MediaFutures held its second DemoDays on the 10th and 11th of October 2022, at IRCAM Centre Pompidou in Paris: congratulations to the winners and all the artists and startups graduating from our second cohort!
Artists and startups from the second cohort of the MediaFutures project had the chance to showcase their solutions to help tackle mis- and disinformation in front of the public and a jury panel of representatives from the MediaFutures team and independent experts. At the end of the second day, the jury designated the three best projects (one art residency, one startup acceleration and one collaborative team) and the winners of the final prizes.
- Best startup and best artist in ‘Startup meets Artist’ track: The Oracle Network
“From our side, the MediaFutures program was a wonderful experience. We had the opportunity to unite artists, journalists and programmers to fight misinformation. We had a lot of support during the MediaFutures program, where we met professionals from many different areas who helped us strengthen our business plan, social impact and big data dimension. We are proud to have involved young art students in our project, who gave us valuable insights into how they visualize misinformation and disinformation. Overall it was an amazing experience, with wonderful people and we are excited to take our products to the next level.”
- Best artists in ‘Artists for Media’ track: EditWars
“We were very happy to receive the prize in the Artists for Media track – it speaks to the importance of the problem of misinformation and the search for means to counter it. We hope that a combination of research and artistic tools is an effective way to do this. We appreciate the credit of trust given to us by the jury and the MediaFutures program and we are actively planning further developments of the project – new publications, exhibitions and partnerships”.
- Best startup in ‘Startups for Citizens’ track: Factiverse
“We were surprised to win because we competed with many really good projects. The team worked hard on getting the prototype and the presentation ready and are happy with the win. The funding helps us to get closer to the product market fit, and it matters a lot to win our first European prize. It gives us more exposure outside of Norway and enables us to raise funding from private investors. That means we can continue our mission to empower media and finance to detect false information and make smarter decisions for a sustainable future”.
Jury member Hannah Redler-Hawes, director of the Data as Culture art programme at the Open Data Institute said “We are at a unique point in history where the sophisticated methods used and speed of digital disinformation present us with unprecedented challenges. The Artists for Media track resulted in an array of compelling and innovative concepts. The Edit Wars team’s approach to tackling the constant information pressure, news distortion and obfuscation accompanying the growing militarization and manipulation of mass consciousness in Russia demonstrates in a devastatingly timely and urgent manner both the immense power of the structures at play in global info-wars but also ingenious artistic methods of resistance and rebalance.”
The projects were judged on a range of criteria, including impact on tackling misinformation, business and artistic quality, innovation and collaboration between artists and startups. Artists receive €5,000 and startups €10,000 as an award. This prize comes on top of the grant funding they receive for participating in the MediaFutures support programme, which aims at supporting 51 startups or SMEs and 43 artists through a total of three Open Calls, distributing a total amount of €2.5M. “The various projects presented during these Demo Days demonstrate the capacity of artists to be at the forefront of contemporary issues and to mediate them in society through meaningful and participatory approaches.” affirms the Jury member Hugues Vinet, Director, Innovation and Research Means, IRCAM.
The event also involved misinformation and media experts that provided insights through keynotes about the important role of dataset, digital tools, and AI to fight these challenges. “I was humbled to be asked to speak at the DemoDays about the role of data and technology in mis- and disinformation – affirms Elena Simperl, Professor of Computer Science, King’s College London) – “In my work I develop software and methods that lead to better data – better data means more accurate, truthful data, but also data that people can trust and use with confidence. I learned a lot from the projects MediaFutures funds in terms of interdisciplinary, arts-inspired approaches that communicate data in inspiring ways, uncover hidden patterns in complex data, and improve data literacy… all very inspiring for my work. I’m looking forward to work together with some of the artists in my research to explore these ideas”
In addition, the artist Gaëtan Robillard, supported by MediaFutures in 2021, exhibited his installation ‘Critical Climate Machine’: this data sculpture and sound installation quantified and revealed the mechanisms of misinformation on global warming.
Projects that participated successfully in the second cohort
Startups for Citizens – ACCELERATOR FOR STARTUPS
- OCHI – An application for youth that turns learning media literacy into a gamified experience.
- FACTIVERSE – B2B tool for media with a focus on fact-checking and credibility to help journalists discover credible information at a higher pace and higher accuracy.
- Citizens Economy Dashboard by Economy – Data dashboard for journalists dedicated to improving economic discourse and the use of economic data.
Startup meets Artist – STARTUP MEETING ARTISTS SUPPORT PROGRAMME
- MUMIDIS – Open online space «Museum of mis- and disinformation» that educates people about methods of brainwashing with disinformation that lead to wars or other horrible disasters.
- The Oracle Network – An innovative system that includes artists, programmers, journalists and even the general public to reduce the impact of fake news on public opinion by creating and promoting.
- Time Lapse Migration – A platform that brings forward the refugee artists’ voices and their lived experience, to build an alternative narrative that transcends the fear rhetoric and the existing mis/disinformation on refugees and migration.
- DOPPELGÄNGER – An installation made by a start-up and an artist – in a public space that invites passersby to approach a large cluster configuration of mirrors with a camera at the centre, questioning video surveillance and the very concept of GDPR .
Artists for Media – RESIDENCY PROGRAMME FOR ARTISTS
- Edit Wars – An interactive artistic project based on an analysis of media publications accompanying the growing militarization and manipulation of mass consciousness in Russia.
- How many heartbeats to send a love email? – An artwork that intends to create awareness on digital pollution caused by infobesity and fake news, and to question our intimate relationship with online data.
- Invisible Voice – An artist-led project to develop a free browser plugin that empowers individuals to make informed decisions about the websites and companies that they use.
- Synthetic Identity Speculations – A participatory artistic research project that monitors individual synergy effects of social network algorithms and their impact on body images.
- The more the better (two truths and a lie) – A multimedia installation exploring the relationship between foreign languages, mother tongues and trustworthiness