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This year’s summit looked to a future of increasing algorithmic intervention into our daily lives, and asked ‘what is left that cannot be computed or replicated’ and ‘how do we retain sensibilities that cannot be synthesised?’.

Sheffield Doc/Fest invited you to meet the artists and thinkers who strive for a balance between creation and automation, experimenting with the latest advances and radical innovations to enable new forms of storytelling.

Below is a breakdown of the day's schedule:

Alternate Realities Summit Welcome (10:00)
The Alternate Realities team welcomes you to a thought provoking day of talks and discussions with the international digital storytelling community.

Speakers: Dan Tucker & Joe Cutts (Sheffield Doc/Fest)

Designing Around the Brain (10:20)
As we move into a world in which our interaction with information starts as soon as we walk through the door, the role of experience design is becoming more and more important. A seasoned practitioner in designing experiments for ‘real’ reality, Tea Uglow gives insight on how to create for the cleverest machine we have: the brain.

Speaker: Tea Uglow (Google Creative Lab Sydney)

Converging Sensibilities: Considering Creative Practice (11:10)
Meet three emerging artists unafraid to take on sensitive subjects and deliver creative and compelling stories about sexuality, disability, conflict, climate, courage and faith.

Chair: Tonya Nelson (Arts Council England)
Speakers: Sadah Espii Proctor, Maria Belen Poncio, Nyasha Kadandara 

Future Lab Africa: Storytelling with Audio (12:00)
To this day radio, by far, is the dominant mass medium in Africa. Future Lab Africa is an experimentation in the most intimate space, between your ears, with an audible treat that inspires us to cultivate new ideas about the future and the future of storytelling.

Speaker: Jepchumba (Future Lab Africa)

In Posse: Making ‘Female’ Sperm (14:00)
Throughout history semen has been revered as a magical substance – a totem of literal and symbolic potency. Described variously as ‘life force’, ‘substance of the soul’ and ‘that which sows the seeds of virtue in the female soul’. Bio artist Charlotte Jarvis aims to re-write this cultural narrative; using art and science to disrupt the hierarchy.

Speaker: Charlotte Jarvis (Artist)

Subconscious Sensibilities: Considering Creative Practice (14:35)
Identity questioning installations that make us think again about how we see each other. Witness a discussion between three radical artists who have created some of the most thought provoking experiences in the Alternate Realities Exhibition: Subconscious Sensibilities.

Chair: Verity McIntosh (University of the West of England) 
Speakers: Bill Posters, Dr Daniel Howe, Georgie Pinn, Rob Eagle

AI Voyage: Can Conscious Storytelling Save Us? (15:35)
AI filmmaker Karen Palmer, the Storyteller from the Future, shares insights into her emotionally responsive film RIOT and the intersection of, AI and bias, gaming, art, neuroscience, behavioural psychology and consciousness. Returning to share with us the future in order that we might be able to change it through the superpower of conscious storytelling and technology.

Speaker: Karen Palmer (Artist)

Alternate Realities Summit Closing Comments (16:20)
The Alternate Realities team take to the stage to share some closing thoughts, invite some lucky participants to join the Social Sorting Experiment and encourage everyone else to meet the Alternate Realities artists for drinks at Site Gallery.

Smartphone Orchestra: Social Sorting Experiment (16:45)
A live event like no other. A selection of summit citizens will be manipulated in an absurdist interactive performance that uses the digital data trail we leave behind with our social media activity.

The Alternate Realities Summit will be available to view on our YouTube channel from Autum 2019.