MUTEK Forum 2020 | Société des arts technologiques

MUTEK Forum 2020


08 au 11 Sep 2020
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Espace SAT
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TUESDAY, SEPT. 8 TO FRIDAY SEPT. 11 [ESPACE SAT] [FACEBOOK]




MUTEK FORUM 2020

MUTEK Forum will return for its sixth edition from September 8 to 11, 2020. It will address topics such as artificial intelligence, extended reality (XR), and the impacts of technology on society, through 20 presentations, panels, and case studies led by some 30 experts from Québec, Canada, and around the world.



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 • Art, Technology and Digital Society

WELCOME:
MUTEK Forum 2020 - Introducing this Special Hybrid Edition
13:00_13:30
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MUTEK Forum is conceived as a market of minds: a platform for artists and companies working in digital creation and electronic music to explore the latest practices and tools, and build their networks.

In this special year, we are exploring a new type of professional experience, bringing together our local and international networks -- not in our cultural metropolis, Montréal, but in the virtual space. Our values and main aims, however, remain the same: to make you feel inspired and connected.

During this opening address, MUTEK Forum's programming team gives an overview of the exciting guests they have invited, as well as a detailed "how-to" for this special hybrid edition.

We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.

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OPENING KEYNOTE:
Race to the Future? Reimagining the Default Settings of Technology and Society
13:30_14:30
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Ruha Benjamin - Princeton University

Jason Lewis - Concordia University


From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, exacerbate, and deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent in comparison with racist practices of a previous era. In this talk, Ruha Benjamin explores a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity—what she terms the “New Jim Code.” This presentation takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with the help of historically- and sociologically-informed skepticism. Benjamin also considers how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice, and discusses how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. In doing so, she challenges us to question not only the technologies sold to us, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

It will remain available in the archives of the Forum’s online application until September 20.

 

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CONVERSATION:
Creative Explorations into Data, Tech and Society
14:45_16:00
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Perry Chen

Refik Anadol - Refik Anadol Studio

Karine Charbonneau - Antimodular Research


Art and technology already have so much in common: they are never good or bad, but also never neutral. Expertly led by Karine Charbonneau, head of exhibitions at Antimodular Research, this conversation features renowned creators Perry Chen and Refik Anadol, who have been exploring, questioning, and reimagining the connection between art, data, tech, and society within their artistic and entrepreneurial practice over the last decade.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.

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BROWSING WITH:
HOLO's Greg J. Smith on Critical Perspectives on Data and Technology
16:15_16:45
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Greg J. Smith - HOLO


Greg J. Smith takes Forum attendees on a tour of the most relevant websites and platforms that feature critical perspectives about the technologies we use and the social context they are deployed in. This is the place to find your new favourite content platforms and key social media accounts to follow, and refresh your newsletter subscriptions!

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.


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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 • XR SALON

MASTERCLASS:
Tactile Materiality, Stereoscopy and VR
10:30_11:30
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Frances Adair Mckenzie


In her new project The Orchid and the Bee, interdisciplinary artist Frances Adair Mckenzie brings a keen sense of play to the realm of virtual reality by combining the tactile materiality of old-school stop-motion animation and stereoscopy with cutting-edge technology. The result is an expressionistic spiral ode to our evolutionary future and life's labyrinthine struggle for existence, as seen through a chain of genetic love affairs.

In this presentation, Frances will offer insight into her artistic process—from initial research to the construction of a rotating motorized set and stereo workflows for VR compositing in Nuke.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.
We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.

This activity appears as part of AMPLIFY D.A.I., an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.

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SOLD OUT
KEYNOTE:
Place and Possibility - Experience Design for Mixed Reality
12:30_13:30
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Savannah Niles - Magic Leap


Mixed reality promises to harmonize digital experience and the physical world, granting interfaces with a lot more power over the individual and society. Our values, biases, and aspirations will soon be unleashed from screens and take interactive, shape-shifting form in real-world contexts.

Magic Leap design lead Savannah Niles will share practical insights for creating experiences on emerging mixed reality platforms and describe how this new era of spatial computing elicits a shift in our mindset as creators: from the global and monolithic to the local, idiosyncratic, serendipitous, and surreal.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

Presented as part of the Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab, organized by FilmGate Miami, MUTEK, the National Film Board of Canada and O Cinema, in collaboration with the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs..


