Balance-Unbalance: Can the Arts Help to Save the World?






Attractor: Ricardo Dal Farra

We are living in a world reaching a critical point where the equilibrium between a healthy environment, the energy our society needs to maintain or improve this lifestyle and the interconnected economies could pass more quickly than expected from the current complex balance to a complete new reality where unbalance would be the rule and human beings would need to be as creative as never before to survive. Have the arts a role in all this? Have artists a responsibility in this context?

How do you think we, the (electronic) artists, could/should contribute to the health of our environment? Do you have ideas and projects to propose? Do you have a working model that could be replicated? Borrowing some words from Jorge Wagensberg: “…we can organize coexistence, we need to gather, exchange ideas, look for proposals, analyze our possibilities, and then take decisions and start specific actions, both at the individual and the collective level”. Each participant/proponent is expected to contribute to the reflection, debate and promotion of projects and actions regarding our environment and human’s responsibility in trying to heal the deep wounds we can see all around us.

Methodology: The [electronic] arts could become a powerful tool of awareness and transformation in times of ecological threats, economic uncertainty and political complexity.
Artists, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, sociologists, engineers, management and policy experts were sharing their knowledge, debating over different perspectives, exploring new projects and starting to build paths with the intent of engendering awareness and creating lasting intellectual working partnerships in solving our global environmental crisis during two conferences, one organized in Buenos Aires (2010) and the other in Montreal (2012). Worth mentioning some concrete international projects/actions are starting to emerge from the aforementioned events.

I understand that a stream focusing on the crisis, uncertainty and complexity of our current times, considering the arts in the equation to face the environmental risks that will challenge the future of our life on Earth, could be a positive and significant contribution of MutaMorphosis II.

The final plan to be implemented during the conference could take a variety of ways that we could further discuss if this proposal is of interest for you.

Biography: Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra, new media artist/composer/educator, is Acting Director of Hexagram and Associate Professor at Concordia University, Canada; and Director of the Electronic Arts Research Centre-CEIArtE, Argentina. He has been director of the Multimedia Communication program at the National Ministry of Education, Argentina, and researcher/consultant at The Daniel Langlois Foundation, Canada, and UNESCO (Digi-Arts), France. His new media works and electroacoustic compositions have been presented in over 40 countries and featured in 20 international recording editions. Dal Farra serves on the Editorial Board of Leonardo (MIT Press) and Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press).


Crossbreeding Sensibilities

Attractor: Franco Torriani

What are the hopes and fears of becoming a hybrid in a de-modern scenario? How to understand neo-biological civilization and its anxieties? Can artists and creative practitioners substantially contribute, by cross researches and productions, to the treatment of major diseases and chronic pains? When it comes to uncertainty, a complex set of our thoughts and attitudes of doubt is based on an archaic and suspicion-led skepticism linked to “dubitare”, the vibration. Where is our hybrid frontier, if we have one? “Hybrids exist, they are among and with us…”(Bernard Andrieu). Therefore, let us critically reflect on neuromutation, our “immersion into the tissue of the world” (Polona Tratnik) where we all act as “mutalogues” (Louis Bec), interconnected with other biomasses, cultures, and artifacts, being immersed in a world of a dreadful crisis, looking for invariants in the middle of omnipresent mutation(s).

Biography: Franco Torriani (Turin 1942). Graduated in Economics at University of Turin, he studied the relations between economy and social environment. Independent consultant in external relations and communication strategy, he worked on setting up several cultural events and contributed to many publications. From the early 1970s, he has been studying the interactions between science, technology, old and new creative media. In recent years he has specially focused on the relationship between the forms and means of expression and Life Sciences. He is member of the Board of Pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes (Saint-Cloud, France – Chairman from 1998 to 2007); member, from the late 1980s, of Ars Technica (Turin, Paris), founding member of ArsLab (Turin) and editorial consultant for