Convergence, An ‘Art + Technology’ Summit at The Banff Centre

“Does everyone have their telenoid cookie?,“ teased The Banff Centre’s Vice-president of the arts Carolyn Warren, in kicking off the Convergence Summit, a four day conference on “art + technology” that took place Nov 27-29th. Located in the idyllic mountain-surrounded town of Banff, Alberta, the massive arts incubator played an important role in shaping discourse in and around ‘new media’ in the 90s and early aughties. With Convergence, the centre was planting a flag down and reasserting their importance as a key international digital arts venue—and CAN was on hand to report on the proceedings. Comprised of a dizzying schedule of lectures, performances, installations, and demos (all programmed by the freshly-minted Director of Visual/Digital Arts Jen Mizuik) the summit provoked about 150 international arts delegates to parse and interrogate the role of technology within the contemporary creative landscape. The conversation that resulted was nuanced and branched off in myriad directions, but several overarching themes did emerge. The following is a general (if not comprehensive) summary of Convergence, that zooms in on some choice moments within the speaker and performance schedule.

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