MANCHESTER UK, 20-23 JULY 2006: The Social Technologies Summit is presented in association with PLAN – The Pervasive and Locative Arts Network, and features a linked exhibition Off The Map. Opening event Thursday 20th July, 4.30pm; Conference Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd July, 10am-5pm.

SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE: Masaki Fujihata,, Regine Debatty, Steve Coast, Share NYC, Toshio Iwai (Electroplankton on the Nintendo DS), Matt Webb, Richard Peckham (Galileo/Astrium), Inke Arns, Stephen Kovats, Tom Carden, Atau Tanaka, Jose Luis de Vicente, Stanislav Roudavski, Steve Benford, Rob Van Kranenburg, James Wallbank, Ben Russell, Drew Hemment.

Plus talks and presentations by festival artists including Zachary Lieberman, Simon Pope, Michelle Teran, Jen Southern, Pete Gomes, Open Music Archive, Owl Project, Pete Hindle, Sven Koenig, Victor Gama, mimoSa, Bandung Center for New Media Arts, and many more.

An Audience With… Toshio Iwai

Toshio Iwai, one of Japan’s leading artists and star game developer at Nintendo, explores the influence of a lifetime immersed in Japan’s technology culture, and looks at how it is possible for individual artists to create the kind of projects that previously required a major studio.

Social Arts

Regine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art) and José Luis de Vicente (Art Futura) will look at the arts of social technologies, and also at embryonic philosophies and practices that offer an approach that differs from the European media art orthodoxy.

Collaborative, Creative and Commercial Digital Mapping

A cross section of digital mapping from Masaki Fujihata, who pioneered the use of GPS in stunning, multilayered artworks as far back as 1992, to Richard Peckham, Head of Business Development (Navigation) at Astrium, the leading industrial participant in the Galileo programme (Europe’s alternative GPS system), to Steve Coast, whose OpenStreetMap project is challenging entrenched assumptions about how maps are made and who can own them through user-generated, open source digital maps.

Social Technologies Tool Sharing

A quick live sampling survey of what tools the alpha, beta and omega geeks are using, how they use them, and how they make all the pieces fit together. Social technologies wouldn’t be much use without users. They are open, connected and intrinsically social. Shared, collaborative technologies once the preserve of hackers in darkened rooms are now a common part of everyday life: MySpace, Wikipedia, Flickr, the internet itself.

Iterative Architecture (Built On An Internet Of Things)

SMS and low grade media have swept all before them over recent years, with games consoles a lonely ghetto for high end visualisation, but there are now some signs of integration with a resurgence of interest in shared 3D virtual worlds such as Second life. Coming from this background Tom Carden and Stanislav Roudavski along with Matt Webb look at how models of behaviour derived from games, anthropology, sensors and mobile devices can feed back into the experience and iterative design of buildings, real and virtual.

Arphids & the Internet Of Things

RFID is an interesting technology with all kinds of potential uses but it is also a major social issue creating reactions as adverse as those generated by GM food. Germany has been used as a testing ground by the global ‘arphid’ industry, foreshadowing, it is said, what is in store for the rest of Europe and beyond. A session co-presented by HMKV (Dortmund) will explore industry perspectives as well as strange alliances between fundamentalist Christians and left leaning artist-activists.

Build Your Own City

James Wallbank from Access Space, UK will be joined by representatives from Bandung Center for New Media Arts, Indonesia, and mimoSa, Brazil to explore how urban cultures around the world are being reshaped by social technologies.

Social Music

Social change, it is said, can be seen first in music because it is the most fluid and rapidly changing medium. Atau Tanaka (Sony CSL) introduces new musical forms that have evolved in the mobile age. Join the social music revolution with Share NYC come over from New York to present open jam sessions, improvising on each others’ signal. And leading figures from the music world reflect on how the industry is being reshaped.


Four free artist-led workshops introduce hands-on skills in physical computing, digital video microscopy, game modification, generative sound and live video performance. Developed for Futuresonic by Creative Labs at the University of Huddersfield.

Game modification, 17th-19th July
Physical computing, 18th-19th July
Blender and sound, 19th-21st July
Build your own 8bit synth, 20th-21st July

The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Workshops free but early booking required. Workshop bookings: creativelabs[at] / 01484 472617


1830 WarehouseThe Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP 0161 832 2244

The Futuresonic 2006 Conference will be staged in the room containing a functioning version of Babbage’s Baby computer, within the world’s first railway warehouse.


Delegate Pass: 45 GBP

Includes access to all conferences and workshops plus two major exhibitions featuring 35 artworks including world premiers and UK firsts. Also includes Weekender Wristband (normally 25 GBP) which gives free access to over 20 events, entry to the Futuresonic Opening Party and food & drink discounts.

Student Delegate Pass: 10 GBP

Includes access to all conferences and workshops plus two major exhibitions featuring 35 artworks including world premiers and UK firsts. Also includes Loyalty Wristband (normally 3 GBP) which gives discounts on over 20 events.

20 day passes will be available from 10am on each day of the conference on a Pay-What-You-Can basis.


If you’re looking for a place to stay, some of us will be staying at the Britannia Hotel. Any hotels located within a half-mile of this location will put you right at the heart of the festival’s night-time action.

The Britannia Hotel, Portland Street, Manchester M1 3LA. 0161 228 2288 / 0845 644 8444

Supported by EPSRC, University of Nottingham, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Salford, and Manchester Digital Development Agency.

Jun 28, 10:34
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