Less and more at FutureEverything 2016

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The theme of this year’s FutureEverything conference and festival, marking its 21st year in Manchester, is ‘Less and more’.

How can we rethink our use of scarce resources in the digital age? How can new technologies help in the search for alternative ways to live and work?

This year’s FutureEverything festival, now in its 21st year, plans to tackle these and other pressing questions through the lens of art and digital culture.

Working with the theme ‘Less and more’, the festival will be exploring what resources we need less or more of – now and in the future.

With a two-day conference at Manchester Town Hall featuring a diverse range of speakers, from Mathew Leung of 2015 Turner Prize winning architecture collective Assemble to New Harvest cellular agriculturalist Abi Aspen Glencross, FutureEverything is hosting a fascinating line-up of digital thinkers and doers.

Artists, designers, technologists, futurists and more will be discussing and debating around four key areas: ‘Earth’, addressing responses to climate change; ‘Life’, looking at the ethics and practicalities of gene editing and designing microorganisms from scratch; ‘Community’, exploring issues around the ownership of our urban environment; and ‘Thriving in Uncertainty (coming soon)’, which will examine the role and impact of uncertainty in modern life.

The festival will also see the launch of Project Ukko, a new climate service for wind energy. Commissioned and developed by FutureEverything with The Met Office and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, it is a collaboration with data visualisation artist Moritz Stefaner.

Programme of events

For those not attending the conference, a public programme of art, music and other events will bring this year’s themes to a wider audience.

Smoke Signals by artist Ed Carter and technologist David Cranmer is a multi-media art installation at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation that turns digital data streams into a physical presence in the form of smoke rings. Accompanied by an electronica-style soundtrack, each signal and sound indicates the movement of online information, with individual smoke rings signifying the transmission of FutureEverything’s email data.

The Corridor by Andrew Hodson uses found sound created by residents of Trafford to create a site-specific, interactive audio project for mobile devices.

At Manchester Art Gallery, filmmakers Chris Turner and Tash Tung, and industrial-electronica artist Gazelle Twin present an audio-visual performance for two vocalists. Commissioned by FutureEverything, Gazelle Twin: Kingdom Come,
will be staged in six chapters, incorporating electronics, film, and a new soundtrack created from samples and live vocal manipulation.

FutureEverything 2016 takes place Wednesday 30 March – Saturday 2 April. For full programme details, visit futureeverything.org