We are just back from Barcelona where MediaFutures organised a gathering with the startups and artists supported in 2023Out of the 13 supported teams, 12 were represented (with a total of 15 startup members and 11 artists mostly from 10 countries in Europe but also coming from Boston – USA, and Brisbane – Australia).

During two days, the teams were invited to present their projects, meet the other artists and startups from the Cohort 3, attend training and workshop sessions, as well as inspirational talks, and discover cultural places and partners in Barcelona. 

Day 1 

The first day took place at ESPRONCEDA, Institute of Art and Culture. Alejandro Martin, Head of Innovation and EU Projects at ESPRONCEDA, introduced the institution and its opportunities for artists. 

The floor was then given to the teams to present their projects. Even at mid-term of the support programme, it was very useful to go through this round of presentation to discover the progress of the teams, and for them to put faces on the projects (as it was the first physical meeting for this cohort!).

After a well-deserved lunch break, Johanna Walker from King’s College London – MediaFutures partner – conducted a workshop on data vizualization. She shared the best practices and invited the teams to practice in the second part of the session. It lead to interesting thoughts and funny vizualisations.

Two startup founders closed the day at ESPRONCEDA by sharing their startup journeys and best practices to run a business and benefit from the accelerator programme. Marc Hernandez is the founder and director of La Tempesta, a digital consultancy that also works on web & digital heritage. Jaime J. Candau previously entrepreneur (isnotTV – sold 2020) and Head of Marketing, is now a Product Consultant helping tech projects that are making a move into Digital. 

After this intense first day, we had the chance to visit IDEAL – Digital Art Center with an introduction by Nuria Navarro, Communication Director. We could enjoy the immersive exhibition Dalì including a Virtual Reality (VR) room with up to 50 simultaneous participants. During the dinner at El Menjador de la Beckett, the restaurant of the theatre, the exchanges were flowing between teams. The day was full of content and the teams happy to braistorm and relax concentration. 

Day 2 

We met at EURECAT – Technological Center of Catalunia for 2 sessions. The first one was a co-creation workshop focused on data conducted by Julià Vicens from EURECAT – MediaFutures partner – gathering information on how the teams use data in their project, and how it helps them tackle misinformation. Noémie Krack from Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) – MediaFutures partner – was in charge of the 2nd one and gave a legal and ethical perspective on the AI media applications. 

After lunch we discovered Domestic Data Streamers’ studio. This art collective (supported by MediaFutures in 2021) introduced us to their practice and specifically to AI & creativity. This lead to inspiring discussions on the use of AI, how to be careful while exploring its potential. 

Antònia Folguera then shared her practice as a curator at SONAR and member of the Barcelona Community Radio Network. She also gave tips on how to present artworks to curators. 

As many startups stayed in Barcelona for 4YFN (startup fair of the Mobile World Congress) Fernanda Rojas from NMA and Thomas Zimmer from ZABALA prepared the teams with best practices and recommendations to make the best out of their pitch and rock their networking at 4YFN. 

Some teams stayed over the weekend to enjoy the city, or participate in 4YFN, others went back home after the last session. It was a real pleasure to spend those days together, reflecting on our uses of data, AI and media to help tackle online misinformation.

Some great links have been forged between cohort 3 members, consortium partners and speakers. We can’t wait to meet the teams again in April in Rome!

by Louise Enjalbert – IRCAM