ISEA, More Than Just Another Cool Acronym

I love acronyms. ISEA is pronounced like a word, which—according to my college Linguistics professor—distinguishes it from initialism, and officially makes it an acronym. Think: idea with an ‘s,’ not I.S.E.A.  Here’s another: GOLF, an alleged acronym meaning “gentlemen only ladies, forbidden.” ISEA isn’t an alleged acronym, however; it stands for International Symposium for Electronic Arts–and, ISEA is cooler than GOLF for more reasons than one, not the least of which being that it’s no phony abbreviation.

ISEA is a multi-pronged, international event that features art exhibitions, public events, performances and educational activities. Last year, in 2011 it took place in Istanbul, Turkey. But by far, the coolest thing about ISEA in 2012 is that it’s not happening 6,485 miles away, because it’s happening in Burque! (That’s Albuquerque for the outsiders.)

And, why should we care about “a symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology and nature?”

Well, we should care because—whether you are currently “trending” on twitter, or a Luddite clinging to the past—technology is advancing and changing our global economy. And, if we’re going to keep up this pace, we had better implement a more human approach to virtual reality, and fast! Otherwise, we’re doomed to spend our lives in front of computer screens, desperately pointing and clicking, where a handshake and smile should have occurred. There must be an alternative to online chatting and telecommuting for us environmentally conscious, people-loving types, who like to camp and talk to something other than an electronic device.

This year’s theme is Machine Wilderness. ISEA’s projects, lectures and workshops aim to explore these conversations, opening a dialog about the future of technology, the planet and humanity. How should we humans synthesize the growing gap between our virtual and real world? Yeah, the real world—the one that revolves around the sun and provides us every imaginable resource including food for the mind’s abstract fodder. Further, as much as I like the idea of living on the moon, let’s get serious. And, remember, The Jetsons was a cartoon.

If you’re one of those brilliant Jonathan Harris-esque minds with an amazing project that incorporates both science and art: apply here. Otherwise, ISEA offers much in terms of programming for the community with numerous collaborating organizations, including: Santa Fe Art Institute, Axle Contemporary, LANL, and many more!

ISEA 2012: Machine Wilderness takes place in various locations throughout New Mexico, beginning September 19th, 2012.

INTH NIAAC. That’s an acronym that stands for “It’s nice to have national and international attention on Albuquerque for a change”—guess abbreviations don’t work in every instance.



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