AMRO is a biennial community festival in Linz that explores and discusses new challenges between digital culture, art, everyday life, education, politics and activism. The 2020 edition of the AMRO festival is characterized by reflections upon the “centripetal” and “centrifugal” dynamics of acceleration visible in contemporary society and the ways artistic practice, activism and radical thinking can engage with it.
Of Whirlpools and Tornadoes aims to provide a picture of the current social and technological movements that reflect the diverse troubles our economic and political systems are currently facing. The speed of production and consumption of new technologies is inevitably linked to the waste of natural resources, which humans exploit and use to their own only advantage without considering the equilibrium of the ecosystem.
The acceleration of the effects of climate change runs in parallel to the unstoppable race for technological development, which is often misunderstood as a solution - rather than a cause - of the inevitable environmental catastrophe. Many groups of activists are now trying to push governments into doing more. But there is still very little discussion about models of sustainable technological infrastructure, how this infrastructure can be built and what it might look like. In the meantime, the next generation of smart products are being developed, which will increasingly be connected to the internet. Behind the smooth surface of our daily electronics, even more machines will stream data around the world 24/7, requiring more data centers and energy.
How much more digital do we need to be, when we consider that every cloud is a server farm wasting considerable amounts of energy, water, fresh air and raw materials?
Throughout the festival, these topics will be further explored through discussion panels, workshops, performances and showcases of artistic work. The Open Call is addressed to artists, hacktivists, cultural workers, journalists, F/LOSS developers and ‘improvers of the world’ who want to make a contribution (exhibition, workshop, lecture, performance) to the topic.