For two eventful days in July 2016, London will host the debut edition of The Art Conference, an arts festival dedicated to technology, art, culture and its most prominent practitioners and professionals. To house a series of exhibitions, activities and talks, there will be the iconic 19th-century warehouse located in Bermondsey. Known as Ugly Duck, the facility will lend its all three floors to numerous interactive creations showcased in a unique artistic environment under the direction of Californian curator Tina Ziegler. The first ever Art Conference will focus on the various aspects and influences of Urban and Digital art, through engaging virtual reality experiences, light installations and limited edition artworks from renowned international artists. But aside from a remarkable display of art, what makes this event well worth of a visit are the numerous panel discussions and talks, presented by gallery directors, curators, bloggers, app developers, activists and artists themselves. Among them, the visitors can find our own Guillaume Trotin and artist Jordan Seiler.
Topics of Discussion – A Word on The Evolution of Street Art
While at The Art Conference London, the visitors will be able to enjoy artworks by Maser, Dan Witz, Jose Montemayor, Colin McMaster and many more. They will also have the chance to attend a total of three comprehensive panel discussions, which are designed to bring together global visionaries and to create a discussion platform that will connect and engage the audience and the professionals from the world of contemporary art. Through a program made up of keynote presentations, the main topic will be the evolution of Street art and the social, environmental and political change that the movement has been creating and continues to do so. The speakers will also pay special attention to the influence of technology on street art in the creation of the rapidly-expanding global communities and urban landscapes.
The Wealth of Walled Streets: Modern Murals and the Arts Scene
The Wealth of Walled Streets: Modern Murals and the Art Scene is the name of the very first talk at The Art Conference London. As such, it will examine the value of murals, both in commercial and cultural way, how they bring life to urban spaces and change the perception of cities at large. To answer the questions the questions on how artists employ their skills and the way others are choosing to support them on this quest, there will be Teresa Latuszewska of Urban Forms Foundation in Poland, Mia Grohndal of Women on Walls, Vestalia Chitton of MB6 in Morocco, Mark Clack of Wood Street Walls in the UK, RJ Rushmore of vandalog.com and Guillaume Trotin, the director of our own OPEN WALLS Gallery in Berlin.
Together with Elodie Bellanger, Guillaume Trotin was managing West Berlin Gallery and the infamous Stattbad Wedding before founding OPEN WALLS Gallery. The couple set out to create an arts platform without any previous experience in arts, which in the end turned out to be a quite positive thing. Their passion for the evolution and development of Street art overtook this fact by storm, as they now provide a relevant business approach and possess admirable knowledge of each artist they represent.
ArtSoc: Social Engagement Through Art
One of Urban art’s most important and valued aspects is the fact it brings social change. Ephemeral in nature, it is nevertheless a powerful tool for making voices be heard and for sending messages to broad audiences. Street art makes a difference on a social level, engaging the viewers into forming opinions and eventually reacting to the impulse it transmits. At The Art Conference London, the visitors can experience such art firsthand, as they also hear prominent artists from the field talk about the way exhibitions are successfully incorporating and promoting their works as well. The speakers on this topics will be Teresa Latuszewska of Urban Forms Foundation, Mia Grohndal, art administrator and founder of Women on Walls, Dan Wirz, artist and founder of Project Breathing Room, Tinsel Edwards, activist and artist, Dan Lewis, app developer and founder of skute.me, RJ Rushmore, founder of vandals.com, Louis Jensen, founder of Spraying Bricks, and Jordan Seiler, artist and founder of Public Ad Campaign, NYC.
One of our favorite artists, Jordan Seiler began his artistic career in the early 2000s, when he covered outdoor advertisements with simple patterns or blank imagery. His little experiment quickly turned into a proper critique of the social aspects and the impact of advertising on human psyche, which evolved into a global movement involving over a hundred street artists, under the name of Public Ad Campaign. Jordan Seiler advocates for a more democratic use of public space, which ultimately belongs to everyone, by questioning outdoor advertising and creating new avenues for public communication.
The Art Conference London 2016
The third discussion panel, under the name Pixels in Pounds: The Value of Digital Art, will focus on the relationship between art and technology, the way they influenced each other mutually and what resulted from this symbiosis. How do these new possibilities affect emerging artists? How does that translate when it comes to valuation? To answer these questions, aside from interactive artworks present, there will be artists Robert Montgomery and Jose Montemayor, Digital art curator Valentina Fois and aforementioned Dan Lewis.
The first ever edition of The Art Conference will take place at Bermondsey’s Ugly Duck at 47-49 Tanner Street in London, UK, on July 23rd and 24th, 2016. You can catch our two key speakers, Jordan Seiler and Guillaume Trotin, on July 23rd and 24th respectively, between 9.30am and 7pm.