ElectroBlog: News about the ElectroSmog Festival

January 16, 2010

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

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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



April 3, 2009

ElectroSmog International Design Competition

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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:


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