Interactive Futures (IF) has been active since 2002 holding a conference alongside its exhibitions and performances. From 2002 to 2007, IF was organized by Dr. Steve Gibson, sponsored by the Victoria Film Festival and was held in Victoria, Canada. IF has grown from being a single venue event held at the University of Victoria featuring local researchers and artists, to being a multi-venue event with significant international cultural partners, an active archival website and a publication by an international publisher. Since 2007 Dr. Maria Lantin and Julie Andreyev have co-directed IF at Emily Car University of Art + Design.
Interactive Futures 2011: Animal Influence, November 17-19, was co-curated by Dr. Carol Gigliotti and presented the theme “Animal Influence” by spotlighting the work of media artists whose work has been influenced by the growing wealth of knowledge on animal behavior, cognition, creativity and consciousness emerging from such fields as ecology, cognitive ethology, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, philosophy, zoology, and others. These research areas have focused on new understandings of animal life and are helping to shift assumed conventions concerning animal cognition, consciousness, and agency. While the change in human attitudes towards animals has been documented in news media as well as in more academic venues, the idea that animals might possess emotional, moral, cognitive lives is an idea that has been, in the past, either dismissed or associated with metaphorical or symbolic approaches. Our particular interest is in how investigations in animal-human relations are affecting the ways in which new media artists are considering broader understandings of other species and creating varying methodologies for experimental art and new media appropriate for these unique circumstances. IF’11: Animal Influence offered a workshop, exhibitions, performances, screenings and international promotional activity and an international publication with the journal Antennae: Journal of Nature in Visual Culture for audiences including policy-makers, business leaders, community leaders, educators, and members of the media, as well as academics and artists in various fields and interested members of the public.
IF’11: Animal Influence conference presentations archive: Vimeo
IF’09: Stereo offered a broad thematic reading of “stereo” to include research and art works that use techniques and devices to lure the body into ephemeral spaces. Examples included stereographic films and animations, linked interactive performance spaces, simulated touch interfaces, binaural sound works, and mixed-reality art works. IF’09: Stereo invited practitioners working with subtle uses of immersive techniques, illusionary space and objects, and telepresence that evoked unexpected responses and challenged modes of creation used by popular entertainment media and technologies. Some key presenters and researchers included Paula Levine, Munro Ferguson, George Legrady, Steve Dietz, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Catherine Richards, Open Ended Group
IF’07: The New Screen explored new forms of screen-based media from a diverse body of artists, theorists, writers, filmmakers, developers, and educators. IF’07 was supported by a Canada Council for the Arts Media Arts Dissemination Grant, and partnered with Open Space Artist Run Centre , Victoria. IF’07 presented an exhibition and performances featuring artists Fiona Bowie, Peter Horvath, Kate Pullinger, Kate Armstrong, and David Hoffos. The papers from IF’07 and Digital Art Weeks in Zurich (an IF partner for ’06 and ’07) have been published in “Transdisciplinary Digital Art: Sound, Vision and The New Screen”, Edited by Randy Adams, Steve Gibson & Stefan Muller Arisona, published by Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York.
For IF’06: Audio Visions , Randy Adams and Julie Andreyev became co-organizers with Steve Gibson. IF’06 featured Canadian artists Leonard Paul, Peter Courtemanche, Shawn Pinchbeck and Jim Andrews, and performances by Kenneth Newby, Aleksandra Dulic, Martin Gotfrit, Tom Kuo and Greg Hermanovic. International artists included Atau Tanaka, David Tinapple and Andrew Johnson. Digital Art Weeks, a festival held at the Institute of Computer Systems of ETH Zurich , Switzerland partnered as a parallel event.
IF’04: New Media Crossing Boundaries partnered with Open Space Artist Run Centre as the main venue for artistic work showing work by Canadian artists Julie Andreyev, Jean Piche, Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic and featured a special performance by international artist DJ Spooky.
IF’02 and IF’03 featured Canadian artists and theorists Arthur Kroker, Will Bauer, and Carol Gigliotti. IF’02 included performances by Canadian artists John Celona and Michael Bussiere as well as pieces by international artists Stelarc, Toni Dove, Mary Flanagan and Perry Hoberman. IF’03 included an installation by Canadian artist Don Ritter.
Interactive Futures (IF) is a forum for showing current tendencies in new media art as well as a conference for exploring ideas and research related to technology and art. IF supports a conference, keynote addresses, presentations, panel discussions, exhibitions, and performances. National and international presenters, performers and artists acknowledged for their research and production are invited to contribute to an expansion of knowledge within the IF thematic. IF provides a forum for artists and researchers of Canada to interact with international members of the media arts communities within an intensive setting.