The ElectroSmog festival was hosted by De Balie Centre for culture and Politics in Amsterdam, in March 2010. The festival explored the concept of ‘Sustainable Immobility’, using remote technologies to bring together participants from around the world to question the sustainability of hyper mobility, and the viability of remote connections. ADA participated in a number of global discussions during the festival, and we organised a number of events in New Zealand and commissioned new artworks that engage with issues of remoteness. Here is documentation of ADA’s Electrosmog projects.

ADA Electrosmog events

All times are in New Zealand Daylight Savings Time (GMT + 13 / CET + 12)

Because the theme of Electrosmog is ‘sustainable immobility’, and the theory is that no-one will travel outside their regions to participate, the ADA events for the festival are all taking place online, or in a very local context (Teletrust in Dunedin, Backyard Dances in Auckland)

Friday March 19

2-4pm: “What is the perfect network?”

NEW ZEALAND: Venue = Access Grid video conferencing system in New Zealand universities (To participate contact Zita at ethermap dot org)

Artists and researchers using the Karen High Speed network that links New Zealand universities and research centres will share their work with remote and distributed research collaboration and discuss the nature of the human and technical networks that are activated in their research.

Participants: Scientists, network researchers, social scientists, artists

Craig Rodger, Otago University: World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) and Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt (Dynamic) Deposition – VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortium (AARDDVARK)
David Thorns, University of Canterbury: Access Grid development for the social sciences
Krys Pawlikowski, University of Canterbury: PlanetLab experimental networking facility
Nick Jones, University of Auckland: BestGrid – Broadband enabled science and technology grid
Julian Priest, The Green Bench Whanganui: Aotearoa Digital Arts, co-founder early wireless free network community in London
James Charlton, AUT: CoLab, CoMob
Becca Wood, AUT: Collaborative network dancer
Su Ballard, Dunedin School of Art, Aoteroa Digital Arts
Zita Joyce, University of Canterbury: Aotearoa Digital Arts
Pete Gorman, Dunedin School of Art: Artist, electronic media, sound and physical matter
Peter Stupples, Dunedin School of Art: Art Historian and online ceramic history teacher
Ana Terry, Dunedin School of Art: Artist, electronic media, archaeologies, histories and material spaces
Max Bellamy, Dunedin School of Art: Artist, Filmmaker including awardwinning science documentaries

Webstream / video record location: to be announced

9pm – 11pm: Teletrust networked performance In a physical venue in Dunedin, and also online – details to be announced

10.00pm – 12.00am: Deep local and remote technologies

Venues: ADA Network, New Zealand / De Balie, Amsterdam / Remote: Montréal / Forres

What does it mean to become Deep Local (again)? How can we reconnect to the local, without giving up the rest of the world and without burning up the last remaining carbon-hydrates? Is going local a solution for the global energy and mobility crisis? Can we reconnect the remote by means of the new networking and communication technologies without ravaging the environment? Can traditional life-styles be accommodated with global connectivity? Or is a no-tech scenario the only option? Is that scenario still possible?


Julian Priest, artist and director of The Green Bench – participating from a wifi enabled waka on the Whanganui river, with Sue James, Michael Poa, Te Wainuiarua Poa, Jonah Marinovich, and Don Hunter » There are great photos and other documentation of this presentation here:

Trudy Lane, Intercreate Research Centre, Director of Programmes and Initiator of the Wonder Project. The Wonder Project consists of a House of Wonders at a farmhouse in rural New Zealand where dinners, workshops, retreats and creative residencies are held, while also working with an international network of Wonder Collectors via the site Here the sharing of personal wonders are explored as a way of re-opening cognitive windows for seeing how our species can live sustainably.

Stefan Agamanolis, director of Distance Lab, Forres, Scotland. Distance Lab is a creative research organisation bringing together digital media technology, design and the arts to redefine and overcome the disadvantages of distance in learning, health care, relationships, culture and other domains.

