30 March 2022, 20:00 CEST
The Hmm ON a Lighter Internet
How do we ensure that online film festivals, live-streamed programs and digital lectures become more accessible? And what does that accessibility really look like?
Over the last few years there has been increasing awareness about how the internet contributes significantly to the world’s global carbon emissions. In 2020, every internet user generated an average of 1.7 megabytes of data per second. Online advertising accounts for 25% of the total internet bandwidth today. And all of that data has to be stored somewhere, like in data centers that use around 1% of electricity worldwide and whose water guzzling cooling facilities are predicted to cause drinking water shortages in the Netherlands.
The growing increase in internet use and the generation of more and more data does not only impact the environment, it also exacerbates the global digital divide. While the internet has been a solution, and a lifeline, to the many problems caused by COVID-19, it has also made more visible the billions of people worldwide (around 45% of the population according to UNESCO) who lack internet access, and the even larger number of people who lack access to affordable and fast internet. Those on the wrong side of the digital divide are disconnected from opportunities for education, employment, and social interactions.
There seems to be a growing tension between increasing connectivity to the internet and the impact of this on the environment. How do we balance these two things with one another? Especially since faster internet, more digital storage, and more connectivity are seen as ways to increase development and access to opportunities globally. During this event, taking place physically and online, we’ll explore how the current internet experience is influenced by bandwidth access, and what a lighter internet actually means.
Hybrid event experiment
This year we’re actively experimenting with a series of hybrid events. The pandemic has shown us that we really have too little knowledge about how we gather and come together in online spaces. Our belief is that zoom fatigue is unnecessary and that digitisation can offer a lot to the cultural sector, as long as programs are hybrid in nature and designed fundamentally differently than physical programs. With (almost) every event we organise, we explore a new format or a new tool.
With this event we’re updating our livestream website with different view-modes—high res, low res, audio, and text only—to make it more accessible and to explore what low-tech and low-data internet solutions can look like. And as an extra treat, we’re offering specially discounted (online) group tickets to stimulate people to watch our livestream together.
The Hmm ON …
The Hmm ON is a series of hybrid focus events in which we reflect on playful, serious, and sometimes disturbing developments in internet culture. The Hmm ON a Lighter Internet is physically hosted by Framer Framed (Oranje-Vrijstaatkade 71) in Amsterdam.
🕢 Doors open at 19.30 and our program will start at 20.00 🕗
Named by Forbes as “the right kind of person to reform tech” Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author of several award-winning books including The Next Billion Users. Her expertise lies in global media cultures, digital inequality, and inclusive design. She is a Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Co-Founder of FemLab, a feminist future of work initiative. Tonight she’ll tell us why we should not pit digital inclusion against climate justice. Link
Radek Przedpełski is an artist and media philosophy scholar who is interested in the entanglements between the earth, the cosmos and artistic techniques. He’s a member of the Substantial Motion Research Network, which focuses on a cross-cultural investigation of media art, as well as being a curator, together with Laura U. Marks, of the annual Small File Media Festival. Radek will be joining us to talk about the Small File Media Festival and sustainable media techniques for the earth and the cosmos. Link
What are the potentialities of using low-tech tools to make art? Working as an arts coordinator, cultural curator, and arts writer, Faye Kabali-Kagwa describes herself as an interdisciplinary practitioner with a strong focus on public engagement, identity, and accessibility. In 2020 she began exploring WhatsApp as a medium for storytelling and debuted her first WhatsApp production, The Shopping Dead. She’ll be joining us tonight to tell us why she used WhatsApp and how she inspired other makers in South Africa to explore these platforms. Link