Call for New Media Art and Online Digital Video: ‘sticky-content’ at FLEFF 2009 – deadline 1 November 2008

Call for New Media Art and Online Digital Video: “sticky-content” at FLEFF 2009 (01/11/2009; 30/03–05/04/2008)

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) is a weeklong festival of film, video, music, new media, gaming, installations, workshops, forums, and discussions that explores the theme of sustainability and the environment within a larger global conversation that embraces a range of political, economic, social, and aesthetic issues, including labour, war, health, disease, intellectual property, software, remix culture, economics, immigration, archives, HIV/AIDS, women’s rights, and human rights.

The online digital media exhibition for FLEFF 2009, sticky-content, takes as its title a popular Internet term for content that gets users to return to web sites or networks, spend time on these sites or networks—and perhaps leave something behind. While stickiness derives from economic theory and incorporated into commercially driven marketing practices, the online exhibition for FLEFF 2009 seeks to redirect and reroute stickiness into the politicized realms of tactical media, open-source and P2P models, experimental coding, user-generated content, interactive and generative interfaces, and reverse engineering. The exhibition calls attention to web-based media that remix and rewire our understanding of environmentalism—media that foregrounds ways that environmentalism affects subjectivities and promotes positive social change.

The curators of sticky-content are looking for submissions of online digital media that explore issues related to the four content streams of this year’s festival: spice, syncopation, toxins, and trade. (See detailed descriptions of content streams below.) Submissions working within the digital divides of the global North and South, of the wired and wireless worlds, are of particular interest. Selected works will be exhibited and archived on the festival’s official web site. We are particularly interested in tactical media, indigenous media, locative media, migratory archives, web-application and video mashups, online computer games, activist video; work that is open source, user generated, and interactive; work designed for mobile screens; work that makes environmentalism—broadly defined—not only sustainable, but sticky!

sticky-content aims to deploy potentially progressive aspects of globalisation, such as digital technologies, networked systems, and wireless communication, as a means to prompt critical discussion on the often repressive aspects of globalisation, including the rapidly accelerating disparity among populations in terms of wealth, power, and access to basic human rights. sticky-content aims to demonstrate that environmentalism is not just about nature, but about our collective experience.

FLEFF 2009 will take place from 30 March to 05 April 2009 in Ithaca (New York), USA; sticky-content will go live on the Web on 30 March 2008.

Visit for the curators’ essay and descriptions of selected works last year’s exhibit ubuntu.kuqala, as well as the 2007 exhibit, Undisclosed Recipients, and under previous festivals.

Please send links to submissions for specific content streams with a brief bio in an email to *BOTH* Dale Hudson (Amherst College) dhudson [at] *AND* Sharon Lin Tay (Middlesex University) s.tay [at] no later than 01 November 2008.

Only work that can be exhibited online can be considered for this exhibit. Media artists working in offline formats, should contact the festival co-directors, Thomas Shevory shevory [at] and Patricia R. Zimmermann patty [at] .

Submissions by employees and students of Ithaca College, Middlesex University (London), and the Five Colleges (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) cannot be considered.

FLEFF 2009 content streams:

Syncopation: Syncopation avoids regular rhythm. Syncopation accents the weak rather than the strong beat. It changes metrical patterns. It disrupts the listener’s expectations. It drives forward. It deviates from the succession of regular beats. It accents the unstressed, the off-beat, the back beat, the downbeat, the rest, the missed beat, the unexpected. It disrupts the regular flow. It displaces metrical patterns. Syncopation defines ragtime and jazz, blues and rock ‘n roll. But it also erupts in Bach, Bartok, Bernstein and Stravinsky Syncopation splices bodies to beats in dance music. Nearly every musical form outside the European classical tradition pulses with syncopation: rai, bhangra, zydeco, tango, tejano, hip hop, reggae, rhumba, bluegrass, cumbia, arabesque, high life, salsa, gamelan, raga. Repetitive rhythmic patterns can produce boredom: syncopation livens everything up.

Spice: Spice transforms simple ingredients into complex flavours. Spices travel from east to west and west to east. Chilli migrated from Mexico to India to the Middle East. A luxury, a route to paradise, a medicine, a status symbol, a preservative, a seasoning, and an aphrodiasiac, spices were valued and rare. Pepper is the most ubiquitous; saffron, vanilla and cardamon, the most expensive. Spices have included herbs, garlic, sugar, chocolate, coffee and tea. The spice trade propelled mercantilism, exploration, piracy, and navigation. It also unleashed colonialism, conquest, crusades and commodity trade. The earliest globalisation, the spice trade built entrepots like Venice, Mecca, Malacca, Singapore, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Istanbul. Spices trigger biopiracy and spark fusion cuisines. Sambal, zaatar, curry, duqqa, masala, nam prik: the blending of spices constitutes the essence of cooking.

Trade: Fuelled by the desire for necessity and luxury, trade begins as barter, a simple exchange. But trade evolves, perhaps inevitably, into complex structures of accumulation and loss. Trade greases the wheels of interaction and historical change, while fostering exploitation and conflict. Trade generates bubbles of speculation and collapse, the cycle of boom and bust. Trade’s excesses inspire vast systems of discipline and regulation. These regimes are in turn undermined by the imperatives that make them necessary. Trade leaks into subterranean networks: the skin trade, the slave trade, the drug trade, trade in blood and body parts, genetic codes and illicit carbon. Trade is eBay and craigslist, the fair trade coffee shop and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, corner kids and Wall Street. Trade is marked by mutability and pervasiveness.

Toxins: From the Greek, toxin, an archers’ bow. Toxins hit their targets. Toxic effects can be invisible, subtle, widespread and deadly. Toxins attack populations, species, regions, and classes. They create risk pools that drown the vulnerable: the young, the sick, the old, the poor. Toxins implicate modernity itself with the spread of cities, industries, markets, chemicals, racism, inequality, and environmental decline. As they migrate, toxins trace the geographies of political power, appearing in multiple and insidious forms: PCBs, dioxins, plutonium, DDT, mercury, heroin, nicotine, asbestos. But few if any can escape the reach of toxins. They accumulate and spread across porous boundaries: Gulf of Mexico dead zones, post-Katrina neighbourhoods, Chinese textile mills, Southern California tomato fields, Manhattan apartments, Chernobyl, Bhopal; the cells, synapses, and genetic nuclei of us all.