ElectroBlog: News about the ElectroSmog Festival

About the ElectroSmog Festival

International Festival for Sustainable Immobility

March 18 – 20, 2010



ElectroSmog is a new festival that revolves around the concept Sustainable Immobility. The festival will introduce and explore this concept in theory and practice. With Sustainable Immobility we refer to a critique of current systems of hyper mobility of people and products in travel and transport, and their ecological unsustainability.

The exploration of Sustainable Immobility is a quest for a more sustainable life style, which is less determined by speed and constant mobility. A lifestyle that celebrates stronger links to local cultures, while at the same time deepening our connections to others across any geographical divide, using new communication technologies instead of physical travel .

What we propose may sound a bit like a paradox: The proposition of the festival is that the unfolding crisis of mobility can only be effectively addressed by deepening our connections across geographical divides through new communication technologies. The festival wants to engage the fundamental promise of the information age that communication technologies can replace the need for physical mobility, and thus both contribute to ecological stability as well as a more rewarding both deep-local and translocal life-style. While this promise has existed since the dawn of the information age, it was never realised. New material realties, however, force us to critically re-examine these promises and seriously start to turn them into viable choices.

Nothing is self-evident for us. We will also critically question the underlying premise that reliance on electronic connections and local roots is self-evidently more energy efficient and more ecologically sustainable than  current systems of globalised mobility of people and goods.

Is ‘going local’ the only solution?

What are the true energy costs and environmental and health hazards of using even more electronic technologies (increased levels of electrosmog)?

How can remote connections become a truly rewarding experience in and of themselves?

We believe that only by answering such questions a viable alternative to the current unsustainable systems of hyper-mobility can be found.

Bringing together a broad coalition

The ElectroSmog festival brings together a broad coalition of designers, environmentalists, urban and spatial planners, technologists, artists, theorists, and engaged and concerned citizens, to explore and ‘design’ sustainable immobility. The festival stakes its claim for a radical break with the current systems of hyper-mobility not simply by discussing the issue, but by actually implementing it. To achieve this the very concept of an international festival and its traditional conventions need to be rethought and redesigned from the ground up.

Connecting the local off-line local with the international on-line

ElectroSmog is a truly international festival, with everything you might expect of such a festival:  international debates and discussions, performances, art projects, exhibits, site specific projects, screenings, design competitions, and much more. However, no presenter will travel beyond their local or regional boundaries to participate in this event.
To achieve this we will work together in a network of accomplished cultural and new media centres, labs, theatres and other public venues to create the local ‘hubs’ that will inter-connect for this unique festival.

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, and contribute to the program.

ElectroSmog acknowledges from the start that bandwidth is not equally distributed across and within societies. Therefore remote connection to lower bandwidth spaces, do-it-yourself telematics, and information technologies for the majority world will be one the central concerns the festival wishes to address, again both in theory and in practice.



  1. Where is the festival taking place?

    Comment by Greg Niemeyer — April 10, 2009 @ 05:11 | Reply

    • Hi Greg,

      The festival will take place in many locations at the same time (see the partner network for a first indication), and of course also predominantly on-line. All locations will be interconnected via internet and other means, but you can always follow the actual events in October via our website, which we will launch later this Spring. Till that time this blog will be the news channel about preparations.
      Locations so far confirmed are: Amsterdam, Riga, New York, Madrid, Helsinki, London, Banff, Aotearoa New Zealand, Muncih and various second life locations.
      We expect this to grow a bit further still.

      (festival editors)

      Comment by electrosmog — April 10, 2009 @ 12:55 | Reply

  2. RL Berlin and SL newBERLIN would be happy to join.
    Best greeetings!

    Comment by January Lightfoot — November 25, 2009 @ 01:44 | Reply

  3. RL Berlin and SL newBERLIN would be happy to join!

    Comment by January Lightfoot — November 25, 2009 @ 01:44 | Reply

  4. […] of course Electrosmog Festival is not about the eradication of internet and connectivity. In fact, it is about a conscious use of […]

    Pingback by Electrosmog Festival – International Festival for Sustainable Immobility | Y Magazine — December 8, 2009 @ 19:14 | Reply

  5. It seems an original point of view on new media and ecolife.
    I will follow it.

    Comment by Lorenzo Taiuti — January 6, 2010 @ 17:21 | Reply

  6. Is it possible to submit work to this initiative? I’ve recently finished a series of paintings on the environmental unsustainablity of the American Food Machine which can be found here: http://www.lee-lee.com/release/reap.shtml

    Thank you for putting this very important topic together –
    Lee Lee

    Comment by Lee Lee — January 20, 2010 @ 06:21 | Reply

    • Hi Lee Lee,

      Just saw this – you cannot submit physical works as we don’t want to ship physical art works, just like presenters are not allowed to travel for this festival.
      You can submit a description of the work, and you already have a website. You could consider entering this for the design competition (all info is on this blog) – then there would be an opportunity to present this work live on-line using skype as part of the festival (if the work is selected for the show). Intellectual Property remains in all cases entirely with the author, we will not claim anything in the competition – we just want to stimulate debate.

      Submissions can go to info [ a t ] electrosmgofestival.net

      best wishes,

      Comment by electrosmog — February 4, 2010 @ 14:41 | Reply

  7. march 18-20 are those the dates of the event?
    our theatre, Teatro Maria Matos in Lisbon, is co-producing with the Portuguese theatre company Mundo Perfeito an international theatre performance, made by 6 theatre artists from 5 different countries, exclusively through the use of electronic communication. Only the performances itself will take place at the end of July in Lisbon. The makers will make the whole piece online and only appear in Lisbon on the day of the first performance to play it. As far as theatre goes, I see no way out. If it isn’t live, it isn’t theatre… The whole process will be documented.

    Comment by mark — January 25, 2010 @ 17:00 | Reply

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