AMRO is a biennial community festival in Linz that explores and discusses new challenges between digital culture, art, everyday life, education, politics and active action.
The current issue “Unmapping Infrastructures” deals with the idea of “mapping” as a process of becoming aware and then acquiring a critical position about the current landscape of technological infrastructures.
This conglomerate of machines, human and non-human actors, nation-states and borderless companies is increasingly complex to observe and describe. Nevertheless, we believe that there is more to be seen than a hyper-commercialized structure of interlaced technological layers. Cartographic mapping consists of a series of practices of observing, analyzing and representing a territory to be able to move through it. How can art and activism appropriate the methods of cartographic mapping to produce new, critical and alternative views of the current landscape shaped by different players?
The festival aims at deepening the thematic areas of digital geopolitics, alternative design methods, activist practices and autonomous infrastructures, themes that offer directions for localizing areas of intervention. Throughout the festival, these topics will be further explored through discussion panels, workshops, and performances.
Page of Swords: Escaping filter bubbles using magic, quotes, diffengine and (un)learning
In “Page of Swords” we will juxtapose the propaganda of the tech industry with small yet meaningful proposals for change. We will start with epic promises of abundance by the death defying innovators of tomorrow during a short performance, a mapping of the Silicon Valley narrative through quotes. Then you will be taken on a serendipitous, filter bubble popping journey inspired by surrealist games and magical rituals. Refreshed by the unexpected you will enter the unseen world of revisions in online news media during the Catalan referendum, revealed using the ever elegant Diffengine. With independence on your mind, (un)learning the rules of collectivity will help imagine alternative ways to cope with the contemporary dissolution of the concept of community.
Marloes de Valk will perform “We Are Going to Take Over the World”, in which she lets Silicon Valley evangelists speak through her about death, machine consciousness and the future of capitalism. It is a tale of abundance, disembodiment and magical transformations – asteroid mining turns into a fun trip to Mars, controlling the masses through nudging and surveillance into the loving embrace of a caring community.
Emily Buzzo will present her research on serendipity, inspired by surrealist games and literature, which offer a way to circumvent our current uniform and conformative approach to (re)search through online spaces. She believes we should make room for serendipity within existing research processes by re-introducing instinctual and playful tactics. The main methods she worked with were dowsing, runes and the reading of natural signs.
Franc Gonzalez will present Referendum Medialogs, a project mapping a journey of the events before, during and after the Catalan referendum, showing a series of conflicts leading to both the blocking of information as well as creative distributing practices, in a context characterized by nonstop overloads of inaccurate information. The project digs into the issue of revisionism, using open source revision control software.
Giulia de Giovanelli will talk about “(Un)Learning the Rules of Collectivity”, an inquiry into different models for learning the rules of being together. The concept of unlearning is used to adopt a different perspective – unlearning superimposed rules as an invitation to dialogically embrace the complexity of being together and imagining alternative ways to cope with the contemporary dissolution of the concept of community.