According to Gregory Bateson (anthropologist and cyberneticist) the basic unit of survival is the ‘flexible organism-in-its-environment’ (Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 1972, p. 457). Drawing on Bateson’s work, the focus for OFFLOAD 2007 is on ‘Systems for Survival’. We are interested in attracting and showing work at OFFLOAD, which visualises, reflects, comments on and/or extends the systems or networks we live and operate within.

Priority will be given to work, which addresses the core themes of OFFLOAD and in its reception is: interactive, event based, durational and/or evolves or emerges over time and requires people participation.

The following themes will be addressed in OFFLOAD 2007:


In 2012 the Olympic games will be held for the third time in the UK. This event is in part providing a focus and space for rethinking our relationship with our health and wellbeing. Linking sport and fitness with the Darwinian concept of survival of the fittest provides a sub-theme concerned with concepts of adaptability and flexibility.

How do our technically mediated forms of work, play and living extend, constrain or support our ways of being? What are the values and inherent meanings behind notions of health, wealth and play? What do we consider to be the balance between them?


Our second sub-theme refers to ideas around globalisation, transfer and the economies of goods, knowledge, objects, planets, animals and people. Within this strand we are focusing on trade agreements that are currently in place around carbon emissions and climate change. This strand connects to the first sub-theme by extending the concept of survival to focus on ‘exchange’ and how our methods of exchange and adaptability in this area help us to survive.

Emphasis will be on work which bridges virtual, online and ‘real’ worlds. In particular we are interested in work which examines systems, infrastructures and/or architectures for exchange and transfer and the implications such networks have for our lives. Questions around whether virtual traffic simply replicates existing problems or provides alternative solutions will also be addressed within this sub-theme.