ElectroBlog: News about the ElectroSmog Festival

February 9, 2010

The ElectroSmog News-blog has moved to www.electrosmogfestival.net

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 16:02

Dear visitor,

We have moved the ElectroSmog festival newsblog to a new address:


This is also the address for the final festival website. The news-blog posts will become part of the news section and archive of the festival once the final design of the festival site is done. For up to date information about the ElectroSmog festival please refer to the new address.

Thank you!

Eric Kluitenberg

ElectroSmog Festival


January 16, 2010

Designing for Immobility – Amsterdam & on-line, January 21, 20.30 CET

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 01:36
Tags: , , ,

Thursday January 21, 20.30 hrs (CET)

De Balie, Amsterdam

The world-wide mobility explosion is an enormous challenge for designers. How can we convince people that current forms of continuous mobility are no longer ecologically sustainable? Should mobility simply be made unaffordably expensive? Or can we design viable alternatives

As a prelude to the ElectroSmog festival De Balie in Amsterdam will present a showcase of design proposals, practical projects and design-ideas that should persuade us to start moving less.


Read the report by John Thackara over on the Doors of Peception Blog.


With on-line and on-site contributions by among others:

John Thackara, director of Doors of Perception, the international conference and knowledge network which sets new agendas for design, will highlight design projects that try to tackle the question of mobility reduction.

Costas Bissas, researcher at  Distance Lab, Forres (Scotland), will present the specific focus of his organisation on networking rural and remote area’s. The relevant question for the ElectroSmog festival  is whether we can live in a sustainable way in the green and still connect to the rest of the world, culturally and economically?

David van Gent is a managing consultant for IBM on Learning Strategy & Technology, Virtual Worlds, Serious Gaming & Web 2.0. He will talk about and demo the Virtual Offices project of IBM, using open SIM technology (similar to second life):
( See for instance this CNN item )

Eric Kluitenberg, head of the media department of De Balie and initiator of the ElectroSnog festival, will present the concept behind the festival. Besides exploring the critique of mobility theoretically, ElectroSmog will also address the issue practically. All international presentations in the festival will be realised by means of tele-connections between the different international locations.

Jeroen van Schaick, PHD researcher on ‘Time-space and urban design’ at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology provides feedback, comparing design proposals with actual finding from research on mobility patterns.


Please note: The presentation of the project “In the Air”, by the Medialab Prado, Madrid,  “a visualisation project which aims to make visible the microscopic and invisible agents of Madrid´s air (gases, particles, pollen, diseases, etc), to see how they perform, react and interact with the rest of the city.”, has been shifted to the festival in March.

Live & Interactive:

This program will be streamed  live on the internet – for details please refer to:

Chat with us and other viewers at De Balie online chatroom:

You can also watch this live event together with other avatars at the Meta.Live.Nu Roof-Theatre in the virtual world Second Life:

datum | Thursday 21 January, 20.30 hrs.
language | Engels
entrance | free


January 4, 2010

ElectroSmog General Announcement

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 23:53
Tags: , ,

International Festival for Sustainable Immobility

Amsterdam / New York / Madrid / Helsinki / Riga / London / Banff  / New Zealand / Munich / & on-lIne
March 18 – 20, 2010

About the Festival:

ElectroSmog is a new festival that explores the concept ‘Sustainable Immobility’ in theory and practice. Sustainable Immobility is first of all a critique of the growing global crisis of mobility. Current forms of hyper-mobility of people and products in travel and transport are  ecologically increasingly unsustainable. The will to slow down, however, seems thoroughly absent. The economic crisis may have temporarily slowed matters down, long term projections still point towards exponential growth of worldwide mobility and exploding energy needs.  Alternatives for the current state of hyper-mobility  need to be designed urgently.

The exploration of Sustainable Immobility is a quest for a lifestyle 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 by means of new communication technologies, instead of physical travel.

The ElectroSmog festival will engage one of the main promises information age: that communication technologies can replace the need for physical mobility and thereby contribute directly to ecological stability. Our increased tele-connections would lead to a more rewarding deep local lifestyle (homework in the electronic cottage) and to richer connected experiences with the rest of the world (the global village). While these promises have existed since the dawn of the information age, they were never fully realised. The  expanding mobility and energy crisis requires us, however, to re-examine these promises and find out how to turn them into viable life-style choices.

