Interdisciplinary center for digital and sound cultures initiated by its current director, Philippe Franck, Transcultures is the project of a non-profit organization born in Brussels in 1996 in order to promote and develop exchanges between different practices and contemporary multimedia artistic dimensions.
More generally, Transcultures questions the artistic and cultural approach in relation to the societal and technological issues of today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on sound and digital arts & cultures. The first phase of Transcultures took place in Brussels at the Maison du Spectacle, La Bellone until 2007. This was followed by a second in Mons (2008-2016), on the Site des Anciens Abattoirs with in particular a participation dynamic of Transcultures in Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture.
After a few years within the cultural platform Le Vector in Charleroi and at the Museum of Mining and Sustainable Development on the Bois-du-Luc site, Transcultures is now based on the site of the former Couvent d’Hautrage (ancient Congregation of Franciscan Sisters).
Transcultures - Interdisciplinary center for digital and sound cultures
From Production to Distribution
Transcultures has supported Belgian and international artists, (co)produced a large number of intermedia, digital, & sound art works, and organised 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 and supported projects in other Belgian/international locations, in other events.
Sound & Digital Emergences Program
Apart from its initiatives to raise public awareness about digital and sound arts, Transcultures supports young talents from Belgian and European Art Schools (also organising creative exchanges between them) through workshops and critical-technical support, 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
City Sonic, launched in Mons in 2003, 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 (Sonic Garden parties, Sonic Kids…). City Sonic is, since 2017, an itinerant biennial (Charleroi, Louvain-la-Neuve, Brussels,…); its productions and artists cover the territory of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels and are also distributed internationally.
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 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
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 itinerant forum of Arts-Sciencesmeeting 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
Thanks to Belgian, European and international projects, Transcultures has worked with more than a hundred structures on four continents. The centre is one of the founding members of RAN-DAN (Digital Art Network bringing together some forty international structures, centres, festivals, art schools, labs…dedicated to digital arts) and also of the Numediart Consortium.
Transcultures is also an active member of the European Pepinieres for Young Artists (bringing together, in around thirty countries, around a hundred European partners and beyond), the TWIST cluster (Walloon Image and Sound Technologies which brings together around a hundred leading Belgian companies), Fifty Degrees North (Cinquante degrés Nord – cross-border network of contemporary arts).
Lastly, Transcultures is a regular partner or initiator of European projects (Creative Europe, Interreg V, etc.). The conjunction of these international networks concretely promotes a number of opportunities for the projects and artists supported by Transcultures.
Initiated and produced by Transcultures since 2012, Transonic is an independent label dedicated to electronic, organic, poetic, experimental…contemporary sound related creations.
In addition to a varied catalog of publications (in various formats: CD, LP, cassette, book, download…) in connection with those prospective sound arts, Transonic offers various sound objects, specific events (concerts, intermedia performances, connected events…), hybrid works and special events (installations, conferences, interdisciplinary audio collaborations…) in Belgium and abroad.
This strong desire to complete the distribution circuit of the sound creations produced by the label, by the distribution of the supported artists or other talents to which Transonic feels close, is based on the experience and the vast network (Belgian and international) of Transcultures and its many partners.