Interdisciplinary Center for Digital and Sound Cultures, Transcultures is a non-profit organization in Brussels. It was born in 1996, to promote and develop interchanges between various contemporary artistic/multimedia practices and dimensions. These include the arts in relation to society, and technology, with a main focus on sound and digital arts. The first phase took place in Brussels at Maison du Spectacle, La Bellone up until 2007. This was followed by the Site des Anciens Abattoirs in the city of Mons (2008-2016), with a dynamic participation in the event, ‘Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture’. Transcultures, which was founded by artistic director, Philippe Franck, has now settled in Charleroi at Le Vecteur (interdisciplinary location and cultural platform) for a new phase of development.
From Production to Distribution
Transcultures has supported Belgian and international artists, (co)produced a large number of intermedia, digital, & sound art works, and organized international art festivals and special events. The production approach is considered as part of a process from conception to dissemination of the project. Besides its festivals and events, Transcultures also distributes its productions in other Belgian/international locations, in larger events, and through supported works.
Sound & Digital Emergences Program
Apart from its initiatives to raise public awareness about digital and sound arts, Transcultures supports young talents and artists from Belgian and European Art Schools (also organizing creative exchanges between them), whose works are then presented in City Sonic, Transnumériques and associated festivals or events.
Artist Residencies, Workshops, Lectures/Debates
Transcultures welcomes Belgian and international artists for creative residencies in collaboration with local, national, European and international partners, on a regular basis. Transcultures also organizes workshops lead by artists (also for the youngsters – Sonic Kids-Digital Kids) and lectures/debates on various issues related to the digital cultures and sound arts. These dimensions can many times be interchanged during artist residencies, depending on the possibilities and projects.
Think Tank & Publications
Associating critical reflection to its program of activities, Transcultures brings up reflections about various issues related to interdisciplinary, contemporary, sound and media creation. Apart from the various lectures, workshops and participations to debates, think tanks…Transcultures also publishes books, DVDs, CDs and creates web contents on these specific topics. Since 2013, Transcultures has launched its own independent label for sound art and experimental music called ‘Transonic’. Transcultures also has regular collaborations (related to books on sound and digital arts issues) with the Brussels Publishing House, La Lettre Volée. Transcultures also supports the web platforms arts-numeriques.info and arts-numeriques.be.
Festivals – City Sonic & Transnumériques
Launched in Mons in 2003, City Sonic is a sound art festival dedicated to sound diversity through urban space. It features an itinerary of installations in the city as well as performances, concerts, workshops, lectures and special events. City Sonic is now based in Charleroi and its productions are traveling to other Belgian and international cities: www.citysonic.be
Transnumeriques, also initiated by Transcultures in 2005, is a festival featuring exhibitions, performances, lectures and special events. These are in different cities of the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels, as well as a platform for digital and media arts, broadcasting emergent or renowned artists, linking various Belgian and international cultural structures: www.transnumeriques.be
Vice Versa – Arts & Sciences Program
Since 2014, Transcultures has launched the Vice Versa Program, which proposes transnational residences (between Transcultures & La Chambre Blanche, visual-digital arts centre in Québec) to stimulate collaborations between digital artists, researchers and programmers. Vice Versa is also an annual itinerant forum of Arts-Sciences meeting point, initiated in partnership with the Institute of Research Numediart (University of Mons). This is where artists, researchers, and producers are invited to present their innovative projects, and to debate various related topics. Transcultures has also co-initiated the FabLab hosted by the University of Mons, with other scientific and cultural partners www.transcultures.be/vice-versa.
Through Belgian, European & international projects, Transcultures has worked with more than a hundred structures in four continents. It is one of the founding members of RAN-DAN (Digital Art Network) and the Numediart Consortium and it is a board/active member of some other great artistic & industry networks like Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes, cluster TWIST, Cinquante degrés Nord, and more).