Between December 6 and 9, 2019, UKAI Projects visited numerous organizations and individuals grappling with the question of how to translate analog practices, often drawing on different ways of being and seeing the world, into digital environments.
Between September 2018 and June 2019, ukai Projects has worked with Nagata Shachu Taiko Ensemble, Music Africa (music and culture festival) and Music in the Barns (classical installation concert and event producer) to identify and analyze opportunities to translate culturally-specific performance to digital environments, and to build three digital prototypes to advance organizational objectives and community knowledge for culturally-specific music organizations in Canada. The prototypes and research related to the process will be presented and disseminated through digital platforms and relevant arts events. Our aim is to explore the use of digital technologies in the development and creation of new works while strengthening social inclusion in audience communities.
The shift to digital has privileged commercially successful and Western disciplines. There is a need to translate hybrid, diasporic and non-Western traditions into digital business models. We believe that this project will advance our understanding of how.
thumbnail courtesy Music in the Barns
Kensington Market has always been a testing ground for new ways of using public space. The people of Kensington have always found innovative ways to address their needs by redefining public space, built forms and uses beyond established norms. They've done this by integrating knowledge drawn from residents that come from all corners of the world. This attitude is what has given the Market its unique charm and identity. We plan to continue strengthening this tradition by working with the Market's community and by using art and programming as tools to educate and inform.
The Digital Arts Services Symposium in Toronto in 2018 was supported by facilitation from UKAI Projects and our Ferment team. The event brought together national and international digital arts service organizations to continue the evolution of a repository of collective skills and knowledge. The structure celebrated facilitated dialogues with like-minded individuals alongside unexpected, serendipitous exchanges between diverse, underserved communities and inspired digital champions.
This collaborative partnership includes 14 workshops across Canada to engage artists in the critical conversation about artificial intelligence. The project will not only equip artists to understand the implications and opportunities of artificial intelligence but also imagine the appropriate artistic and political responses to world that will be significantly altered by the introduction of these technologies. We will see artists not only using these tools, but informing the conversation about how these tools will be deployed, and to whose benefit.
Creative production and expression is evolving in exciting and unexpected ways. Technological and social changes require greater public engagement in the massive shifts underway and their cultural implications for everyone. Centering work on the public will require new ways of organizing, governing and communicating. ukai Projects hosted a broad-ranging panel at Maker Faire New York in 2017 to better understand the current system, to hear from contemporaries addressing similar challenges, and to imagine a strategy to evolve structures to accommodate an increasingly fluid and hybridized field. Creators are increasingly fluid in their approaches to production and expression.
UKAI Projects was invited to participate in the Inclusive Societies for Stable Democracies Forum in Baltimore in October 2017 through the BMW Foundation. Thematically, the Responsible Leader Forums are guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Responsible Leaders Forum North America in Baltimore addressed above all the tenth goal: Reducing Inequalities.
The goal of this project was to develop partnerships with US-based arts incubators in New York and Los Angeles and connect them to those doing arts incubation work here in Canada.
As disciplines converge and as new technologies are integrated into existing and new practices, appropriate approaches to support incubation and collaboration will be needed. In a country as globally-connected and geographically dispersed as Canada, how might virtual or distance incubation practices be supported, particularly around acts of digital creation and dissemination?