Experts from the UK, USA, Austria, Germany and Nine Other Countries to Take Part in Open Lectures "Culture 2.0".

On November 11-13, St. Petersburg will host the Culture 2.0 discussions on technology, innovations, and the future of culture. Among the participants are the heads of the leading world museums, artists, stage directors, urbanists, film producers and other experts from 13 countries across the globe. The organizer of the "Culture 2.0" discussions on November 11-13 is the All-Russian CSO "Russian Culture Foundation".

Admission for all comers is customarily free, following registration in advance via Timepad. The admission terms are specified on the website.

The discussion on “Why We Need Storytelling?” will be introduced by experts in storytelling capable of bringing about new emotional experiences. Along with her ex-boyfriend, Director of the Museum of Broken Relationships Olinka Vistica (Croatia) decided to make up a collection of objects reminiscent of past relationships, and then couples from all over the globe started addressing them. This is how the Museum in Zagreb emerged, featuring cuddly toys, coins, cards and even knives, and for more than a decade of its operation, over 50 exhibitions of the museum collection have been arranged in many countries. Alina Saprykina, Chief Curator, Deputy Director of the All-Russia Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts, Maria Grigorieva, PR Director of the Museum of Russian Impressionism, Michael Wilson, Professor of Drama, Art Director and Director of the Storytelling Academy at Loughborough University (UK), Yan Vizinberg, Partner and Creative Director at Lorem Ipsum Corp., are going to share their hands-on experiences in launching international projects.

“Museums are narrators by their nature. Yet in the past, museum communication was based on the museum's monologue, that is, the arrangement of exhibits in space in a certain order according to some particular view of history. Now the conversation with visitors tends to be a dialogue, as the exhibits are supplied with messages, interpretations, and the museum discourse itself has become a puzzle made of differing viewpoints. Digital technologies but intensify this approach. ... Curators are trying to consider their museums more broadly, as a theater, as a book, as a TV series, as a media, in order to integrate their peculiar shapes,” explains Alina Saprykina.

The next topic, “Museum & City Dialogue”, will be thrashed out by a number of museum experts, including speakers from Croatia and Portugal: Joana Sousa Monteiro, Director of the Museum of Lisbon, Chair of ICOM – CAMOC, the International Committee for the Collections and Activities of the Museums of Cities (Portugal), and Kate Sikic Cubric, Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding (Croatia). Kate is going to reveal how to make museums dedicated to ships popular and fascinating with a wide audience, and how St. Petersburg can learn from Bertina's experience:

“Museums today are the driving force behind social events. They are able to set trends, narrate great stories, arrange events and projects. The key to success is the proper collaboration of all stakeholders, from museum professionals to various cultural experts and tourism entrepreneurs, to those in charge of financing, to volunteers and members of the local community. There are many diverse institutions in cities, each of them being a piece of an immense cultural mosaic, and the splendor and harmony of this mosaic rely on the ability to connect its tiny parts.”

How technologies can make cities “smart”, attractive and comfortable for life will be discussed at “How Technologies Shape Cities?”. It will be attended by Soumaya Ben Dhaou, Research Coordinator at the Center for Electronic Government Technologies at the United Nations University (Portugal) who is engaged in the application of digital technologies aimed at the improvement of the social life of city residents, Leo Hollis, writer, urban historian, author of the bestselling “Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis” (UK), Alexander Kamenev, urban planning expert, Head of the Strelka KB Research Labs.

The event “Mass Culture: Is It Kitsch or Boon?” promises to become highly controversial and polemical, as it is going to bring together members of the academic school, such as Professor of English Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Middle Sweden Vicky Angelaki, alongside researchers and practitioners of mainstream culture. Among the participants are Professor of Communication at Wesleyan University of Virginia Kathy Merlock Jackson (USA), researcher of the Walt Disney phenomenon and other “creators of American childhood”. The discussion will also be joined by Malcolm Garrett (UK), the Royal Industrial Designer who was among the first ones to be nominated for the Design Week's Hall of Fame and was also awarded an MBE in 2020.