ElectroSmog will not take the underlying premises of the information age for granted. We want to ask questions such as:
Are increased electronic connections truly more energy efficient and ecologically sustainable?
Do they lead to new forms of  electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog)?
How can the revitalisation of the local be combined with a responsible global consciousness?
How can remote connections become a truly rewarding experience in and of themselves?

Technology alone is never the answer. We are looking for both technological and non-technological solutions to the central question of the festival: How can a sustainably immobile way of life be achieved?

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.

ElectroSmog is a truly international festival, with everything you might expect: international debates and discussions, performances, art projects, exhibits, site specific projects, screenings, design competitions, and more.  ElectroSmog 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.

No Travel Allowed!
Connecting the local off-line with the international on-line.

The very concept of an international festival and its traditional conventions has been rethought and redesigned from the ground up. This has lead us to a few basic ground rules that will apply for all festival events:
– 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.

A network of accomplished cultural and new media centres, labs, theatres and other public venues work together to create the local ‘hubs’ that will inter-connect on-line for the festival.

Beyond the broadband enclaves:

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 will address.

Themes explored during the festival include:
– Global Views on the Crisis of Mobility
– The Promise of Ubiquity: Being everywhere at once, while staying home
– Designing for Immobility
– The Changing Path of Food to our Kitchen Table: Food and Global Mobility
– Do-It-Yourself Telematics: Technologies for everybody else
– Aesthetics of Distributed Space
– ElectroSmog is Good for You!
– Tyrannies of the Real-Time
– Going Slow: Private Agency Towards a Sustainable Immobility

The preliminary festival program will be published on February 1st.
Updates on festival preparations and news will be published at the festival news-blog and website at:

International Design Competition:

ElectroSmog has initiated its own design competition for the festival  for young designers, artists, students, and professionals to come up with design scenario’s, life-style proposals, prototypes or demo-designs for sustainable immobility.

The competition invites proposals, scenario studies, demos, prototypes or other innovative ideas to in response to the question: How can we design sustainable immobility?

The winner will be awarded eternal fame and a fully equipped residency, generously hosted by the Banff New Media Institute, to execute her or his ideas.
For details please refer here.

Technology Transfer and Content Follow-up:

ElectroSmog will make extensive use of existing and open source technologies that will be integrated in a re-useable web environment, developed in collaboration with the Cool Mediators Foundation and De Balie in Amsterdam.
The technical processes will be documented in a post-festival documentation workshop organised with the innovative Floss Manuals organisation, resulting in a freely downloadable manual and a print on demand publication available from the Floss Manuals website.
The outcomes of the discussions, debates and theoretical seminars will lead to an international follow-up publication, currently under negotiation and planned for the Fall of 2010.

ElectroSmog Partner Organisations:

De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam
ADA – Aotearoa Digital Arts Network, New Zealand.
Eyebeam – Art + Technology Center, New York.
Banff New Media Institute, Banff.
Medialab Prado, Madrid.
RIXC – Centre for New Media Culture, Riga.
Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
m-cult- centre for new media culture, Helsinki.
Hivos – Humanist Institute for development Cooperation, The Netherlands.
Floss Manuals – Free Manuals for Free Software, (international network).
Engage! Tactical Media, Utrecht.
Cool Mediators Foundation, Amsterdam.
Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam

Further enquiries can be directed at: info@electrosmogfestival.net

October 8, 2009

Digital matters: a distributed keynote conversation

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 01:09

Wellington / London / Amsterdam

Saturday June 27, 2009:
Matthew Fuller (London), talks with Su Ballard (Wellington) and Eric Kluitenberg (Amsterdam) and guests.

As part of:
Critical-Digital-Matter: The 6th Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium
June 26-28th, 2009

ADA Digital Arts Symposium

SL:               02:00 to 03:45 PDT
London:       10:00 to 11:45 GMT(UTC)+1
Amsterdam: 11.00 to 12:45 CEST
Wellington:   21:00 to 22:45 NZST

* Goldsmith College, London, UK
* De Balie, Amsterdam, NL
* Victoria University School of Design, Wellington, NZ
* Wellington Railway Station, Second Life (SL)

In “Media Ecologies”, Matthew Fuller called for an embedded approach to digital materials as they are encountered in different cultural and social contexts. When media systems interact with art unpredictable things happen. This remote conversation will test the materials of digital networks, hosts and remote relays to enable an open discussion of the materiality of the digital. Fuller and Ballard share a concern with digital matter, and the employment of things digital in concrete engagements with art. They will discuss the pervasiveness of digital matter, the engagement of art and the digital, and address the problem of artists in new media art finding their time taken up with attempts to make their work interesting to contemporary art, creative industries, humanities, etc., and forgetting to intensify the work that directly engages the crucial aspects of the field. This conversation is one attempt to rectify this. Through a direct focus on the materiality of the digital we will engage a discussion of the materiality of computational and networked digital media.

