What is the creative potential of solitude? What next for storytelling in videogames? How do politics & power shape our ongoing relationship with technology?

Interaction designer and leading IoT entrepreneur, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino; British video-game designer Sam Barlow; creative technologist and Global Games Jam founder Gorm Lai;  interactive design studio Invisible Flock; intercultural contemporary theatre company Freedom Studios; Chris Michaels, Digital Director of the  National Gallery, Kenda Macdonald founder and CEO, Automation Ninjas; Maaike Bleeker, Professor of Theatre Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands; Natalie Kane, Curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum; Matthew De Abaitua, author of The Red Men, lecturer in creative writing and long-time collaborator of Will Self; multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee and Sarah Thom from groundbreaking British-German artist collective Gob Squad, represent just some of the brilliant minds helping us to answer these questions and more at York Mediale 2018.

York Mediale, the brand new media arts festival has just announced a four-day-symposia series running 1-4 October 2018, as part of its inaugural 10-day programme. Tickets are available now from their website -  yorkmediale.com/events

Across four days, the symposia will bring together international experts, practitioners, commissioners and thinkers from the worlds of video-gaming, art, theatre, science, philosophy and technology to share, engage, showcase, debate and inspire.

York Mediale will co-curate and host the three themed conferences: Continue in partnership with the British Games Institute (formerly the National Videogame Foundation) and Pilot Theatre; Stories of Solitude - Performance, Technology and Digital Overload, with Dr Eirini Nedelkopoulou from York St John University, and DotYork, York’s own annual digital festival for curious minds.

Continue, running 1-2 October will bring together videogame practitioners and experts with cultural commissioners and institutions, under this year’s theme of ‘narrative’. Speakers over the two days  include acclaimed video game designer and BAFTA award winning creator of ‘Her Story’, Sam Barlow, artist and writer Leila Johnston, Gob Squad collective’s Sarah Thom and creative technologist Gorm Lai. This year’s collaboration with York Mediale and Pilot will see Continue build on past successes as a launchpad for collaboration.

Stories of Solitude - ​Performance, Technology and Digital Overload on 3 October is a major artistic and academic conference held in partnership with ​Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou from York St John University. Inspired by renowned MIT professor and psychologist Sherry Turkle's assertion that a constant hunger for technology is preventing people from taking time to embrace solitude, an imperative state that "refreshes and restores", the day will explore the creative, social and psychological potential of solitude, with a highly regarded national and international line-up of curators, academics and artists. ​

Discussion will centre around a series of provocations on the increasingly critical themes of attention, engagement, AI, immersion, IoT, gaming, and health. ​The esteemed line-up of contributors include Estela Oliva​, ​creative director and curator, ​Matthew Causey, ​ Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory, Trinity College Dublin;​ Natalie Kane, curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum;multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee; Zeena Feldmann, Lecturer in Digital Culture at King’s College London; ​and Jude Brereton​, Senior Lecturer in Audio/Music Technology, University of York..

DotYork concludes the symposium series on 4 October. An annual digital conference for inquisitive minds, the programme will comprise four topical sessions.  Survival asks; how do we ensure that what we make is a force for good? Do we have to? And who gets to define ‘good’? Identity will consider; how do we secure our personal brand and control our digital footprint? What’s the personal cost of what we do? And what is work/life balance anyway? Freedom will address the unexpected upsides and downsides of social media and the web, whilst the final session Money, questions; who can we trust? And if the current system is broken is money still the best tool to enable exchange?

Speakers include world renowned interaction designer and entrepreneur, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, author and lecturer in creative writing Matthew De Abaitua, Neil Costello Head of Marketing at Atom Bank, the UK’s first bank built exclusively for smartphones or tablets.

Tom Higham, Creative Director of York Mediale says, “Through collaboration with local and national partners; British Games Institute, DotYork, York St. John University and Pilot Theatre, York Mediale has been able to invite a number of internationally significant practitioners and thinkers to our symposia series. This diverse group of provocateurs and pioneers will share best practice and debate current issues, guaranteed to provoke, inspire, or even potentially seed partnerships and collaborations. We are thrilled to bring national institutions, artists and businesses together to improve and enhance York’s burgeoning creative sector.”

Throughout York Mediale’s 2018 programme, artists of all kinds will use technologies and media to redefine and tell the stories of our cities, our landscapes and our lives. This new biennial event will offer opportunities for collaboration between artists, curators, businesses and educators throughout 2018, culminating in a 10-day programme of exhibitions, live performances, lectures, workshops and much more, from 27th September - 6th October 2018.

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