Matthew Biederman, artist and team member of the Arctic Perspectives project, an international group of individuals and organisations whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region.

Hosted by: Zita Joyce & Eric Kluitenberg

Saturday March 20

8am – 10am: Teletrust performance In a physical venue in Dunedin, and also online – details to be announced

10.30am: ‘Backyard Dances’ – being everywhere at once, while staying at home, in our own backyard

Stream link:

Becca Wood and dancers in Berlin, Brisbane, Oklahoma, Taipa, Auckland City and Auckland Waterview

BACKYARD DANCES is an on-line community dance that brings the ordinary and the local to the global stage through a collection of backyard videos performed by Becca Wood and dancers in Berlin, Brisbane, Oklahoma, Taipa, Auckland City and Auckland Waterview. This global ensemble makes a community of backyard dancers performing live solo dances from divergent places – linked by the same sound score for the Electrosmog Festival.

‘Backyard Dances’ has asked for two kinds of participation – a contribution of mini ‘backyard cam’ videos and a group of dancers who will transform the backyard videos into a live choreographic community dance. The project relies on community participation, extending local culture to global networks and encourages participants to take some time to make a connection with their environment and their bodies. The videos are transcribed into a unifying sound score that provides the dancers with an ‘image score’, the screen image is embodied and a ‘virtual image’1 manifests in the dance.

There will be a physical screening of Backyard Dances in Auckland – with one live performance location (Becca Wood) – the screening will be in the foyer of WT Building at AUT – corner of Wakefield and Rutland St Auckland CIty with the Live performance just outside the foyer (weather permitting).

Streaming details to be announced

9pm – 11pm: Teletrust performance In a physical venue in Dunedin, and also online – details to be announced

10pm – midnight: Energy and information

Venues: ADA Network, New Zealand / RIXC, Riga / De Balie, Amsterdam Hosted by Julian Priest

Exploring the energetic implications of global communications. There is an intensive debate about the question how to make the internet backbone and server structure more energy efficient and ecologically sustainable, as till recently this did not seen to be a real concern. The energy needs of networking are enormous. Various solutions are on the table, but many ‘green hosting’ initiatives tend to be rather ‘green washing’ operations. The most challenging direction of this debate revolves around the emergence of smart electricity grids that can monitor in detail actual energy use patterns and allocate peek capacities much more efficiently. Such smart grids raise important privacy concerns for individual customers, however. With the old idea of fusing energy and information infrastructures back on the table, these concerns increase exponentially. What are the trade-offs between sustainability and the necessary safeguards of the personal sphere?

With: Julian Priest, artist and director of Green Bench, New Zealand

Michiel Karskens, policy advisor on energy matters, Consumentenbond (‘consumer union’), The Netherlands.

Rasa Smite, RIXC, Riga – organiser and curator of the 2009 art+communication festival: “ENERGY – Scientific and artistic, utopian and critical visions of future terrestrial energy”.

Sacha van Geffen, director of

Sunday March 21

1.00 – 3.00am: ElectroSmog is Good for You! – Exploring artists’ engagements with the spectral ecology

Venues: RIXC, Riga / De Balie, Amsterdam / Remote: Strasbourg This program brings together artists fascinated by the invisible and most ephemeral side of electronic media, the varying densities of the electro-magnetic spectrum. The program continues the discussion started at the RIXC’s Spectral Ecology event in 2007. Besides the exploration of the invisible and intangible, also critical environmental issues are addressed. How is the body, the brain and the nervous system affected by the increasing density of electromagnetic waves around us? Since the nervous system relies on electromagnetic energy flows there are certainly effects, but which? In many countries heated debates flared up in the past about the effects of new umts transmitters (high capacity mobile phone networks), and scandals erupted over transmitters fitted on apartment buildings, apparently making residents sick.