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CASE STUDY:
Particle Ink - An Interactive Mixed Reality Universe
13:45_14:30
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Nicolas S. Roy - Dpt.

Valérie Darveau - NFB Interactive


Dpt. are one of the bellwethers of Montréal’s creative tech and storytelling scene. Operating since 2007, their diverse practice in interactive and immersive experiences includes numerous award-winning pieces such as The Enemy, Manic VR, Deprogrammed, and Parliament VR.
This case study focuses on their latest project, to be released in the fall. Particle Ink is a rich and unique use case of mobile augmented reality technology for innovative storytelling.
The project uses an innovative custom approach called Augmented Unification, which enhances the human connection in a narrative-based experience by combining AI, object recognition, and context awareness with augmented reality in a real-world environment. This enables the AR characters to be conscious of their environment and its attributes—expanding the user’s ability to interact seamlessly and emotionally with them.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.


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CASE STUDY:
Wonderscope - Smart Augmented Reality Content for Kids
14:30_15:00
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Jonny Ahdout - WithinUS

Samantha Storr - WithinUS

Myriam Achard - Phi Centre


A pioneer of the XR industry and listed as one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2020, American producer Within is a powerhouse when it comes to exceptional storytelling, cutting-edge interactive tech, and high-quality immersive media content.

This case study will focus on one of Within’s recent projects, Wonderscope, an augmented reality mobile app for kids that transforms ordinary spaces into extraordinary stories.

Beautifully crafted and making innovative use of voice interaction, this project is a true showcase for the creative potential of AR for telling stories that engage audiences. Enhancing the learning experience of young users by making reading fun and interactive, without closing them off to the outside world, Wonderscope also addresses crucial questions regarding the generations growing up in our screen-dominated societies.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.

We warmly encourage you to get a MUTEK Forum Passport to enjoy everything the Forum has to offer, including access to networking and to all online conferences, to complement the physical event.

 

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PANEL:
XR Publishing and Distribution: How to Reach Large Audiences
15:15_15:45
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Antoine Cayrol - Atlas V

Jake Sally - RYOTU

Emily Paige - E.D. Films


The distribution and monetization of XR content have remained something of a challenge for creators and producers. Opportunities in location-based entertainment—that is, the presentation of XR installations in cultural venues such as museums, galleries, cinemas, arcades, and even custom-built, immersive entertainment spaces—had been on the rise. Now, the COVID crisis has put a sudden stop to these endeavours, with a potential relaunch being subject to complex configurations.

In contrast to these developments, the (hitherto rather slow) at-home market, which relies on end-users self-equipping with headsets, could certainly have taken up speed during confinement, if it hadn’t suffered from supply chain disruptions caused by the crisis: there were simply not enough headsets available to meet the growing demand. Once this problem is solved, will on-demand, at-home supply be the new answer to bringing XR content to the masses?

This question highlights an important point of the distribution puzzle, too often neglected by producers who are unfamiliar with the video game world: how and where to publish your content. From stores to strategies, this conversation about the publishing of XR content sees Jake Sally, Head of Development at RYOT, a major U.S. player in the production of innovative immersive content, exchanging ideas with Antoine Cayrol, co-founder of Atlas V, a multi-award-winning French production company and distributor.

As a special feature of this activity, you will be able to discover the “VR Immersive Experiences” catalogue from the Institut français, a selection of original works at the intersection of virtual reality, live entertainment, and visual arts, with potential for circulation abroad.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome

The XR Salon is presented by Unreal Engine.


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PANEL:
The Future is Volumetric
15:45_16:15
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Christina Heller - Metastage

James George - Scatter


Volumetric capture has been arguably one of the most exciting tech developments of the past few years, with potential applications across a variety of industries such as entertainment, tourism, retail, real estate, and education.

Showcasing the current state of the art and where things are headed next—from immersive to holographic media—this conversation brings together two pioneers of the field: Christina Heller of Metastage, a high-end, full-service VolCap studio in LA and first partner of Microsoft’s capture system; and James George, co-founder of Scatter, whose Emmy Award-winning piece Zero Days VR was crafted with their very own VolCap product, Depthkit—one of the most popular among independent creators.

The XR Salon is presented by Unreal Engine.

