Last night marked the opening of Digifest 2019, with a celebration filled with an award ceremony, music, performance, and a keynote speaker. The night started off with the Digital Media Pioneer Award, which recognizes outstanding Canadians who have made significant contributions to the field of digital media. This was awarded to Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. Sara is a new media pioneer, curator, researcher, lecturer and artistic director who has become synonymous with Canadian art, culture and media. We heard heartfelt testimonies from her friends and colleagues, discussing her work and accomplishments. Sara accepted her award with grace, acknowledging the colonial association with the word ‘Pioneer’, and set forth that she will carry the true definition of the word, to be a person who is among the first to explore a new area.
Next, our keynote speaker, Dr. Koert Van Mensvoort, presented his outstanding lecture, NEXT NATURE: Technology is our Next Nature. Koert started by introducing himself and his work, designs of speculative products which provoke debate on the new technologies that are currently changing our everyday lives. He discussed potential technologies such as interactive paint that could be customizable on one’s mobile phone, the Twitter tooth, and lab grown meat and the potential culinary preparation that might take place in the future. He even included his cookbook on lab grown meat that can’t be used today, but maybe twenty years from now, which was gifted to the best question following his lecture, who was the Digital Media Pioneer Award winner, Dr. Sara Diamond. He concluded his lecture by showing us how technology has become our ‘new nature’, and engineers, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs can learn from it moving forward.
Then there was an exciting performance presented by StageKeep, followed by the reveal of “The Blow Up”, an installation presented by LeuWebb Projects. Using discarded cellular phones, camcorders, and digital cameras, the installation features an analogue sequence of digital devices to create a photo booth which many guests explored in the conclusion of the evening.
– Aracelli Ferrara
Find her on IG here.