Distractions: The Future isn’t what it used to be
Innovation, revolution and the future of entertainment
In Manchester. 20 July 2019.
Tech. Music. Creativity. Summit & Showcase.
Distractions at MIF 2019
The future isn’t what it used to be.
Technology changes everything. Where and what we listen to. Who and when we watch. How we create, play and consume. Online, offline, all day, and keeping us up at night – in a world of streaming, sharing and augmented realities, our entertainment experiences are almost entirely shaped by technology. But in this brave new world of recreational tech, who is in control? Makers or players? Artists or consumers? Platforms or publishers? And in this world – are we too digitally distracted to care?
Distractions is a three-day summit in Manchester that debates the future of entertainment – a long weekend of debates, talks, panels, content and new music showcases with some of the world’s leading tech companies, artists and producers.
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. The recreational future starts here.
Manchester International Festival’s Distractions day is the third of our Interdependence series, Life Hacked, where we will explore how science and technology enable us to reconfigure our minds, bodies and relationships with each other and the world around us.
Taking inspiration from key commissions and events at this year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF19, 4-21 July) productions, we’ll hear from world-class artists and futurists visualising new worlds and the thinkers tackling the big ideas. Featuring demos alongside debate, this event forms part of Interdependence, MIF19’s ideas programme.
Contributors include, games director and animator Paloma Dawkins; Claire L Evans, writer, musician and the author of Broad Band: The Untold History of the Women Who Made the Internet; pioneering computer scientist Dame Wendy Hall; Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, artist and creator of Atmospheric Memory; media artist Refik Anadol; experience design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast; Ash Sarkar, Senior Editor at Novara Media; and TEM, creative studio for Skepta’s DYSTOPIA987, which has its world premiere at MIF19.
In their third and final Interdependence summit, presented as part of MIF19 and Distractions, they take inspiration from DYSTOPIA987 and tmospheric Memory to explore how science and technology are enabling us to reconfigure our minds, bodies and relationships with each other and the world around us. We’ll be hearing from the artists and futurists visualising new worlds, and the thinkers tackling the big ideas – and there’ll be interactive demonstrations throughout the day hosted by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Magic Leap, Vrai Pictures and TEM.
Morning session – 10am–1pm
In the morning session, we’ll be hearing from contributors such as: Refik Anadol, media artist, director and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence Aaron Bastani, co-founder of Novara Media and author of Fully Automated Luxury Communism Jessica Brillhart, director and founder of mixed reality studio Vrai Pictures Paloma Dawkins, cartoonist, world builder and the creator of Songs of the Lost for MIF19 Todd Eckert, founder of mixed reality studio Tin Drum Dan Hett, digital artist and game designer Dan McQuillan, Lecturer in Creative & Social Computing at Goldsmiths College, University of London Hardeep Pandhal, artist and creator of the Interdependence artist commission for MIF19 Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy, VP of Prediction & Motion Planning at FiveAI and Associate Professor of University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics Anna Ridler, artist and researcher working with AI, machine learning and self-generated data sets TEM, creative studio for Skepta’s DYSTOPIA987 at MIF19
Afternoon session – 2–5pm
In the afternoon session (2–5), speakers will include: Claire L Evans, writer, musician and the author of Broad Band: The Untold History of the Women Who Made the Internet Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng, Regius Professor of Computer Science, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) and an Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, artist and creator of Atmospheric Memory at MIF19 Marshmallow Laser Feast, immersive experience studio Julian Oliver, critical engineer and artist Professor Verena Rieser, Professor in Conversational Artificial Intelligence at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Vivien Sansour, artist and founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library Professor Sophie Scott, Deputy Director and Head of the Speech Communications Group at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience Jakob Kudsk Steensen, interactive and digital artist Produced by Manchester International Festival in association with HOME.