L’activité se tient en anglais - toutefois vous pouvez poser des questions en français.


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Q&A :
The Unreal Metaverse - the Future of Live Entertainment
16:30_17:15
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David Hurtubise - Epic Games

Sevan Dalkian - Epic Games


Epic Games’ award-winning Unreal Engine technology not only provides game developers with the ability to build high-fidelity 3D cinematographic, interactive experiences for PC, console, mobile, AR, and VR, but it is also a tool embraced by content creators across a variety of industries.

While the next generation of Unreal Engine has been announced for early 2021, a vast number of new projects and initiatives have been launched recently. These range from the Epic MegaGrants program to a new publishing division and—catalyzed by the current crisis—further development of “metaverse” tools for virtual production and live events. Suffice it to say that these are exciting times for creators to explore new opportunities for the production and distribution of real-time content.

During the final conference of this year’s XR Salon, Sevan Dalkian and David Hurtubise from Epic Games Montréal will offer valuable insights and share what’s next in the media and entertainment industry. This is an interactive session with plenty of time to answer your questions..

The XR Salon is presented by Unreal Engine.

L’activité se tient en anglais - toutefois vous pouvez poser des questions en français.


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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 • Views on AI

MASTERCLASS:
Expanded Cinema in 2020
10:30_11:30
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Sahar Homami


We shape technology and technology shapes us. 50 years ago, in his book Expanded Cinema (1970), Gene Youngblood argued that “a new, expanded cinema is required for a new consciousness”.

This masterclass showcases the pioneering and present-day (Wo)men of new media. Sahar Homami discusses expanded cinema, visual music, generative art, and real-time audiovisual art. She examines the modern expressions of the ancient art of storytelling and urges approaches to tell stories with digital data.

Appears as part of AMPLIFY D.A.I. an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.


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KEYNOTE:
Machines and Personhood: A Nguni Perspective on the Quest for AI
12:30_13:30
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Sabelo Mhlambi - Bantucracy

Maurice Jones - MUTEK.JP


This talk will explore Indigenous Relational Humanism (Ubu-Ntu) from Southern Africa, Afro-Futurism, and how we can re-imagine the ways we create and relate to AI, as well as how it relates to us individually and as diverse communities.

L’activité se tient en anglais - toutefois vous pouvez poser des questions en français.


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PANEL:
AI and the Human Voice
13:45_15:00
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Jovanka von Wilsdorf - BMG Rights Management

Erin Gee - Perte de Signal

Jose Sotelo - Descript


Thanks to artificial intelligence, human speech is now as malleable and replicable as pixels. In the world of art, one of the deepest fears surrounding the rise of AI is the elimination of artists from the equation. How do we find balance between the advancement of this technology and its controversial potential applications?

Jose Sotelo is the co-founder of Lyrebird (Descript), a company that has developed an algorithm to clone the human voice in seconds. For this panel, he guides a conversation with two artists who use the voice as a marker of human identity. All three panellists work with AI to replicate, enhance, or mimic the human voice and will explore how a machine can have its own voice as a signifier of personhood. What is the role of the artificial voice, and can AI technology find its own?

Appears as part of AMPLIFY D.A.I. an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.

 

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KEYNOTE:
Our Future Work and Life with AI
15:15_16:15
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Aleksandra Przegalinska - Kozminski University

Dominic Martin - Université du Québec à Montréal


General discourse around artificial intelligence is often underpinned by strong emotions: fear, doubt, hope, enthusiasm. What are these feelings based on, and why are they so intense? Are they a true reflection of current trends and developments in the field of AI? This talk will address our potential future relations with artificial intelligence—whether professional, social, or private. Aleksandra’s research work is focused mainly on human-machine interaction. It embraces qualitative research as well as natural language processing and affective computing. In the experiments, her team has investigated emotional reactions to humanoid artificial intelligence as well as ways in which we can cooperate with AI systems. Open-ended questions to be explored include: can and should we expect more human-centric and human-like AI? Can we expect human/AI symbiosis? Does the introduction of AI to our workplaces mean that we will be replaced by machines? If not, what are the alternatives?.

