We’ve selected seven projects to join the five ‘Artists for Media’ projects to continue on the MediaFutures programme, unlocking further funding and support.

At the start of April, we shared the 24 projects that joined the 2nd cohort of the MediaFutures support programme. The MediaFutures programme has three tracks: ‘Artists for Media’ an artist residency, ‘Startups for Citizens’, a startup accelerator, and ‘Startup meets Artist’, a unique programme that supports artists and startups to work together on one project.

The projects on the ‘Startups for Citizens’ and ‘Startup meets Artist’ tracks had one month and up to €5,000 to refine their idea. At the end of April, they then had to pitch their idea to a panel of judges from the MediaFutures consortium to win a place on the next stage of the programme.

We’re excited to announce the following projects will progress to the next phase: the BUILD stage.

Startups for Citizens

Each project will receive up to €50,000, plus five more months of support to take their ideas to the next level.

  • Citizens Economy Dashboard comes from the UK charity Economy, that puts communities at the heart of making sense of economics. They will employ participatory methods to work with the public to re-envision the way economic data is reported in the UK. The project will hold space to challenge what data is considered ‘important’ and explore how we contextualise its relevance to people’s lives.
  • Factiverse is a B2B tool with a focus on fact-checking and credibility. It will equip journalists and content creators with patented AI-driven solutions that help them to do their best work faster and prevent the spread of misinformation. It provides automated detection of misinformation and a credibility check for any online information by using cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.
  • Ochi is an app by Ukrainian science media platform Kunsht, that turns screen time into learning media-literacy time. There are an array of games and tests on topics like hate speech, echo chambers, fakes, work of algorithms, gatekeepers, trolling, stereotypes, cognitive biases, and more. All alongside a personal dinosaur in augmented reality, sustained by regular involvement in the app which develops together with the child’s knowledge.

Startup meets Artist

For each project, the startup will receive up to €65,000 and the artist up to €30,000, plus five more months of support to take their ideas to the next level.

  • Doppelgänger is a collaboration between documentarist Michael Madsen and deep tech company Kaspar, targeting issues of mass surveillance, specifically CCTV systems and current GDPR regulations across Europe. Doppelgänger aims to draw into question the neutrality and trustworthiness of images recorded by a machine in an age where deep fake technology is widespread.
  • MUMIDIS is an open online space by Ukrainian research collaboration uTrigg designed to educate people about methods of brainwashing with disinformation. Using realistic visuals (a 3D city) and audial (sonic art) experiences, it will engage people in a gamified way to guess false and trustful news, with emotion AI technology, to measure and compare the emotions of readers while they consume trustworthy or fake news.
  • The Oracle Network is an artwork by a team composed of one full-stack developer, one artificial intelligence researcher, a visual artist with a background in philosophy and anthropology and one game artist. It begins with urban augmented reality (AR) art, spread around the city that leads, like a treasure hunt, to the Central Hub where visitors interact with artificial intelligence art installations, which gradually introduce the viewer into the abstract tech space of fake media.
  • Time-lapse Migration is a digital tool from startup La Tempesta and artist team Varvara&Mar, to counter misinformation and disinformation on the refugee phenomenon in Europe, by giving a wider context and different lights on the migration fluxes, their motivations, and problems, but also past episodes of forced migration in Europe and their contributions to European culture. The idea is to translate the refugee’s stories into visual language using AI.

“The participants at MediaFutures continue to impress with thoughtful ideas, lots of creativity and amazing execution.”Nico Lumma, Managing Partner at NMA Venture Capital GmbH in Hamburg, Germany and one of the jury members.

The five artists selected to join the artist residency track ‘Artists for Media’, who did not participate in the pitch event, will also continue on the programme:

  • Edit Wars is an interactive project from four data journalists and artists in Georgia and Germany. Their work analyses media publications accompanying the growing militarization and manipulation of mass consciousness in Russia, and addresses the use of aggressive narratives in the government-controlled media that isolate public perception from the real state of affairs.
  • How many heartbeats to send a love email? is an artwork by artist Kasia Molga, which offers a new narrative about energy consumption and digital data through an interactive experience engaging our own body energy. This artwork intends to create awareness on digital pollution caused by infobesity and fake news, and to question our intimate relationship with online data.
  • Invisible Voice is an artist-led project by Mark Farid, creating a free browser plugin empowering individuals to make informed decisions about the websites and companies they use. A browser button, when clicked, will open a pop-up, including: the owners, parent company, any affiliated companies, political leanings, revenue, assets, employee numbers, inclusivity and diversity statistics, environmental practise, cheap labour, and more information on the company’ practice.
  • Synthetic Identity Speculations is a participatory artistic research project from Michael Wallinger and Blaukind, that monitors individual synergy effects of social network algorithms and their impact on body images. The research will begin by exploring the potentials of synthetic data and data scraping to trace and cross-reference the impact of algorithmic agency on aesthetics, iconography, choreography and authenticity.
  • The more the better (two truths and a lie) is a multimedia installation by Hungarian-American artist Mihály Kornai exploring the relationship between foreign languages, mother tongues and trustworthiness. Combining experimental documentary, video art, spatial audio, and assemblage, the 100-channel and 100-language installation uses the children’s game of ‘two truths and a lie’ to blend truth and fiction beyond the point of discernibility.

You can read summaries for each project here. The projects will graduate in September 2022. We’ll continue to update you on their progress throughout the programme.

We thank our prestigious jury panelists, who dedicated their time and expertise for our teams:

  • Fionntán O’Donnell, Senior Data Technologist at TheODI
  • Hugues Vinet, Director, Innovation and Research Means at IRCAM
  • Marianne Fjellhaug, Project Manager for EU projects at Media City Bergen AS
  • Mr Gee, independent artist
  • Nico Lumma, Managing Partner at NMA Venture Capital
  • Oana Cocarascu, Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at King’s College London

MediaFutures will launch its 3rd Open Call in summer 2022. For more information on the programme, stay tuned on out website: https://mediafutures.eu/