Sandeep Bhagwati speaks on panel at mutek

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On May 28, matralab director Sandeep Bhagwati spoke on a panel “Vanishing Boundaries and New Beginnings” at the new cultural centre PHI MontrĂ©al in the context of the mutek festival’s mutek lab “Tools for an Unknown Future.” His contribution focused on the recent changes in the relationship between music creators, listeners and music technology – how can we re-think composition, music making and listening, when everyone can make the soundtrack for their lives automatically, with a simple user interface app ? How does this change the idea of a music festival and of music as an art form ? He also commented on the current turmoil in many societies around the world, observing that, for the very first time in human history, the information and orientation that humans seek is produced in, by and through the present moment, almost in real time – and that, as a consequence, most of the filters, stabilizers and orientation models of previous societies (traditions, moral values, institutions, media, communities) have dissolved or are dissolving under this onslaught – and that we as a species have not yet found a really constructive way to sift through the incoming data streams that inform our lives. Our societies currently are like ships without any stabilizing keel centreboard, swayed and sometimes even capsized by any short-term cross-current – and the only reaction many governments (or activist groups) seem to find to this situation, namely repression, hype and violence, is ineffective. For new beginnings, Bhagwati asserts, we need new models for analyzing the present with and through the past.

Sandeep Bhagwati is the director of matralab.