During this symposium, we will host 4 speakers from all over the world: artists, designers, developers, and activists who are reinventing the ways in which we understand ecosystems and reorganize society through digital technologies.
As a response to this year’s Festival’s theme “The End of the World as You Know It”, I consider this symposium a great opportunity to envision, along with our speakers, new worlds that materialize from human’s expanding ecoconcience in the digital age. Could it be possible that in these new worlds, humans are re-learning their position in the planet, connecting with digital technologies and other organic beings?
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
🗨️ Natasha Tontey is an artist and graphic designer based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Natasha’s work explores the influence of fiction in our thinking of the future. She is interested in the notion of “manufactured fear” and horror as a method for public control. Her videos and performances often use macabre tones and challenge social tendencies of anthropocentrism and conformity with binaries.
Her recent project “Pest to Power”, shown at The Overkill online exhibition, explores the future of the Earth through the agency of cockroaches. She invites the viewer to consider these little fellas’ existence: thousands of years of being denigrated by humans, relegated to the role of an unwanted pest, carriers of filth and disease. Could we learn something about our own humanity by adopting the perspective of cockroaches? How could we revise our relation to all species in a way that is constructive and sustainable?
A still of Pest to Power (check the video at the The Overkill Online Exhibition)
🗨️ Maize Longboat is a digital media educator, videogame developer and producer based in Tiohtià:ke (also known as Montréal). He is the creator of Terra Nova, a two-player cooperative game that narrates the first contact between an indigenous person and a settler. However, this first contact happens years into the future, after a massive climate event has forced most humans to leave the planet.
As a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from the Six Nations of the Grand River, Maize’s current collaboration within Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, is a testament to the thriving presence of Indigenous people in digital space. His work helps shatter misconceptions of Indigenous peoples’ relation to digital technologies, and contributes to their self-determined future.
Terra Nova – click here to play!
🗨 Barnaby C. Steel is the co-founder of Marshmallow Laser Feast, a London-based experiental art collective that uses Virtual and Augmented Reality to expand humans’ perception and experiences of the natural world. The collectives’ creations allow people to embody, for example, the senses of mosquitoes or trees.
Barnaby believes that VR can tap into the emotions and imagination of a human population that is increasingly concentrated in cities, spending most of its time indoors. His vision is that these techno-artistic creations will encourage people to protect ecosystems and connect with other species.
Teaser of Marshamallow Laser Feast’s ‘Treehugger’. A version of this piece can be visited in The Overkill Online Exhibition.
🗨️ Iris Zhan (@iris4action) is a 17-year-old climate activist based in Maryland, U.S. Iris is the co-founder of Fridays For Future Digital, an initiative that gives young activists an outlet to protest online when they cannot convene physically for climate strikes.
Iris is also an active member of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led grassroots campaign in the United States, that has been lauded for its influence in Joe Biden’s increasing attention to climate mitigation policies. Iris and her colleagues work extremely hard to materialize a sustainable and decarbonized world. I am excited to have her fearlessness and conviction present at our discussion, as well as her experience of the impact of digital technologies in activism.
I’m sure this will be a super inspiring session that will unleash our imagination and give us ideas on how to move forward and leap into new worlds. Join us by watching the live stream on YouTube (17:00 – 20:00 CET / 11:00 – 14:00 EST) so you can ask questions to the speakers through the live chat. See you there! ♡