Digital Culture

The future isn't what it used to be - final line-up for Distractions announced

JOIN Greater Manchester at Distractions, a creative, digital and entertainment three day 'festival-within-a-festival’ at MIF taking place from Thursday, July 18 to Saturday, July 20.

Distractions is a long weekend of debates, talks, panels, content and new music showcases, presented by Manchester International Festival, Sound City and FutureEverything, developed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, with the support of Peter Saville, Rose Marley and Modern Designers.

Tickets for all three days cost just £45, single day tickets cost £16, available here

Peter Saville, Jessica Brilhart, Aaron Bastani, Lottery Winners, Nichola McAvoy, Catherine Allen, Chunky (Levels), Jiayu Liu, Dan Hett, Vivien Sansour and Fu Yihan will join more than 80 international thought leaders, artists, musicians, policy makers, politicians and tech pioneers in Manchester next weekend to discuss the future of entertainment as part of Distractions.

Final line up: Alex Junawitz - Alex Nelson – ALLY - Andrew Hirst - Andy Wood - Anna Ridler - BBC Connected Studio - BBC Radio Manchester - Brendan Dawes – Chunky - Claire L Evans - Clint Boon - Cllr Elise Wilson - Creative Diversity Network - Cubic Notion - Dame Wendy Hall - Dan Hett - Dan Parrott - Debs Williams - Deviate Digital - Digital Imagination - Dr Alex Lockwood - Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy – Evabee - Fingoplay – Francis Lung - Fresh – Fu Yihan Future Everything - Goldsmiths College - Grimm Twins - Howard Murphy - Jakob Kudsk Steensen - Jeff Thomson - Jiayu Liu - John McGrath -- Karen Boardman- Karen Gabay - Kiera Lawlor - La Duma - Leather Party - Lizzie O'Shea – Lottery Winners - LowFour - Lynch's - Manchester City Football Club - Manchester International Festival - Manchester Metropolitan University - Marketing Manchester – Marshmallow Laser Feast - Martin Bryant - Matthew Cox - Mia Moon - Michael Dugher - Mike Blake-Crawford - Mike Garry – Modern Designers - Modern English - Novara Media – OPPO – Ostereo - Paloma Dawkins - Paul Bason - Penny Macbeth - Peter Saville - Prima - Professor Sophie Scott - Rafael Lozano-Hemmer - Refik Anadol - Reform Radio – Resonate - Rose Marley - Sacha Lord - Sammy Andrews - Sarah Norford Jones - School of Digital Arts - See Thru Hands - Sheona Southern - Slow Knife - Social Chain - Sound City Manchester - Sunderland University - Tech For Good Live – TEM - Terry Tyldesley - UCL – UnConvention - University of Edinburgh - Verena Rieser - Vivien Sansour - Vrai Pictures - Wayne Hemingway – Yemi Balotiwa - YEO

THURSDAY 18 JULY, 9AM- 5PM – FUTURE EVERYTHING – ALTERNATE FUTURES

King’s House Conference Centre, King's Church, Sidney Street, Manchester. M1 7HB

The event on Thursday, July 18 has a particular focus on digital, and we would like you to come and explore an alternate future for Greater Manchester that is more connected, more collaborative and makes space to amplify different voices.

Showcasing some of the amazing innovation happening in Greater Manchester right here and now, the event offers the chance to reflect on, explore and develop ideas to help refine the Greater Manchester Digital Strategy as we meet our ambition to become a global digital leader.

Speakers on the day include Cllr Elise Wilson, GM Digital Portfolio Lead.

More about the day

Instead of allowing technology to distract us, how can we harness digital tools to better shape the future together? Alternate Futures invites you to explore and develop ideas for an alternate future. A future that is more connected, more collaborative and one that makes space to amplify different voices. Alternate Futures showcases some of the amazing innovation and collaboration happening right here in Greater Manchester — a global testbed in digital leadership.

