Robot Festival 12: Borders

Reflecting on how technologies are now present in our daily lives, we are increasingly thinking not only about how they can be used more consciously and effectively, but also about how they will shape our identity in the coming decades. The very concept of the future has changed radically, no longer seen as an essentially unreal science fiction imagining, if not in a “different” era, but as a temporal element simply “outside” the modern present. The future is the technologies already present, the ones we already use, which from a purely functional point of view will become more effective, penetrating our bodies and affecting, perhaps definitively, our being, our very nature.

The effects of all this are expected to be important, in a positive and negative sense, considering on the one hand the positive impact of technological advances in scientific and medical research, which will improve the quality of our lives and the way we experience, inform and entertain. On the other hand, the dystopian aspects associated with these advancements, ranging from the massive use of sensitive data, the commercial and propaganda invasiveness of social networks, biometric control mechanisms and their gradual implementation through the use of artificial intelligence, complex processes of ethical and social awareness of newly transplanted and augmented bodies, and more in general, to the progressive change of the mechanisms of our identity, between real and virtual life, in the society of the future.

Without falling into the false sense of security of relying on tired and dystopian visions of a post-human or an imaginary cyborg, but treating the organic body as a boundary territory, made up of organs and elements that emphasize the one-to-one proximity to what surrounds them. In an epoch in a way historical and dramatic, such as the one we live in, witnessing the struggle of humanity, which suddenly became defenseless against nature and other living species, striving for an ever greater understanding of the expansion of one’s own corporeality in relation to the ontological dimension – the biosphere to ‘keep’, networks to ‘cherish’ and relationships to ‘cherish’ – perhaps it’s time to slow down and start exploring the new frontiers of exciting and unfamiliar intimacy.

A complex epoch, difficult to map, hidden in the words of Donna Haraway, who defines this epoch as “Chthulucene”, composed of intimate and invisible subterranean connections capable of forming unexpected alliances with the organic and inorganic worlds with which they come into contact, capable of fueling the fire of new philosophical approaches and new utopias in which art and music play a fundamental role. Not only and no longer because of their inherent aesthetic and phenomenological function, but rather because of their relationship to the ecological, experiential and relational dimensions.

If for Raymond Schafer one of the characteristics of our society is, for example, the existence of soundscapes capable of improving the quality of the relationship between man and the surrounding environment; by raising the level of awareness of auditory sensations through education, listening to the sounds in which we are immersed every day, ROBOT Festival intends to present itself this year as a festival requiring the involvement of bodies, inhabiting physical and virtual spaces in a conscious way, suggesting mutation paths, music projects capable of evolving in response to the current situation, identifying frontiers to be explored not only geographically, but rather in an organic and emotional sense.

The borders that divide us and have to be overcome; which the festival wants to explore in an innovative way, pushing these boundaries a bit further, asking viewers to cross them together; be amazed how sounds and performances, listening and sharing, regulate the complexity of the world and ecosystems in their own way, pointing to a shift towards a more enlightened and sustainable model of development and collective living.