Open City Documentary Festival

Expanded Realities Symposium

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Digital Catapult

The Expanded Realities symposium will bring together creators, innovators and researchers to bridge the gap between the worlds of technology and storytelling. The day of talks will feature speakers from around the world who are pioneers in their fields, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the cross-media space. 

Raising questions around the future of interaction and the encounter, the possibility of protest and disruption in the digital space, and the potential of the new market landscape, the symposium will explore the issues facing the industry as well as offering inspiration for any aspiring creators looking to move into the world of XR. 

The symposium will take place on Friday 6th September at Digital Catapult (101 Euston Road, London NW1 2RA). It is free to attend but requires advance booking. 

Symposium Schedule

10:00 – 11:00 – Masterclass: Monika Bielskyte
A futurist with an artist’s eye and an inventor’s mind, Monika Bielskyte prototypes culturally diverse, socially and environmentally engaged future world designs for the entertainment industry, technology companies, and cities/countries.  As an expert in future of content and immersive media technology space (XR/AI/UX), Monika’s work consists in connecting bleeding edge technological innovation with some of the world’s most original creative that brings Sci Fi to reality.

Monika was born in Lithuania, but has since worked on 6 continents and for the past 7 years has lived as a digital nomad researching futures in 80+ countries. Monika’s past clients include Universal, Google, DreamWorks, BBC, Microsoft, Mexico City, United Arab Emirates, Anonymous Content, Ridley Scott Associates, Reliance JIO, Telefonica, Intel, Aston Martin, MTN, TATA, Xerox PARC & Rick Owens, among others. 

Monika is an internationally renowned public speaker in the field of innovation represented by London Speaker Bureau.

11:15 – 12:15 – Panel: The Encounter
This session will look away from the focus on empathy in immersive work and towards an alternative proposal for the interactive space; exploring the possibilities of an encounter. The encounter is an opportunity to meet another rather than to embody ‘the other’. We will be joined by a line-up of creators changing the landscape of interaction for this panel hosted by Julia Scott-Stevenson. Speakers will include Shirin Anlen, Phoenix Perry and Ken Perlin.

13:00 – 14:00 – Artist Lightning Talks: Round 1
We’ll hear from a line-up of creators and experts about their craft and creative process in a round of lightning talks. Speakers include Calum Bowden, Anna Bertmark, Lisa Harewood and Ewan Cass-Kavanagh.

14:15 – 15:15 – Panel: Disrupting the System
The session will bring together a line-up of digital artists whose work looks to investigate and challenge the power structures within our society to exploring the power of technology to subvert the dominant narrative. This panel will be hosted by Ingrid Kopp and speakers include Tamara Shogaolu, Razan AlSalah and Rashin Fahandej.

15:45 – 16: 45 – Artist Lightning Talks: Round 2
We’ll hear from a line-up of creators and experts about their craft and creative process in a round of lightning talks. Speakers include Kelsey Boncato and Daniel Oldham, Paula Strunden and John Cruwys and Tamara Shogaolu.

17:00 – 18:00 – Panel: The Future of the Market
The session will take stock of the current landscape of cross-media and examine the potential opportunities and obstacles for the future for funding, distribution and exhibition. The panel will be hosted by Emily Savage. This panel will be hosted by Emily Savage and speakers include Ingrid Kopp, Maria Rakusanova, Paul Mowbray and Marco Delvai.