DIGITAL NARRATIVES

Greater Manchester prides itself for thinking differently, for testing ideas and creating innovation. We revolutionise ideas for the future and consider technology as an enabler, not a driver. With so many start-ups, pilot projects and inventions, it can be hard to keep up with the innovation and best practice happening in Greater Manchester. From grassroots projects to larger corporations, we have selected a few stories to share. Speakers include Chris Marris - Director of Media, Manchester City Football

Club, Katie Jones - Fresh, Brendan Dawes - Artist, Alex Nelson - R&D Future Experiences, BBC and Nichola McAvoy - Founder of ALLY.

TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION + ART

Presented by Fu Yihan, Creative Designer OPPO London Design Centre and Jiayu Liu, Tracing the Sky artist. How is art harnessing new technologies? Tracing the Sky is an immersive, mixed reality installation under a Victorian shopping arcade, filling the architecture with dreamlike skyscapes that visitors can interact with using OPPO mobile phones and augmented reality.

INTER-CONNECTIVITY

How can we all connect and benefit, share ideas and skills for the greater good? Where do they connect / collaborate / network. What does the GM digital landscape look like now? In this workshop you are invited to connect with those around you and create your own ecosystem.

CO-AUTHORING OUR FUTURE

Greater Manchester is striving to be a top five digital city in Europe. How do we achieve this and what is our unique role to achieve this? Is it achievable? Through a series of facilitated workshops, you are invited to co-author Greater Manchester’s digital future. The workshop hosts include Tech for Good Live, Reform Radio, The Digital Imagination and BBC Connected Studio.

ALTERNATE FUTURES LAB

A parallel creative Lab has been taking place at the emerging School of Digital Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University. Artists, coders, technologists and all-round good people have been prototyping ideas for the future. You will be invited to vote for your favourite idea! 

SHAPING OUR DIGITAL FUTURE

Technology is defining how we term the next demographic cohort. Researchers have presented us with Generation Z who are pushing digital boundaries, are ethically more aware but with short attention spans and are more distracted. This panel session will explore the impact and how technology can improve the future of work and society. Speakers include Kiera Lawlor, Director of Happiness and People – Social Chain and Elen Parry, student and Alternate Lab. Chaired by Paul Bason, Director Digital Innovation - School of Digital Arts, Manchester Met. University.

STATEMENT OF INTENT

Presented by Wayne Hemingway MBE.

TRACING THE SKY - PRIVATE VIEW

Alternate Futures delegates are invited to attend a new artwork, Tracing the Sky by artist Jiayu Liu. Presented by FutureEverything. Sponsored by OPPO. Due to limited spaces, delegates are invited to sign up at the event registration desk on a first come, first serve basis.

More here: https://futureeverything.org/event/alternate-futures/

The second and third days of Distractions are being organised by SoundCity and MIF respectively and are exploring 'the future of entertainment and music', which includes Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham as a speaker, and 'how science and technology are enabling us to reconfigure our minds, bodies and relationships with each other and the world around us' in turn.


FRIDAY 19 JULY – SOUND CITY MANCHESTER

Music Review and Conference – Museum of Science & Industry 10am-3pm
Music Showcase - Festival Square Pavilion 12pm-10pm

Tech is driving future entertainment. AR, VR, MR, 3D immersive technology, facial recognition in stadiums, ticketing and social media – they all make global entertainment bigger and more innovative than ever. The new talent of the future is as likely to be a digital designer as much they are a DJ or performer, a fact that raises questions and invites opportunity.

GREATER MANCHESTER MUSIC REVIEW LAUNCH

Greater Manchester has produced some of the finest music talents the world has ever known - an astonishing back catalogue, seen over many decades, with creative legends from almost every
genre. So the challenge now is this: how do we build on that heritage to ensure Greater Manchester has even greater music success in the future? UK Music CEO Michael Dugher and Andy Burnham will be joined by a panel of experts, including Karen Boardman (Crisis Management), Mia Moon, Debs Williams (Creative Diversity Network), Sheona Southern (Marketing Manchester) and Dan Parrott (LowFour) to discuss the challenges and opportunities identified in the report and how we might use tech to ensure Greater Manchester’s musical past doesn’t impede Greater Manchester’s musical future.

THE FUTURE ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE?

