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MUTEK Forum 9

MUTEKFORUM23 XR Vivien Gaumand 74

Under the theme Future Currents, the 2023 Forum presented a carefully crafted program that sparked unprecedented reflections on our technological future and the role played by digital creativity. From digital art and conservation to artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and electronic music, this edition projected digital creation towards a new horizon while navigating the tensions inherent in it - from the rapid development of technology to issues of accessibility, diversity, and eco-responsibility.

The Forum's role in the development and consolidation of the digital arts community was notably evident through the incubation and activation of numerous collaborations that greatly enriched the programming of this 9th edition. The integration of cultural, institutional, and industrial partners is an essential dimension of the event, allowing the channeling of diverse expertise and the gathering of different communities to offer inspiring content and provoke enriching encounters.

In terms of participation, MUTEK Forum 2023 brought together a total of 803 different participants (a 30% increase compared to 2022), with 631 present in Montreal and 172 joining the event online - representing a total of 478 different organizations and 37 countries. The virtual platform hosted 502 confirmed appointments, 2,525 new contacts established, and over 6,000 messages exchanged.

Visit the website of the previous edition


The Forum Room

The daily schedule of the content presented in the Forum Room, our main venue for conferences, essentially followed the same structure, making it easy to navigate the activity schedule:

  • 10:30 - Opening conference (30 minutes)
  • 11:00 - Conference or discussion (1 hour)
  • 13:00 - Panel, roundtable, or series of presentations (1 hour)
  • 14:30 - Panel, roundtable, or series of presentations (1 hour)
  • 16:00 - Q&A with one or more artists (1 hour)

The activities in the Forum Room followed the theme specific to each day of the Forum. The Q&A sessions that concluded each day allowed for an artistic and creative perspective throughout the event.

Here are the details of the conferences, grouped by day:


KEYNOTE | Opening Talk: Festivals as radical rituals
with: Frankie Hutchinson UK/USDiscwoman + Dweller Festival

PANEL | Future Festivals: Forging new horizons
with: Maurice Jones DE/QCMUTEK / Naomi Johnson CAimagineNATIVE / Jasmin Grimm DZ/DENew Now / David Lavoie CA/QCFestival TransAmériques

KEYNOTE | Are machines empathetic? Gaze, surveillance and bias in computation
with: Behnaz Farahi IR/US

PANEL | Open source software as an ethical and responsible alternative: Challenges and opportunities
with: Valerian Denis FR/CAMozilla / Sarah Libersan CA/QC / Pía Baltazar FR/QCSAT / Navid Navab IR/QC

Q&A | Open Reel Ensemble: Reel-to-reel artist talk & demonstration
with: Maurice Jones DE/CAMUTEK / Open Reel Ensemble JP

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KEYNOTE | Shifting narratives of AI: Confronting tech's Power
with: Sarah Myers West USAI Now Institute

PANEL | Resisting unstable diffusions: Art and the governance of AI
with: Melissa Vincent CA / Michael Running Wolf US/CAMILA / Raziye Buse Çetin FR/TRDreaming Beyond AI / Blair Attard-Frost CAToronto University

PRESENTATIONS | Transdisciplinary explorations of AI: Project presentations
with: Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit CA/QCPHI / Tiara Roxanne DEData & Society / Valentine Goddard CA/QCAI Impact Alliance / Tegan Maharaj CAToronto University

Q&A | Artist talk: Animistic Beliefs
with: Sanjeet Takhar CAThe Music Gallery / Animistic Beliefs NL

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Thursday, August 24 - XR SALON

KEYNOTE: Digital art as a business: XR in focus
with: Anna Desponds DETHE CATALYSTS

with: Winslow Porter USNew Reality Company / Chris Salter QC/CHHaute École d'art de Zurich / Anne McKinnon CA/FRRistband / Olivia McGilchrist CA/QC

PANEL | Building bridges in the immersive : Advancing inclusivity and accessibility in XR
with: Nancy Lee TW/CACURRENT / Sarah Wolozin USMIT Open Documentary Lab / Reginé Gilbert USNew York University / James Berg CA

ROUND TABLE | Beyond the headset: Tactics and circuits for XR distribution
with: Philippe Bédard CA/QCXn Québec / Tammy Peddle CA/QCOffice national du film du Canada / Alexandre Teodoresco CA/QCLes 7 Doigts / Antoine Cayrol FRAtlas V / Myriam Achard CA/QCPHI

PANEL | From the studio to the spotlight: The transformative role of digital art residences
with: Renelle Desjardins CA/QCPHI / Mónica Rikić ES / Ahreum Lee KR/QC / Leon Louder CA/QC

MUTEKFORUM23 Accessible XR design Vivien Gaumand 19

Friday, August 25 - FUTURE OF MUSIC

KEYNOTE | Finding our climate muse: A greener industry for electronic music
with: Eli Goldstein USDJs for Climate Action / Brighid Fry CAMusic Declares Emergency Canada + EarthPercent

