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April 24, 2024
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Forum 2024 - Utopia or Oblivion: Crafting Human-Centered Technological Futures

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The MUTEK Forum, an international marketplace for visionary ideas in digital creativity, will celebrate its 10th anniversary from August 20th to 23rd, 2024. The iconic Monument-National, Canada’s oldest operational theater built in 1893, will transform into a vibrant hub of creative technology. The four-day event will feature 60 activities with 90 speakers from the fields of music, technology, ecology, media art, gaming, architecture, and design, sharing their insights into inspiring new rituals and thresholds for technological and cultural production. The program will include performative keynotes, interactive panels, hands-on workshops and labs, captivating masterclasses, and thought-provoking film screenings. This year’s edition will also offer abundant networking opportunities, including the return of the MUTEK Market and organized B2B meetings to foster creative connections and collaborations within the ecosystem.

Located firmly at the cutting edge, this year’s theme, "Utopia or Oblivion: Crafting Human-Centered Technological Futures” calls for a critical reflection of what it means to be human in a hyper-connected world. Named after the celebrated architect, engineer, and futurist Buckminster Fuller's 1969 book "Utopia or Oblivion," the 10th edition of the MUTEK Forum brings together artists, digital experts, researchers, innovators, and technology professionals to collectively explore and materialize the shifting role of technology in current sociocultural transformations. Rather than reiterating the dominant utopian/dystopian narratives driven by media hype and the big tech marketing machine, the Forum aims to push beyond binary oppositions by inspiring new forms of collective futures thinking and making. Prompted by its utopian theme, the Forum approaches continued explorations of artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), sustainability, music, and gaming, from a perspective that resists narrative closures and technological stabilization but rather troubles these towards new questions, problems, and future trajectories.


Tuesday August 20: Into the Wild: Towards AI Ecologies

The first day of the Forum, themed Into the Wild: Towards AI Ecologies, features interactive sessions on responsible AI and co-creativity with representatives from Google DeepMind, Encode Justice, Mila, Sporobole and the University of Toronto, as well as a performative keynote from Berlin-based AI musician and researcher Portrait XO on sonifying a century of climate data anomalies.


Wednesday August 21: Converging Realities: Hybrid Utopias in Immersive Technology

Day 2 of the Forum will host our renowned XR Salon presented by the Canada Media Fund (CMF), MUTEK’s annual gathering for immersive content production professionals. This day will also feature the 2024 edition of the iX Symposium on immersive experiences, a collaborative initiative by the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), NAD-UQAC, and MUTEK. Sessions will examine whether the technological hybridization of physical and virtual worlds, and the immersive experiences they offer, can facilitate the realization of habitable utopias aligned with Buckminster Fuller's vision from 60 years ago. Activities will include immersive sessions in the Satosphere, highlighting Indigenous immersive futurisms with Loretta Todd, Creative Director of the Indigenous Matriarchs 4 (IM4) Media Lab, and multidisciplinary filmmaker Kayla Briët. Another session will address territorial recognition in the era of spatial computing, featuring Bertrand Nepveu, co-founder of Triptyq Capital, entrepreneur, metaverse expert, and the brains behind the technology in Apple's mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. The research results of a collaboration between SAT and Moment Factory on the theme of connected remote performances will be unveiled. The project aims to create new formats for multi-site immersive experiences and performances. The day will conclude with our XR Salon and iX Symposium cocktail, featuring the Visionary Pioneer prize ceremony.

Thursday August 22: The Human Connection: New Forms of Storytelling in Digital Art and Gaming

Day 3 of the Forum, focused on The Human Connection: Storytelling in Digital and Gaming Technologies, will spotlight topics from accessibility in gaming to sonic worldbuilding, featuring a keynote from Dr. Pinar Yoldas, an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and professor of neuroscience and art at the University of California San Diego. The day will close with a series of presentations on AI-generated art, including a film screening of WOULD LIKE TO BE MIDNIGHT / I WOULD LIKE TO BE SKY, a project by Amelia Winger-Bearskin, technologist and Banks Family Chair of AI and the Arts at the University of Florida, Digital Worlds Institute, followed by a special edition of the quarterly digital creativity networking event Composite, in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA).

