Call for entries
Deadline: 25 February 2013

In 2013, Subtle Technologies will be holding its 16th Annual Festival in Toronto – 8-9 June 2013

Our symposium, performances, workshops, screenings, exhibitions and
networking sessions provide a forum to explore ideas and pose questions
at the intersection of art, science and technology. Subtle Technologies
is known internationally for presenting artists and scientists whose
work is at the leading edge of their respective disciplines and creating
a space for dialogue that will lead to future discussions and

Our 2013 festival takes place on June 8th and 9th at various venues
throughout Toronto. In 2013 we will be exploring the theme of
Immortality. Through history, concepts of immortality have had an
important place in virtually all spiritual and philosophical traditions.
As we have with past festival themes, we will be exploring this year’s
theme from a broad perspective bridging art, science and society. We
encourage and welcome submissions that explore ideas of immortality that
arise from outside the Western framework. There are a number of areas
related to immortality that we would like to probe during this year’s

The average life expectancy continues to climb in many parts of the
world and there are those who believe we can and should push this
threshold ever higher. While many see physical life extension as the
route to immortality, there are others who believe immortality can be
achieved by merely preserving an individual’s consciousness, through
either biological or digital means. If consciousness could be digitally
represented, could a person “live” forever in a virtual world? We want
to look at the science behind life extension as well as the numerous
philosophical, ethical, practical and social questions that arise. These
sciences include the realms of cyborgs, life extension through
pharmacological means, cryogenic preservation and ideas surrounding the
collection of an individual’s connectome – the complete mapping and
re-creation of a brain’s electrical structure.

There are many online sites that act as digital memorials of deceased
individuals. Facebook, for example, has created a special setting for
memorializing deceased Facebook users, while protecting sensitive
information to prevent identity fraud. People continue to send messages
as if the deceased was still alive. What role does our online digital
identity play in immortalizing us? How can we envision avatars in
online worlds such as Second Life bringing us closer to a form of

Scientists now have the knowledge to design new lifeforms through
techniques in synthetic biology. What questions arise, now that
creating life (once believed to be the role of immortal beings) is in
the hands of modern science?

It has been said that creating art immortalizes the artist. While many
paintings, drawings, musical scores and works of literature have lasted
through centuries, how will the digital artist be remembered as
technology advances and digital platforms change? We see the question of
preservation as an important topic in our discussion of immortality. If
we can’t achieve individual immortality, how do we achieve it
collectively? We would like to look at projects by artists and
scientists that seek to archive art, history, society and experiences
through constructing time capsules, objects, techniques and technologies
that withstand the destructive powers of time and the environment.

Immortality can also be explored through abstract ideas of time and
modern physics. There are a number of contemporary physicists who
theorize that time as we experience it is an illusion. If so, how do we
define immortality with these new understandings of time since extending
our time on earth is seen as a key component of immortality? Alternative
concepts of time can be found not only in contemporary physics but also
in ancient cultures and traditions outside of the euro-centric
perspectives of science. Some theories of modern cosmology and physics
present us with the idea that we may be living in a world that is not
“real” but merely a simulation. How do we frame these theories in terms
of immortality?

At our 2013 festival we hope to examine the science behind the above
questions as well as artists’ interpretations and responses to notions
of immortality.

Possible areas to be explored in this year’s Festival from either an
artistic or scientific approach include:

• Art and Immortality
• Avatars
• Bioethics
• Bioart
• Consciousness
• Cryonics
• Digital Immortality
• Genomics
• Life Extension
• Longevity Science
• Mind Uploading
• Nanotechnology
• Neuroscience
• Pharmacology
• Philosophy
• Physics
• Rejuvenation
• Robotics
• Science and Society
• Singularity
• Spiritual Immortality
• Synthetic Biology
• Transhumanism
• Virtual Worlds

These topics are only suggested ones for inclusion in the festival.
Other relevant enquiries within the realm of art, science and technology
that explore our theme of immortality are welcome.

To have your submission considered for either the symposium, poster
session, exhibition, screenings or workshop, please complete the online
submission form here