical analysis in the form of talks, workshops, performances and new commissions. Tentacular 2019 is curated by Julia Kaganskiy (US) and José Luis de Vicente (ES). Bani Brusadin (ES/IT) will curate the festival’s critical studies program: Freeport 0.

This year, Tentacular takes its inspiration from the concept of Extremophilia, which refers to microorganisms capable of thriving in extreme conditions considered hostile to most life forms. Interpreted broadly to reflect the tendency towards extremes that increasingly characterizes both contemporary culture and our material reality, the program will explore multiple dimensions of Extremophilia that include “Extreme Adaptation,” “Extremism” and “Extreme Love.” 

Participants this year include acclaimed artist, writer and journalist James Bridle (UK), author of New Dark Age and creator of the BBC radio show “New Ways of Seeing”, both of which reveal the invisible power structures characterizing our social and political environment. Anab Jain (IN/UK), founder of influential design fiction studio Superflux, who creates future scenarios that imagine alternative possibilities for everyday life in response to our deepest anxieties and fears. Christina Agapakis (US) uses synthetic biology to create new forms of live and to resurrect others. In a recent project she has recreated the smell of a flower extinguished 100 years ago. Holly Herndon (US), one of the most interesting composers and performers in the global electronic music scene, has shown on her latest album Proto how different Artificial Intelligence could be if designed by artists instead of corporations. In Tentacular, she will discuss a new set of protocols for imagining AI with one of the most influential public intellectuals writing about the politics of the technology sector today: the always mordacious Evgeny Morozov (BLR). Other participants include Nerea Calvillo (ES/UK), Shu Lea Cheang (TW), DIS (US), Mat Dryhurst (UK), Mariam Ghani (US), Rindon Johnson (US) Martin Messier (CA), and YRO (FR), with more names to be announced soon. 

The conference program will be accompanied by a week-long new program focused on learning and production: Freeport 0, a pilot initiative curated by Bani Brusadin (ES/IT) that will introduce Matadero Madrid’s next independent study program, to begin in 2020. Freeport 0 promotes radical research and creative production combining art methodologies with the language of design, activism, Internet communities, critical engineering, and journalism. This pilot edition will be led by Asia Bazdyrieva (UA) and Solveig Suess (CH/US), authors of the Geocinema project, and James Bridle (UK). 

On Saturday morning, Tentacular will hold the second edition of Madrid’s Internet Yami-Ichi (Internet black market), a marketplace of Internet-inspired arts and crafts.

More than an annual event, Tentacular is also a platform for the production and distribution of new ideas in contemporary digital culture. This year, the festival is partnering with several international arts organizations to present new commissions that will debut at the festival and be released online in the weeks following the event.


A project by Matadero Madrid
Curators: Julia Kaganskiy and José Luis de Vicente
Freeport 0 curated by: Bani Brusadin
Artistic Coordination: Elisa Cuesta
Internet Yami-Ichi Organizers: Julián Pérez and Mario Santamaría
Graphic design: Rebeka Arce
Photography: Harry Griffin for DISimages
Web Manufacture: Lucía Seguramente
Space design: Olga Subirós​​


Co-producers of new commissions: DIS.ART, Eyebeam and Rhizome
In collaboration with Institut Français