Contributions by:

Bureau des Etudes / Spectral Investigations Collective

Zita Joyce, ADA Digital Arts Network, New Zealand

Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits, RIXC, Riga

8.45am: M4RI Ping pong pop

(MUSIC 4 REMOTE IMPROVISATION) Four online multi-user sound nerds, performing from their bedroom, pinging each other sine wave tone with a few pops, bells and whistles.

Sean Kerr, Clinton Watkins, Adam Willetts, Nathan Thompson

Electrosmog Breakfast

9am – noon Join us for breakfast in Auckland NZ! 9am (NZ) March 21.


Breakfast will be served from 9am outside the AUT tower on the corner of Wakefield and Rutland St Auckland City. Join us for croissant and coffee.


Share your breakfast with us from home by video link. Using iVisit -

Enter home.foreignbody.6276 in the address window and press return. Double click on home.foreignbody.6276

Digital breakfast table is limited to eight places so be early to get a good feed!


You can watch the networked breakfast live from 9.30am. @

X marks the spot Launch

Avatar Body Collision

x marks the spot – explores in many forms the ways in which location is recorded, the methods used to form connections and record distances in time and space, this project is happening in real time and over time through UpStage an open source online performance venue – participation is invited in the work in progress at electrosmog and the performance opening the 101010 online festival of cyberformance

blog site: [links to map etc will be from there]

stage at
Ongoing projects

Korawiki Kete of Remote Art

ADA members invited to contribute

A catalogue / kete of remote collaboration: New Zealand-related projects using communications technologies to present, perform, and collaborate over time and distance.

Web address:

(Note: This wiki is now the basis of the ‘Artbase’ at

Klanggang / Soundwalk

Sam Hamilton and Luke Munn

In this project, two field recordings from Auckland and Berlin are created on the same day by walking the length of two iconic streets: K’Road and Kottbusser Damm. These recordings are mapped onto a simple web interface, allowing users to ‘walk’ with Hamilton and Munn, or skip to the next block, re-listen to a passing conversation, or dip in and out. Users may also mix the two recordings together in greater or lesser degrees, highlighting the similarities and differences between the networked sounds / spaces.

Rather than a didactic critique of an overly mobile culture, the project is instead a personal response and celebration of immobility (in the festival sense). Both artists are car-less and deeply interested in their local spaces – some of the most vibrant and interesting in their relative cities. Technology in this case is used to extend and augment the project: providing links between collaborators, interactivity for the audience, and increasing accessibility by making it available online.

Web address:

X marks the spot

Avatar Body Collision

x marks the spot – explores in many forms the ways in which location is recorded, the methods used to form connections and record distances in time and space. This project is happening in real time and over time through UpStage, an open source online performance venue – participation is invited in the work in progress at electrosmog and the performance opening the 101010 online festival of cyberformance

Web Address:

Time: from March 19 2010, to 10 / 10 / 10

IForm visualization


To participate in creating the visualization you need to download onto your iphone from the apps store. By joining the iForm group in the settings you will automatically be added to the visualization.

iForm is a process-based work that visualizes 3D forms from GPS data generated by the movement of iphone participants through the landscape. The transcoding of this data into 3D form addresses the anomalies of representation that are inherent in both concrete and time-based media.

Instead of designing 3D form along aesthetic / functional parameters iForm utilizes GPS data as a set of coordinates that determine visual outcome. The GPS co-ordinates are collected from a group of iphones carried by participants using software. Thanks to comob for their support with this project. Its a cool app guys ! The visualizations will be viewable in realtime over the internet.(URL to be posted soon)

IForm visualization will be live from 10pm March 20 midday March 21 (10.00 CET (GMT+1) to 24:00 CET (GMT+1) on March 21)

Creative Technologies-Student Projects

Responses to the Electrosmog by students on the Bachelor of Creative Technologies at AUT. Projects include a web interface to remotely nurture a plant via Arduino, a virtual busking site, virtual stalking and an audio geo-tag guide to NZ.