The ElectroSmog festival brings together a broad coalition of designers, environmentalists, urban and spatial planners, technologists, artists, theorists, and engaged and concerned citizens, to explore and "design" sustainable immobility. The premise is to see if these new forms of connectedness can help us to develop a viable new lifestyle less determined by speed and constant mobility, which is both ecologically and socially more sustainable.
The preliminary festival program is now available at the ElectroSmog website:
ElectroSmog festival means zero travel (no presenter will travel beyond their local or regional boundaries to participate in this event, and a crucial dimension of the festival will be its on-line presence), going beyond the broadband enclaves (remote connection to lower bandwidth spaces, do-it-yourself telematics, and information technologies for the majority world will be central concerns the festival will address) and includes thematic discussions, presentations and connected debates (a series of interlocking thematic programs, connected discussions and debates all transmitted live over the internet), as well as satellite events.
Medialab-Prado participates in this international event by organizing the following activities on March 18, 2010.
9 pm - 11 pm: Debate about City and Regional Branding
Hyper-mobility poses a myriad of challenges for urban planners: How is urban planning responding to conditions of hyper-mobility? Are networking technologies playing a role in policies and actions? Can technology offer solutions in the urban zones most affected by the mobility catastrophe?
This program will compare industry-lead initiatives with alternative views, artistic and civic initiatives and down to earth research on actual effects of various policy measures on urban mobility.
Within the context of this debate, In the Air project will be presented. This project was collaboratively developed during Visualizar'08 and Visualizar'09 workshops in Medialab-Prado. Presented by Nerea Calvillo, author.
Riverrun could be described as an emergent Exquisite Corpse. Creators collaborate in the making of a collective story in real time. Each person participates, using their own computer (client), by writing a small part of a collective story which is housed in a central computer (server). Each participant is asked to log on to the project from their own computer for a short period of time (the duration of the experiment). These creative experiments can be performed in different languages. The process and outcomes are made available online to the general public.
This project, conceived by artist Kevin McCourt and theoretical physicist Bartolo Luque, will take the form of an open, participatory workshop during ElectroSmog. This will be organised and hosted by Medialab Prado, Madrid.
6 pm - 6:20 pm: Introduction: What is /Riverrun/? How does it work? What do I do?
6:20 pm - 7.15 pm: A session of at least four parallel experiments; two in English and two in Spanish. These collective writing experiments will involve both local and online participation. The theme chosen for some of these experiments will address the idea of sustainable immobility.
7:15 pm - 7:30 pm: Break
7:30 pm - 7:45 pm: A feedback session with Riverrun programmer, Pablo Villalba.
7:45 pm - 9 pm: Presentations and Open Debate. Kevin McCourt and Bartolo Luque will briefly explain their differing and shared reasons for developing this project. This will be followed by an open debate.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE: you can participate whether locally from Medialab-Prado, or following the on-line live streaming through the web interface. In order to participate in the collective writing experiment you need to register first in the application form you will find below.
City and regional branding strategies contribute disproportionally to increased travel and mobility, both for touristic purposes as well as for professional travel and conference-mania (the thing that the ElectroSmog festival-format is a practical critique of). The strategy of promoting cities or countries to attract visitors makes sense from an economic point of view. But from an ecological point of view, however, the branding strategy is highly questionable.
In a broader sense the critique of city branding addresses the question of whether it is a good idea to profile a cities as products (in an international market) instead of living environments for its inhabitants? Is an ecologically more responsible approach possible? Are cities and regions economically viable at all without effective branding and promotion strategies?
Participants in Medialab-Prado: Ana Méndez, moderator, Isidro López (Observatorio Metropolitano) and Eva Ramos López (Town Planning and Housing Area, Madrid City Council)
"In the last ten years Madrid has become, almost to its own inhabitants incredulity, a true global city, important node in the cities competition scheme. By 2009, it was fourth airport in Europe in passenger's traffic (after Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt) and the second base for International Trade Shows, after London. It is also the eighth city in multinational headquarters of the world and, in fact, sells more hotel nights than Barcelona.
This economic development has, nevertheless, not been corresponded with an unitary strategic branding scheme. Unlike Barcelona, Madrid has not built a clear 'brand' to sell beyond the idea a city full of (economic) opportunities. But this lack of a global image is compensated by different and quite situated projects that, together, can be used to outline the principles behind this next phase of urban development in Madrid. The two (and counting) bids for the Olympic Games, the regeneration of the city centre in order either to attract a business tourism (average hotel stay is less than 1.5 nights) or to create revanchist projects in 'black holes' of the city, and a new will to create and promote a promote Madrid's creative industries, are very much trying to take advantage of Madrid's global characteristics while exploiting its metropolitan cultural production.
The Observatorio Metropolitano is a militant research group that has been studying these global processes and the way they shape our city in order to provide the social movements with the theoretical, analytical and politic tools that would help us to face the transformations Madrid is going under." By Ana Méndez.
More information here
Join the online discussion here
The activity is over.