Sustainable Digital Art Manifesto

This manifesto is an act of resistance against established social and artistic practices, conservative norms and commodified canons, unsustainable actions, and quantified ownership culture. In this time of radical commercialization prioritizing the consequential form over its origin, favours optimization over transparency and ownership over communities - we demand new vocabularies, methods, models and ethics of affirmative / free / speculative / ambivalent / educational creation.

Recent production, quantification and distribution trends, often with a technically impeccable user experience, tend to render digital art into a tool of simulation, and misrepresentation. Such a methodologically inconsistent, synthetic ecology replaces communal by proprietary ownership while conserving progress and singling out representative formats extracted from the wider digital ecosystem. Today's technology offers the simplest production path without the need to understand our works creation and distribution infrastructure and algorithms. Commercial and popular tools greatly affect production and conceptualization of artistic methods and standards that encourage reliance without understanding technological processes, embracing techno-optimist consumerism and commodification, and short-term sustainability of artistic production. Digital art is often forced to neglect its non-linear nature, succumbing to its commodified role and taking on a commercial gallery representational form.

We advocate techno-socio-economic systems that enable qualitative cultural new media frameworks and provide long-term support to all authors researching the consequences and intersections of preconceived new media standards by means of free/libre open source software, permissive licensing and collaborative experimental creativity.

We believe in a medium demanding equality, affirming the process, the error, and decentralizing production structures while encouraging interdependence of different artistic practices. The art we support is unfathomable, strong, critical and precise. We seek to define and acquire new strategies in arts and humanities to question existing models and systems while being open to developing new art practices and technologies.

Sustainable digital art precedes formalized established structures; linking concepts to non-linear infrastructural materialization of algorithms and transnational arts and tech consensus surpassing political and spatial boundaries. It exists in present and future hardware and software infrastructures, forming vocabularies at the intersection between digital tools and actively reconceptualizing materials into commons.

The content of sustainable digital art is directly linked to its production methods - it is reflexive, skeptical, ethical, reinterpretative and critical of all supporting structures; offering an insight into and understanding of its technological and ideological grounds, updating existing paradigms.

The sustainability of digital materiality is based on reused hardware, recycled materials and equipment; it is independent of commodification and it manifests itself in low-budget productions that do not require commercial and financially demanding solutions. It acquires its form during production, independent of established art production spaces and norms, showing only its unrefined and active form in institutional contexts – such as live hypermedia structures, destructive software or constructive scripts, multimedia installations, algorithmic performances, operational errors, ...

Rather then redirecting and losing values, sustainable art gathers, articulates, presents and distributes them, leaving its materiality as legacy for future generations.

Sustainable digital art