From paying at the touch of a finger, to placing you right in the centre of a computer game, new technology is being utilised to make the consumer experience quicker, more personal and more immersive in countless ways. After coming so far in under 20 years, what does the future hold? Could AI take over the nation’s clubs? Could VR be the new way to experience live music? This panel will talk through some of the latest tech innovations and discuss the myriad of music technology options that could dissolve the walls of reality and pave the way for a new era of music. The Panel, chaired by Martin Bryant, includes Mike Blake-Crawford (Social Chain), Sammy Andrews (Deviate Digital), Andy Wood (Cubic Notion), Matthew Cox (Fingoplay) and Sarah Norford-Jones (YEO).

TECH. MUSIC. CREATIVITY.

Is possible for algorithms to be creative? Or, as everything becomes increasingly tailored and refined, do they prevent us from stepping outside the boundaries of normality? Jeff Thompson (UnConvention), Andrew Hirst (Modern English), Mike Garry, Howard Murphy (Ostereo) and Karen Gabay (BBC Radio Manchester) will evaluate the pros and cons of technology integrated with music and question whether these technological developments are enhancing our experiences or disconnecting us from our primal attraction to music.

WHO AND WHAT ARE THE NEW CREATORS AND HOW DO WE CREATE THEM?

With over 30 million people attending live music in the UK each year, the demand for these events is clear. Yet, this demand also means a demand for progression. From the Gorillaz project, to Marshmello’s record breaking Fortnite performance, people are always innovating and completely reinventing how we consume music. But, in this ever changing landscape, who and what are our new creators and how do we create them? Rose Marley (Rose Marley Management), Alex Junawitz (La Duma), Terry Tyldesley (Resonate), Clint Boon (XFM) and Penny Macbeth (SODA) take an in-depth look into the skills required in the modern day and ponders how we can educate the next generation of creators navigate this tech-laden world and utilise these exciting new technological tools to enhance the music experience.

KEYNOTE: Catherine Allen - CEO of Limina Immersive the UK's first VR theatre company


SOUND CITY MANCHESTER MUSIC SHOWCASE

Alongside the conference Sound City will run a free live music programme at Manchester International Festival Square, curated by an independent A&R panel, chaired by Oli Wilson. The showcase, compered by Jenna G, will shine a light on the very best musical talent in Greater Manchester including Yemi Balotiwa, Prima, Evabee, Mike Garry, Lottery Winners, Leather Party, Lynch's, Grimm Twins, Slow Knife, See Thru Hands and Francis Lung. The Sound City Manchester Stage at Festival Square will also play host to an in conversation, where legendary designer Peter Saville, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Chunky (Levels) will discuss the legacy of Factory Records, its lasting impact on Greater Manchester, and how current artists can take inspiration from Manchester’s musical heritage, to be the leading artists of the future.

More here: https://www.soundcity.uk.com/manchester


SATURDAY JULY 20 – MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL – INTERDEPENDENCE – LIFE HACKED

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN
Morning session: 10am–1pm / afternoon session: 2-5pm 

In Manchester International Festival’s final Interdependence summit, they examine how leaps forward in science and technology are enabling us to reconfigure our minds, bodies and relationships with each other. We’ll join the artists, scientists and thinkers who are reckoning with the big questions of our automated age: what are the ethical considerations around AI? Should Facebook be paying you? How can we make the web more democratic? Can machines help us rebuild the planet faster than we are using them to destroy it? 

MACHINE LEARNING AND AUTOMATION FOR THE PEOPLE

Are new ‘intelligent’ technologies a chance to create a more equal society, or will human stupidity mean they entrench existing inequalities?

With Aaron Bastani, founder of Novara Media, Dr. Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Associate Professor School of Informatics University of Edinburgh, data ethicist Abeba Birhane and Professor Dan McQuillan, Lecturer in Creative & Social Computing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Chaired by Lizzie O’Shea, human rights lawyer and author of Future Histories (Verso, 2019)

DEMO: ANNA RIDLER

Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher interested in working with collections of information or data, particularly self-generated data sets, she is currently working with and researching the creative potential of machine learning, and how it relates to drawing and painting.


