Becoming one of the most important and pioneer festivals combining entertainment and concerts with workshops, virtual reality experiences, conferences, and business meetings is not easy. But Sónar+D never fails to achieve it. This year’s program includes, as the top highlight, the conference and special DJ set by the iconic Björk. But in addition to this, the congress where technology and creative industries converge has prepared some other unmissable activities for lovers of everything futuristic, artistic and technologic. If you feel you’re about to have a FOMO attack, we’re your solution. Take a look on what you must see!

My Artificial Muse

Even though machines have been used as creation tools before – think of Jean Tinguely’s Méta-matic series, for example –, the main driving force behind them was pure randomness and mechanics. The radical change that collective Architects of Morality will introduce at Sónar+D is intelligence. By designing a neural network, Mario Klingemann has achieved the goal of creating an artificial intelligence system capable of producing its own artworks. During a three-day performance at MarketLab, Albert Barqué-Duran – founder of the multidisciplinary collective – will reproduce the artwork designed by a non-human brain. How will the final result be? Just wait and see.

Lightforms / Soundforms, by Brian Eno

The ambient pioneer, the discoverer of No Wave in New York, the revered producer of David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2: Brian Eno is a brilliant conceptualist, a strong voice of the time that revolutionised music forever. From June 14th at the Arts Santa Mònica, the exhibition Lightforms / Soundforms will capture a complete picture of his current activity and his short-term future plans; and it's one of the most comprehensive shows on the topic. After his inaugural conference at last year’s Sónar+D, Brian Eno conceived a visual music along the installation 77 Million Paintings, a constantly evolving sound and image-scape, unique in every moment. And there is more: from 13th to 18th June, Eno's latest album, Reflection, will be presented at the luggage carousel of T1 at Barcelona’s airport.

Fistful of Stars, by Eliza McNitt

Eliza McNitt wants us to make us feel like the first audience ever attending a film screening more than a century ago by introducing the first multidimensional view into space in VR. Based on photorealistic simulations of the mind-blowing imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, Fistful of Stars composes an immersive encounter with the cosmos that explains what we’ve always heard: that we’re made from stardust. Such a sublime journey to experience during Sónar+D.

Curiosibot: The Laser Room

Created by a Spanish duo, this project is everything we dreamt of when we thought of how the future would look like when we were kids, especially when it came to how we expected we’d play and have fun. Although based on a serious technological research, The Laser Room is basically the 22nd century playground: when you step inside, it becomes an interactive musical instrument. There’s a large laser that projects visuals onto a wall, while smaller lasers play sounds and instruments depending on your position and distance from them; a totally fun and entertaining way of discovering what high-tech can do to make our lives that you can visit at MarketLab.

Wave Shift, by Mark Bain

One of the most interesting buildings in Barcelona, the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, will transform itself into a virtual and sonic sculpture thanks to the artist and researcher Mark Bain. By using seismological equipment and an active sensor network, the micro-vibrations that travel within the structure of the pavilion will be amplified until becoming perceptible to the public, who will feel and hear the frequencies of movement. In addition, three loudspeakers will make the water ripple, which will make the sound visible through the aqueous element, and the basement of the building – usually closed to the public – will be open to create a more immersive and complete experience.

Fight for your right to party (and create)

Partying is the right to occupy the night, to evolve in an environment differently codified for a few hours. We need a transgressor, highly creative vision more then ever, because it’s in danger since the gentrification processes started pushing those same artists and creators away from the centre of the cities they actually revitalized. From London to Berlin, to Paris and Amsterdam, so many places kept shutting down to let 'yuppies-wannabe-artists' invade the neighbourhoods created by counter-cultural and bohemian people. On Thursday June 15th, Marie McPartlin – the London Somerset House Studios' director – and Dimitri Hegerman – Tresor club founder – will share their experiences on such a topic. What is left from clubbing? What must be done to preserve the spaces that still exist? A crucial conversation to get clearer points on how we’re gonna fight for our right to party!

Intorno Labs

Would you like to move sound across physical space? Or to be immersed in an interactive sonic experience in complete darkness? Maybe you didn’t know that this was possible, but now that you do, you want it. At MarketLab, be sure to visit Intorno Labs, a Barcelona-based company that develops tools for multidimensional sound. It will present some of its most interesting products, like the Space Performance Controler – the tool to touch and move sound around the space –, or the Intorno Binaural/VR Suite – a plug-in used for virtual reality and 360º videos –, which help improving sound experiences in immersive environments or in VR.

Creativity and songwriting with Joe Goddard

If you’re a musician or would like to become one, here’s a wake-up call: Joe Goddard is offering a masterclass. The producer and member of Hot Chip, who performed at last year’s edition of Sónar, is back to the sunny city to share some tips and tricks on musical creativity and electronic songwriting. A unique opportunity to get to know from the inside how does a creative mind like his function when creating and playing, on Friday 16th from 19.30h to 20.15h at Stage+D.

The magic factory of Rhizomatiks

When talking about the most advanced technologies in the world, especially when applied to the arts and culture, we must take a look at Japan. The Nippon Empire is known for being two steps ahead of everyone else in useful technology for humankind, and Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi are the greatest example of that. Together, they created Rhizomatiks, an artistic-technological studio that uses drones, robotic arms, and lasers in different creative fields such as the performing arts, music and art installations. The whole team, though, includes engineers, visual artists, architects and coders, devoted to push the boundaries of time and make the future become the present. The conference will take place on Thursday 15th from 15.30h to 16.10h at Stage+D.
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The Nimbes, by Joanie Lemercier and James Ginzbur

New technologies are so fantastic that they push our imagination beyond what's already possible. While immersing us into a virgin space-time, The Nimbes, a fifteen-minutes 360º audio-visual experience, returns to the cosmogony exploring centuries later the ancient Greek mythological conceptions of the creation of the world. Composed by French visual artist Joanie Lemercier and Bristol-based sound artist James Ginzburg, the immersive piece places the spectator at the centre of this universe; lying down on a black floor, here he is in front of a marvellous yet dystopic Nimbes. Nature is menacing and monochrome while a battle between darkness and light wages on. And into this full experience, spectators can only feel the solitary nature of perception.