Subtle Technologies Festival 2009

The 2009 Subtle Technologies Festival in Toronto is currently seeking submissions for it’s 12th annual festival under the theme of “networks” . The festival takes place in Toronto from June 11 to June 14th . As in previous years, the 2009 festival will explore it’s theme from a broad cultural and interdisciplinary perspective.

We live in an increasingly connected age, where flow of capital, material goods, people and information occur on a global scale in ever-shortening timescales. This increased flow is accompanied by pollution,contamination, infectious diseases and the rapid dissemination of ideas and economies. Metaphors of connectivity in information technology have matured and found resonance in art, science, and society at large. The availability of massive amounts of data supported by increased computing power and the rapidity of its propagation, has made the idea of interconnectedness more visible to us all. Science has made great strides in helping us to understand the connected age. The so called “small world problem” has revealed the ways networks of people form and become interconnected. Studies of oscillators, insects, heart cells, epilepsy, and crowds has shown us the natural affinity for various networks and systems to synchronize and self organize.The creation of new computer architectures based on biological networks has brought artificial intelligence ever closer to natural intelligence.

With the proliferation of online social networks, Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Second Life have blurred the boundaries between public and private, virtual and real. Web 3.0 and the “internet of things”, where common household objects will become interconnected, will be one of the next major advances in digital networking. Increased bandwidth has made it possible for media artists to collaborate in online real time networked performances. “Network lag” is slowly disappearing from our vocabulary as our accessibility to bandwidth improves. It is time to critically discuss the network metaphor and how it affects the direction of various disciplines and our societies at large. Under this theme, we will be curating a symposium, exhibition, workshops and performances. Some specific topics which we will address at this years festival include:

  • net art
  • networked performance
  • biological networks
  • wireless networks
  • social networking
  • communication, transportation and economic networks
  • virtual worlds
  • systems theory
  • community networks
  • network theory
  • collaborative and open source initiatives
  • online culture
  • “small world problem” and mathematical models
  • genetic networks
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