Gray Area Festival 2023

Plural Prototypes

Join us October 19–22 for the 9th edition of Gray Area Festival, a conference, performances, workshops, and an exhibition surveying culture through the lens of art and technology.

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Gray Area Members at the Co-creator and Cultivator levels enjoy free access to Gray Area Festival, and all Members receive first access to our workshops and previews.

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Today we face technologies that benefit narrow bands of society, polarize culture, and prohibit the cooperation needed to engage complex global challenges. To comprehensively address issues such as climate change, the unknown consequences of "artificial intelligence," or extractive capitalism demands new social relations, and new tools. In response, our gambits are radical arts-driven digital interventions we're calling Plural Prototypes — reimagining infrastructure that facilitates deep and meaningful collaboration among diverse social groups.

Plural Prototypes apply artistic inquiry and antidisciplinary practice in pursuit of holistic approaches toward an equitable and inclusive society. We allow cultural producers the agency to align our technological future with pluralistic values — open access and participation, interdependence, decentralization, mutual learning, shared responsibility, and care — ensuring we build systems that enhance the common good.

Marking Gray Area's 15th anniversary, this Festival highlights in-progress cultural experiments from our Creative Research and Development Labs, Cultural Incubator, and Education programs in collaboration with community and industry partners. The projects pose urgent questions about organization and governance, digital democracy, data sovereignty, and the future of work. Using emerging technologies such as immersive environments, generative AI, simulation, and the decentralized web, these projects demonstrate how artistic engagement can surface critical perspectives, and open up vital new pathways for collective imagination.

Gray Area Festival: Plural Prototypes is part of this year's programming focused on Access.


workshop series

Gray Area Festival presents a workshop series from C/Change, an initiative by Goethe-Institut San Francisco and Gray Area, exploring the future of technology-enabled cultural exchange.

Collaborate with artists and creative technologists from around the world to leverage emerging technologies, such as immersive environments, generative AI, and simulation. Create new tools and cultural experiments that pursue an equitable and inclusive society, focusing on feminist technologies, digital democracy, and planetary futures.


Wondering what awaits you at Gray Area Festival? Discover what's in store by exploring presentations from previous Festivals in our Archive.

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Gray Area Festival is produced by Gray Area in partnership with:

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