BANFF DIGITAL SUMMIT 2019

In November 2019, Mass Culture partnered with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity to bring Banff’s Arts, Culture, and Digital Transformation Summit to various provinces and territories across Canada in the form of satellite Viewing Parties. The Banff Centre livestreamed multiple panels and discussions over the course of the Summit, but these Viewing Parties offered an exclusive opportunity for communities to interact directly via video with the Summit. The Banff Centre carved out time for Q&A sessions, at which point those attending Mass Culture’s Viewing Parties were able to engage with the panelists in Banff. These sessions were streamed live to everyone signed onto Banff’s screening of the Summit. Once the panel and Q&As were concluded, each Viewing Party engaged in a facilitated conversation about the topics and issues raised, which were be recorded and disseminated as Sharing Documents by hired notetakers.

Mass Culture partnered with the following organizations to host Viewing Parties

AI, REALITY & ETHICS

Hosted by the Atlantic Centre for Creativity, Fredericton, NB

Moderator: Adrienne Wong

Speakers: Valentine Goddard

Nothing has come to represent our digital anxieties like artificial intelligence. Is this the robot apocalypse or the tool we’ve been dreaming of since we first tamed fire? This session explores AI, how it works, how it replicates and revolutionizes our real worlds, the ethical challenges it raises and the implication of agency that arises for all humans except a very select few.

THE INTERACTING AUDIENCE

Hosted by the English Language Arts Network, Montréal, QC

Moderator: Adrienne Wong

Speakers: Jenn Stevenson, Alex McLean

This panel explores themes of audience interactivity, authentic invitation, high-risk versus low risk interactivity, directed versus self-directed interactivity, and laying out the rules of engagement.

INDUSTRIES COLLIDING OR CROSS-SECTOR COLLABORATION

Hosted by Near North Mobil Media Lab, North Bay, ON

Speakers: Pratim Sengupta, Jesse Wente

The swift tide of cognitive habituation and ‘novelty malaise’ in the digital age is daunting, especially for small and mid-scale players who can’t afford to invent new platforms and forms with every project. This panel explores the challenges in bridging the divide between the creative industries, as gaming and tech advancements provide tantalizing and challenging opportunities that don’t always align with the culture and constraints of Canadian arts practices.

CALIBRATING THE DISRUPTION

Hosted by Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, NL

Moderator: David Maggs

Speaker: Ashkan Fardost

Uncertainty surrounding the depth of the digital disruption makes us question whether we have new tools for the same ends or if something far deeper is at work. As technology infiltrates the many corners of our lives, diagnosing our digital disruption becomes a pressing concern. Hear one of the world’s sought-after thinkers contemplate our rapidly digitizing existence.

CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES BEYOND THE SCREEN

Hosted by the The Common & the Squamish Arts Council, Toronto, ON

Moderator: Richard Lachman

Speakers: Jonathon Anderson, Kat Cizek, Matthew Spremulli 

While always a component of digital innovation, the pace at which creative technologies are extending beyond the screen-based world is accelerating, impacting design, fashion, performance, and production. This panel will explore how novel software and hardware, including advanced robotics, manufacturing technologies, projection, sensing, AI, and mixed realities impact the creative sector. In particular, the panel will focus on how these techniques are part of an ever-evolving relationship with audiences

BEING ONLINE: IDENTITY, DIGITAL IDENTITY, & THE FORCES THAT SHAPE (AND OWN) US ONLINE

Hosted by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto, ON

Moderator: Nasma Ahmed

Presenter: Ana Serrano

We all live online in ever-increasing ways. From those without internet access existing as mere statistics to those whose material and existential purposes are inseparable from online platforms, how are we defining our digital identity versus our ‘other’ identity? What are the forces shaping digital identity and how do they differ from more traditional contexts in which our identities emerge? 

INCUBATING INFRASTRUCTURE

Hosted by Yukonstruct, Whitehorse, YK

Moderator: Bianca Wylie

Presenter: Chalo Hancock, French Embassy

Exploring the infrastructure response to our digital curiosities, this panel discusses how to optimize the technical and human resource dimensions of our facilities in order to incubate efficient and adventurous experimental processes. Highlighting best practices from Canada, the UK and Europe we look to see what’s missing in the Canadian landscape and how we might fill that gap.