Scholars, artists, designers and cultural sector representatives are gathering at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto for the 2016 Media Architecture Summit (MAS2016), Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
Presented by York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technologies, the Media Architecture Summit 2016 explores the role of urban screens, interactive media façades and large-scale public projections in architecture, public art, civic engagement and urban renewal.
“Media Architecture is where architecture, urbanism and digital media come together to shape our collective identity,” says Michael Longford, co-chair of Media Architecture Summit 2016 and director of Sensorium, a digital media research centre at York University. “This type of public art includes everything from animating building facades through the use of digital technology to interactive installations that invite members of the public to perform and it has the power to energize citizens and transform spaces.”
Beyond mere decoration, civic spectacle and city branding, media architecture shapes our collective identity through digital place-making, 24-hour architecture, and reanimating public space.
Held for the first time in North America, MAS 2016 brings together an international cohort of artists and designers, architects, scholars, and representatives from the cultural sector and industry who will be presenting a range of projects including context aware illuminated spaces, architectural projection, animated building façades, and interactive installations inviting spontaneous public performance.
MAS 2016 opens with an evening keynote from internationally acclaimed media artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Lozano-Hemmer is a world-renowned Mexican-Canadian artist known for large-scale interactive installations that fuse architecture and performance art using technological materials, including cell phones, LED lights, and robotics. His work relates directly to the major themes of the conference in that he engages with questions of interactive public performance and digital placemaking.
The summit continues with a day of featured talks, panel discussions followed by an evening social hosted at InterAccess. Some of the featured presenters include: Philip Beesley (Experimental Sculptor/Architect, Canada), Amahl Hazelton (Moment Factory, Canada), Scott McQuire (Media Scholar, Australia), and Dietrich Neumann (Urban Studies Scholar, USA).
Presenting from York University is Professor Graham Wakefield, whose research-creation is founded upon a trans-disciplinary training in art, music, virtual reality, mathematics and philosophy, partnered with extensive professional practice in software engineering. As an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair Tier II at York University Wakefield founded the Alice lab for Computational Worldmaking, dedicated to intensifying art practice in the construction of responsive artificial worlds.
The final day of the summit features workshops and an industry panel. MAS closes with a curated walk at Nuit Blanche Toronto, one of the world’s largest outdoor dusk-to-dawn art events.