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Will an Organic Internet save our Analog Environments?

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The aim of the symposium “Vaping Networks” is to analyse the intersection of digital and analog environments and extend the discussion on technological development with the tools from the discipline of ecology and from the eco- activist practice.

How many ecosystems does it take to power the network?

Despite its alien appearance, the network of devices, connective cables, and endless data centers are deeply rooted in the earth's womb. The smooth and light surfaces on which we surf, seem to leave no traces. Even though they are deeply impacting the environment, regarding resources, inter-species relations and overall the status of our atmosphere.

Visualizing this material dependence is fundamental, especially in a moment in which sustainable energy sources are getting more and more popular in the IT world. Apart from the general understanding to use renewable sources, what are the implications? The importance of non-human agents and the focus on these groups grows in importance as the network grows.

The ambiguity of the concept of environment is manifold and considering its complexity might open up new ways to interpret the modes of how the Internet works. Observing recent movements towards sustainability could visualize how large corporations as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft publicly engage with this new sensibility by proposing their zero emission networks. However, systems are changing and so is our planet. Content needs to be rapidly digested and seems volatile and completely ephemeral as the posted stories on Instagram. But what if this acceleration has its limits and what do they implicate?

These themes will be discussed in two evenings, the 20th and 21st of November 2019, organized by servus.at | Research Lab 2019 / Christina Gruber, Antonio Zingaro and Davide Bevilacqua and hosted by the department of Timebased Media of the University of Art and Design in Linz.

The AMRO Research Lab is a long-term research process carried out by a group of artists, activists, scientists and hackers from the servus.at community. 2019-2020 the media artist and freshwater ecologist Christina Gruber and the multimedia artist and Internet hacktivist Antonio Zingaro are participants of the Research Lab. They work with servus.at curator Davide Bevilacqua and the servus.at community on the environmental impacts of the Internet infrastructure and the "green" trends that are emerging in the marketing strategies of the largest Internet companies.

The Department of Time-based Media employs interdisciplinary methodologies to address different ways of working with time-based media, i.e. video (in theory and practice), film (theory) and sound, media installations and productions, interactive systems, designing with digital media and innovative programming. Students create process- and problem-oriented modules to develop their own artistic, scientific and transdisciplinary projects and works. Experimental, performative, space-related, cultural-scientific and art-historical aspects form part of project management and theoretical training in the field of time-based media, media practice and media production. The programme is aimed at teaching students to work both independently and as part of a team.

20. & 21. November 2019 - 18:00-21:00
Kunstuniversität Linz, Domgasse 1, 4020 Linz, Austria
Zeitbasierte Medien “Wohnzimmer” (DO0458), 4. OG

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