Thessaloniki, December 2018

Conference Work as Invention. Art for Social Change. 31/03-01/04/2017



Photos: George Kogias
The conference presents case studies and scholarly debates that discuss novel approaches towards work and socially engaged art practices. The aim is to show the mutual dependence of work and art in envisioning the future of an upcoming society, via a productive exchange between the fields of art, education, creative industries, technology, politics, economy and research-based knowledge. Distinguished contributors from these fields, both academics and practitioners, offer their proposals and insights on building alternative models of urban creativity, social entrepreneurship, resilient economies and civic participation, that can shape the future of work.

The conference is divided into five sessions with the following working titles:
1 Art for Social Change – theory and practices
2 Political Strategies in Art
3 Economy, Invention of Work, Digital Commons, Maker Movement 
4 Art & Education
5 Perspectives on the Concept of Labour
6 Community, Urban Transformation, Digital Culture

A unique trait is the conference format. Directed as a creative laboratory, the conference pays particular attention to audience interaction, and at the same time functions as case-study / best-practice model relevant to the the topic at hand. Public around the world is able to follow the conference live online and join the discussion via a specially setup youtube channel. International institutions are invited to host the live broadcast of the event and/or organise parallel discussions. 

The live broadcast is done via a specially built, custom-made media lab, conceived and designed in collaboration with Institute HyperWerk. Young creatives from Thessaloniki are trained to develop and use the system, being offered the opportunity to acquire a new, unique set of skills that they can practise in the future, establishing themselves professionally, not only for future Artecitya events, but also on other occasions, that the conference organisers intend to create, in collaboration with partners in Thessaloniki and elsewhere. 

The conference scenography is designed by Practise(in)Cognition, a group of artists, architects and designers that emerged as a result of Eric Ellingsen’s Perceiving Academy, a project developed for the artist’s residency in the context of Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki last Summer. Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s Artecitya Agency supports Practise(in)Cognition in their first steps, offering them opportunities to learn-by-doing. 

Finally, in preparation of the Conference, an introductory workshop with the Conference Principal Scientific Consultant, Dr. Sotirios Bahtsetzis, takes place one month prior (on March 4), introducing the local public to the main concepts to be discussed during the conference. 

Participation in both the introductory and the media lab workshops is free, following an open call process.


Video Statements
Tania Bruguera, political artist
Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York
Eric Ellingsen, artist, architect, educator & Practise(in)Cognition, artists group
Pablo Helguera, artist, educator, author 
Jeanne Van Heeswijk, artist
Dr. Phil. Monika Kästli, art historian and curator
Achilleas Kentonis, trans-disciplinary artist, innovation trainer and engineer; founder and director of ARTos Foundation Nicosia
Dimitri Konstantinidis, director, Apollonia European Art Exchanges
Florian Malzacher, freelance curator, writer and dramaturge, artistic director of Impulse Theater Festival 
Pedro Reyes, artist
Prof. Dr. Felix Stalder, Professor for Digital Culture, Zurich University of the Arts; Senior Researcher, World Information Institute, Vienna
Nato Thompson, Artistic Director, Creative Time, New York

Sepake Angiama, documenta 14, Head of Education
Prof. Dr. Sotirios Bahtsetzis, curator, author, educator, Principal Scientific Consultant of the Conference
Stephanie Bertrand, independent curator
Niels Boeing, journalist, author, co-founder of Fab Lab Fabulous St. Pauli, Hamburg
Lydia Chatziiakovou, ArtBOX, Artistic Director of Artecitya by Helexpo
Elli Chrysidou, Vice-Mayor of Culture, Municipality of Thessaloniki
Prof. Dr. Christopher Dell, Professor for Urban Design Theory at HafenCity University Hamburg
Giovanni Flore, Benetton Digital Signage Project Management, former consultant at Fabrica
Dr. Giorgos Gkiouzepas, environmental scientist
Harikleia Hari, architect
Philip Horst, artist, KUNSTrePUBLIK, co-founder ZK/U Berlin
Lena Jöhnk, PhD student in the field of Socially Engaged Art, HafenCity University Hamburg
Samuel Kalika, artist, designer; founder of Critical Concrete, Porto
Christof Mayer, Raumlabor, Berlin
Christos Pierros, Economist, Senior researcher at Labour Institute of GSEE (General Workers Confederation of Greece)
Rainer Rosegger, sociologist
Christos Savvidis, ArtBOX, Artistic Director of Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki
Prof. Max Spielmann, Hyperwerk Institute for Postindustrial Design, Basel
Dr. Kostis Stafylakis, art theorist and visual artist, political scientist, Adjunct at the University of Patras
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Theocarakis, Associate Professor of Political Economy and History of Economic Thought at the Department of Economics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Arnisa Zeqo, documenta 14, Coordinator of Education
Watch all contributions here 
More info and photos here