5 Must-Attend Events:
Future Now Symposium 2021

5 Must-Attend Events:<br> Future Now Symposium 2021

4 Days. 30 Events. 100 Speakers. The Aesthetica Future Now Symposium 2021 brings together key institutions, galleries, publications and artists for live-streamed discussions surrounding issues from today’s creative industries. This year, our sessions are available to stream online and on demand from home. Discover five key events to attend:

Politics & Identity: Shirin Neshat in Conversation
Saturday 1 May | 19:00-20:00 

“Every Iranian artist, in some form, is political. Politics have defined our lives.” Shirin Neshat was born in Iran but has spent much of her life in exile in the USA. Through this experience, she has relentlessly engaged with the world through photography, film, performance, and installation, exploring universal themes of displacement, oppression, gender and identity. She has demonstrated the power of art to deconstruct the political climate – including Trump’s legacy of an aggressive and nationalist America. Neshat is in conversation with Ed Schad, The Broad.

Women Street Photographers: Reshaping the Canon
 Friday 30 April | 14:00-15:00

Think of a great street photographer: who springs to mind? Henri Cartier-Bresson and the “decisive moment”? Garry Winogrand or Bruce Gilden? Brassaï capturing Paris at night in the 1930s or Daidō Moriyama and his raw vision of Tokyo? Gulnara Samoilova is a New York-based photographer and curator determined to spotlight women street photographers, from Instagram to the gallery floor and beyond. Diane Smyth, independent journalist and former Deputy Editor at British Journal of Photography, leads a conversation with Samoilova about balancing the scales – building your platform, creating resources and inspiring others.

Cut, Paste, Post: The Convergence of Fine Art & Social Media 
Thursday 29 April | 18:15-19:15

Urban minimalism is growing in popularity through the rise of Instagram, with sleek aesthetics and pop-coloured street signs pulling in thousands of engagements every day. George Byrne’s large-format images build on this fascination and take it to another level, presenting Californian landscapes as painterly abstractions, referencing the works of Lewis Baltz and Ellsworth Kelly. In conversation with design writer Ian Volner, Byrne discusses his collage-like practice, as well as the technical and conceptual differences between viewing images in the gallery as opposed to scrolling through the parameters of the screen.

Architecture of the Future: Award-Winning Design 
Thursday 29 April | 15:30-16:30

The Architizer A+Awards is the world’s largest and most democratic awards programme for architecture, inviting esteemed juries alongside members of the general public to vote on submissions from across the world. These prizes act as barometers of contemporary design, revealing trends in public perception and priorities in relation to the built environment. Paul Keskeys, Content Director at Architizer, introduces winners from the 2020 award, including representatives from Foster + Partners, MGA | Michael Green Architecture and MASS Design Group, exploring how successful design has a real impact on people’s lives. 

Curating During a Time of Change
Thursday 29 & Friday 30 April | 17:00-18:00

The idea of the gallery closing down for months on end is not something we could fathom before 2020. How do you curate when society has been redefining every facet of existence for the past 18 months? Are the exhibition themes pre-pandemic still relevant, and how are curators ensuring widespread public engagement? What is the future of the gallery? Join experts from the world’s leading institutions. Hear from David Campany, ICP; Rand Suffolk, High Museum; Sarah Meister, MoMA; Antwaun Sargent, Gagosian; and Kyung An Hui, Guggenheim.

The Future Now Symposium runs 28 April – 1 May 2021 | Stream on Demand until 31 May. Find out more here.

Image Credits:
1. Karolina Trapp, Squaring the Circle, Los Angeles, USA, 2017 © Karolina Trapp.
2. Rapture Series, 1999, Shirin Neshat. Photo: Larry Barns/© Shirin Neshat/Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
3. Betty Goh, The Maze, Singapore, 2018 © Betty Goh (detail).
4. George Byrne, East Hollywood Carpark, 2016.
5. New Order, Hollywood Blvd., 2017 © George Byrne
6. Wood Innovation Design Center by MGA. Photograph by Ema Peter Photography.
7. Christiane Zschommler, THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.