Open menu Close menu
May 31, 2023
News List

Over 70 speakers on digital creativity in Montréal

De Mars MUTEK 2023 Forum MS V8 FINAL 150 1600x851 bleed web

MUTEK Forum, the international gathering of ideas for culture, art, and technology is delighted to announce the programming of its ninth edition, taking place from August 22nd to August 25th at The 7 Fingers in Tio'tia:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal, Canada.

This year, MUTEK Forum follows the theme Future Currents, featuring a carefully curated program of thought-provoking keynotes, performative presentations, interactive panels and roundtables as well as workshops and masterclasses that examine our technological futures and the role of digital creativity within them. Each day of the Forum showcases and investigates innovation belonging to a specific track of digital creativity, ranging from digital creation and curation to artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and electronic music. These explorations will flow towards a new horizon of digital creation while simultaneously navigating the backdraught of tensions that come with innovation, from the heedless rise of technological development to issues of inaccessibility.

Over the course of 35 activities that feature over 70 local and international speakers, across the four thematic days a select number of relevant topics will be revisited throughout the week. These include the relationship between technology, culture, and the ecological crisis; mental health and well-being; accessibility and inclusion within emerging technology; as well as data and design justice.

This year’s edition will feature keynote presentations that address surveillance, artificial intelligence, and the imbalance of power within technology, from Managing Director of the AI Now Institute Dr. Sarah Myers West and creative technologist Behnaz Farahi. Additionally, Founder of DJs for Climate Action and one-half of production duo Soul Clap Eli Goldstein will be joining the Forum to present research findings for developing a framework for a climate pledge within the electronic music industry. The activity will be presented with EarthPercent, a charity founded by Brian Eno to help combat the impact the music industry has on the planet. MUTEK is proud to donate 1% of all ticket sales to the charity, which will subsequently be fund matched by Brian Eno.

Confirmed speakers :

Ahreum Lee KR/QC | Alain Mongeau CA/QC | Alexandre Teodoresco CA/QC | Animistic Beliefs NL | Antoine Cayrol FR | Behnaz Farahi IR/US | Blair Attard-Frost CA | Cam Scott CA | Chris Salter QC/CH | Damiàn Romero MX | Deena Abdelwahed TN/FR | Eli Goldstein US | Eliane Ellbogen CA/QC | Erin Gee CA/QC | Eris Drew US | Frankie Hutchinson UK/US | Grace Puluczek ES | Greg J. Smith CA | Jaehoon Bang KR | Jasmin Grimm DE | Jeisson Drenth NL | Jinhee Jung KR | Kahentawaks Tiewishaw CA/QC | Kaitlyn Davies CA/PT | KoHui KR | Kris Voveris LT/CA | Leon Louder CA/QC | Maurice Jones DE/QC | Melissa Vincent CA | Mélanie Bédard CA/QC | Michael Running Wolf US/QC | Milo Reinhardt CA/QC | Mónica Rikić ES | Myriam Achard CA/QC | Nancy Lee TW/CA | Naomi Johnson CA | Nyshka Chandran CA/QC | Open Reel Ensemble JP | Philippe Bédard CA/QC | Raziye Buse Çetin FR | Reginé Gilbert US | Renelle Desjardins CA/QC | Sahar Homami US | Sarah Myers West US | Sarah Wolozin US | Sorrel Salb SE | Stefana Fratila RO/CA | Tammy Peddle CA/QC | Winslow Porter US | Yotam Mann US | Yung Spielburg US

On Tuesday August 22nd, New Horizons: Digital Creation and Curation, the inaugural day of this edition, activities prompt the reimagining of both creation and curatorial methodologies in digital art. As part of the MUTEK-led, transnational Future Festivals initiative, the opening panel features Frankie Hutchison from Dweller, Naomi Johnson from ImagineNATIVE and Jasmin Grimm from NEW NOW to call for reimagining frameworks for the work of digital arts festivals in post-pandemic times. The conversations around Future Festivals will continue throughout the week, with roundtables and work sessions aimed to prototype new formats and strategies for digital art gatherings. A panel in collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] will explore ethical alternatives to digital art tools, while a Q&A on cross-cultural and collaborative curation will present INSCAPE: NEW HOMEOSTASIS, a series of immersive experiences celebrating the creative relationship between Canada and the Republic of Korea. The day will close with an artist talk and interactive demonstration from the Japanese collective, Open Reel Ensemble, who uses modified reel-to-reel tape recorders to create their signature sound. Later on in the week, the conversation will continue with a panel exploring the transformative role of digital art residencies, led by PHI Centre’s Renelle Desjardins and featuring artists Ahreum Lee, Leon Louder and Mónica Rikić while Mohawk digital artist and Co-Founder of Revital Software Kahentawaks Tiewishaw will provide a workshop on independent gaming creation.

