Sónar Istanbul's creativity and technology platform, Sónar +D Istanbul, undertakes the daytime program of the festival as a reflection of Digilogue's work throughout the year.

Sónar Istanbul's creativity and technology platform Sónar +D Istanbul undertook the panels and talks of the festival as a reflection of Digilogue's work throughout the year. Organized with the support of Digilogue, Sónar +D Istanbul hosted many talks focusing on art, technology, nature and creativity.


Becoming a must-see experience every year with one of a kind music, visuals and talks, which centres around togetherness, experience, creativity and senses, Sonar Istanbul once again met with music lovers on 2-3 October 2021.  As well as visual shows, Sónar+D, which is one of the most important additions of the festival, made a difference with its panels that brought together names from the creative industries around the themes of music, creativity and technology.

In addition to the panels covering many topics ranging from the place and transformation of the media in our lives to the concept of sustainability, from crypto-art to the relationship between ecology & art and the effects of the pandemic, Q&As featuring artists were also presented to the visitors as part of Sonar +D.

Messages and Transformations of Mediums

In the 21st century, everything rapidly changes and transforms and technology comes up with innovations we no longer can keep up with, but what about the mediums?  Focusing on the meaning of media in our lives and its intersections and breaking points, the “Medium is the Massage” panel took place with the participation of Aposto!‘s CEO Orhun Canca and composer Taner Tuna who is also from the Aposto! team.  The environments within the mediums, the message they convey, their social, psychological and economic effects formed the main axis of the conversation.

Inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s phrase “Medium is the Massage”, the panel drew attention to today’s production economy trends. It was discussed that broadcasting without being connected to social media with the help of podcasts and newsletters, which become more and more popular every day, will appear more in the coming years and the interest in this field will increase.

Newsletter-based new media platform Aposto!’s CEO Canca, explained Aposto!’s approach on this issue. We have created a space where different content producers can publish their own written content using our infrastructure and applications, earn money, reach different audiences, and receive our help in editorial, technological, economic, and marketing fields”.

Is the Sustainability of Minds Possible?

One of the words we come across frequently in many different fields these days is “sustainability”. As the climate crisis, natural destruction, environmental pollution and nature’s reactions to people’s mistakes became more and more apparent, we began to look for ways to a sustainable future, fearing what we would face tomorrow. Named after the theme of the last issue of Mercado, the panel titled “Sustainable Mind”, moderated by the magazine’s founders Tunahan Mert Topuzand Yağız Genç, brought together many creators who all have created sustainable works. 

The founder of Gözen Institute, which conducts vegan material research, bio-designer Ece Gözen said that they do bio-art projects because they know that “mental processes are important in examining the relationship between nature and humans.”  Ayşe Yılmaz, the founder of OTTAN Studio, explained the work they do as, “We are upcycling food, agricultural wastes and by-products of this industry and developing biocomposite materials.” Digital designer Hakan Yıldırım, the founder of DeArtium which is working on Clean-NFT, said that he thinks NFT technology is not yet complete and not ready for use, and that he is keeping his works on this subject waiting for the moment until further developments are made. Ufuk Emin Akengin, one of the founders of Onaranlar Kulübü, which continues its activities with the motto of “Don’t throw, repair. Don’t consume, produce. Don’t hoard, share.”, stated that they continue their work with the aim of awareness on the axis of repair, production and sharing.

NFT and Crypto Art Developed with the Influence of Blockchain

The recent emerging trends of crypto art, nft and crypto art collecting were the focal points of the “Cripto Art & World Of Collectables” panel. In the talk moderated by Levent Erden, BTC Türk’s marketing manager Eda Elif Özbekhighlighted the sense of ownership that Bitcoin brings and mentioned that it has changed our way of life. Drawing attention to the fact that the physical and virtual worlds are intertwined today, the artist duo ha:ar (Hande Şekerciler & Arda Yalkın)gave the signals of what awaits us in the coming years with the concept of the metaverse. NFT artist Tarık Tolunay, known for his “Fractal Istanbul” project, touched on the difference between digital works and nfts: “The possibility of digital works being copied makes them worthless, but the fact that one of them cannot be copied, that it is certified makes it unique by distinguishing it from the others”. Feride İkiz, one of the well-known NFT collectors in Turkey, talked about the innovations that blockchain brought to our lives. “Blockchain brings a new approach to the value of ownership. Thanks to the certification system, only the owner has financial value.”

The Balance Between Nature and Art

Another important panel of Sónar+D focused on art and ecology. Focusing on the transformation of nature, climate change, the relationship between art and nature, and natural destruction, the talk titled “Arts and Ecology” was moderated by the global strategic partnerships manager of the Artsy platform Ayna Arslanoğlu. Artist Heleen Blanken, the creator of one of the most talked-about works of Sónar+D, “Habitat”, which focuses on the concerns about nature, the impact of humans on nature and the responsibility of humans, explained the details of the work in the panel.

Entrepreneur Elif Boyner, known for her contemporary art background, talked about their Vertical project on the sustainability of cities. “We started by designing spaces that create minimum carbon emissions and leave a minimum carbon footprint. We try to reduce waste as much as we can.” Architect and academician Alper Derinboğaz underlined the impact of architecture on nature. “If we choose a simpler lifestyle and follow new developments and think carefully before building, I think we will be more likely to save the world.”

Artistic Approaches After the Pandemic

The panel named “Shifting Artistic Practices”, which was held with the participation of the We Are Europe team, which focuses on the transformation of art practices, focused on the experiences of the artists during the pandemic.  Ali Demirel, one of the artists who talked about the reflections of technological developments, changing dynamics and unpredictable pandemic conditions on their lives and production practices, mentioned that he took a break and got back to nature during this period, while Tarik Barri and Cora Novoa said that they searched for different forms in order to continue producing. While the artist Olof van Windenpointed out that social relations have changed after the pandemic, Lea Fabrikant stated that the process encouraged her to research and question.

Looking at the relationship between technology and art from the perspective of ecology, creativity and design, the panels question the future through the experiences of valuable speakers. When approached with a holistic perspective, Sónar+D panels question the possibilities of a sustainable world, and suggest that the art world could benefit from the advantages offered by technology.

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