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MUTEK_Lab presents "Tools for an Unknown Future" Symposium

May 28-30, organized in collaboration with ICAS, PHI Centre, and Infopresse

May 16, 2012
MUTEK_Lab presents "Tools for an Unknown Future" Symposium
 
With the 2012 edition of the festival just over two weeks away, MUTEK is proud to announce its latest collaboration with the ICAS (International Cities for Advanced Sound) network. This three-day international symposium inaugurates the new MUTEK_Lab series, a new component to MUTEK that directly precedes the festival.
 
Open to the public, MUTEK_Lab is a professional gathering that explores the ever-strengthening links between creativity - whether it be musical or digital - and innovation. Collaborative initiatives, new practices, fluidity between artistic and commercial spheres, and new avenues of financing are all issues that define the new cultural milieu.  Meanwhile, the reach of creative endeavours today often spans great distances from its presenting source, a dynamic that's increasingly inspiring and influencing new works produced by artists.
 
What are the consequences of these major shifts in the creation, context, and presentation of new art forms,and how can creativity contribute to the development of unique city identities? What infrastructures exist to take advantage of these new developments and channels, and what are the new financial solutions for surviving in an economy of increasing scarcity?  It is in this light that MUTEK_Lab, working with ICAS and ECAS, aims to bring together the pertinent professionals from the worlds of culture, design, urban planning, marketing, communications, and innovation who will ultimately provide answers to these very questions.  
 
Featuring a mix of keynotes, panels, case studies and presentations, the Tools for an Unknown Future symposium is a 3-day conference aimed at elaborating a cohesive view of the current trends within groundbreaking artistic mediums and proposing visions for the future. All activities will take place at the PHI Centre, a brand-new multidisciplinary arts complex located in the Old Port of Montreal, which showcases the effervescence and diversity of current artistic practices within its four floors.  
 
The details:
May 28 - 30, 9am to 5:30pm daily
PHI Centre (407 St. Pierre street)
FREE ENTRY with RSVP.  To RSVP, click here.
 
 
This project is realised with the support of the Culture Program of the European Union. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
 
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DETAILED SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM
MONDAY, MAY 28
 
 
The cultural sector is increasingly fluid. The past 15 years have seen the rise of a new generation of contemporary arts festival, which increasingly attempts to represent the fast-paced cultural sector of today. Unlike other traditional cultural institutions such as the museum, these events have the versatility to adapt rapidly to emerging artistic trends. 
 
Opening Session
9am - 10am
Speaker: Simon Brault (Chair and Co-Founder, Culture Montréal / Vice-Chair, Canada Council for the Arts / Director General, National Theatre School of Canada; CA)
 
Keynote Address: Festivals as Labs
10am - 10:45am
Speaker: Ela Kagel (Independent curator; DE)
 
Panel: Festivals as Creative Practice
11am - 12:30pm
Conceived as experimental spaces where new cultural forms and technologies can be presented and evaluated, festivals are a place where different forms and communities cross-pollinate, acting as the meeting place between audiences, cultural workers, artists and other stakeholders.
 
Panelists: 
Amalie Roberts (FutureEverything Festival; UK)
Peter Burton (Suoni per il Popolo Festival; CA)
Stuart Brown (British Film Institute; UK)
 
Moderator: 
Andy Battaglia (Unsound New York Festival; US)
 
 
 
Today's cultural sector is increasingly made up of a very large number of specialist communities organized around a specific genre. Single cultural institutions can no longer encompass this diversity. The challenge then is one of establishing creative dialogue between these specialist interest groups, and exposing marginal practices to bigger audiences. 
 
Keynote Address: Networked Biorhythms, The Last Frontier?
2pm - 2:45pm
Speaker: René Barsalo (Metalab | SAT; CA)
 
Panel: Vanishing Boundaries and New Beginnings
2:45pm - 4:15pm
An interconnected view of the world has emerged in the 21st century, generating a framework of hybrid networks, along with a breakdown of traditional boundaries between disciplines, cultures, and most of all, between generations. What roles has digital culture played in stimulating the art world's transition to this new context?
 
