Sónar+D 2018 invites you to imagine the next 25 years of music, the Internet and digital culture

Sónar+D 2018 invites you to imagine the next 25 years of music, the Internet and digital culture

The Sónar+D congress joins the 25 years of Sónar celebrations to explore the future of creativity, taking the pulse of the next 25 years in music, technology, and online knowledge.

Sónar+D, the congress dedicated to creative technologies, today announces its sixth edition, which will cover 5 key topics aimed at imagining the future, while asking: what are the new creative and technological territories that remain unexplored? And who are the people leading these initiatives

1. THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION:“Makers“, artists and scientists, democratizing the conquest of space.

2. THE FUTURE OF MUSIC:The stage as a creative laboratory, AI in music composition, blockchain and the future of music on the Internet, performing music in space in zero gravity.

3. THE FUTURE OF AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCES:From 360 to Augmented Reality, the new frontiers of storytelling.

4. THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET:Towards to regaining an open and decentralized network, amplifying and renewing the debate on digital ethics,  how to overcome addiction and start a data detox.

5. THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENCE:Future knowledge, a hybrid between human, collective and artificial intelligence.

Among this year’s guests are organizations including NASA, MIT Media Lab, Amazon Music, Google Magenta, The Long Now Foundation, Mozilla, Shazam, Bandcamp; creators such as the Virtual Reality studio Felix and Paul; the pioneer in mixing Internet and music, Ian Rogers, current chief of digital area at LVMH; experiences designer Nelly Ben Hayoun; Augmented Reality artist Zach Lieberman, and Prince’s legendary sound engineer Susan Rogers, among others. 

The stand out activities from this year’s program include: a workshop on how to build nanosatelites; The Glass Room Experience, an installation that shows the dark side of the technology we use day to day; as well as an opportunity to meet the creators investigating how art can exist in space, creating instruments designed to be played in zero gravity.

Another highlight will be the presence of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, in conversation together on the Stage+D, as well an all new and expanded Sonar360º by MEDIAPRO – a fulldome experience measuring 19 meters in diameter that will host premières of fulldome pieces, AV workshops and live performances.

Networking continues to be an important focus of Sónar+D; the Start Up Garden and its associated activities will be the meeting place for investors, companies, startups and professionals from the most innovative sectors of the creative industries. Investors taking part include Nick Crosthwaite (Spotify), Jan Bohl (Ableton) and Max Rimpel (Index Ventures) among many others.
Over 4 days, the key figures and projects giving shape to the future of music and creative technology will come together in Barcelona, with more than 100 activities, 150 speakers, over 5,000 accredited professionals and representatives from around 3,000 companies from 65 countries.

Sónar+D opens its doors on Wednesday 13th June, a full day before the official start of the festival, with a Networking Day exclusively for delegate pass holders. This event is by and for professionals, creators and representatives from business and institutions, and includes a programme of conferences and workshops specifically designed to inspire debate and information exchange.