Presented in collaboration with the Digital Cultures Festival, with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome


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BROWSING WITH:
CDM's Peter Kirn on AI for Art
16:30_17:00
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Peter Kirn - Create Digital Media


In this guided tour for Forum attendees, Peter Kirn shares his pick of websites and platforms for critical perspectives on the use of AI in art. His selection features approaches to built-in biases in AI, decolonial perspectives, and GAN-related practices from around the world. This is the place to find your new favourite content platforms, discover key social media accounts to follow, and refresh your newsletter subscriptions!

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.
It will remain available in the archives of the Forum’s online application until September 20.


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 • Music Making

MASTERCLASS:
Dance the Algorithm: AI in Music Composition and Production
12:30_13:30
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Jovanka von Wilsdorf - BMG Rights Management


In this presentation, Jovanka v. Wilsdorf will introduce some state-of-the-art AI-driven tools used in music composition and production today. In addition to audio examples and practical insights, we'll get a brief look into the work of some outstanding music artists from different genres who use AI as muse or dialog partners in their work. A great opportunity to explore how AI might shape the future of the music industry—and our creativity.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.


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Q&A :
Evolution of the Music Industry and the Artist Status in 2020 with Marie Davidson
13:45_14:30
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Marie Davidson

Sarah Mackenzie


Montréal's Marie Davidson has proven herself to be an artist worth paying attention to. Over the past ten years she has built up a diverse career as both a musician and producer, first cutting her teeth in Montréal's renowned DIY scene in the early 2010s. In that period she collaborated with artists such as David Kristian and Xarah Dion and also experimented with her own sound for her eponymous solo project. Between 2015 and 2018 she released two albums as part of electronic minimal wave duo Essaie Pas, with her husband Pierre Guerineau, for DFA Records. In 2018, Marie joined the Ninja Tune roster as a solo electronic musician and released the album “Working Class Woman” to great critical acclaim. No stranger to the music industry, Marie has engaged with multiple labels, toured extensively, and recently confronted head-on the burnout the industry precipitates. Despite these challenges (which led to her departure from the club scene in 2019), Marie’s spirit and artistic drive remain relentless. As she gears up to release the first album under her new Marie Davidson & L'Œil Nu project, Marie sits down for a conversation to reflect on her evolving relationship with the music industry, and what it means to be an artist in 2020. The interview will be conducted by Montréal-based writer and video producer Sarah Mackenzie.

L’activité se tient en anglais - toutefois vous pouvez poser des questions en français.

Appears as part of AMPLIFY D.A.I. an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.


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PANEL:
The Music Industry Business Model: Think 2022 in 2020
14:45_16:00
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Sarah Shoucri - SODEC

Virginie Berger - Songtradr

Randy Chertkow - Making Money With Music


2020 has taught many industries the importance of avoiding over-dependence on any one revenue stream. How can the music sector better diversify its income to be less reliant on live activities? What existing monetization practices could we adopt to emerge as a stronger, more eco-friendly, and more accessible industry?

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome.


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CLOSING KEYNOTE:
Cherie Hu
16h15_17h00
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Cherie Hu - Water & Music


Cherie Hu is an award-winning writer and researcher focused on innovation in the global music business. She runs the music-tech newsletter and membership community Water & Music, and has also written hundreds of articles for the likes of Billboard, Forbes, NPR Music, Music Business Worldwide, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. She has spoken as an expert commentator on CNBC, CGTN America, and SiriusXM; as a guest lecturer at institutions like New York University, Northeastern University, and the University of Oregon; and as a moderator, panellist, or keynoter at over 30 conferences around the world. She is currently working on a book for Bloomsbury about the parallels between independent music careers and tech entrepreneurship.

This activity takes place in English - although questions in French are also welcome


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ABOUT MUTEK
Dedicated to developing and championing innovation and creativity in sound, music, and audio-visual art, MUTEK is back for its 21st edition, taking place on September 8th until September 13th. The Festival will be held in two different venues and online, through a customized virtual platform offering the entirety of its program free of charge. Make sure to visit virtual.mutek.org to discover the sixty local and international artists of this inventive hybrid edition. In addition to the Festival, MUTEK reintegrates the MUTEK Forum to its program. From September 8th to September 11th, your appetite for discovery and exploration will be satisfied through conferences, meetings and panels discussing current practices and technological thinking.

COVID-19 MEASURES
The Espace SAT has been adapted to meet the new health and distancing standards. Maximum of 80 attendees. Wearing a mask is mandatory.