ROUND TABLE | BOT OR NOT: Navigating AI-driven music creation
with: Yung Spielburg USWater & Music / Erin Gee CA/QC / Yotam Mann USNever Before Heard Sounds / Eliane Ellbogen CA/QCFasken

PRESENTATIONS | Building a better beat: Worldbuilding music’s future
with: Melissa Vincent CA / Sorrel Salb SE / Stefana Fratila RO/CACrip Rave / San Farafina CA/QCClub Sagaccité

Q&A | RA Exchange : Eris Drew
with: Andrew Ryce US/CAResident Advisor / Eris Drew US

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The Lab

The activities held in the Lab followed a flexible schedule adapted to their varied formats and durations (ranging from 90 minutes to 4 hours). This programming ran parallel to that of the Forum Room, inviting a smaller group of participants to a setting more conducive to networking and personalized training. The Lab activities also provided an opportunity to explore in greater depth and in a more practical manner the topics addressed during various conferences and presentations.

Here are the details of these activities, grouped by day:

Tuesday, August 22

WORKSHOP | Crafting indie video games: An introductory workshop with Bitsy
with: Kahentawaks Tiewishaw & Frederyk Kowalczyk CA/QCRevital Software

PANEL | Curating cross-border collaborations: INSCAPE: NEW HOMEOSTASIS
with: Alain Mongeau CA/QCMUTEK / Jaehoon Bang KRInscape / Milo Reinhardt CA/QC / Kohui KR / Jinhee Jung KR / Sahar Homami IR/DE+QC

WORKSHOP | Deploying ephemeral immersive spaces
with: Eduardo Meneses BR/QC & Michal Seta CA/QCSAT

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Wednesday, August 23

WORKSHOP | Connect the dots: digital innovation, new audiences and unexpected collaborations
with: Joana Neto Costa & Camille Bertin CA/QCLa Piscine / Ariane Bélanger CA/QC

WORKSHOP | From text to sound: Building multi-modal AI agents
with: Jerrold McGrath CA & Kasra Goodarznezhad IR/CA & Luisa Ji CAUKAI Projects

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Thursday, August 24

WORKSHOP | Building your brand DNA in the music industry
with: Grace Puluczek UK/ES3Notes + Berklee Valencia

ROUND TABLE | (Jointly) Expanding orbits of future festivals
with: Greg J. Smith CAHOLO / Kaitlyn Davis CA/PTRefraction Festival / Damián Romero MXMUTEK.MX / Cam Scott CAsend+receive / Marie-Pier Gauthier CA/QC Office national du film du Canada / Kris Voveris CANew Forms

MASTERCLASS | Between the Keyframes: Humanity in Virtual Production
with: Sam Rolfes & Kevin Peter He USZerospace


Friday, August 25

MASTERCLASS | Art, AI and the law – IP for digital artists
with: Eliane Ellbogen CA/QCFasken

Q&A | RA Exchange with Priori
with: Andrew Ryce US/CAResident Advisor / Priori CA/QC

BEATMAKING WORKSHOP | Artbeat Montreal and Ableton present: Loop Sessions Speedrun
with: Leticia Trandafir CA/QCAbleton / Marc Dib & Mario Reyes CA/QCLoop Sessions

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Daily networking activities were also held at the Lounge, including a lunch each day of the Forum from Tuesday to Friday, as well as three cocktail events from Wednesday to Friday (with the opening cocktail of MUTEK 2023 taking place on Tuesday at the Esplanade Tranquille). Each of the dinners hosted between 120 and 180 people, while the networking cocktails brought together between 150 and 200 professionals. These cocktail events were presented in collaboration with Eastern Bloc and the Goethe-Institut (Wednesday), the Canada Media Fund and Xn Québec (Thursday), and with the company Notch (Friday).


For the fourth consecutive year, the programming team at MUTEK has selected 17 innovative Quebecois and Canadian creators who will benefit from personalized training enhanced by a range of masterclasses with leaders in the music and media arts industry. The artists from the official market selection will come out equipped with all the tools and knowledge necessary for the development of their careers, thanks to workshops, educational materials, and meetings with international buyers throughout the Festival and Forum.

Official Market Selection:

Ahreum Lee CA/SK | Amselysen CA | Atamone CA/FR | Carmen Jaci & Mathew Schoen CA/BR | Emma Forgues CA | Emissive CA | Honeydrip CA | Joel Lavoie and Guillaume Vallée CA | Leon Louder CA/US | Marie-Eve Levasseur CA | OBUXUM CA | Pascale Project CA | SAMITO CA/MZ | Sarah Pagé CA | Stefana Fratila & Diana VanderMeulen CA | SUFYVNCA SD/CA | x/o CA