European Conference


Conference will explore the questions and offer debates for a larger number of people in 6 online episodes which will be held according to the following schedule: 15th of June 2020, 31st of August 2020, 7th of September 2020, 14th of September 2020, 21st of September 2020 and 28th of September 2020. Conference is open to all.

Times in the timetables are stated in CEST/GMT+2 time zone.

Culture and the public at a turning point

pre-conference episode, June 15th

In the first session, we will preview some of the key themes to be discussed during the online conference sessions. Prompted by our present crisis, we will turn to some fundamental questions related to the place of audience (public, visitor, participant, user) in the future of the cultural sector. We will explore the latest perspectives on concepts of cultural democracy and audience development and look at its relevance for organisations. At a wider level, these sessions will investigate what has or has not changed as a result of the crisis in terms of public engagement. Has it affected democratic norms? Or revealed their deeper structural fragilities? Who is / is not involved / engaged and what relevance does culture have for our world today? What needs to change and what is our responsibility as cultural professionals?

14:00 - 15:15 Panel session

Panellists: Eleonora Belfiore, Giuliana Ciancio and Pier Luigi Sacco

Chair: Niels Righolt

15:20 - 16:30 Exchange of experiences among participants

Culture's place in our lives

1st episode, August 31st

Throughout the COVID19 outbreak, half of the world's population has been on lockdown. Cancelled fairs, festivals and concerts, closed clubs and shut-down theatres: we were all affected. Yet, in a time of desolation and deprivation, we have once again invited culture into our homes. Watching streaming series and movies, listening to music, reading books, we have suddenly become painfully aware of the extraordinary meaning culture has in our lives. Overnight, we were able to watch theatre performances from our couches, browse through galleries and virtual exhibitions, listen to live online concerts. What is happening, and what is going to happen under the rule of social distancing? In this new light, it seems important to put forth once more the need for culture, its relevance, its accessibility and the conditions under which this access is provided. And to keep in mind the millions without access to it, asking ourselves how we can overcome these obstacles.

14:00 - 15:20 Panel session

Panellists: Nicolas Barbieri, Mafalda Damaso and Anne Torreggiani

Chair: Alessandra Gariboldi

15:30 - 16:30 LongTable discussion

Moderators: Valentina Montalto, Jordi Pascual, Lene Struck-Madsen

16:40 - 17:00 Wrap-up & Conclusions

A new vision for culture? Integrity, direction and relevance.

2nd episode, September 7th

Some of our cultural institutions are already centuries old. But today's arts and cultural scene has widened to embrace multitudes. Film, design, comics, graffiti, photography, jazz, and many other forms of vernacular and popular culture represented a dramatic expansion of what culture means to our societies, amid shifting political, economic, social and technological landscapes. Yet even in today’s digitally connected world, the logic behind private and public funding supporting the production and display of cultural artefacts and art forms is still largely connected to institutional gatekeepers. On the other hand, many institutions feel the pressure to reach larger numbers of people, influenced by market forces to increase their income at the expense of producing work with less obvious popular appeal. This session looks at whether there is a balance to be struck, dealing at the same time with concepts of popularism, elitism, inequality and democracy.

14:00 - 15:20 Panel session

Panellists: Sajida Carr, Arjo Klamer, Francois Matarasso, Goran Tomka, Ana Žuvela

Chair: Macarena Cuenca

15:30 - 16:30 LongTable session

Moderators: Sajida Carr, Philipp Dietachmair, Francois Matarasso, Davor Mišković, Lana Pavlović Aleksić

16:40 - 17:00 Wrap-up & Conclusions

The cultural institution – what needs to change?

3rd episode, September 14th

In the discussion on balance between elitism and cultural democracy we tackled the question of excellence and managerialism which is a dominant principle in which cultural institutions are run nowadays. It seems through many examples that none of the modes has proved sufficient to address both needs entangled in the friction of the two. For this reason, we wish to continue the discussion on the question of governance and is it possible to imagine different kinds of governance in institutions and beyond that would provide a different answer to these questions. What can we do to change the way in which institutions operate now? What is needed to make them more open? How can we open them? What kinds of new practices are appearing on the horizon and what kind of answers are they offering? What kind of institutions are needed? How does audience prefer culture to be organized?

14:00 - 15:20 Panel session

Panellists: Teodor Celakoski, Félix Dupin-Meynard, Victoria Durrer

Chair: Dea Vidović

15:30 - 16:30 Worklab session

Presenters: Institut for (X), Janja Sesar (Pogon)

16:40 - 17:00 Wrap-up & Conclusions

Rethinking participation strategically

4th episode, September 21st

This session looks at how participation and engagement in culture is being affected by the new world of crisis and social distancing and how, as cultural professionals, we should respond. At a time when artists and audiences have found new ways to relate to each other, we will look at new modes of engagement, expression and participation. On the other hand, it is clear that digital, online communication is not a panacea for all our problems. There are those who cannot or do not want to participate in this way and in addition, the aesthetic experience of culture in a physical, shared space is one of its most valued aspects. Participation, engagement and audience development have been a focus of experimentation for different artistic and cultural practices, as well as within several managerial approaches. We aim to explore them, search for the creative potential in their overlapping, and see what kind of insight and inspiration these processes can offer us. We'll explore these issues with the invited speakers, and then follow this discussion with a virtual session of open questions.

14:00 - 15:20 Panel session

Panellists: Lise Korsgaard, Chiara Organtini, Ben Walmsley, Daniel Wetzel

Chair: Jonathan Goodacre

15:30 - 16:30 Worklab session

Presenters: Jeannette Ehlers, Matteo Lanfranchi, WochenKlausur

16:40 - 17:00 Wrap-up & Conclusions

Tempestuous times – the crisis – recovery and change

5th episode, September 28th

This session looks at what will happen when we open our doors and step back into the world. It looks at what could be the role of culture in our new lives and what we have learnt or could learn from this pandemic moment. Where do our past and current experiences meet? What is yet to be clarified? And what strategic foresight can we bring to our decision making processes? When we think about cultural events or audience development, we focus primarily on the social dynamics of physical encounters. Recent circumstances have shown us that alternatives exist. How do we deal with the fearful environment of the new normal and turn this into a new optimistic vision. This final session looks at what new knowledge we have acquired, what additional value it has added and in light of this, the different strategies needed to encourage participation, engagement and audience development.

14:00 - 15:20 Panel session

Panellists: Nico Carpentier, Richard Evans, Arundhati Gosh, Olga Wysocka

Chair: Inês Bettencourt da Câmara

15:30 - 16:30 Worklab session

Presenters: Melissa Dibble, Søren Friis Møller, Marcin Poprawski

16:40 - 17:00 Wrap-up & Conclusions