Camden International Film Festival, in partnership with Asymmetrick Arts, Binaural/Nodar and the Maine Arts Commission, will present its second annual exhibition of new media installation and experimental documentary shorts at the Asymmetrick Arts Gallery, 405 Main St. On Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m., the festival will feature a gallery opening and live performance by international media artist Maile Colbert.

Since 1996, Asymmetrick Arts has been showing and promoting emerging media in Midcoast Maine, working to expand the scope of Maine’s art scene.

“Panoptic: An Exploration” showcases the expanding scope of Maine’s art scene. The show, which will run through Sunday, Oct. 3, will be open 1 to 6 p.m. daily, giving festival attendees a window into the rapidly growing world of experimental and non-narrative documentary art forms including installation, audio pieces and experimental shorts. Maile is a former Midcoast resident whose work has taken her around the world as an artist, teacher and composer. The Sept. 29 opening is the first event of the 2010 festival and an opportunity to meet some of the incredible artists involved.

“Panoptic” is dedicated to the work of Binaural/Nodar, a Portuguese nonprofit Cultural Organization founded in 2004 with the aim of promoting the exploration and research in sound, visual and new media arts, focusing on the crossing of media and languages and on the articulation between the artistic production and the surrounding context, particularly through its artist residency in the rural village of Nodar, located in northern Portugal.

“Scraping the Surface” comprises works made by members of the Binaural/Nodar artist collective and others created at its Artist Residency Center of Nodar. The works reflect upon specific aspects of a geographical and social context (the city, in the case of “Sightseeing for The Blind”; and the rural village, in the case of the remaining works) and use strategies that begin with various methods of documentation and then extend through artistic process to introduce a distance from the original fragments of reality and to access deeper layers from it.

The public is invited to attend a gallery talk and panel discussion Saturday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. at Asymmetrick Arts with Kerstin Gilg of the Maine Arts Commission, Owen Smith of the University of Maine and artists Colbert and Jonathan Laurence. The panel will discuss emerging media and experimental documentary in Maine and beyond.

Gilg joined MAC in 2007 to oversee the agency’s public art programs with his chief responsibilities being to oversee the Percent for Art program and the Arts in the Capitol program. In 2009, he became the Media Arts and Performing Arts Associate, with the mission to build two new programs to support both disciplines.

Smith is an art historian, curator, artist, writer and teacher whose interest lies in the exploration of the cultural gap between art and life. He currently is professor of art history and digital art and the current director of the new media department at the University of Maine. Smith is an active artist, preferring digital art and new media forms.

Colbert is a multi-media artist with a concentration on sound and video. relocated from Los Angeles to Lisbon, Portugal. She holds a BFA in The Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art, and a MFA in Integrated Media/Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She has had multiple screenings, exhibits and shows; and has performed and screened widely in Japan, Europe, Mexico and the States. She recently was a part of a featured installation at the 2009 UN Climate Conference.

Laurence is an internationally sought-after artist, photographer, multimedia producer and consultant. This year, he was listed as one of the top 60 most collectable artists in Maine by Maine Home+Design. He teaches multimedia production and digital media at the University of Maine, Maine Media Workshops, Toscana Photographic Workshops, Nord Photography Workshops and through private tutorials.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.