The Forum will present an entire day dedicated to artificial intelligence on Wednesday August 23rd, addressing the impactful arrival of general-purpose AI, such as ChatGPT or Stable Diffusion. As a continuation of the recent (de)Stabilizing Diffusions exhibition at SAT, the AI track extends interdisciplinary discussions towards questions of governance, surveillance, the environmental cost of AI, addressing gender- and race-based biases, and the role of artistic practice within. Following the opening keynote by AI Now’s Dr. Sarah Myers West, the day will feature a roundtable that examines art and the governance of AI with AI ethicist and founder of Indigenous in AI Michael Running Wolf, PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information Blair Attard-Frost and Co-Founder of Dreaming Beyond AI Raziye Buse Çetin. A session of AI projects presentations will also be held, showcasing a wide range of approaches that explore the role of AI in and through artistic practice.

MUTEK’s highly reputed XR Salon will return to the Forum on Thursday August 24th. To kick off the day, XR presentations will highlight ecology-minded wellness experiences from creators Chris Salter and Winslow Porter, followed by a panel on accessible XR design with Director of the MIT Open Documentary Lab Sarah Wolozin along with Reginé Albert, James Weldon Johnson Professor at New York University and user experience expert. A roundtable discussion will imagine a distribution circuit for Québec artists and producers, featuring representation from XN Québec, The 7 Fingers, PHI, National Film Board of Canada and Atlas V. In parallel to the Forum, MUTEK is excited to present the Canadian premiere of ANIMATE, a multi-sensory XR experience by American-Canadian media artist Chris Salter and an international team of artists, composers, sound designers and scenographers. ANIMATE transforms a Canadian climate-fiction short story into an immersive performance combining live theatre, radio play and installation using worn Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D spatial audio to intensify an experience that moves between real and virtual spaces.

To continue the discussions surrounding artificial intelligence, Friday August 25th, the Future of Music day, will feature a special activity in partnership with music business research collective Water & Music. BOT OR NOT is an interactive game and roundtable dissecting AI-driven music making featuring composer Erin Gee and founder of Never Before Heard Sounds Yotam Mann, who developed Holly Herndon's AI digital twin Holly+. From crip futurity to new forms of intellectual property management for artists, Co-Founder of Crip Rave and new media artist Stefana Fratila, Keychange Innovator Sorrel Salb will demonstrate how their practice is using technology to enable and empower artists, contributing to a more equitable, sustainable, accessible and diverse ecosystem. In parallel to an artist talk with DJ, producer and trans estatic Eris Drew, MUTEK is excited to partner with Resident Advisor to present a segment of The Art of Production with Tunisian DJ and producer Deena Abdelwahed.

Throughout the week, various workshops will be held in parallel with the main activities that will explore the future of festivals, branding 101 for artists and the implications of AI in regards to intellectual property. The Forum will also feature a layer of dedicated networking opportunities with cocktails hosted by Xn Québec and Notch as well as a virtual matchmaking platform via Swapcard.

The MUTEK Market: a virtual gathering of the world's music and digital industry.

Running in conjunction with the Forum, the market is back for the 24th edition of MUTEK! This is a one of a kind professional development component, and artist accelerator that trains, educates and connects local and international artists with industry professionals from around the world on virtual business meetings platform. After a remarkable 2022 edition that attracted over 625 participants and over 200 organizations, the market aims to showcase the most avant-garde projects and initiatives in electronic music and digital art. It encourages artistic connections and business collaborations through personalized profiles, one-to-one meetings and networking activities.

For the fourth consecutive year, the MUTEK programming team has established an official selection of 17 Québec and Canadian creators who will benefit from special training and professional master classes by top leaders in the music and media arts industry that give artists the tools and knowledge they need to develop their careers, through workshops, personalized presentation materials and meetings with international buyers throughout the Festival and Forum.

Official market selection:

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

Selected artists will take part in training sessions to help them develop their careers. Once again this year, MUTEK is increasing the number of sessions: 6 online classes with 7 trainers who are experts in their field, a 4 weeks program based on 3 pillars (Humanity, Technology and Business Development).

Training Sessions:

Intercultural Communication by Ysabel Viau CA/QC (ACCULTURA, Montréal)
Workshop on copyright in a digital creation context by Eliane Ellbogen CA/QC
Artist Management: From artist as a startup to building your team by Grace Puluczek ES (Berklee College Music, Valencia)
Synch and Composition for Media Masterclass by Kaya Pino & Sarah Giles UK (King Lear London)
Web 3.0 and music by Francis di Stasio CA/QC (MegaLabs, Montréal)
Sustainability Practices in the music industry by Aurelie Jeanroy FR/QC (Artistes Citoyens en Tournée - ACT, Conseil québécois des événements écoresponsables - CQEER)

As it does every year, the market hosts international professionals on site to create optimal relationships between artists and the international network. MUTEK will also be offering a series of in-person networking activities as part of the Forum.

Forum Passports are on sale at $200 and Forum Day Passes are now available at a reduced price of $60. Access to workshops is included.


Tickets for ANIMATE are available at $25


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, Notch, Machine Agencies, Concordia University, EarthPercent, INSCAPE, Keychange, Eastern Bloc, PHI, Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

Artistic direction : de Mars / Original idea : Castrejon-Rocha

Copy URL to share Copied to clipboard