Panelists: 
John Zepetelli (DHC-Art; CA)
Josette Melchor (Grey Area Foundation for the Arts; US)
Olof van Winden (TodaysArt Festival; NL)
Sandeep Bhagwati (Concordia University; CA)
 
Moderator: 
Malcolm Levy (New Forms Festival; CA)
 
Case Studies: Vanishing Boundaries and New Beginnings
4:30pm - 5:30pm
A series of short presentations highlighting current practices that embody cross-pollination, DIY methodologies, and hybrid approaches.
 
Presenters: 
Kate Lesta (Communikey Festival; US)
Naut Humon (Recombinant Media Labs; US)
Reivo Vainovskis (Artist; LV)
Reni Hofmüller (Artist, AT)
 
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TUESDAY, MAY 29
 
Sound and digital images are everywhere, a consequence of the ever-spreading reach of advertising and new technologies. At the same time, new artistic approaches to creating art and music for the public realm are emerging everywhere. As urban spaces draw together different communities and forms of media and technology, digital technology is changing the function of the city and dissolving boundaries between work and play. 
 
Keynote Address: MP3 and Ubiquitous Audio
9am - 10am 
Speaker: Jonathan Sterne (McGill University; CA)
 
Panel: New Ways of Envisioning Public Space
10am - 11:15am
With a growing portion of the world's population living in urban areas, creative environments have become more valuable in the 21st century. Augmented reality, acoustic ecology, city soundmaps, architectural interventions - all highlight an increased interest in appropriating public spaces. This panel brings together digital artists and festival organizers whose efforts enhance and alter the public spheres that make up our daily lives, in order to help us see our environments anew.
 
Panelists: 
Caroline Gagnon (Université de Montréal; CA)
Giovanna Borasi (Canadian Center for Architecture; CA)
Hugues Sweeney (National Film Board of Canada; CA)
Markus Bader (Raumlabor; DE)   
 
Moderator: 
Mike Stubbs (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology; UK)
 
Case Study: New Ways of Envisioning Space
11:30am - 12:30pm
A series of short presentations highlighting current practices, visions, and experiments that explore and redefine popular notions of public space. 
 
Presenters: 
Annie Roy (Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable; CA)
Simon Papineau (STM Audiosphère; CA)
Sarah Lauzemis (TodaysArt Brussels, BE)   
 
Moderator: 
Giovanna Borasi (Canadian Center for Architecture; CA)
 
 
 
Increasingly in the 21st century, the line between the pure design of art and the practical design of commerce has been blurred beyond recognition. Today, there exists an economic value to creativity that has altered both artistic and business convention. This theme explores the characteristics of this brave new world.
 
Keynote Address: Towards Creative Industries
2pm - 2:45pm
Speaker: Roger Parent (Réalisations.net; CA)
 
Panel: Defining the Creative Economy
2:45pm - 4:15pm 
A defining economical trend in the 20th century has been the shift of mature economies from manufacturing to knowledge-based work, with data and knowledge as the important basic resources. Coming into the 21st century, the rise of the creative economy represents a significant development from the familiar idea of the knowledge economy. In the creative economy, it is not enough to store, process or analyse information.  Rather, information must be creatively transformed into something new and valuable.  What can the cultural sector and creative industries learn from one another, and how can they reinforce each others' creative potentials?
 
Panelists: 
Jo Ann Kane (National Bank Financial Group; CA)
Laurent Simon (HEC Mozaik; CA)
Olof van Winden (TodaysArt Festival; NL)  
 
Moderator: 
Roger Parent (Réalisations.net; CA)
 
Case Studies: Defining the Creative Economy
4:30pm - 5:30pm   A series of short presentations highlighting current practices, visions, and work models that straddle the line between creative industry and artistic practice.
 
