Unveiling the Programming for the Hybrid 21st Edition of the MUTEK Festival
After 20 years on the scene, MUTEK continues its mutation and, for the first time in its history, presents a true hybrid festival experience from September 8 to 13, 2020: live in-venue digital art and music performances—in Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle and Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), as well as a dedicated virtual platform—virtual.mutek.org.
While the current situation has limited opportunities to feature internationally renowned artists, it has instead provided additional impetus to the Festival's groundbreaking mission of exploration by bringing to the fore up-and-coming, innovative talent from local artistic communities. Québec creators drew new inspiration from the experience of quarantine, and the fruits of their isolated experimentation resonate with a unifying vitality sure to translate to the stage in Montréal. With the support of the MUTEK network and a variety of cultural partners, the Festival will also be able to count on equally avant-garde and original international performances, which will once again demonstrate the solidarity and commitment of artistic organizations around the world. All these never-before-seen performances will also be accessible free of charge to all audiences during the six days of the Festival.
More than 100 artists make up this 21st edition, which will include 34 local performances—among them will be 19 world premieres captured live at the Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle and in the dome of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT)—and 24 international performances from 8 countries: Argentina, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and the United States. As part of a continued commitment to programming characterized by parity and inclusiveness—and in particular, thanks to the AMPLIFY D.A.I initiative carried out in collaboration with the British Council and Somerset House—33 performances will include at least one woman, which represents nearly 56% of the final selection.
A local artistic community inspiring unity
As in previous editions, the programming will be structured into a series of programs that help audiences choose from among the many facets of the festival.
From Tuesday evening to Thursday, the Play series's five double programs carve out space for experimentation inside Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle. Play highlights the exploratory, visceral and playful character of contemporary artists in digital art, audiovisual creation, and electronic music.
Alexis Langevin-Tétrault CA/QC — Hypercube (one) / Anne-F Jacques CA/QC — Quelque chose qui accroche / Ben Shemie CA/QC — A Single Point Of Light / Cy-Ens IR/QC — Lullabyte Portamenti / GGROUNDD CA/QC — LIMIT BRICK / Le désert mauve FR+CA/QC / Martin MessierCA/QC — Echo Chamber / Mimi Allard & Gabriel Lavoie Viau CA/QC — 4:3 / Pelada CA/QC — Estímulo / Tati au Miel CA/QC
The Expérience series, which is typically held outdoors on the Esplanade de la Place des Arts, includes four double programs that highlight eclecticism and meetings of musical styles, from pop to classical music, as well as Afro-Caribbean influences, and a simultaneous journey to three continents (America, Asia and Europe).
Automatisme CA/QC — Alter- / Bleue CA/QC / Chris Salter & Alexandre Saunier CA/QC — SNN#3: Forms of the Living / Guillaume Coutu-Dumont CA/QC — Les Empires / Ouri FR/QCThe Bionic Harpist US/QC / Vigliensoni CA/QC — Clastic Music / Zandoli II & The Wasafari CA/QC — Mirroring Shadows
Finally, the Nocturne series consists of three programs of four performances each devoted to forms of electronic music that are more rhythmic and captivating, and will be presented inside the Satosphère's immersive 360° environment, from Friday, September 11 to Sunday, September 13.
Alicia Hush & Elysha Poirier CA/QC — Wishing Well / Boogieman & Samito CA/QC+MZ/QC — Som de Kusom / BunBun CA/QC / CMD CA/QC / Desert Bloom CA/QC / Diagraf CA/QC / laced CA/QC / LLL FR/QC / Melesul3 CA/QC / Musique Nouvelle CA/QC / Myriam Boucher CA/QC / Neo Edo CA/QC — A World Within a World / Poirier CA/QC / Priori CA/QC / Racine CA/QC / Softcoresoft CA/QC / T. Gowdy CA/QC — De Bias / TiND CA/QC
International artists pushing the boundaries of imagination
Inspired by the INTER_CONNECT project carried out during Montréal's 375th anniversary in 2017, which created a link between various cultural metropolises around the world, the Festival's virtual component allows for a new type of international connection. MUTEK branches in Mexico City, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, San Francisco and Tokyo will contribute to the online programming through showcases of local content under the banner of the MUTEK_CONNECT initiative, which is set to be a part of MUTEK's future editions around the world. In addition, three other partners will be taking part in this virtual component: the Transart festival in Italy, cultural venue Chapelle XIV in France, as well as artistic centre B39 and its associated festival, PRECTXE, in South Korea. In total, 9 programs totalling 24 performances will add diversity to the Festival's online experience, which will go a long way to making up for the absence of international artists inside venues this year.