The conversation will begin from the following short reading list:

Matthew Fuller, 2004/2006 “Softness: interrogability; general intellect;art methodologies in software,” ISEA Helsinki 2004 and Digital Research Unit at Huddersfield University,

Su Ballard,  2005, “Entropy and digital installation,” Fibreculture issue 7.

Adrian Mackenzie, 2009, “Intensive movement in wireless digital signal processing: from calculation to envelopment” Environment and Planning A 41(6) 1294 – 1308

Anna Munster, 2001,  “Digitality: Approximate aesthetics” ctheory.net Article a093, 3/14/2001.

M. Beatrice Fazi  2009, “’The simple expression of a complex thought’: For a Media Theory of Expression.” Mute: culture and politics after the net,
www.metamute.org/en/content/ the_simple_expression_of_complex_thought_ for_a_media_theory_of_expression

All texts available via:

The conversation will be relayed as a regular live stream (watch and listen only) over the internet, and then retransmitted in Second Life in a virtual theatre. This will enable second life ‘residents’ from around the globe to follow the discussion and respond via the in-built text-chat in Second Life.  The conversation will also be viewable via two urban screens in Wellington: one in the Atrium of the School of Design at Victoria University, and the other at the corner of Courtenay Place and Tory Street. This screen content will be downloadable.

Live Streams:

Links to live-streams, and how to follow the conversation will be relayed,
here: http://www.debalie.nl/live
& here: http://symposium09.aotearoadigitalarts.org.nz/#Fuller

Second Life Venue:

Outside Wellington Railway Station. At Koru educational sim (owned by NMIT in Nelson, NZ)

[The Wellington Railway Station 3D build is part of the interactive art installation:  “In the Company of Strangers” by Mike Baker (aka Rollo Kohime in SL)]

Digital Matters video chat and Second Life theatre

Connected public breakfest in Amsterdam:

In Amsterdam it is possible to join this conversation through a public breakfast at De Balie, the centre for culture and politics.
Address: Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10, Amsterdam.

Digital Matters public breakfest

Biographical Information:

Matthew Fuller is David Gee Reader in Digital Media at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture (MIT Press, 2005) and Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software (Autonomedia, 2003). He has worked closely with the artists collective Mongrel, and was a  member of the speculative software group  I/O/D from 1994-1997 and most recently initiated the ‘Digger Barley’ project shown at Futuresonic and Manifesta 7. Along with architect Usman Haque he is author of ‘Concurrent Versioning City’ a FLOSS-inspired quasi-licence for urban construction. He is particularly interested in the cultural effects of technology.

Su Ballard is Academic Leader, and Principal Lecturer in Electronic Arts in the School of Art. Her research centres around digital aesthetics, experimental sound and video, visual culture, and media ecologies. She completed her PhD through the the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics, Universty of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Her PhD examined materialist tendancies in digital art installation by New Zealand and Australian artists working in international contexts. She recently edited The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader, published by Clouds.

Eric Kluitenberg is an independent media theorist, writer and organiser on culture, media and technology. He is head of the media deprtment of De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. Recent publications of his include the Book of Imaginary Media (2006), Hybrid Space (2006), and Delusive Spaces (2008).

The view from Wellington:


And projected at the other end of the earth….

Digital Matters projection in Wellington

April 3, 2009

ElectroSmog International Design Competition

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 01:03
Tags: , , ,

Today we issued the call for the international design competition for sustainable immobility. We invite young designers, artists and other interested professionals and advanced students in design and art disciplines to submit proposals for designs for ‘sustainable immobility’.

The reward for the winning proposal is a fully equipped residency realised through our extensive international partner network.

You can download the call as a zoomable pdf document (a screen document – not for print!) via the link below. The full text of the call is also included below.

ElectroSmog Design Competition Call

We look forward to all your submissions!

ElectroSmog Design Competition


International Festival for Sustainable Immobility

March 18 – 20, 2010

About the festival

ElectroSmog is a new festival that explores the concept ‘Sustainable Immobility’ in theory and practice. Sustainable Immobility is first of all a critique of the expanding crisis of mobility. Today’s systems of hyper-mobility of people and products in travel and transport are ecologically no longer sustainable. While the worldwide growth of mobility may be temporarily slowed down by the current economic slump, long term projections still point towards increased movement and exploding energy needs. Therefore we urgently need to develop alternatives for the current state of hyper-mobility.