Presenters: 
Vincent Leclerc (Eski; CA)
Angelique Manella (Random Hacks of Kindness; CA)
Steve Mason (Obscura Digital; US)      
 
Moderator: 
Malcolm Levy (New Forms Festival; CA)
 
 
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 30 
 
With the emergence of cultural tourism, festivals have increasingly become recognized as important engines in the local city economy. This theme explores how, through ever-evolving formats, artistic content, diverse collaborations, and creative use of urban spaces, festivals are becoming a crucial tool in shaping a city's image, as well as its local cultural landscape. 
 
Keynote Address: Cities As Labs
9am - 10am 
Speaker: Drew Hemment (FutureEverything Festival; UK)
 
Panel: Branding Cities
10am - 11:15am
What is the brand of a city?  Increasingly, the major urban centres of the world are defined by their vibrant and progressive cultures, setting examples for innovation and development around the world. This panel explores the nature of blending a city's creativity into its brand cultivation, and what this implies for a city's image.
  
Panelists: 
Mat Schulz (Unsound Festival; PL)
Mathias Holmberg (Full Pull Festival; SE)
Sergio Ricciardone (Club-to-Club Festival; IT)
William Straw (McGill University; CA)
  
Moderator: 
Andy Battaglia (Unsound New York; US)
 
Case Studies: Branding Cities
11:30am - 12:30pm
A series of short presentations highlighting festivals, practices, and visions that are playing a major role in shaping their home city's image through culture.
  
Presenters: 
Cyril Guillory (Cultures Electroni[K] Festival; FR)
Emmanuelle Legault (Tourisme Montréal; CA)
Sean Horton (Decibel Festival; US)
William Straw (McGill University; CA)
  
Moderator: 
Mat Schulz (Unsound Festival; PL)
 
  
 
 
As the world's population becomes increasingly urban, cities have taken on a new status and role within our daily lives. However, defining what direction this enhanced position takes is a matter of great debate.  The following presentation and panel explore the various initiatives underway around the world that tackle the question of a cultural identity for urban centres. 
  
Presentation: Connecting Cities - Visions of an Urban Identity
2pm - 2:45pm
Introduction the Connecting Cities Network, aimed at creating a network of urban media facades to circulate creative and social content instead of commercials. From 2012 to 2016, it will test this infrastructure through three Connecting Cities events: the Networked City, the Participatory City and the Visible City.
 
Presenters: 
Gernot Tscherteu (Media Architecture Group; AT)
Mike Stubbs (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology; UK)
Susa Pop (Public Arts Lab; DE)
Yves Bernard (iMAL; BE)
 
Panel: The Networked, the Participatory, and the Visible City
2:45pm - 4:15pm 
Connecting Cities network members discuss the role of urban media facades for our cities as visualisation and communication platforms. Acting as interfaces between the digital and the physical world, these facades engage the public in participatory processes and thus create a novel awareness of public space.
 
Panelists: 
Gernot Tscherteu (Media Architecture Group; AT)
Mike Stubbs (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology; UK)
Susa Pop (Public Arts Lab; DE)
Yves Bernard (iMAL; BE)
  
Moderator: Cheryl Sim (PHI Center; CA)
 
Closing Session
4:30pm 
 
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About ICAS 
 
ICAS (International Cities for Advanced Sound & Related Arts) is a network of 30+ independent sound cultures, music and related arts festivals and organizations from around the world. The network aims to increase the exchange of artists, works, information, and resources to create a sustainable and vibrant international platform. 
 
In 2010, the "Networking Tomorrow's Art for an Unknown Future" (UF) project was launched by nine European ICAS members. Benefiting from considerable financial support received from the European Commission of Culture, the UF project consists of co-commissioned works, increased circulation of artists, publics and professionals, new methods of artistic collaboration, and the connections between member festivals and cultural professionals. While this project was developed within a European context, MUTEK 2012 has been selected as the official meeting point for the UF project's annual partner meeting.  
 
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