Ai.step JP / Artexte KR — Blade / Arushi Jain & Carly Lave US — GOLEM (via GHUNGHRU) / Bionautas (Jonas Kopp & Flor del Valle) AR / Bruno De Vincenti AR — Hyper Dreams / COR3A KR — Same Old Fear, Conditional Trigs, Run Run Run / Efe Ce Ele CO — Biosynthetic Borders / Flor de Fuego AR — Fractal / George Hurd US — Echolocation / Grand River & Marco C NL+IT — 0,13% / Hiroaki Umeda JP — Intensional Particle / Joana Gomila ES / Junichi Akagawa JP — Geist on the Lake / KnovCompile KR — Reconstructive / Mabe Fratti & Milena Pafundi GT+AR/MX / Maotik & Maarten Vos FR+NL — Erratic Weather / Marina Herlop ES / Molly FR / Naiborg AR / Sakura Tsuruta & asagi JP / SidiRum AR / Wasted Fates MX
It's nearly time for virtual exploration...
All local and international audiovisual performances will be presented free of charge from Tuesday, September 8 at 1 pm EST until Sunday, September 13 on a virtual platform tailor-made by MUTEK in collaboration with agency Folklore: virtual.mutek.org.
The 21 programs, totalling 59 new performances, which were produced and captured specifically for the Festival's virtual component, will be spread out across three stages and broadcast for the first time according to a schedule created with Montréal and the Americas in mind. Each program will then be rebroadcast by time zone in Europe and Asia, to provide a similar optimized festival experience in these other regions of the world.
In addition to the musical selection, an interactive gallery will bring together some 20 VR, 360°, and sound works by the most innovative artists from here and abroad; a screening room will provide a selection of MUTEK Forum content as well as masterclasses and presentations from inspiring creators; and a listening room will present a journey through time via the Festival's audio archives from the last 20 years.
Registration is open, allowing participants to take advantage of this free experience as soon as it's launched at virtual.mutek.org. Audience members will also be invited to support MUTEK through a variety of donation options, thereby helping to encourage new discoveries, bolster emerging artists, and grow the arts.
…and for performances in front of an audience!
The schedule for in-venue programming in Montréal is available now, and provides in-depth schedules and details on each performance. Individual tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 26 at noon EST in order to allow everyone to explore the selection for this 21st edition and to plan, on their own or with friends, for a return to traditional cultural spaces. In compliance with social distancing guidelines, these spaces will be redesigned to provide participants with total safety and optimized listening and viewing pleasure. Festivalgoers can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about the measures in place.
A professional forum sure to enrich the experience
In conjunction with the Festival, MUTEK Forum, the virtual market of minds, will return for its sixth edition from Tuesday, September 8 to Friday, September 11, 2020. It will address topics such as artificial intelligence, extended reality (XR), and the impacts of technology on society, through more than 30 presentations, panels, and case studies led by some 60 experts from Québec, Canada, and around the world. Thanks to the online platform, the market will be growing this year to include participation from more than 600 people and 200 organizations. A cohort of 20 Québec and Canadian artists has been selected by MUTEK's programming team and will receive support with their personal and professional development and with increasing their international reach.
The complete list of confirmed speakers, as well as the detailed schedules, are available now. Individual tickets to attend the activities at the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), as well as the three passports granting access via the market to all content and opportunities to make new contacts, are on sale now.
MUTEK would like to thank its partners, who play a key role in maintaining and further developing its activities. They have provided particular support this year toward creating the Festival and Forum's hybrid format.