[spectre] CALL for proposals: TECHNO-ECOLOGIES Exhibition and Conference

rasa at rixc.lv rasa at rixc.lv
Fri Aug 19 17:32:01 CEST 2011

Hello, on Spectre list!
please see below info and call for our forthcoming art+communication  
festival, which will take place in Riga, November 3-6, 2011,
the theme of this year's RIXC festival is: TECHNO-ECOLOGIES
we welcome proposals for both - conference (deadline November 26) and  
exhibition (deadline November 15)
looking forward seeing you in Riga soon,
with best regards,

CALL for TECHNO-ECOLOGIES Exhibition and Conference proposals

Inhabiting the deep technological spheres of everyday life

Techno-Ecologies is the theme of this year's Art+Communication  
festival, the 13th edition of which will take place in Riga from  
November 3 – 6, 2011, featuring conference (November 4–5) and  
exhibition (November 4–December 11) as well as broad programme of  
performances, screenings, public lectures and workshops in Riga and  
Liepaja, Latvia.

* Conceptual framework

Everyday life has become so intimately interwoven with complex  
technological ecologies that we can no longer consider technology as  
the alienating other. A careful consideration of the relationships  
between the natural and the artificial is required. The idea that we  
'inhabit' technological ecologies emphasises our connectedness to our  
environment (material, natural, technological) and our dependence on  
the resources available there (material, energetic, biological,  
cultural). Mastering these conditions is vital to our survival on this  

Techno-Ecologies builds upon the concerns of Felix Guattari (the  
French philosopher and co-conspirator of Gilles Deleuze) about the  
lack of an integrated perspective on the dramatic techno-scientific  
transformations the Earth has undergone in recent times. Guattari  
urges to take three crucially important 'ecological registers' into  
account: the environment, social relations, and human subjectivity.

Techno-Ecologies will develop a discussion between artists, theorists,  
designers, environmental scientists, technologists, responsible  
entrepreneurs and activists to develop this perspective. Diversity,  
social and ecological sustainability, and a much deeper understanding  
of technology as an extension of our desires are the building blocks  
that we want to bring together to build a perspective that can help us  
chart less hazardous routes into the future than the ones currently  

-----> The Techno-Ecologies concept for Art+Communication 2011  
festival and exhibition is developed by Eric Kluitenberg.
See full concept text at the festival website: http://rixc.lv/11


* Exhibition CALL:

Artists who think that their work fits Techno-Ecologies theme (above)  
should send a brief description of the work plus short biography (and  
other relevant information) to e-mail:
<rixc (at) rixc.lv> and / or <rasa (at) rixc.lv> (Rasa Smite)

The DEADLINE for exhibition proposals: September 15, 2011

The exhibition will take place in Riga, from November 4 – December 11,  
2011 in KIM? / RIXC Gallery, Contemporary Arts Center venue at Spikeri  


* Conference CALL:

In relation to the theme proposed above, for the Techno-Ecologies  
conference we welcome proposals by by both – academic researchers and  
artists, as well as scientists, technology researchers, sociologists,  
philosophers, architects, designers, futurists, and other lateral  
thinkers, who are engaged with the issues of social and ecological  
sustainability, and are interested in a deeper understanding of  

Please send your short abstract (ca. 200 words) and bio (ca. 60 words)  
to e-mail: <rixc (at) rixc.lv> and / or <rasa (at) rixc.lv> (Rasa Smite)

The DEADLINE for conference abstracts: October 1, 2011

The conference is 2-day international academic event that takes place  
in Riga, November 4 - 5, 2011 (at RIXC Media Space), co-organized by  
RIXC and MPLab (Art Research Lab) of Liepaja University.
The conference papers and thematically related articles after the  
conference will be published in the next issue (No. 11) of Acoustic  
Space, peer-reviewed journal for transdisciplinary research on art,  
science, technology and society.


* Preliminary programme:

November 3, 2011 – Opening of the Art+Communication festival and the  
November 4 – 5, 2011 – 2-day conference.
November 4 – December 11, 2011 – Techno-Ecologies exhibition open for public.
November 7 – 13, 2011 – follow-up events: iWeek workshops and public  
lectures in Liepaja.


* Organisers:

The festival and the exhibition is organized by RIXC, The Center for  
New Media Culture

The exhibition is co-curated by Raitis Smits, Rasa Smite and Eric Kluitenberg.

