Festival of digital arts and culture, 28—30. 8. 2020, Bratislava Festival
of digital arts
and culture
SENSORIUM
28–30. 8. 2020
Bratislava

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Sensorium

New Sensibility

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Can we redefine our relationships with one-another and with nature? How can we develop awareness and confidence about the digital mysteries and the black boxes we use every day?

The theme of New Sensibility has been developed in an inspiring collaboration with and initiated by curators of DOM festival of contemporary art Martina Ivičič and Marinna Brinzová.

Technology evolves rapidly and we - our legal and educational structures, even our brains and bodies - are not catching up. Tristan Harris in his NYT article Our Brains Are No Match for Our Technology (Dec 5, 2019) describes contemporary society as one with

“Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology.”

Our leaders are failing to look below the attractive peak of the iceberg of the digital revolution. Only now, we barely admit to notice the impact of the internet on our health, attention, social skills, democracy, smart cities that fail to be fully inclusive or overpowering AI (Center for Humane Technology).

We are urged to re-create the world as we knew it, but the world has changed in a way we don't fully understand. Our everyday life is dependent on black boxes with which we have ritual-like, even religious relationships. The lack of insight is overpowering, paralysing to the point that we return to the comfort of ignorance and passivity.

“What we are witnessing is not so much a conflict of cultures as the creation of a new kind of sensibility. This new sensibility is rooted, as it must be, in our experience, experiences which are new in the history of humanity…” (Susan Sontag, One culture and the new sensibility, 1965)

Can we redefine our relationship to technology, to one-another and to our environment while living in a world of mystery, world in which we passively follow? Maybe the potential really lies within every individual, not only “those who know” (technologists, scientists, academics). How can we build awareness and confidence about our digital futures?

“ We don't and cannot understand everything but we are capable of thinking it. The ability to think without claiming, or even seeking, to fully understand is key to survival in a new dark age because, as we shall see, it is often impossible to understand.” (New Dark Age, James Bridle, 2018)

The New Sensibility forces us to challenge conventionally accepted boundaries. Can we accept that profound understanding of technology is not a criterion to our participation on the design of technological reality? Can we be sensible instead of knowledgeable? And does sensibility breed needed understanding?

The New Sensibility seeks multidisciplinary culture as a standard in which “art is a new kind of instrument, an instrument for modifying consciousness and organizing new modes of sensibility.” (One culture and the new sensibility, Susan Sontag, 1966).

As an artistic and creative community we hold the ability to challenge and extend one's sensorium, spark New Sensibility within an individual, sensibility for productive uncertainty.

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