OPEN MINDS: ADAPTING TO THE FUTURE

L-R: Gesche Joost, courtesy G. Joost; Stephen Kovats, copyright r0g_agency; Sanjay Khanna, copyright S. Khanna; Muniz0, copyright Muniz0; Ilana Ben-Ari, copyright I. Ben-Ari; Annika Kahrs, copyright Helge Mundt. L-R: Gesche Joost, courtesy G. Joost; Stephen Kovats, copyright r0g_agency; Sanjay Khanna, copyright S. Khanna; Muniz0, copyright Muniz0; Ilana Ben-Ari, copyright I. Ben-Ari; Annika Kahrs, copyright Helge Mundt. Open Minds © Goethe-Institut Toronto

International artists, experts & audiences in conversation about risk, resilience & resources

Presented by the Goethe-Institut & Harbourfront Centre

Global forces affect everyone – join us for an outdoor dialogue between German & Canadian thinkers & makers to explore how arts, culture and nature can help us adapt to a world in flux. Featuring thought leaders including Angela Merkel’s digital advisor Gesche Joost.

Amid increasing challenges to societal resilience in the face of global mega-trends, the Goethe-Institut Toronto is hosting outdoor encounters between European and Canadian experts investigating how arts, culture, and nature can help people absorb and process accelerating change manifested by emerging economic instability, mental health burdens, and climate change. Artistic interventions and accompaniments will inspire audiences to assign increased value to creativity, innovation, and cultural resilience.

The launch event theme is "Art as an Early Warning System." It features Gesche Joost, Professor for Design Research at Berlin’s University of the Arts, who heads its Design Research Lab and is Chancellor Merkel’s “Digital Champion” and EU Commission Advisor. Gesche will speak about “Design Fiction”. She will be joined by Toronto futurist Sanjay Khanna’s exploration of the arts and culture as early warning signals of societal risk.

The second conversation on the theme of "We or I? Doing Good in a Digital World" will feature former head of Transmediale Stephen Kovats, now director of Berlin’s r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, which aids in establishing a civic society in the new state South Sudan. Complementing Stephen’s presentation is Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of Toronto-based Twenty One Toys. Ilana will speak about socially innovative design and its role in helping children and adults become more collaborative.

An artistic dialogue on "Mindful/Digital: Art & Cultural Resilience" concludes the series. Hamburg artist Annika Kahrs, born in 1984, studied fine arts with Harun Farocki, among others, and works in photography, film, music, and even with live animals. In her video works on the dwarf planet Pluto she expressed an interest in how objects in a seemingly stable orbit are still subject to change. Her works have been exhibited from the Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin & the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art to the United Art Museum in Wuhan, China.

Open Minds will go out with a bang, courtesy of award-winning, Toronto-based Japanese rock band Muniz0, whose music touches on relationships amid social fragmentation. MunizO was formed in 2015 by Taro (vocal, acoustic guitar, key), Jiro (vocal, acoustic guitar) and Yuta (drums).

All conversations are followed by an open forum with the presenters and audiences.

PROGRAM:

  • June 14, 7:30pm: ”Art as an Early Warning System”
    Double keynote by designer Gesche Joost (Berlin) & futurist Sanjay Khanna (Toronto)
  • June 28, 7:30pm: ”We or I? Doing Good in a Digital World”
    Double keynote by media researcher Stephen Kovats (Berlin) & social entrepreneur Ilana Ben-Ari (Toronto)
  • July 12, 7:30pm: ”Mindful/Digital: Art & Cultural Resilience”
    Keynote by artist Annika Kahrs (Hamburg) & performance by Japanese rock band MunizO (Toronto).
Curated by Jutta Brendemühl & Sanjay Khanna

Catch up on the presentations here in August 2016
   
Watch intro videos on YouTube/GoetheToronto

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