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Leading minds gather to discuss creativity, technology and the future at new digital arts festival

Published: 05 July 2018

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Person in Virtual Reality headset standing in front of two windows at Somerset House

A new virtual reality experiment for Clon Studio. Individual participants are immersed into an unpredictable virtual environment.

Providing a platform for innovative art and technology, the Festival will run biennially with the aim of galvanising the region’s media arts capacity through participation, talent development and co-production. The events mark and celebrate York’s status as the UK’s first, and only, UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.

York Mediale includes a four-day symposia running from 1 - 4 October. Comprising three conferences over four days, the symposia will bring together international experts, practitioners, commissioners and thinkers from the worlds of video-gaming, art, theatre, science, philosophy and technology to share, engage, showcase, debate and inspire.

Dr Eirini Nedelkopoulou, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at York St John University, is the academic lead and co-organiser of the conference ‘Stories of Solitude - Performance, Technology and Digital Overload’. Working in collaboration with Tom Higham (York Mediale’s Artistic Director) Dr Nedelkopoulou will explore the creative, psychological and ecological potential of solitude at the one-day conference on 3 October. The conference reconsiders the role of audiences, participants and their technologies in public and private, and virtual and physical spaces, both as individuals and as members of communities.

A highly regarded national and international line-up of curators, academics and artists are involved in ‘Stories of Solitude’, including Leeds based innovative art studio Invisible Flock; Maaike Bleeker, Professor of Theatre Studies at Utrecht University, Netherlands; Matthew Causey, Professor in Drama and  Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory at Trinity College Dublin; Natalie Kane, curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum; Lisa Bortolotti, Professor and philosopher of the cognitive sciences and Valeria Motta, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee; Estela Oliva, creative director and curator; Zeena Feldmann, Lecturer in Digital Culture at King’s College London; Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at Northumbria University and Jude Brereton, Senior Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology at the University of York.

Dr Nedelkopoulou says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for York St John University to consolidate relationships and partnerships with experts from the creative and digital industries. ‘Stories of Solitude’, as part of York Mediale, invites local, national and international audiences to view a different aspect of contemporary artistic practice and experience. The University's developing research profile on digital technologies and practice will both significantly contribute to and benefit from this exciting new festival in the city of York.”

York Mediale takes place at venues across York from 27 September – 6 October 2018. For information about the York Mediale 2018 programme, visit

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