EXPANDING THE FRONTIERS OF PERCEPTION

The newest storytelling tool for creators offers the tantalising possibility of merging the physical and the virtual but can mixed reality ever match the power of great art or literature to move us? This panel takes a philosophical look at how the challenges of using the art form take us to the heart of what it is to be human and the nature of reality. With Jessica Brillhart (Vrai Pictures), Todd Eckert (Tin Drum), Eleanor ‘Nell’ Whitley (Marshmallow Laser Feast). Chaired by Sarah Ellis (Royal Shakespeare Company).

DEMO: MIF19 GAME COMISSION SOGNS OF THE LOST WALKTHROUGH, WITH PALOMA DAWKINS AND DAN HETT

Songs of the Lost is a magic-realist game odyssey through a surreal and absurd digital landscape. You’ll cross boundaries and traverse borders, roam hidden highways and meet enigmatic strangers, explore secret forests and enter the void on your journey to Apocabliss, the last safe haven…

LOST IN A GOOD GAME

Independent game designer Paloma Dawkins, digital artist and game designer Dan Hett and artist Hardeep Pandhal explore ‘good’ gaming. Paloma Dawkins has created a new game for MIF19, Songs of the Lost. Dan Hett is a BAFTA winning games designer, writer and digital artist who has created a number of experiences, including The Loss Levels, which explore his personal experience of the 2017 Manchester terrorist attack. Artist Hardeep Pandhal has created a festival commission inspired by Alfie Bown’s The Playstation Dreamworld, which argues that the left should occupy gaming and use it to subvert the capitalist norms of today’s society through joy.

DEMO: TEM

Go behind the scenes of Skepta’s DYSTOPIA987 with TEM, a design studio that takes moving image to new spaces. Interweaving new developments in visual technology with spatial design, they create interactions and experiences that exist at the convergence of virtual and physical space to craft evocative experiences and tell meaningful stories. Their directors have worked with artists including Beyoncé, Jay Z, Lady Gaga, and James Blake. They have collaborated with Skepta for MIF19.

AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY OF THE INTERNET

Internet pioneer Dame Wendy Hall and author and lawyer Lizzie O’Shea in conversation with Claire L. Evans, author of Broad Band – The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. They discuss the alternative internet that could have been and why the future will be decentralised.

STRANGE CHAOS IN THE ATMOSPHERE

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer discusses his MIF19 commission Atmospheric Memory with Verena Rieser, Professor in Conversational Artificial Intelligence and Professor Sophie Scott, Deputy Director and Head of the Speech Communications Group at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

CAN BUILDINGS THINK AND DREAM? EXPANDING THE POSSIBILITIES OF ARCHIECTURE THROUGH DIGITIZING MEMORY

As MIF prepares to open The Factory in 2021, media artist Refik Anadol talks to John McGrath about virtual architecture and his research into how buildings can think and dream, changing our relationship to space, time and the physical world. Refik Anadol is a media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence. Anadol’s site-specific parametric data sculptures, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms, while offering a dramatic rethinking of the physical world, our relationship to time and space, and the creative potential of machines.

RESTORATIVE DESIGN AND REBUILDING THE WORLD

How can technology and design help us rebuild our relationship to nature? And what is the role artists and more broadly, the imagination, can play helping conceive of existential realities such as post-societal collapse adaptation. With critical engineer and artist Julian Oliver, creator of the of Extinction Gong, environmental VR artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Vivien Sansour, an artist, conservationist, writer and founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library. Chair Dr Alex Lockwood, Senior Lecturer at Sunderland University and author of The Chernobyl Privileges (Roundfire Books).

DEMO: MARSHMALLOW LASER FEAST

Marshmallow Laser Feast is a creative studio that explores technology to make work which reinterprets the idea of human perception. Their work is responsive and spans kinetic sculpture, film, live performance and virtual reality.

More here: https://mif.co.uk/life-hacked-talks-distractions/

Get your tickets here: https://distractions.seetickets.com/tour/distractions

 


Article Published: 15/07/2019 11:22 AM