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Montréal, July 28, 2021
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New Models for Presentation and Monetization

Sarah Friend Click Mine at The Brandscape 5

Photo: Sarah Friend "ClickMine" at The Brandscape

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The pandemic has arguably accelerated the development of new formats for presenting art online. Creators have been able to connect with their audiences thanks to a multitude of independent platforms produced by festivals and galleries — including — via countless live streams on Twitch and social media, and even by investigating virtual communities, such as Fortnite. In collaboration with MacKenzie Art Gallery, MUTEK Forum will invite the audience to discover one of those communities through the participation of Canadian curators Sarah Friend, Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll, who created Ender Gallery, an exhibition space and artist residency that exists inside the game Minecraft.

Recent months have also seen experimentation with new monetization models for digital content, and blockchain—a technology we have featured in past Forum editions—has caught the attention of the arts and creative industries alike with the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Are NFTs a sustainable solution for artists to sell their work and control its ownership online or yet another method of exploiting creative professionals? We will bring together illustrious experts, such as Michael Casey—Chief Content Officer at CoinDesk and Senior Advisor at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative—to shed light on the potential impact of blockchain and other disruptive tech on our markets and societies.

Taking on the NFT question from a digital arts wold angle, one panel will be moderated by artist and curator Joe Cutts, and bring together Eliane Ellbogen, intellectual property lawyer and founder of digital art centre Eastern Bloc, Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules, a Canadian artist known under the name of Push 1 stop, and New York based art market expert Elena Zavelev, who is the founder and CEO of the Crypto and Digital Art Fair (CADAF). Together, they will look beyond the recent hype and provide our community of creators with a better understanding of the ethics, hazards and opportunities of this new method of sustaining digital art.

And focussing more on the music industry side of things, another panel will be led by journalist Shawn Reynaldo, creator of the First Floor newsletter, and include a set of industry experts such as Canadian artist Jacques Greene, who recently auctioned the publishing rights of one of his tracks as NFT, and the Foundation platform’s Head of Community, Lindsey Howard.

Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules CA/QC Cat Bluemke CA — Ender Gallery Damien Roach UK — 555-5555 Elena Zavalev US — CADAF Eliane Ellbogen CA/QC — Fasken Jacques Greene CA/QCJoe Cutts UKJonathan Carroll CA — Ender Gallery Lindsay Howard USHuidi Xiang CN/US Matthew McQueen US Michael Casey US — CoinDesk Sarah Friend CA/DE — Ender Gallery Shawn Reynaldo US/ES — First Floor

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About MUTEK Forum

In parallel to the Festival, the MUTEK Forum is back for its seventh edition from Tuesday, August 24 to Thursday, September 2 on our virtual platform. This market for ideas aims to bring together artists and companies in digital creativity and electronic music, with the goal of exploring the latest artistic practices while stimulating reflection on the ethical and political issues related to technology and the digital world. Artificial intelligence, extended reality (XR), immersive creation and crypto art are among the many themes that will be explored by more than 100 local and international speakers through 60 activities.

For a second consecutive year, the Forum will also feature a virtual market that facilitates networking by showcasing Québec, Canadian and international artists to buyers from around the world. More than 750 participants, including over 200 distributors, representing 400 different organizations and companies from over 50 countries, will gather on the online platform to attend conferences, panels and workshops, and to develop artistic connections and business opportunities.

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