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Meet the speakers for The Air of Turbulence Symposium

Including internationally renowned artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Mozilla Foundation’s Sam Burton, and AI entrepreneur William Tunstall-Pedoe

With just under a month to go, we’re delighted to share with you our full line up of incredible speakers for the Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory Symposium – The Air of Turbulence.

William Tunstall-Pedoe
Artificial Intelligence Entrepreneur

Dr Sarah Mander
Climate Change Researcher

Elvia Vasconcelos
Design Researcher

Dr David Jackson
Researcher in Narrative and AI

Sam Burton
Director of Insights, Mozilla

Joana Moll

Marcus Hadfield
Chief Strategy Officer, Apadmi

The Air of Turbulence is a day of debates, conversations and participatory sessions exploring ideas of digital heritage, future histories and voice in the context of the Cloud, ownership, power and control. 

Charles Babbage – Victorian mathematician and inventor of the first mechanical computer – once proposed that the air is a ‘vast library’ of every word ever spoken. 180 years later his thinking still resonates. Not only do we have Cloud computing – a vast library of its own kind – but we find ourselves in an age obsessed with ‘absolute recollection’, that desire to record every human action, connect every single thing. Yet, not all voices are created equal, and not everyone’s voice is captured or heard.

So who controls our future heritage?
Whose voices and histories will be preserved?
How are today’s technologies shaping society for years to come?
And if our actions and voices are forever impressed in the air, will we ever be able to ‘escape’, be forgotten or set free? 

Taking Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory – and its inspiration from Charles Babbage – as a starting point, The Air of Turbulence brings together artists, researchers, scientists and technologists to debate and unravel technological advances of the past, present and future against the context of ownership, power and control.

The Air of Turbulence also explores the traces left on the environment as we rely ever more on cloud computing and the vast amount of data it accumulates in its library.


9.00 | Registration and refreshments

9:30 | Welcome note

Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director, FutureEverything

9:50 | A Brief History of Atmospheric Memory

José Luis de Vicente, Curator, FutureEverything

10:00 | Keynote: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Artist, Atmospheric Memory

11:00 | Panel: Digital Heritage and Future Voices

A conversation about bias, digital inclusion, control and the implications of machine learning and training data sets.

Speakers: Anna Ridler(artist), Sam Burton (Director of Insights, Mozilla Foundation) and Marcus Hadfield (Chief Strategy Officer, Apadmi).

Chaired by Dr David Jackson (Researcher in Narrative and AI, School of Digital Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University).

12:00 | Short break

12:10 | Workshop: Navigating systems of power

Interactive session on collectively exploring and mapping bias and oppressive systems embodied in technology today.

Led by Elvia Vasconcelos (Design Researcher)

13.30 Lunch break

14:30 | In Conversation: Unintended Consequences

Artist Katriona Beales in conversation with William Tunstall-Pedoe, entrepreneur and founder of Evi (now Amazon Alexa), exploring questions of social justice, rising inequality and accountability in relation to the development of AI.

15:30 | Panel: Environmental Memory

On data, cloud computing and the material impact of digital communications technologies.

Speakers: Dr Sarah Mander (Senior Researcher, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research), Vladan Joler (Director at Share Foundation and chair of New Media department, University of Novi Sad, Serbia) and Joana Moll (artist).

Chaired by:José Luis de Vicente (Curator, FutureEverything)

16.30 | Closing note

17.00 | Optional walking tour – pre-booking required, first come first served basis

*Please note: timings may be subject to change.*

Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory is curated and produced by FutureEverything, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

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