Manchester's Finest: Futuresonic 2008

Since its establishment in 1995, the Manchester-based festival Futuresonic has been committed to mobile and locative arts and has commissioned and presented works that re-imagine the city in myriad ways. Its purview, however, is much larger than this important, forward-thinking focus. The Festival is renowned for its musical program and Social Technologies Summit, which draw technologists, artists, and scientists from around the world. Last year the ambitious event included a strand called Music for the Beep Generation and an exhibition of commissioned artworks that responded to and were installed in Manchester's main shopping mall--including pioneering works by Mediashed and Katherine Moriwaki. Futuresonic 2008 will run from May 1-4 and takes Social Networking Unplugged as its theme. Proposals for works that investigate collaborative social experience, either in virtual worlds or off-line, in non-networked spaces, will be accepted until the deadline of December 18th. As Futuresonic founder Drew Hemment explains, "unplugged" can also refer to projects that "are excluded and left out of the loop of Web 2.0." A commission of up to