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Friday August 23: Resonant Futures: Shaping a More Equitable Future in Music and Technology

Kicking off the final day of the Forum, the Abundant Intelligences research-creation program will explore culturally-grounded AI systems that support Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous ways of knowing (IK). This session will feature Jason Edward Lewis, digital media theorist and Concordia University’s Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary; Jackson Two Bears, cultural theorist and multimedia artist who explores the creative use of digital technologies with Indigenous creative practices; and Dr. Karim Jerbi, head of UNIQUE, a Québec-wide Neuro-AI research center and an Associate Researcher at Mila. They will engage in a conversation on neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and digital creation. The Forum will also host the first edition of the Wilding AI Lab, co-presented with Concordia University’s Milieux Institute and Applied AI Institute, a day-long series of provocations, musical performances, and talks by artist-researchers, such as Beth Coleman, Romi Morrison, and Portrait XO, surrounding the latest advancements in generative, creative AI. FEMINAE NOX, a femme-driven not-for-profit co-founded by music agents Mira Silvers and Seny Kassaye of FORT Agency, is collaborating with MUTEK Forum to host two events. These activities, featuring Fabienne Leys, an artist manager and partner at ATC Management who also serves as PRS’ North American Member Relations lead, will focus on history, equity, access, education, and self-promotion in the music industry. The Forum will also host hands-on music activities throughout the week, including a workshop with Canadian composer and DJ Mathew Jonson, as part of his Freedom Engine Academy series titled “Live Performance - From the Studio to the Stage”.

The complete Forum programme will be released soon. Forum Passports are available at, at the reduced price of 190$ CAD (taxes and fees included).



For the 5th year running, the MUTEK Market returns with an official selection of 20 Canadian artists and 130 international and Canadian programmers of electronic music festivals, digital and media arts festivals, galleries, and curators. The Market is a career acceleration and business development program for industry professionals. Artists are supported for several months through training and the creation of customized EPKs. Subsequently, the Market connects buyers and artists for one-to-one business meetings, which take place virtually a week before the festival, creating a space for negotiation and a solid basis for sales.

The MUTEK Market team implements a strategy of approaching international and Canadian programmers of electronic music festivals, digital and media arts festivals, galleries, and curators. MUTEK offers exclusive access to the Festival and Forum, exclusive networking and meeting opportunities, and personalized B2B.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the MUTEK Festival, MUTEK is stepping up its support for emerging Canadian artists with its new MUTEK Incubator initiative, which will tie in with the Market program. In the same vein, the Incubator is proactively seeking out emerging artists in the digital and sound arts. The role of the MUTEK Incubator, though similar to that of the Market, will be personalized and specialized in the accompaniment of these artists, with the aim of fostering the professionalization of the next generation of artists. The MUTEK Incubator will host 10 emerging Canadian artists and will run for 4 months, from June to September 2024. Each artist will benefit from targeted training, a relationship with a mentor, the production of an electronic press kit and access to additional professional activities and expertise.

Are you an industry professional and interested in joining the MUTEK Market? Contact-us for more information.


MUTEK would like to thank its partners, who play a key role in the maintenance and development of its activities and have provided particular support towards the production of the Forum. The Government of Québec, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the ministère du Tourisme du Québec, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine du gouvernement du Québec, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the City of Montréal, FACTOR and Canada’s private radio broadcasters, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Musicaction, Tourisme Montréal, Canada Media Fund (CMF), Xn Québec, Milieux Institute, Applied AI Institute, Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), NAD-UQAC, FEMINAE NOX, Composite, Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Artch, CURRENT, Abundant Intelligences, MusicMotion, Encode Justice Canada, Sporobole, EarthPercent, Dieu du Ciel!, and Station Clip.

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