One other topic to be discussed at the Open Lecture series is going to be “Museum Marketing: New Effective Solutions”, where in the leaders of cultural institutions from many countries will talk about the most extraordinary marketing campaigns and powerful approaches to attracting audiences. The discussion will be joined by Oksana Bondarenko, Director of the Moscow Transport Museum, and Maurice Seleky, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Museum of Amsterdam (Netherlands). Eike Schmidt, Director One of the oldest museum in the world — the Uffizi Galleries in Italy — will have the floor at the discussion:

“First, I'm going to talk about children and young people, and second, on the significance of content marketing. Children are our future, and unless they fall in love with museums at the youngest possible age, in a few years this institute will face serious problems. I also wish to accentuate the importance of free content — it can tremendously consolidate a museum brand, as it is being delivered through the digital space and thus turns into an incredible tool for attracting a devoted audience to the museum.” 

Open Lectures “Culture 2.0” schedule two discussions dedicated to the phenomenon of contemporary theatre. “From Performance to Installations: Practices of Interaction Between Theatres and Museums” featuring stage director of Rimini Protokoll Stefan Kaegi (Germany), the founders of the Austrian performance Wenn es soweit ist Jacqueline Kornmüller and Peter Wolf, and the Senior Curator at the V&A Kate Bailey (UK).

Whilst the former discussion will be focused on the latest presentational formats at museums and theatres, the latter one will examine the use of digital technologies in performances in more detail. Thus, the event “Traditional Theatre vs. Virtual Theatre” will provide a platform for debates between the Head of Digital Development, the National Theatre Toby Coffey (UK), founder of Curious Directive Jack Lowe (UK), Co-Founder & Creative Director of AXiiO VR Studio Oleg Nikolaenko (Finland) and Director of the Pop-Up Theatre Semyon Aleksandrovsky. Tobby Coffey has over 20 years of hands-on experience in virtual reality, 360° movies, applications for stage performances. Being considered the pioneers of digital theatre, Jack Lowe and Curious Directive company wed theatre and science.

“We will dispute the way technologies empower us to transform various environments into theatrical stage, to make an entire city a theatrical platform, to introduce new rites,” comments Director Semyon Aleksandrovsky.

The Art of Collecting” is a discussion on how the international art market works, what artists are in demand and what works of art are growing in price, how to start collecting. Collectors from many diverse areas will partake in the discussion: collector of lithographs and prints, founder of Altmans Gallery Egor Altman, cultural entrepreneur, film producer P. C. Neumann (Germany), Director Emerita at Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Inge Reist (USA) et al.

“My collection, along with the projects I curate in the area of arts and media, act as a kind of X-ray for revolutionary perspectives, as a detector that second-guesses progressive tendencies, which, in turn, serve as catalysts for the appearance of brand new art trends”, states P.C. Neumann.

One of the discussions within the Open Lecture series will bring together key figures of contemporary media art from Russia, the USA, and Italy. An American artist, founder of video art Gary Hill (USA), founder of the Multimedia Art Museum Olga Sviblova, the AES + F artists  Tatyana Arzamasova and Lev Evzovich, Head of the Curatorial Projects Sector at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Antonio Geusa and others will tell about “Video Art and Visual Trends”.

“Recently, there have been coined a few buzzwords for appraising art objects. As if words like “self-replicating” and “immersive” make an art work fascinating by itself! In arts, hardware, computers and programming can be widely applied, yet this does not make the outcome unequivocally worthy, at least for me,” claims Gary Hill. Let's see what conclusion the other participants of the discussion will draw.  

Entitled as “Modern Technologies That Are Changing the Fashion Industry”, the closing discussion will be joined by the co-founders of the Institute of Digital Fashion Cat Taylor (Cattytay) and Leanne Elliott Young (UK), Head of Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion Matthew Drinkwater (UK), Head & Project Designer of the Innovative Design Laboratory Alena Rusakova. The participants will learn about digital apparel manufacturing, the use of virtual fitting rooms, 3D printers and AI in the fashion industry.

More information about the experts of the “Culture 2.0” Open Lectures can be found at the website of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.

Please note that in compliance with the Decree of the Government of St. Petersburg No. 121, the admission to the event will be carried out upon showing one’s QR code. In the case of a medical exemption, it is required to show a certificate of a medical exemption along with the negative PCR test passed no earlier than three days prior to the event.

On November 11-13, discussions of the Open Lecture series will take place at the Mayakovsky Library located at 44 Fontanka Enbankment. The webcasts can be watched on the website of the Russian Culture Foundation, on the Forum website and on the VKontakte social media. To see the event schedule and particulars, please follow this link .