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Viral Dissonance

dissonance

The Exhibition 

The 17th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will begin its yearlong exploration of “Dissonance” with concerts, workshops, master classes, performances, and films.

FLEFF invites submissions of new media art, tactical media, radical cartography, computer games, and locative media for the online exhibition “Viral Dissonance” and prize of USD250.

“Going viral” is often equated with viral videos.  It is associated with internet memes: ideas replicate themselves and spread, jumping between social networks.  Viruses themselves often frighten for their unpredictable movements.  They travel quickly against dominant flows and often defy attempts at isolation and containment.  Epidemics viruses like SARS, H1N1, and MERS emerge at the intersections between human and nonhuman, casting chickens, pigs, camels, and bats as “natural” transmitters.  They also emerge at the intersections of science and superstition.  Computer viruses spread through self-replicating malware programs, disabling proper functionality—or even shutting it down through “worms” like Code Red, Nimda, and ILOVEYOU.

During the past few years, grassroots forms of dissonance have erupted everyday from Egypt and Syria to Spain, Greece, the United States, and Brazil.  People have gathered in the streets and in squares to demand to be heard and to be seen.  They refuse to be silenced or erased.  News media have occasionally offered them time and space to make their voices heard and faces visible.  People have also mobilized digital technologies like SMS and social networking, working around and within the control of state and corporate control.  They have spoken against data mining of citizens and against the financialization and militarization of everyday life for millions, but they have also spoken against corporate cooption of dissonance as Twitter or Facebook revolutions.

Dissonance emerges as clash, tension, disharmony, and disequilibrium to make visible and audible an ever-expanding multiplicity of clashes, tensions, disharmonies, and disequilibriums have become so integral to everyday life that they can easily pass unmarked and seem unremarkable.  Dissonance thrives on contradictions, moving restlessly towards irresolution.  It calls out imbalance.  Neither noise, nor cacophony, dissonance pairs together the incompatible with results that surprise, offend, invite, disturb, and excite, spurring action and creativity.  Dissonance sparks and ignites. 

Viral Dissonance seeks projects that run online or on mobile devices, ones that provoke and educate to expand dissonance virally as knowledge producing and agentive.  Please send submissions with a brief bio (75 words) in an email to FLEFF Digital Curator Dale Hudson of New York University Abu Dhabi (UAE/USA) at fleff.digital.curators@gmail.com no later than 15 January 2014.  Claudia Costa Pederson of Ithaca College serves as FLEFF Assistant Curator for New Media on this project. The exhibition is scheduled to go live in March 2014.  For additional information about FLEFF, including past exhibitions Digital Checkpoints, Trafficked Identities, and last year’s Distributed Microtopias, please visit /fleff/.

 

FLEFF: A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT