ISEA2013 is an international symposium of electronic art and ideas that will take place in Sydney, Australia. Presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) and held alongside Vivid Sydney – a festival of light, music and ideas – ISEA2013 will showcase the best media artworks from around the world and provide a platform for the lively exchange of future-focused ideas.

The 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art will comprise engaging presentations and thought-provoking speakers and discussions. Join us for informed dialogues, dynamic debates, enlightening keynotes and experimental incursions into the extensive and diverse practice of electronic media arts.

Our vision for the symposium is to provide a program with genuine engagement of the following themes.

‘Resistance is Futile’

Digital art has moved from the margins to become part of the fabric of everyday life. At once ubiquitous and unnoticed, resistance to electronic art has proven futile — it now lies embedded in the heart of our contemporary cultures. The symposium events will infuse the city’s social, digital and physical infrastructure. ISEA2013 aims to create a fluid body of thought, culture, community, industry, science and technology.

Artists play an important role by creatively investigating the possibilities and pushing the limits of new technologies, helping us to imaginatively experience and critically reflect on their implications for life in the 21st century. Digital electronic art is a source of innovation, the new norm in everything from publishing to TV, radio, games, film, fashion, music, architecture, design, applications and gadgets. Ubiquitous and pervasive, digital media permeates almost all creative endeavours in everyday life and the city. The urban spaces of Sydney will provide the scene for thinking through the consequences of digital life, creative industries, and contemporary electronic art practice.


1. Resistance is Fertile
Resistance is Futile … Resistance is Fertile… Resistance is Necessary. ISEA2013 explores the ways art and new technologies are used in the service of power, politics, protest and resistance.

2. Converging and diverging realities
The virtual bleeds into the real and increasingly our environments are mediated, augmented and transformed through technology. Mixed and augmented realities, obligatory social media, and locative technologies increasingly insert different realities into the physical world while communication simultaneously seduces us away from our immediate surroundings. As the “internet of things” becomes a reality, do we need to resist the ubiquitous society of participation, search, and the culture of always-on surveillance/sousveillance?

3. Life …  but not as we know it
Technologies are being used to extend human capabilities and to create new life forms. ISEA2013 explores how life is increasingly becoming a technology that is created, extended, and curated by the influence of artists working with technology. A chance to explore and critique the world of cyborgs, robots, alien life forms, and the emergence of unnatural biologies.

4. Histories and Futures of Electronic Art
Whereas once electronic media technologies were on the margins they now permeate almost all of art, commerce and creativity. Digital cultures, media art histories and media archaeologies permeate contemporary art and design, and inform ways of seeing and understanding the world. ISEA2013 offers a platform to explore where electronic art has come from, where it is going and what it might become.

5. Ecologies and Technologies
The interrelationship of nature, culture and technology lies at the centre-stage of contemporary life. ISEA2013 explores technology as both the problem and the solution, celebrating the role of the artist as innovator and provocateur. ISEA2013 engages questions of urban ecologies, consumption, food, climate and sustainability.

6. Creation, Collaboration and Consumption
Digital technologies and social media are transforming social and cultural interaction on both global and local scales. Everyone is connected, everyone is a creator; but not everybody likes what they see or wants to participate in the prescribed forms of contemporary social media. ISEA2013 encourages debate, provocations and engagement in the global nets of participation.