Subtle Technologies Festival this year will be antirely dedicated to the theme of “Sustainability”.
While the topics it proposed have always been timely and very relevant, this edition seems to have tackled probably one of the few possible discourses we could think of in these days.
Just a few days after the BP oil spill, one of the worst environmental disasters perpetrated by human kind against Nature, and in a country like Canada, home of the infamous “Tar Sands,” and witness to another disastrous oil spill (the Exxon Valdes spill, in 1989 ) which destroyed fish, birds and other precious resources in the Northern portion of the Pacific coast, sustainability is a topic that we can’t dismiss anymore.
As June 4, the first day of the symposium, approaches, I am brought to reflect on this timely issue which spans all aspects of life. I can’t think of Sustainability without pairing it with “responsibility” I think about the ever present Frankenstein Syndrome, a theme that has afflicted and, at the same time, fascinated generations of writers (science fiction and non), scientists, artists, thinkers, etc… : in the prescient novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, dr. Frankenstein devises a way to “recreate life” . faced with the product of his “experiment”, a creature he defines “hideous,” he abandons his creation and pretends that the it will just “disappear”. the unfortunate act causes his life and that of his closest relatives to be forever distroyed, as the creature comes back “with a vengeance.”
Shelley’s brilliant message was clear: we can no longer create “monsters” and then abandon them without taking responsibilities for our actions. we cannot think of progress, scientific and technological advancement without thinking about the consequences (positive or negative) they will bring us in a near or not so near future.
how could art, science and technologies strike alliances to raise awareness about sustainability; to promote sustainability; to think of progress in a more sustainable way?
while I keep reflecting on these questions, my expectations of this year’s festival keep building up. Stay tuned, as I frantically try to listen, participate, and populate this blog in “quasi-real time”.
Here are some of the features of this year:
COMMUNITY DAY – Renewable energy for kids, talks, garden tours (June 5)
SUSTAINABILITY EXHIBITION – contingent ecologies :: investigations at the edge (May 22 – June 12)
JUNK TO JUICE WORKSHOP – Create your own mini wind-powered generator from trash (May 29-30) SUBTLE TECHNOLOGIES IN WATER COLOURS – Art and science cruise on Lake Ontario (June 5)
It is worth visiting Camille Turner’s blog. As the curator of the exhibition “Contingent Ecologies”, she has collected lots of material on the exhibition and has provided a series of comments and ideas about the festival
Junk to Juice workshop (May 29-30)
Art & Science Cruise (June 5)
Free Community Day events (June 6)
Contingent ecologies exhibition (May 22 – June 12)