An adaptation is one of the most fascinating characteristics of an organism that has been favored by natural selection and increases the fitness of its possessor. The concept is central to biology, particularly in evolutionary biology, but the festival introduces also other possible views. We aim to take into account how adaptation works in post-human organisms and how it relates to technological discourse.
The Oxford Dictionary of Science defines adaptation as “Any change in the structure or functioning of an organism that makes it better suited to its environment.” Is technology a part of this process? How do people/cities/societies function and what is their environment like when we switch to a technological discourse? What happens when a new adaptation gives one agent an advantage over the other? And what happens after this new adaptation is countered by the appearance and spread of a completely new and unexpected feature that reduces the effectiveness of the first adaptation? Do such counter-adaptations appear in the world around us? Do they help us evolve? Which emerging and future pressure of another adaptation is awaiting us tomorrow? Will it be technological?
ENTER festival brings together artists and scientists in a vibrant dialogue around some of the topics and issues that are central to our changing world. On one side we are presenting projects that have immediate correlation with sciences of space and life, on the other we showcase critical practices that reflect on contemporary art world as well as social networking mania. For better or worse, many projects are full of irony and distance towards emerging and future technologies. As these technologies proliferate and become still more accessible, artists can either go for technical excellence in human-computer interaction and networking scenarios or rather turn inwards in order to examine marginalized concepts such as rituals and new type of digital primitivism. It perhaps comes as no surprise that the festival theme of adaptation provoked, among other things, a great interest of artists in something as direct as death. Communicating beyond reality of this world, reaching out to inner domain of personal survival, probing outer space: It all seems apparent that technological arts have now incorporated also some of the most challenging topics addressed by artists over the course of many past centuries.
As adaptation is a varied and intriguing subject, you are invited indeed to ask with us both naive and sophisticated questions in order to provoke and share experimental answers. According to Wikipedia, “Adaptation is the change in living organisms that allow them to live successfully in an environment. Adaptations enable living organisms to cope with environmental stresses and pressures. Adaptations can be structural, behavioral or physiological. (…) Organisms that are not suitably adapted to their environment will either have to move out of the habitat or die out.”
What about us in a world dominated by emerging and future technologies? Let us adapt!
Pavel Sedlák, Chief Curator