Media Architecture Summit explores digital placemaking and 24-hour architecture for urban renewal

September 28, 2016

Media Architecture Summit explores digital placemaking and 24-hour architecture for urban renewal

Artists, designers, architects, researchers and representatives from industry and the cultural sector are gathering at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto for the 2016 Media Architecture Summit (MAS 2016), Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

ars-electronica-image-of light-play-over-LInz

Ars Electronica – DRONE 100 – SPAXELS® over Linz | Linz, Austria. Photo © 2016

Presented by Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technologies in York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, MAS2016 — held in North America for the first time — explores the role of urban screens, interactive media façades and large-scale public projections in architecture, public art, civic engagement and urban renewal.

Michael Longford

Michael Longford

“Media architecture is where architecture, urbanism and digital media come together,” said Computational Arts Professor Michael Longford, director of Sensorium and co-chair of the Media Architecture Summit 2016.  “It includes everything from animating building facades through the use of digital technology to interactive installations that invite spontaneous public engagement. 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.”

MAS 2016 opens with an evening keynote address by internationally acclaimed Mexican-Canadian media artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Lozano-Hemmer is known for large-scale interactive installations that fuse architecture and performance art using technological materials, including cell phones, LED lights and robotics.

rafael-lozano-hemmer- light projection on building facade

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer – VOZ ALTA | Mexico City, 2008.

The summit continues with a day of talks and panel discussions, followed by an evening social hosted at InterAccess. Featured presenters include Canadian kinetic sculptor and architect Philip Beesley (University of Waterloo), a pioneer in the technology of responsive architecture; Australian media architecture scholar Scott McQuire (University of Melbourne); Amahl Hazelton of Moment Factory, a Montreal-based multimedia entertainment studio specializing in the conception and production of immersive environments; and American art historian and urban studies scholar Dietrich Neumann (Brown University).

Graham Wakefield

Graham Wakefield

Presenting from York University is AMPD Professor  Graham Wakefield, Canada Research Chair in Interactive Information Visualization. An interdisciplinary artist-researcher whose work encompasses art, music, virtual reality, mathematics and philosophy, partnered with extensive professional practice in software engineering,  Wakefield is the founding director of 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. Presenters include artists/researchers Di Mainstone (UK), Veronika Pauser of Ars Electronica (Austria), Nathan Whiford of Urban Visuals (Canada) and Ali Momeni (USA); Isabelle Rousset of Derivative and Mason White and Lola Sheppard of Lateral Office (Toronto); and curator/researcher Tanya Toft (Denmark).

Complementing the summit proceedings, MAS 2016 presents Nuit Talks, a series of conversations and presentations by artists whose large-scale public art installations are featured in this year’s Nuit Blanche Toronto, one of the world’s largest outdoor dusk-to-dawn art events.The summit closes with a curated walk at Nuit Blanche.

For the full schedule and to register, visit the Media Architecture Summit 2016 website.