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The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future 20 Feb - 25 Feb, 2018
IMAGINATIONThe Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future20 Feb - 25 Feb, 2018

SESSION

593

LOCATIONSchloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, AustriaMAPFEE AND REGISTRATION INFORMATIONRegistration Deadline
01 Jan, 1970
REGISTER

    Overview

    What will our planet look like in 2050 or 2100? Who or what will control our lives? What will it mean to be human? These and other hard questions will be the central focus of this timely Salzburg Global session, bringing together artists, creative thinkers and groundbreaking practitioners from around the world to re-imagine the nexus between the arts, technology and human futures. 

    In times characterized by complexity, disruption and unprecedented speed of change, uncertainty about the future is staring us in the face. Some people relish the unknown: the “art of the possible” gives meaning and excitement to their lives. For many, however, insecurity and divisions in society today make it much harder to embrace the future with confidence. The shock of the new can paralyze rather than energize. Making sense of what lies ahead will become ever more important as science reaches further and deeper into space and nanotechnology, and as artificial intelligence and big data transform daily life. 

    Artists and cultural practitioners – like inventors and scientists – push the boundaries of the human imagination. They help us move beyond the familiar, transcend borders between the present and the future, and become more curious about the new and emergent. This landmark session aims to launch an unusual voyage into the future, calling on artists to share their “guides to the galaxy.” Outstanding creative talents will forge an unconventional dialogue with technologists, scientists, futurists, policymakers, educators and others deeply invested in breakthrough discoveries and the fate of our planet. They will come together across divides to envision and anticipate what may lie ahead. 

    Building on Salzburg Global’s mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world, this session will provide a generous space for border-busting enquiry to chart collaborative pathways to more livable futures. Participants with radically different perspectives will explore how closer collaboration could inspire and inform public debate and enrich educational processes. How can we better connect parallel conversations and initiatives across the globe? Looking forward, how might artists’ visions play a more central role in the way decision-makers and innovators plan and implement for our shared future?  

    Participant Profile

    Salzburg Global Seminar programs within the Culture, Arts and Society series seek to bring together cross-sector and cross-generational change-makers to tackle complex challenges.

    To this end, Salzburg Global will convene an international group of fifty practitioners and thinkers to explore the dynamic intersection between the arts, technology, and future thinking.

    Practitioners from the creative sector will span a broad spectrum of cultural expression and artistic endeavor, including the visual arts, performing arts, literature, architecture, design, festivals, and museums. They will be joined by a cross-cutting mix of anthropologists, policymakers, technologists, futurists, urban planners, media experts, educators, philosophers, ethicists, scientists, behavioral specialists, and leaders from the fields of religion, NGOs, business and politics.

     

    Session Format

    The highly interactive program will be structured around an inspiring mix of presentations, performances, curated conversations, and small group work. 

    The process seeks to combine theory, policy and practice across sectoral silos, opening up new perspectives and intensive learning opportunities. Participants will explore cross-cutting questions during plenary sessions featuring presentations and discussions led by groundbreaking practitioners. They will also work intensively in smaller focus groups that will meet several times over the course of the program to focus on specific themes and assignments in greater depth.

     

    Key Questions

    Overarching questions to kick-start discussions will include:

    • Can we learn from history? With George Orwell’s 1984 a bestseller in 2017, how accurately have artists in the past “predicted” the future? How have societies reacted to such predictions?
    • What utopian and dystopian views of the future are currently emerging in different art forms? What excitement and fears surround scientific and technological breakthroughs? Where could these interventions take our societies? Who makes the decisions and who owns the knowhow?
    • Do artists, scientists, and decision-makers know how to talk to each other? Could new collaborations across disciplines reshape the face of the world in coming decades?
    • How can we preserve the human element in the face of technologized processes and pressures? Could art, as the ultimate expression of humanity, help to restore a sense of agency and identity? 
    • What futures do we really want and how can we make these futures come to life?

     

    Outcomes and Impact

    Through this five-day session at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg Global Seminar aims to:

    • Facilitate dialogue, exchange and new forms of global networking and collaboration between cultural activators and representatives of scientific and technological sectors working at the intersection of the arts, innovation, and future thinking;
    • Develop strategies and arts-based approached for cross-sectoral collaboration by connecting arts practice to research and policy agendas, framing a call to action around desirable futures, inspiring public debate and educational curricula, and influencing decision-making processes;
    • Raise greater awareness of the unique and often-underestimated role of the arts in intuiting trends, asking hard questions, and ultimately accelerating transformative change;
    • Share learning through reporting from the session (blogs, newsletters, substantive report) with a broad, international group of stakeholders; and
    • Lay the foundations of a global lab for creative future thinking across generations, disciplines, and sectors to forge a more just and sustainable world.

     

    Multi-Year Series

    CULTURE, ARTS & SOCIETY

    Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running series on Culture, Arts and Society focuses on the transformative power of the arts within and across sectors, acilitates cultural exchange at multiple levels, and provides unique networking and capacitybuilding opportunities. Culture and the arts have had  a prominent place in Salzburg  Global Seminar’s programs since its beginnings as the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in 1947. Today, through multi-year projects and strategic convenings, the Culture, Arts and Society series seeks to secure a more prominent role for the arts on policy agendas and to bring creative change-makers, influencers, and communities together to drive lasting change at scale. As part of our deep commitment to next-generation talent, we support the continuously evolving needs of the creative  sector as a major driver of sustainable economic development and social improvement, particularly through the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators

    For more info, visit: culture.salzburgglobal.org