Hybrid Platforms

Hybrid Platforms develops concepts and ideas for new cultural formats and is co-organized and co-curated by Hybrid Space Lab and NRW KULTURsekretariat.

Workshop Hybrid Platforms @ Next Level Festival for Games & NRW KULTURsekretariat, Kokskohlenbunker, Zeche Zollverein, Essen, Germany, 14 November 2020

Hybrid
Formats

The workshop Hybrid Platforms addresses these challenges from a transdisciplinary perspective and is organized and curated by Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin and NRW KULTURsekretariat, Wuppertal.

As digitality causes people around the world to redefine in radical ways how they connect and communicate, thinking about the future of cultural spaces must consider and understand physical spaces in combination with digital media networks, with an emphasis on spaces’ hybrid qualities and on how the physical and the digital fuse and interact. With increasing hybridity between both, new sce­narios are unfolding, as well as new ways of participating and experiencing social and cultural life.

The workshop tackles the issues and opportunities emerging from such developments and investigates the future of cultural hybrid formats and spaces. The Hybrid Platforms program enables reconsidering priorities and choices to explore new models and develop sustainable perspectives, focussing on the interrelated challenges of:

* Engaging formats
* Co-creating public
* Sustainable practices
* Collaborations

Tapping into the possibility of mutual enrichment, the workshop brings together a range of professionals from the cultural fields and is the starting point for a transdisciplinary professional exchange and co-creation program, focusing on the development of con­cepts and ideas for new cultural formats.

Engaging Formats

The working group focussing on Engaging Formats discussed the new technical and logistical challenges facing the organizers and the audience. More specifically, outcomes of the workshops included recommendations to experiment with greater fantasy with digital formats, for instance, by enabling the audience and participants to move away from the screen, transferring digitality into the three-dimensional space, and enriching the audio-visual experience by engaging the other senses. A further recommendation focussed on enabling commitment and community spirit in the digital space, favoring a variety of engagement options, and reaching out to new target groups.

Co-creating Public

Outcomes of the working group addressing the topic of Co-creating Public included the acknowledgment of a much-needed change across different sectors, for instance by breaking up the funding instruments logic and the technology-oriented approach to the Digital, by allowing and giving recognition to other forms of expertise. Recommendations also focussed on the inclusion of peripheries and decentralization of culture through digital and hyperlocal community spaces, by rethinking the question of who wants community spaces and integrating mediation and active participation as part of the creative process.

Sustainable Practices

The working group on Sustainable Practices focussed its outcomes on the notion that sustainability begins with one’s own methods and choices of materials, and that artists and creatives can forge new narratives in sustainability, as well as practices. Furthermore, outcomes included the concept that cultural-artistic formats can contribute to the communication of complex, layered factual content relevant for sustainability. Recommendations included a focus on hyper-locality, also conducive to understanding the connectivity of local physical spaces and their interaction with global discourses on sustainability. At the same time, the outreach to wider audiences could benefit from the strong impulse given by culture and digital formats, as the latter become chances to discuss, imagine, and activate the public’s own resources.

What’s next

Looking forward, it is possible to envision a change in how the steps of composing the approach are ordered, starting from open content and formats to spark conversations, moving onto platforms, relying on artistic input. This could be implemented by starting with small experiments in a restricted circle, then progressively expanded, spiraling out to include a wider range of conversations.

The upshot of this entails a shift from goal orientation to process orientation, as well as a digitally mediated understanding of artistic events as process spaces. Such a process-oriented approach means that malleability and changeability of processes, developments, and perspectives are to be accounted for and included.

By breaking through entrenched rituals and hierarchies, it is understood that structures must be based on the reality of practices – and not vice versa – and that such radical changes require further development of funding mechanisms.

Unlocking utopian potential by artist and cultural professionals as a compelling conversation starter and offer would enable and recognize more inclusive expertise and perspectives.

At large, this calls for hybridity as an approach that affects all areas – from the dissolution of social, technical, spatial boundaries, to the connection of different approaches and perspectives.

Program

Welcome and introduction

Dr. Christian Esch, Director NRW KULTURsekretariat, and Eva Lenhardt, International Visitors Programme, NRW KULTURsekretariat

Introductory lecture and moderation

Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Prof. Frans Vogelaar, Hybrid Space Lab

Participants

Anja Bierwirth, Head of Research Unit Urban Transitions, Wuppertal Institute
Gesine Danckwart, Artistic Director Chez Company
Guy Dermosessian, Co-founder of Kalakuta Soul Records & the Why Not? Collective
Lisa Domin, Artist, Filmmaker, Curator, Executive Board Dortmund, Cologne International Women’s Film Festival, Member of the transnational ensemble Labsa
Michael Eickhoff, dramaturgy, Academy for Theatre and Digitality, Theater Dortmund
Nicola L. Hein, Sound Artist, Scholar
Gregor Isenbort, Director, DASA Working World Exhibition, Dortmund
Eric Kluitenberg, Theorist, Curator, Researcher, regular Lecturer at the ArtScience Interfaculty, University of the Arts, The Hague
Brigitta Muntendorf, Composer

Fabian Raith, Media Artist
Roman Senkl, Hybrid Arts & Theatre Maker, Artistic Researcher | minuseins, Academy for Theatre and Digitality, Digitale Dramaturgie
Lucas van der Velden, Director Sonic Acts
Klaas Werner, office medienwerk.nrw/Anna Kpok

Connected
Collectivity

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