FutureEverything Conference: 26 – 27th Feb

What now for…Memory? Ownership? Democracy? The Weird & Wonderful?
Our four conference themes for 2015 and our 20th anniversary capture the unimaginable ways our lives have been transformed by the digital turn over the last 20 years. Today we announce these themes, and 8 new names who will be debating these issues – including experts on digital storytelling, hacking, media arts, and internet cat videos! Be inspired, amazed, captivated and amused:

Weird & Wonderful – A window into what keeps us coming back year after year. We never fail to be tickled, teased and amazed by the leftfield delights we uncover, and nor shall you.

Memory – Today the tide of time sweeps little away, even inconsequential actions leave an indelible digital trace. Artists and designers are inventing remarkable new ways to capture and represent the passing moment, or preserve the right to be forgotten.

Ownership – It’s ‘share’ everywhere. Our time, tastes and friendships are the gifts we keep giving, and taxi drivers on the streets of our cities are striking against Uber, the Janus face of the sharing economy.

Democracy – We challenge city leaders and future thinkers to stretch their imagination, diving into the devolution debate with a dose of digital radicalism. We have a small window to change our civic culture, and we have never been shrinking violets.

Earlybird Conference Tickets: Just £80 until 2nd Feb!
Purchase a ticket for the FutureEverything Conference before 2nd February and we’ll also offer a 50% discount on tickets to our Opening Gala at the Royal Northern College of Music, featuring a double-bill of world premieres and new commissions. Conference ticket holders also gain entry to the world premiere of Blast Theory’s new interactive artwork ‘Too Much Information’ (subject to capacity). Tickets are only available at this low price until 2nd Feb, so Buy Now!

Haunted Machines
Introducing an entire “conference within the conference” strand within this years Festival, we present ‘Haunted Machines’, where six intriguing speakers explore the connection between technology and the supernatural.

The continued proliferation of connected devices and the narratives driving them forward has been running parallel to stories of surveillance, hacking and black boxes. Designers and technologists talk about ‘magic’ and ‘enchantment’, yet we forget that magic is a form of deception; a sleight of hand. In this ‘easter-egg’ event, guest-curated by Tobias Revell and Natalie Kane, speakers Ingrid Burrington, Warren Ellis, Joanne McNeil, Eleanor Saitta, Chardine Taylor-Stone and Georgina Voss reflect on the narratives of magic and hauntings pervading our relationship with technology, and analyse why these exist, what they mean and what they do. Read more.

New Speakers Announced:

Matt Locke
Digital storyteller, founder of Storythings and an expert in the role of new tech in media development, having led groundbreaking innovation projects at the BBC and Channel 4. He’s currently researching the history of how we measure attention – from applause in 19th century music halls to the digital networks of today. Read more.

Gemma Galdon-Clavell
Gemma is a policy analyst who works on surveillance, the social, legal and ethical impact of technology, smart cities, privacy, security policy, resilience and policing. She is a founding partner at Eticas Research & Consulting and a researcher at the Universitat de Barcelona’s Sociology Department. Read more.

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez
Using algorithms, bots and custom software, Matthew playfully challenges our interactions with technology, and questions the our assumptions on the everyday tools we take for granted. His ‘Disarming Corruptor’ disguised 3D print files as glitched digital artifacts, winning him a Prix Ars Electronica. Read more.

Ingrid Burrington
Ingrid Burrington is a NYC-based artist who writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about politics, places, and all the weird feelings people have about them. Read more.

Eleanor Saitta
A prolific and respected hacker, designer, artist and writer, Eleanor’s work focuses on understanding how complex systems operate and redesigning them to work, or at least fail, better. Read more.

Chardine Taylor-Stone
Chardine is a writer, DJ and founder of black speculative fiction book club ‘Mothership Connections’. She is interested in art, technology and music with a particular focus on the history of subcultures and Black involvement in the esoteric, weird and downright bizarre! Her writings on Afrofuturism have been featured in The Guardian. Read more.

Georgina Voss
Georgina is a resident at Lighthouse Arts and a visiting fellow at SPRU, University of Sussex. Her research and writing focuses on grassroots innovation, and the politics of technology and design. Read more.

Pat Kane
A writer, musician, theorist and ‘Yes’ campaign Scottish independence activist, Pat is founder of ‘The Play Ethic’, which focussed on the impact of play and novel learning methods in the 21st century classroom and workplace. Read more.

Scott Stulen
YouTube cat videos are our favourite internet sensation. Scott co-founded the world’s first Internet Cat Video Festival in 2012, which has since gone on to become an international celebration of all things feline – with appearances from the latest ‘celebricats’, live music, costume contests and art exhibitions. Here he presents his story, and maybe even a glimpse of the latest cat-related films to hit the airwaves. ‘Dog people’ need definitely not apply. Read more.

Danja Vasiliev
Along with collaborator Julian Oliver, Danja founded the ‘Critical Engineering’ movement. One of the world’s leading digital artists and hackers, Danja’s work explores security, privacy and data validity. Recent projects include the award winning Newtweek and Superglue, a new platform for the self-hosted web. Danja will be be running a Superglue workshop at FutureEverything – tickets on sale soon. Read more.

Speakers already announced include: Warren Ellis / Julia Kaganskiy / Paolo Cirio / Jer Thorp / Alexis Lloyd / Many more TBA