For 3 days in June at the 13th annual Subtle Technologies Festival, an exciting line up of scientists, artists and designers will journey from around the world to share ideas, science and artworks that explore this year’s theme – Sustainability. This year too (like in 2007, 2008 and 2009) Roberta Buiani from Toronto will be attending the Subtle Technologies Festival’s events in Noema‘s, with reportages, reviews, interviews, images, videos… Stay tuned!

From Roberta Buiani’s first post:

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?