In Conversation: Ashkan Fardost and David Maggs
A discussion with Ashkan addressing the major themes from the summit. Hear Ashkan's reactions and enjoy a discussion with the audience.
Sweden, the late 90s, a quiet Stockholm suburb. A teen who dreams of being a music producer has just gotten his hands on the first piece of production software capable of rivalling a professional setup. At the time, he is a weirdo – listening to trance, claiming to make music while sitting quietly in his room, refused by every label who gets his demo CDs in the mail. Then, Napster happens.
From aspiring teen creator to semi-hacker to music producer working with the greats, from a PhD in organic chemistry to collaborations with Hyper Island and the Stockholm tech scene, to the starting-up of Oddball Ventures, and from this diverse portfolio to TEDx and a nomination for Sweden’s Speaker of the Year 2017, Ashkan has not only lived the evolution of the internet, but has seen it through angles few else have. He is set apart by his insights into the internet as a psychological, sociological, and anthropological phenomenon that changes the entire dynamic of the world.
Standing on the shoulders of great philosophers and sociologists, he begins by uncovering what it means to be human. With the help of anthropology, he then shows us what catalyzed human civilization and what continues to power it. Hint: it is all about information technology! Last but not least, he introduces the internet and current technological trends to this model, shedding light on the road we are thundering down – and on how it is changing us for good.
David Maggs carries on an active career as an interdisciplinary artist and arts researcher. He is the founder of and pianist for Dark by Five, has written works for the stage, and collaborated on large augmented reality projects. David is the artistic director of the rural Canadian interarts festival Gros Morne Summer Music, founder and publisher of a digital arts magazine, and the director of The Graham Academy, a youth performing arts training academy.
David developed and co-produced the CBC documentary The Country. As an academic, David focuses on arts practices and the challenge of sustainability. His doctoral thesis Artists of the Floating World led to the SSHRC-funded Sustainability in the Imaginary World led by PI John Robinson. His research attempts to understand sustainability as a cultural challenge and the arts as a driver of social impacts. He has been a featured speaker at the Canadian Arts Summit, The International Transdisciplinarity Conference (Germany), the National Valuing Nature Conference, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), and elsewhere.