November 2011

2012 Subtle Technologies Festival – Call for Submissions

In 2012, Subtle Technologies celebrates our 15th anniversary with our annual Festival. For 15 years Subtle Technologies has been bringing people together to promote wonder, incite creativity and spark innovation across disciplines. Our symposium, performances, workshops, screenings, exhibitions and networking sessions provide a forum to explore ideas and pose questions at the intersection of art, science and technology. Subtle Technologies is known internationally for presenting work by artists and scientists at the leading edge of their respective disciplines.

Our 2012 festival takes place from May 24 to May 27 2012 at various venues throughout Toronto. Our annual open call accepts submissions that bridge art, science and technology. This year we are also accepting submissions for a themed session which explores work inspired by biology, as outlined below. For both streams we are soliciting proposals from all disciplines and also welcome topics that explore ways of knowing that are outside of the western framework.

We are interested in receiving submissions from individuals as well as interdisciplinary teams and collaborative projects. We would like to present successful stories from artists and scientists working together. We are equally interested in hearing about the issues that inhibit disciplines from collaborating. What approaches can we take to foster inter-cultural exchanges when it comes to science or technology based work? How do we make scientific systems more accessible to artists as tools for creating new work?

Possible areas to be explored in this year’s Festival from either an artistic or scientific approach include: Acoustics, alternative energy, artificial intelligence, astronomy, bioengineering, bioethics, chemistry, complexity, computer science, consciousness, environmental science, ethnobotany, funding strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration, hacking and DIY culture, imaging techniques and systems, interactive systems, indigenous science, mathematics, nanotechnology, network theory, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, physics, robotics, science and society, systems theory, virtual worlds.

In 2012 Subtle Technologies is also presenting a special session at our symposium that focuses on work inspired by, utilizing or hacking biological systems. This special session will include work by artists who are using live tissues, bacteria and other biological process in their work. We are also interested in submissions exploring enhancements or modifications to the human body through transhumanism. Projects which use concepts of biomimicry, genetic engineering and synthetic biology will also be considered for this special session. We are interested in both technical and ethical issues surrounding this work.

The above topics are only suggested ones for inclusion in the Festival. Other relevant topics within the realm of art, science and technology will be considered.

Online submission form

Electric Fields 2011 – Swim Sound

[photo: Adam Tinworth]

Our peers at Artengine are gearing up for the 2011 installment of their Electric Fields festival and this year the event is focusing on exploring the relationship between sound and space. Beginning next Wednesday, Electric Fields will repurpose a public pool, a basilica church, civil service buildings, the Grand Hall at the Museum of Civilization and downtown Ottawa as sites of performance and deep listening. Vague Terrain was invited to advise on one of these exciting projects and this dialogue helped set the stage for Swim Sound, a collaboration that will see media artist Rob Cruickshank team up with musican Jesse Stewart for a one-of-a-kind musical performance at the  Champagne Bath (a historic public pool). Cruickshank & Stewart's performance will blend electronic and jazz tropes via a drum kit staged on a platform in the pool, a watergong, hydrophones and a custom built synthesiser to leverage the unique acoustic qualities of this space. Artengine/Vague Terrain critical blogging resident Jaenine Parker wrote a preview of the performance earlier this week and the below excerpt gives a good overview of the artists' plans:

'Stewart’s large transparent drum kit will be staged on a platform in the pool, to appear as if it is floating on water. Throughout the performance Stewart will switch from playing his drum kit to dipping other percussive instruments, like gongs, into the pool. “The addition of water, lowers the pitch” explains Stewart. People swimming underwater will hear these warped acoustic sounds, which will be picked up by underwater microphones, called hydrophones, floating below the surface of the pool.  The hydrophones have been specially created by Cruickshank to transport the sound in the pool back through speakers into the space. Performing outside of the pool, Cruickshank, will be relaying and electronically processing the sounds he collects from the microphones, live. His performance will also blend in his own synthesized creations to the sampled sound he will process.'

This will most certainly be an engaging performance. Swim Sound takes place on Friday November 25th at 10PM – tickets are $10 and full details are available here. Be sure to check out the rest of the Electric Fields programming as it appears both adventurous and promising (the Polytectures soundwalk seems particularly compelling).

VIDEODROME 2012 – Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions: VIDEODROME 2012 at The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
Now accepting submissions of A/V works under 5 mins.
Deadline: April 1st 2012

VIDEODROME is Toronto's foremost event for Visual Music and A/V culture since 2004. Visual Music is video and audio composition made from video edits, simultaneously video AND music where picture matches sound, cut for cut, beat for beat, rhythmic media work where sound and image are equally dominant. See examples here.

Based on the Cronenberg concept, VIDEODROME is an exercise in televisionary excess and sensory overload, video screening as party and vice-versa, in the words of dropFRAMEvideo: “bridging the gaps between the sofa, the club, and the gallery.”

Works must be complete and received by April 1st by post at 193 Augusta, Toronto, ON, M5T 2L4 Or posted to a file-sharing service such as SENDSPACE. Proposals for live performances or installations will also be considered.

VIDEODROME is administrated by Jubal Brown, dropFRAMEvideo, and Apocalypse Tomorrow.

Spring 2012, at The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto

More info on last years event here.