UNESCO visit to Stories of Solitude at York Mediale 2018 © Sodium-003


Leading minds gather to discuss creativity, technology and the future at York Mediale

What is the creative potential of solitude?

What next for storytelling in video games?

How do politics & power shape our ongoing relationship with technology?

York Mediale Symposia speaker Leila Johnston

We’re delighted to announce a four-day-symposia series running 1-4 October 2018, as part of the line-up this autumn.

Comprised of three thought provoking conferences 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 thought.

We will co-curate and host the three themed conferences: Continue in partnership with the British Games Institute (formerly the National Video game 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 video game 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. The conference will put practitioners and decision-makers from across the country in the same room to debate, explore and collaborate on key issues facing the game and culture industries. Held last year at the National Video game Arcade in Nottingham, this year’s collaboration with York Mediale and Pilot Theatre will see Continue build on past successes as a launchpad for collaboration between cultural commissioners and video game developers. Continue is supported by the Arts Council England, Creative England, and PlatformShift+, a Creative Europe Project.

© Clon

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, the programme addresses the assertion that a constant hunger for technology is preventing people from taking time to refresh and restore. 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, Professor in Drama and Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory, Trinity College Dublin; Natalie Kane, curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum; Lisa Bortolotti, Professor and philosopher of the cognitive sciences at the University of Birmingham; multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee; Zeena Feldmann, Lecturer in Digital Culture at King’s College London; and Jude Brereton , Senior Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology from the Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of York.

DotYork concludes the symposium series on 4 October. At this annual digital conference for inquisitive minds, the programme will comprise four topical sessions focused on Survival, Identity, Freedom and Money. The session on Survival will ask; 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 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, and Kenda MacDonald, an expert in behavioural automation and founder of Automation Ninja, an organisation dedicated to finding new ways to automate marketing in ways that people previously thought impossible.

“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.”

Tom Higham

Creative Director, York Mediale