Digifest 2008: Water’s Edge

Taking place in Toronto from March 28 to 30, 2008 Digifest is a three-day biennial international festival of design and media culture presented by the Design Exchange in partnership with Harbourfront Centre and Ontario Science Centre.

This year’s Digifest will examine themes of catastrophe, trauma and possibility through a series of presentations, exhibits, performances and workshops, dedicated to unraveling a better understanding of how catastrophe may touch our lives as cause, effect, renewal and relief. Technology and digital media have been instrumental in our transformation from an ageof deconstruction to an age of connection. Our preoccupation in recent years to analyzeand understand is now shared with the goal to adapt and sustain. Innovation in theconnection of people to people, people to things and people to cultures continues to alterour understanding of the meaning of things and events. The modality of Digifest itselfhas shifted over the six years of its existence from a lens on the impact of digital mediaand technology to a prism through which science, art and design can add dimensionand meaning to important issues in our lives.

We are most familiar with the popular view of catastrophe as an unpreventable event.Water’s Edge examines catastrophe and its aftermath as part of a larger system; asystem that challenges us with inevitability and powerlessness on one hand and self-determinationand opportunity on the other. For this reason, the knowledge and preparedness of the individual is as critical a consideration as catastrophe on the level of global debate. Water’s Edge is a forum, a performance and a workshop dedicated to unravelling these tensions toward a better understanding of how catastrophe may touch our lives as cause, effect, renewal and relief.

Water’s Edge features Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Upside of Down, who will present “Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization.” Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation will present “Leadership in the Face of Environmental Change and Challenge.”

Digifest encourages excellence in interactive and interdisciplinary digital media design and technology, and supports the creators of new applications and content that will provide lasting economic, cultural and social benefits to Canadians. At Digifest, audiences learn about the impact of design, science and art in all disciplines, including web, interactive, animation, gaming and 3D environments, through designer and artist-led installations, presentations and workshops.

Digifest is the only festival of its kind in Canada and gives Canadians access to artistic experiences in the realm of digital media, as well as direct access to the artists/designers through presentations, question and answer periods, workshops and informal communication. It fulfills in part the Design Exchange’s mission to promote the value of Canadian design, through engaging and enriching programs, with a vision to establish Canada as a design leader worldwide.

For more information, please visit www.dx.org/digifest/index.html.