THE 2018 PROGRAM
THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION:Exoplanets, nanosatellites and a vision of the future in 10,000 years from now
Using the „Sónar Calling GJ273b“ project as a guide and stimulus
-the first ever series of radio transmissions sent to a potentially habitable exoplanet-, Sónar+D welcomes leading space research organizations such as NASA, the MIT Media Lab and The Long Now Foundation.
  • NASA will explain the latest developments in the search for Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System and how artists would be able to facilitate communication in the event of first contact.
  • The renowned MIT Media Lab presents its new initiative for space exploration: the democratization of nanosatellites, radio astronomy and its contribution to the mapping of the Universe.
  • San Francisco’s The Long Now Foundation will present projects that will last 10,000 years from now as an antidote to the short-term thinking prevalent in today’s global society and economy.
THE FUTURE OF MUSIC
Sónar+D takes a deep dive into what the future of music will hold, whether this be through expanding creative horizons through collaboration – either with other artists, hardware or with the help of AI; getting to grips with digital music infrastructure and seeingblockchain as more than an economic tool; or finding new ways to create, collaborate and to discover how digital distribution companies are getting ever more personal in their attempts to relate to their audience.
  • Companies such as Google Magenta and Jukedeckpropose AI as another collaborative element in the production process. To this end, Google Magenta will present their new musical instruments at MarketLab, as well as presenting a workshop on how to create music with AI.Jukedeck will be part of the Sónar+D Innovation Challenge, with a call to create high level tools for integrating AI into musical creation.
  • The history of the Internet and of that of music distribution are tightly linked. In many ways, digital distribution platforms have directly led to the internet we know today  – and can point the way to its future. Mat Dryhurst and Ian Rogers, as well as taking part in the conferences on the future of the Internet, will share their vision of the future of music.
  • One of a kind creators across all disciplines will be showcasing their latest work and collaborations at Sónar, and Sónar+D presents a behind the scenes look at their creative processes. Globally respected innovators Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto will take part in a talk together, while two of Flamenco’s most important innovators, the singer Niño de Elche and dancer Israel Galván, will join in a conversation along with the musical and visual duo formed by in-demand producer Refree and the filmaker Isaki Lacuesta. All four of these artists will debut material at Sónar, and explain the essence of their collaboration at Sónar+D
THE FUTURE OF AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCES: from 360 to Augmented Reality to new forms in storytelling.
For yet another year, Sónar+D explores new layers of reality: from VR to Augmented Reality and immersive audiovisual narratives.
  • Zach Lieberman, one of today’s most amazing digital creators, will present a new visual code for our devices thanks to Augmented Reality.
  • Paul Raphaël from the Canadian Virtual Reality studio Felix and Paul has been leading the artistic evolution in this medium for 5 years. The studio’s new work will be on view at Realities+D, the largest showcase in Spain for international artistic VR production.
  • The immersive audiovisual and 3D audio space, with the ambitious Sonar360º by Mediapro, increases in size at Sónar+D and will include workshops and premières, with visitors also able to enjoy fulldome shows.
  • The Garage Stories studio, working between Barcelona and Silicon Valley, will deliver a workshop explaining the new narratives in Virtual Reality to those wishing to break into this continuously developing field.
THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET: 
Towards regaining an open and decentralized network, expanding on and renewing the debate concerning digital ethics.
Considering that the current Internet model is in a crisis, we will look at the direction the Web may take in the near future, while also reflecting upon our experiences over the last digitally connected 25 years.
We’ll be guided on this journey by digital pioneer Ian Rogers, the investigative artist and blockchain specialist Mat Dryhurst, the information-activist group Tactical Tech and the head of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker.
  • In a key talk, Ian Rogers, the current Chief Digital Officer of LVMH, will import his insights gathered over 25 years exploring connections between music and the Internet.
    A pioneer in building internet presence for the Beastie Boys in 1993, Rogers has worked for companies that have defined the direction of music and the web simultaneously, such as Nullsoft, Yahoo! Music, Beats Music and Apple Music.
  • No conversation about the future of the Internet can take place without mentioning the achievements of Mat Dryhurst. As a technologist and digital artist, this specialist in blockchain will discuss how digital infrastructures can revolutionise creation, collaboration and information exchange in music (…and more).
  • The international information-activist group Tactical Tech will be present across diverse areas of Sónar+D: presenting their security and digital privacy projects as part of the conference program, as well as hosting two workshops on how to harness the data in our smart devices, and also at MarketLab with The Glass Room Experience and Data Detox Bar, an exhibition that allows us to discover the dark side of the tech we use daily.
  • Since 2003 the Mozilla Foundation has been creating tools (including the Firefox browser), and intitiatives to maintain the internet as a free, open neutral, inclusive and privacy minded space. The foundation’s co-founder and director Mitchell Baker will present their latest projects to ensure a healthy internet.
THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENCE:
A hybrid between human, collective and artificial intelligence.
The future of knowledge is developing at the intersection between artificial, collective and human intelligence.
  • Companies such as PandoraBandcamp and Google Magenta will explain how user activity informs the development of their algorithms.
  • Another key figure at this edition is the legendary sound engineer and producer Susan Rogers, who worked hand in hand with Prince on his most critically acclaimed records and is now the head of Berklee’s Music Cognition Department, studying how the brain processes music.
  • Artificial Intelligence will be explored as tool to help musicians and creators to expand their creative horizons in completely new directions. Two of the market leaders in this respect, Google Magenta and Jukedeck take part in MarketLab and Sónar+D Innovation Challenge respectively.
Sónar+D is the international congress for creativity, its relationship with technology and business, and how creativity acts as an engine for innovation beyond the artistic, cultural or purely technological sectors.
Sónar+D’s approach is not just multidisciplinary, it is antidisciplinary: since 2013, key personalities from the intellectual and artistic world have participated, including Bruce Sterling, Brian Eno, Björk, Jean Michel-Jarre and Holly Herndon; researchers and developers from companies including Google, Spotify andMicrosoft; and directors from benchmark platforms such as Kickstarter and Vimeo.
Scientific research centres such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the ALMA astronomical observatory and universities including MTG (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), London’s Royal College of Art and the Queen Mary University, IED and La Salle have chosen Sónar+D to showcase their projects.
Sónar+D is also a great networking space for professionals in the creative and technological sectors. Aside form the numerous specialized activities (meetings, workshops, debates, etc.) it takes place in a festive, informal environment, which facilitates close interaction between participants and attendees.
Throughout its 25 years, the Sónar festival has carried out historical work in the discovery and presentation of performances and projects from emerging artists, beyond music, providing added value to a multidisciplinary cultural event. Sónar+D extends this organic research work to all areas of technological and creative innovation, hence its name: R+D or R+D = Sónar+D.

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