Time To Listen, Space To Experiment

By Arie Altena, Lili Elias & Annette Wolfsberger

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Time to Listen, Space to Experiment: Perspectives from Re-Imagine Europe 2017-2021 is the publication that concludes the Re-Imagine Europe project.

Re-Imagine Europe (2017-2021) was a four-year project involving ten cultural organisations from across Europe, responding to the social and political challenges in Europe. With a programme of residencies, commissions, symposia, and workshops, the project partners stimulated both artistic production and audience development. They experimented with new ways of reaching out to their audiences, motivated by the ambition to develop a broader and more engaging approach to audience development.

The main aim of Re-Imagine Europe was to engage audiences through art with the social and political challenges that are decisive for Europe’s future, such as climate change, rising nationalism and migration. Therefore the project partners – Sonic Acts and Paradiso from Amsterdam, Disruption Network Lab from Berlin, Lighthouse from Brighton, INA GRM from Paris, Radio Web MACBA from Barcelona, Elevate from Graz, Bergen Kunsthall from Bergen, KONTEJNER from Zagreb, and A4 from Bratislava – commissioned new interdisciplinary and experimental works to address these issues and to engage audiences. Throughout the project, there was a special attention to how technological advances continue to change society, politics and the ways we interact, and how new technologies urge us to explore new modes of acting and thinking. Re-Imagine Europe hoped to open up new spaces for new ideas, to propose alternatives to the status quo and stimulate and open up the critical imagination of both artists and audiences, looking towards a more democratic and resilient European society. Rather than suggesting one coherent vision for the future, Re-Imagine Europe provided a platform for many diverse artistic voices and perspectives.

Over the past four years the project partners commissioned more than 100 works from diverse artists, makers, composers, and musicians from, or based in, Europe. They presented and distributed these works so a wide audience was able to experience and engage with them. They organised more than 160 workshops, symposia and lectures to involve diverse audiences in the practice of making art and, in the first place, in discussions about how art can inform our ideas about society. They shared the knowledge they gained throughout the project, not only in workshops and lectures, but also in a great number of podcasts, as well as digital publications aimed at a larger audience, and in publications that aimed at improving and building the professional competencies and digital capacities of artists and other professionals working in art and culture. As a result, these four years of collaboration have now led to a sustainable network of organisations for the commissioning, production, presentation and distribution of new interdisciplinary artworks.

This book highlights the legacy and the outcomes of Re-Imagine Europe. It contains in-depth interviews with a selection of artists who were commissioned to make new works, such as Jennifer Walshe, AM Kanngieser, Nikima Jagudajev, Barby Asante, BJ Nilsen, Marja Ahti and Kali Malone next to essays, reflections and visual contributions on works and projects such as WIWMAVGAIWLDSAATCWA, The Informals, Persuasion Lab, Steal This Poster, MOTHA, sound workshops and more. The book starts with a conversation between Anna Ramos, Lucas van der Velden and François Bonnet about the importance of experimentation in the arts, and how such experiments can be relevant for society.

As a whole we hope that the book shows how experimentation and innovation in the arts can contribute to the rethinking of society, and how they can feed the imagination that is needed to envision a different future for European culture.

Time to Listen, Space to Experiment: Perspectives from Re-Imagine Europe 2017-2021 features contributions from a.o. Arie Altena; Marja Ahti; Barby Asante and Maria Rusinovskaya; Davorka Begović and Nenad Sinkauz; Manuel Beltrán and Nayantara Ranganathan; bod [包家巷], Marta & Tea Stražičić; François Bonnet; Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, Lucrecia Dalt, Matías Rossi and Tiago Pina; Aliyah Hussain and Anna Bunting-Branch; Nikima Jagudajev; AM Kanngieser; Kali Malone; Polina Medvedeva and Andreas Kühne; BJ Nilsen; Anna Ramos; Karolina Rugle; Steal this Poster; Rian Treanor, Jiří Suchánek, Slávo Krekovič, and Ľudovít Nápoký; Chris E. Vargas; Lucas van der Velden; Jennifer Walshe; and Annette Wolfsberger.

Printed book | 320 pp. | English text | Illustrated | Designed by Andro Giunio | Edited by Arie Altena, Lilli Elias & Annette Wolfsberger | Published by Paradiso Press, Amsterdam | 2021

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