Sustainable Immobility is a quest for a lifestyle 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 by means of new communication technologies instead of physical travel .

The challenge

The ElectroSmog festival wishes to engage one of the most fundamental promises of the information age: that communication technologies can replace the need for physical mobility and therefore directly contribute to ecological stability. Simultaneously our increased tele-connections would lead to a more rewarding deep local lifestyle (homework in the electronic cottage) and to a richer connected experience with the rest of the world (the global village).

While these promises have existed since the dawn of the information age, they were never fully realised. The urgency to address the challenge of the expanding mobility crisis forces us, however, to re-examine these promises and find out how to turn them into viable life-style choices. Nothing is self-evident: We also question the premise that increased electronic connections and deeper local roots are self-evidently more energy efficient and ecologically sustainable than the current systems of globalised mobility of people and goods.

Technology alone is never the answer. We are looking for both technological and non-technological solutions to the central question of our competition:

How can we design sustainable immobility?

The Design Competition

In collaboration with an extensive network of international partners the ElectroSmog festival is organising an international design competition for young designers, artists, technologists, architects and spatial and urban planners to join us in our quest for sustainable immobility,  and find imaginative answers to find imaginative answers to the question how to design sustainable immobility.

The winning design will be awarded with a full-fledged residency to realise your idea.


Anything innovative goes: We welcome all types of submissions: demo’s and prototypes for web-applications, design scenario’s, lifestyle proposals, campaigns, sabotage manuals, ideological declamations about immobility, serious business proposals for a more sustainably immobile future, deep local explorations, or any other life-style and behaviour changing designs.

A Distributed Award Ceremony…

A selection of proposals, designs and scenario’s will be presented before an international jury on at the international award ceremony on Thursday March 18, 2010 in the form of a short pitch or presentation. In keeping with the nature of the festival the award ceremony will be a distributed public event across a range of different locations, countries, continents and time zones, interconnected via internet.

The Award

The most highly esteemed proposals submitted for the design competition will be awarded with the possibility to develop this and other ideas in a fully equipped residency financed and facilitated by the partner-network of the ElectroSmog festival. The Banff New Media institute has already committed a residency in collaboration with the ElectroSmog Festival.

Festival Partners:

De Balie, Amsterdam / Eyebeam, New York / Media Lab Prado, Madrid / Chelsea College of Art and Design, London / m-cult, Helsinki / RIXC, Riga / Banff New Media Institute / ADA Digital Arts Network, New Zealand / REFRAMES, Munich, Hivos, The Hague and growing…

Submission Guide-lines

– Submissions are welcomed until February 15, 2010.

– Proposals can only be submitted in digital form, up to 5 MB via this e-mail:

– If your proposal exceeds the 5 MB file-size limit it should be made available for download.

– If you want to send physical object (DVD, drawing or else) please contact us at the address below.


Please refer to www.electrosmogfestival.net for news on the festival and the design competition.


For further details on the submission process or contact the festival:


Welcome to the ElectroSmog Festival newsblog

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 00:25

This blog is set up as a news channel for ElectroSmog – International Festival for Sustainable Immobility, which will take place on-line and in a variety of localities around the globe from March 18 – 20, 2010.

In the run up to the festival and the launch of the official festival website  we will use this newsblog to provide news and information about the preparations and the program as it takes shape.

The ElectroSmog Festival adresses urgent questions around the encounter of technology, ecology, mobility and spatial and urban planning. The festival atempts to develop a critique of the growing crisis of mobility by creating an international event that is conducted entirely without physical mobility between the participating locations. Instead, the festival will be an experiment in creating a stimulating and rich connected experience, linking globally distributed locations and international audiences with on-line means.

Obviously ElectroSmog is a potentially risky experiment – but this experimental and ‘risky’ character is what we consider the charm of our undertaking.

We hope that you will join us in our quest for sustainable immobility.

The preparations of the festival are co-ordinated from the festival office located at De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. For specific enquirties you can reach us via our general e-mail address: info@electrosmogfestival.net.

March 25, 2009

under construction

Filed under: Uncategorized — electrosmog @ 11:45

This is the news blog of the ElectroSmog Festival, currently under construction.

News about the festival will be posted here soon!

Blog at WordPress.com.