As we reflect on how technologies are now present in our daily lives, we are increasingly inclined to think not only about how they could be used more consciously and effectively, but also on how they’ll shape our identities in the coming decades. The very concept of the future has radically changed, no longer experienced as a substantially unreal science fiction imaginary if not in an “other” era, but as a temporal element simply “beyond” the contemporary present. The future is made up of technologies that are already present, technologies we already use, which will become more effective from a strictly functional point of view, by penetrating our bodies and influencing, perhaps in a definitive way, our being, our very nature.
The effects of all of this are expected to be important, in a positive and negative sense, considering on the one hand the positive impact of the technological advancements in scientific and medical research, which will improve the quality of our lives as well as our way to experience, information and entertainment. On the other hand, the dystopian aspects linked to these advancements, from the indiscriminate use of sensitive data, the commercial and propaganda invasiveness of social networks, the biometric control mechanisms and their incremental implementations thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, the complex processes of ethical and social awareness of the newly grafted and augmented bodies and more generally, to the progressive change of our identity mechanisms, between real and virtual live, in the society of the future.
Without falling into the false security of relying on the tired and dystopian visions of the post-human or the cyborg imaginary, but considering the organic body as a border territory, made out of organs and elements that underline a relationship of one-to-one proximity with what surrounds them. In an era that is historical and dramatic in its own way like the one we are living in, witnessing a struggling humanity that is suddenly defenseless towards nature and other living species, aimed at a growing understanding of the expansion of its own corporeality in the relationship with an ontological dimension, – the biosphere to be “preserved”, the networks to be “cultivated” and the relationships to be “nurtured” -, it is perhaps time to slow down and start exploring new boundaries made of an exciting and unknown proximity.
A complex era, difficult for anyone to map, hidden in the words of Donna Haraway, who defines this era as “Chthulucene”, made up of close and invisible underground connections, capable of creating unsuspected alliances with the organic and inorganic world with which they enter in contact, able to feed the fire of new philosophical approaches and new utopias and in which art and music play a fundamental role. Not only and no longer for their intrinsic aesthetic and phenomenological function, but rather for their link to an ecological, experiential and relational dimension.
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 humans and the surrounding environment; by increasing the level of consciousness of auditory experiences through education, listening to the sounds in which we are immersed every day, then ROBOT Festival intends to present itself this year as a festival that requires bodies to get involved, to inhabit physical and virtual spaces in a conscious way, suggesting paths of mutation, of capable musical projects to evolve in response to the current situation, to indicate the boundaries to be explored not only in a geographical sense but rather in an organic and emotional one.
Boundaries that separate us and that must be overcome; which the festival wants to investigate in an innovative way, moving those boundaries a little further, asking its audience to cross them together; to be amazed at how the sounds and performances, the listening and sharing, will regulate the complexity of the world and ecosystems in their own way, indicating a change towards a more enlightened and sustainable model of development and collective life.