ElectroSmog Festival: When Immobility Provides A Better Lifestyle

ElectroSmog decentralizes the festival to address technology and (im)mobility.

Lisa Baldini
Lisa Baldini on February 25, 2010.

We have showcased numerous festivals that focus on the environment as much as technological innovation; however, ElectroSmog offers us a festival who practices what they preach. Their focus is on mobility in regards to how it can transform our environment as much as social landscape. That is, can technology transform our lifestyles in a way that is “less determined by speed and constant mobility”? To bring home their message, the festival takes place across a network of cities as well as on the web so that speakers an participants have more elasticity in where they choose to participate.

A few basic ground rules apply for all the festival events listed there:

• No presenter will travel beyond their local or regional boundaries to participate in this event.

• All festival events will always take place in at least two locations connected in real-time.

• A crucial dimension of the festival will be its on-line presence, where audiences from basically anywhere with an internet connection can follow events on-line, join in discussions and debates, visit virtual theatres in metaverses such as second life, and contribute to the program.

This creates a de-centralized festival that is able to address global, national and local concerns. But more importantly, it takes a critical eye to how technology should be used to improve our lives. At present, it provides a utility for us to accomplish our goals. However, how many of us experience ever increasing demands for productivity at the expense of a new improvement in technology? How much productivity is necessary for a company to be doing “well”? We are at a critical juncture where we have to be realistic about how technology and being connected can improve our lives as much as the bottom line. ElectroSmog appears to be looking for that delicate balance.

ElectroSmog will take place in Amsterdam, New York, Madrid, Helsinki, Riga. London, Banff, New Zealand, Munich and online from March 18th-20th.


TOPICS: Arts & Culture, Design & Architecture, Electronics & Gadgets, Web & Technology, Work & Business
Lisa Baldini

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Lisa Baldini is a regular contributor to As a student of Graham Harwood, Luciana Parisi, and Matthew Fuller, Lisa's interest in technology lies in how culture is changed from the bottom up through history, materiality, databases, user experience, and affective computing. A student of social media marketing, she sees how people try to engage consumers through technology and how much failure is at hand by misunderstanding the medium. A teacher at heart, she writes and curates in an effort to link the knowledge derived between the academic, art, and business worlds.