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Vaping Networks


Vaping Networks, Symposium 2019

20. und 21. November 2019
Kunstuniversität Linz, Domgasse 1, Wohnzimmer Zeitbasierte Medien 4.OG

Will an Organic Internet save our Analog Enviroments?

The aim of the symposium “Vaping Networks” is to analyse the intersection of digital and analog environments and extend the discussion on technological development with the tools from the discipline of ecology and from the eco- activist practice.
How many ecosystems does it take to power the network?
Despite its alien appearance, the network of devices, connective cables, and endless data centers are deeply rooted in the earth's womb. The smooth and light surfaces on which we surf, seem to leave no traces. Even though they are deeply impacting the environment, regarding ressources, inter-species relations and overall the status of our atmosphere.
Visualizing this material dependence is fundamental, especially in a moment in which sustainable energy sources are getting more and more popular in the IT world. Apart from the general understanding to use renewable sources, what are the implications? The importance of non-human agents and the focus on these groups grows in importance as the network grows.
The ambiguity of the concept of environment is manifold and considering its complexity might open up new ways to interpret the modes of how the Internet works. Observing recent movements towards sustainability could visualize how large corporations as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft publicly engage with this new sensibility by proposing their zero emission networks. However, systems are changing and so is our planet. Content needs to be rapidly digested and seems volatile and completely ephemeral as the posted stories on Instagram. But what if this acceleration has its limits and what do they implicate?

These themes will be discussed in two evenings, organized by servus.at Research Lab 2019 / Christina Gruber, Antonio Zingaro and Davide Bevilacqua and hosted by the department of Timebased Media of the University of Art and Design in Linz.


20.11.2019, 18.00-21.00 Uhr: Marloes de Valk, Andreas Safron, David Uitz
21.11.2019, 18.00-21.00 Uhr: Fahim Amir, Felipe Castelblanco, Gertrud Haidvogl


Participants’ Bios

Marloes de Valk (NL) is a software artist and writer in the post-despair stage of coping with the threat of global warming and being spied on by the devices surrounding her. Surprised by the obsessive dedication with which we, even post-Snowden, share intimate details about ourselves to an often not too clearly defined group of others, astounded by the deafening noise we generate while socializing with the technology around us, she is looking to better understand why.

Andreas Safron is environmental scientist with expertise in variety of related fields such as chemicals in the environment, climate change, and climate change impacts on health. 10 years of experience in academic environmental research, all of them abroad (Switzerland and Sweden). 3 years of experience in a global multinational company, thereof two as an Environmental manager of a production site. 15 years practice in contemporary dance, improvisation and theater as a hobby, with the aspiration of linking science and art. Currently re-orienting for a future role towards science-policy-society arbitration, and engaging strongly in the care of my two children.

David Uitz Former social worker, activist and voyager. Now running a small hydropower operation, hashing numbers for the bitcoin network as well as farming organic vegetables.

Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist based in Basel and working at the intersection of participatory and Media Art. His work explores institucional forms, creates platforms for inter-epistemic dialogue and ventures out into new frontiers of publicness and unlikely spaces. Felipe is a researcher and PhD Candidate at the ECAM Graduate School (HGK - Basel) and holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (USA).

Gertrud Haidvogl is an environmental historian and historical ecologist working at the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU). Her research focuses on the history of rivers. She investigates their changes as ecological systems, how they have been shaped by societies and how societies have in turn been shaped by rivers.

Fahim Amir is a philosopher living in Vienna; his research interests are naturecultures and urbanism, performance and utopia, colonial historicity and modernism. Recently, he wrote the afterword to the German translation of Donna Haraway's "Companion Species Manifesto” (Merve, 2016) and “Schwein und Zeit. Tiere, Politik, Revolte” (Nautilus, 2018) that was honoured with the Karl Marx Award 2018.

The AMRO Research Lab is a long-term research process carried out by a group of artists, activists, scientists and hackers from the servus.at community.
2019-2020 are the media artist and freshwater ecologist Christina Gruber and the multimedia artist and Internet hacktivist Antonio Zingaro participants of the Research Lab. They work with servus.at curator Davide Bevilacqua and the servus.at community on the environmental impacts of the Internet infrastructure and the "green" trends that are emerging in the marketing strategies of the largest Internet companies.

The Department of Time-based Media employs interdisciplinary methodologies to address different ways of working with time-based media, i.e. video (in theory and practice), film (theory) and sound, media installations and productions, interactive systems, designing with digital media and innovative programming. Students create process- and problem-oriented modules to develop their own artistic, scientific and transdisciplinary projects and works. Experimental, performative, space-related, cultural-scientific and art-historical aspects form part of project management and theoretical training in the field of time-based media, media practice and media production. The programme is aimed at teaching students to work both independently and as part of a team.

Flyer "Vaping Networks – Symposium".pdf

© David Uitz
© Felipe Castelblanco


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