The international academic conference is organized by RIXC in  
collaboration with MPLab (Art Research Lab) of Liepaja University


* Concept:

Inhabiting the deep technological spheres of everyday life

Technology can no longer be understood as an alterity (otherness) that  
stands in opposition to biological and social relationships. Going  
about our regular practices of everyday living we inhabit complex  
technological spheres of life that require a different, a more  
'ecological' understanding of our relationship to technology. In  
analogy to the 'deep ecology' movement, philosopher David Rottenberg  
recently suggested that the notion of 'deep technology' relates user  
and context in an ecological, symbiotic way [1].  Similarly, the idea  
of 'inhabiting' technological ecologies emphasises our connectedness  
to our environment (material, natural, technological) and our  
dependence on the resources available in that environment (material,  
energetic, biological, cultural). Mastering these conditions, which  
necessarily transcend the personal experience, is vital to our  
survival on this planet.

The concept of technological ecologies as spheres of life invites a  
more careful consideration of the relationships between the natural  
and the artificial - or even the collapse of the boundaries between  
them - in favour of looking at such techno-ecologies as complex  
assemblages, comparable to how for instance philosopher Bruno Latour  
treats them. Our perspective should, however, not be limited to these  
technological 'actors'. In The Three Ecologies (1989) Felix Guattari  
expresses his worries about the intense techno-scientific  
transformations the Earth is undergoing. Guattari observes an  
ecological disequilibrium generated by these transformations, which  
leads to  a general reduction of human and social relationships and  
the sustainability of the living environment.

According to Guattari it is the relationship between subjectivity and  
its exteriority - be it social, animal, vegetable or cosmic - that is  
compromised, in a sort of general movement of 'implosion'. He warns  
against a merely partial realisation of the severity of these changes  
and inadequate responses that may come  from a purely technocratic  
perspective. It is the ways of living on this planet that are in  
question, according to Guattari, in the context of the acceleration of  
techno-scientific mutations and exponential demographic growth. Only  
an 'ethico-political' articulation 'between' the three ecological  
registers that he identifies - the environment, social relations, and  
human subjectivity - would be able to clarify these questions.

The paradox is that these techno scientific transformations are both  
the source of the current ecological disequilibrium, and even so the  
only realistic means to address and potentially resolve the problems  
they create. Somehow, however, we cannot seem to make them work.

Siegfried Zielinski has pointed out that one important fallacy to  
overcome is to view the course of technological development as  
'progress', or to consider our current state of technological  
sophistication as the best possible and necessary outcome of a  
predictable historical trajectory. In his 'Variantology' project  
Zielinski makes a radical break with any idea of technological  
progress or determinism [2]. The Variantological approach emphasises  
that at any point technological development (and human development  
along with it) is contingent (it can go anywhere). Variantology does  
not look for 'master media' or 'imperative vanishing points'. Instead  
it seeks out  the moments of greatest possible diversity and  
individual variation. It operates in carefully chosen periods of  
particularly intensive and necessary work on the media,# across  
different cultural and physical geographies - exploring the 'deep time  
relationships of the arts, sciences and technologies'.

Finally, an exploration of inhabitable technological ecologies needs  
to take into account the phantasmatic dimension of technological  
apparatuses and systems. Such a more psychographic understanding of  
the depth of technology aims to uncover hidden, or not immediately  
visible or discernible psychological layers attached to the  
technological apparatuses - perhaps we might refer to this as  a  
'technological unconscious' - that underpin human experience and our  
subjective ties with technological environments. It considers  
technology not only as an extension of the body but also as an  
extension of our deepest desires. It explores the void between the  
'real' and that what is mediated by systems of language, media, and  
technology. It  acknowledges the existence of a  'third body' (Klaus  
Theweleit) [3]  that inserts itself between us and the (technological)  
objects. This third body only emerges in our interaction with these  
objects, but it is neither held by us nor by the objects alone.

Beyond questions of finite resources and obvious forms of pollution  
and environmental degradation, attempts to develop sustainable  
relationships with technology and our living environment should  take  
into account far more complex layerings of the way we inhabit our  
current technological ecologies. Such a deeply informed ethical and  
philosophical perspective is indispensable if we hope to find less  
hazardous routes into the future.

1 - www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.10/rothenberg.if.html
2 - http://entropie.digital.udk-berlin.de/wiki/Variantology
3 -  

Eric Kluitenberg, Amsterdam, June 6, 2011




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