Function Keys – a new-ish conference on new technology and digital culture

Among the growing series of festivals, events, conferences dedicated to (and often over-celebrating) new and not-so-new technologies, I thought I would introduce you to this new-ish (in its third year) conference with the great title of “Function Keys“. There are several reasons why I decided to attend the conference and to write about it. here is why:

1.Has anybody heard of a place in Ontario, Canada going by the name of Hamilton? No? well you should remember it. Hamilton is a medium sized town South West of Toronto. A former industrial town, it is now an up and coming centre bursting with Arts and Creative types. it is also a place where a number of artists-run centres have blended with the community at large, managing to create arts and new media programs for school kids and other young adults.

This Conference is one of the many programs coming out of Hamilton, but I am sure there will be many more in the near future.

2. I was also attracted by the topics of this conference: not just specific technologies, not cutting edge technologies that promise to save the world, but a more interdisciplinary and critical approach to media and digital culture and a notion of “media” that is more inclusive (i.e., not just focused on digital technologies but also on wet media).

As I prepare to cover the conference starting on November 11, I am including below a press release

Function Keys 3: Conference of New Technology and Digital Culture

Speakers.Workshops.Performances

Function Keys is a biannual, three-day conference in Hamilton, Ontario organized by Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts. The conference aims to explore contemporary ideas and issues in new technologies and digital cultures. Now in its third year, Function Keys invites you to participate, observe and create on November 11, 12 and 13th, 2016.

FK3 offers an incredible lineup of academics, performers and artists who offer unique insights and perspectives on current issues in art and technology. FK3 invites participants to engage through presentations, performances, workshops and a Mad Science and Maker Fair.

Featured Presentations:

David Harris Smith “Hitchbot: A Robot Exploring the World”

Kara Stone “Affective Play”

Danilo McCallum “Afro-Futurism and Black Future Month 3015”

WhiteFeather “Biomateria: Biotextile Craft”

Ian Jarvis “Polari, Queer Sexuality & HIV in the Digital Age”

Featured Performances:

Harold Sikkema “Choral Interventions”

Dave Gould “The World’s Greatest Looist”

Jonah Kamphorst & Jackie Levitt “Dark Rooms”

Martin Messier “Field”

Myriam Bleau “Soft Revolvers”

David Bobier “VibraFusion Performance”

Featured Workshops:

Darryl Gold: Introduction to 3D Printing and 3D Modeling

Douglas Petican: Intro to LED wearables

Ryan Webber: Isadora 101

Performances and presentations are free to the public and will be held at The Spice Factory, 121 Hughson St. N, Hamilton, ON. Print