2018 Edition of the Beyond the Obvious Conference successfully ended. During three days, Timisoara, the upcoming European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2021, became an international melting pot of technologists, cultural practitioners, artists, policy-makers, researchers and activists. Organised by Culture Action Europe and hosted by Timisoara 2021 and Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara (UPT), and supported by Prohelvetia and the Creative Europe programme, ctrl+shift HUMAN | Beyond the Obvious conference held the discussions on contemporary challenges and opportunities brought in by the coded societies and explored the interdisciplinary and intertwining actions to these challenges.
The rapid development of information and communication technologies has brought a wave of changes in society impacting not only human beings but also environment at large. On the one hand, it has eased the process of performing activities with less effort. While, it has also hampered our privacy and influenced our decisions through polarized information shared through social media. Hence, the event held discourses among various stakeholders through multiple sessions. The parallel workshops conducted by Fieke Jansen, Vladan Joler, Joana Moll and Ramon Sanguesa on October 26 discussed the importance and impact of algorithms on cultural digital content. Similarly, the storytellers pitched their projects for 5 minutes each, followed by individual group discussions. Peter Purg from MAST project, Noemi Salantiu and Natali Skoczylas from Edgeryders, Levente Kozma and Phillipe Franck from Soundscape project, Diana Andone from UPT, Manuel Beltran from Institute of Human Obsolescence, Spela Petric and Luis Graca pitched their individual projects and researchers to the participants. The event further hosted debates on the importance of cultural policies integrated with arts, sciences and technologies during the policy session with speakers including Jutta Thielen from Joint Research Center, Pedro Velazquez from Creative Europe, Carmen Croitoru from National Institute for Cultural Research, Julie Ward from Member of Parliament and Bruno Lepri from Bruno Kessler Foundation. Additionally, the keynote speakers Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Nicola Triscott and Bruno Lepri highlighted discussions on the issues of identity, representation, labor, environment and policy interventions. The conference concluded with the session on multiplexity and pilot cities which highlighted the collaborative and peer-learning approaches on cultural and policy innovation.
The conference was also an opportunity for Culture Action Europe members to reflect on yearly agendas and share feedbacks by participating in Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Members Forum. The new board members were elected during the AGA. The new board comprises of Robert Manchin, Christina Da Milano, Alex Mesmer, Antonio Gucciardo, Corinne Szteinsznaider, Elena Polivtseva, Lars Ebert, Noel Kelly, Niels Righolt, Simona Nuemann and Yamam Al-Zubaidi.
Detailed report of ctrl+shift HUMAN | Beyond the Obvious 2018 Edition will be published shortly.
By Sangam Silpakar
2018 edition of the Beyond the Obvious conference has been made possible with the support of Creative Europe programme, Timisoara 2021, Polytechnic University of Timisoara, Vest University of Timisoara and Prohelvetia.