Creating Connections

Creating Connections

The Future Now Symposium was a place for debate, ideas and innovation. From 25 to 26 May, delegates from a large number of arts organisations met with artists, students and enthusiasts working in the sector to discuss the future of the wider arts ecosystem. These included Tate Liverpool, Whitechapel Gallery, Holden Gallery, Photo Monitor, Elephant Magazine, Sony World Photo Organisation, Open Eye Gallery, Zabludowicz Collection amongst others.

In the face of the digital age, spectators, artists and curators are encountering an unprecedented number of topics for debate. How has the rise of the internet affected the public institution? What is the future of arts journalism? How does technology allow artists new ways to create, and what does this mean in terms of cultural expression? How is the creative city changing, and what does this mean for site-specific commissions? Questions such as these were raised over the two days, uniting emerging and established practitioners in a time of turbulent politics, displacement and globalisation. Enabling connections to be made and relationships to flourish, Future Now posed vital questions about the 21st century as a key event for talent development in a broader social context.

With Key Note Speeches from Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica Magazine, and Stuart Page, Associate Dean of Development, York St John, each day was introduced as an arena for imagination, stimulating audiences with an exchange of important ideas. Further to these, and a number of insightful and informative panels and lectures, industry-led events became an epicentre for creative thought. Portfolio Review Sessions were a chance for attendees to get face to face feedback on their work, stimulating further dialogues about contemporary art and its wider impact, as well as producing valuable networking opportunities, connecting organisations from all over the UK.

Considering the present-day notion of reality, the Symposium looked at the importance of contemporary art as a cathartic and necessary mode of communication, and established a social network for the year ahead.

Aesthetica would like to thank all of our delegates and attendees. For a full list of the organisations that were involved this year:

Future Now returns in 2018. To see the winning works from the Aesthetica Art Prize 2017, head to York Art Gallery. The exhibition is open until 10 September. For more information:

To enter the Art Prize this year, submit your works by 31 August. For more information:

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1. Courtesy of Tania Franco Klein.