Mobile Music Workshop
The International Workshops on Mobile Music Technology were the very first events to focus on the field of mobile music and locative audio. They played a key role in the development of the field, starting with a first workshop in 2004 and concluding with a final one in 2008.
The workshops gathered a mix of researchers, designers, musicians, new media artists, social scientists, hackers and representatives of the industry. Their goal was to raise awareness about existing projects as well as help actors of the field with backgrounds in multiple disciplines to identify common goals and issues, share resources, and introduce one another to relevant technologies, methods and concepts.
Workshop programmes included various combinations of keynote presentations from invited speakers, peer-reviewed paper presentations of high academic quality, poster and demo sessions with state-of-the-art projects, in-depth discussions about crucial issues of mobile music technology, break-out sessions, hands-on technology tutorials, feedback sessions with experts about projects still in the work-in-progress stage (some of which have gained international recognition since then), as well as live performances. From having been 1-2 days short and small events, the workshops grew into a mix of mini-conference and festival, with activities opened to both registered participants and the general public.
The workshops were held at:
- The Viktoria Institute in Göteborg, Sweden, in 2004
- The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, in collaboration with the NIME conference in 2005
- The University of Sussex, in Brighton, UK, in collaboration with PLAN (Pervasive and Locative Arts Network) and Futuresonic (Urban Festival of Art, Music and Ideas) (now called FutureEverything) in 2006
- STEIM and the Waag Society in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2007 (website).
- The University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria in 2008 (website).
Besides being instrumental in the development of the field, the outcomes of the workshops were presented widely outside of the context of the workshop itself, among others places at the Futuresonic and Conflux festivals. A report about the first three workshops was published at NIME’06. The workshops were also at the origin of a panel debate about the future of music at SIGGRAPH 2005, which included former workshop participants and organisers.
A book was published by the University of Vienna as a retrospective of the 5 years of the Mobile Music Workshop.
(Top photo credits: Cathy Van Eck)