Not-So-Simple Symposium

Every September, members of the international new media community make an annual pilgrimage to Linz, Austria, for the Ars Electronica Festival. While the Ars Centre organizes programming all year, the festival is its major contribution to the field, offering exhibits, a handful of large prizes, and a thematic symposium. This year's festival is scheduled for 31 August-5 September and its symposium bears a deceptive theme: Simplicity. The conference is 'curated' by John Maeda, the designer and theorist who runs the MIT Media Lab and who has long kept a blog also called Simplicity that focuses on the relationship between technological objects, needs, and cravings. His curatorial statement argues that our world has become so littered with dysfunctional high tech gadgets that,'at the end of the day... all of us hunger for simplicity to some degree. Yet ironically when given the choice of more or less, we are programmed at the genetic level to want more.' This battle between demand and desire forms the tempestuous platform for Simplicity, and given this binary's historic relationship to technological development, it seems to be a perfect theme for hearty discussion. Make a simple reservation today - Elizabeth Johnston