The future is bright for culture cooperation around the Baltic Sea. That is one conclusion to draw from the two day workshop in Karlskrona, when Art Line invited potential partners and inspiring lecturers to Karlskrona, October 22 and 23. It all ended with a concluding workshop around the future topics Baltic residencies, Baltic Biennale, Art and digital media technologies; Art and science.
Among the participants were Chris Torch, from Intercult and also board member of Culture Action Europe; Rikke Luther from the Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus; Martin Koplin, director of M2C Institute for Applied Media Technology in Bremen, Sanne Kofod Olsen, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde and John Peter Nilsson, director of Moderna Museet Malmö. There were also people who could contribute in a most concrete way, like Marie Wik from Region Blekinge, talking about European funding, and the latest development in this field and the Art Line management presenting the achieved projects and what is expected to be done in the nearest future.
The two day meeting included presentations of the invited potential partners. The workshops addressed issues like South Baltic-Residencies, a Baltic Biennale and Art, digital media, science and technology-cooperation. The subjects were chosen as a continuation and renewal of the subjects we have already been working on, and also from concrete wills to continue for instance the history of arranging Baltic Biennales at Kunsthalle Rostock, a topic which has been discussed since the beginning of Art Line.
Chris Torch is founder and Senior Associate at Intercult, a production and resource unit focused on culture, ideas and the arts. Torch among others serves on the Board of Culture Action Europe, Europe´s most important platform for cultural policy development and as expert following the EU Method of Coordination group on Intercultural Dialogue and Cultural Diversity. He contributed with inspiring examples of how culture can make a difference; his lecture was called “The necessity of culture”. The necessity of culture – is often forgotten, said Chris Torch, life is culture, and it is not economics!
His main message to Art Line and other art projects are not to be scared and to start with what you really want to do, not shaping the project with the goal to adapt as much as possible to the framework of the funding institution.
Chris Torch saw a lot of possibilities for coming projects. Among other things he declared that the Baltic Sea is the perfect place to start addressing the environmental challenge. In our urban environment, says Chris Torch, we have lost our relationship to water. Concentrate on the water, where city meets culture.
He also talked about how art and culture can increase the citizen engagement in current questions, thus helping restoring the democratic participation, something that is needed, especially in Europe. “The more people are engaged in art, the more engaged citizens we get!” he said.
Rikke Luther is associated Professor at the Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus and an artist who has investigated the notion of “public space” in her work. She presented The Learning Site which focuses on the local conditions in which its art practice is located and their interdisciplinary work with art, architecture, history and site-specific work. Some very interesting examples of this can be seen here: http://learningsite.info
Trust, friendship and expertise are three factors in cooperation that Martin Koplin underlined as very important. According to him trust is most important. Martin Koplin, is the Director of the M2C Institute for Applied Media Technology and Culture at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen. Martin Koplin is also researcher in Residence at the BxmC Brooklyn Experimental Media Center of the Polytechnic Institute of NYU and Director of the think tank “Think Beta – Evolution of Smart Cities”. He gave an inspiring lecture under the heading “Smart, Clever, Creative – Instruments to improve innovative cooperation systems”. He was very clear in his desire for all kinds of cooperation, inviting all the present representatives of different institutions.
Koplin also introduced the projects Art Muse, eMuse, Betaville, which all has obvious kinship with projects performed within the Art Line framework. http://www.m2c-bremen.de/index.php?lang=en
John Peter Nilsson expressed his great joy, experiencing the result of the Art Line project. He advocated more, not less, of cooperation in the cultural field of our regions. John Peter Nilsson is the Museum director of Moderna Museet Malmö, his headline was also a question: “Why is the neighbor often a stranger?”. One of his conclusions is that we can learn so much from our neighbors and that it is a waste not to do it. http://www.modernamuseet.se/malmo/
Sanne Kofod Olsen, is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde. She has been part of one Art Line project earlier, in a conference about public art held on Öland and arranged by Kalmar konstmuseum. She talked about the project Museum in the City (Museet går i byen). The main intention of the project apart from bringing cutting edge contemporary art into public space and eye is to present these often unknown forms of art to a broader audience. This too, has many similarities with the activities in Art Line. Sanne Kofod Olsen described how her museum has been able to reach new audiences and also create an open debate in Denmark. http://samtidskunst.dk/
The last lecturer was Per Håkansson, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, lecturer and maker focused on the business of emerging technologies and business transformation. He talked about “Maker Culture – When Art & Technology Converge!“ – and it all was inspired by an old bicycle. http://www.perhakansson.com/
The first workshop arranged by Chris Torch was connected to the main subjects of the Art Line future in some overarching questions about process and capacity, public encounters and politics and cross-sector work. The second workshop continued in a more concrete and also tactile way to explore and discuss collaboration about a Baltic Biennale, Baltic residencies and the interdisciplinary work between art, digital media technologies and art and science.