Future Now Symposium:
2024 Programme Announced

Future Now Symposium:<br>2024 Programme Announced

“Art has the power to unite and transform,” says Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica. “It takes us to new places and introduces us to new cultures; most importantly, it reminds us of our humanity. We see creativity as a form of expression and a way to convene, discuss and make sense of the present, at this critical juncture in history.” The Future Now Symposium embodies this ethos – returning this year for its 10th edition on 15-16 February. The event brings together award-winning artists for talks that explore, discover and engage with themes from our rapidly changing world. This year, featured speakers include Heather Phillipson, Hannah Lim, Julianknxx, Marcus Lyon, Margaret Salmon, Steve Messam and Yuri Suzuki, alongside representatives from Baltic, Barbican, Hayward Gallery, Tate, V&A and more.

On day one, Heather Phillipson will talk about her practice with multimedia projects, spanning video, sculpture, installation, music, poetry and digital art. The Turner-prize nominee is renowned for her immersive installations that explore “received, ideas, images and systems.” Elsewhere, Hannah Lim will discuss her ornamental sculptures that explore Chinoiserie, feminism and multicultural backgrounds. British artist Marcus Lyon will also discuss his project Human Atlas, sharing what it means to make research-based art that taps into the intersections of science, anthropology and photography.

The second day will open with insights from creatives such as Hope Strickland, Sadie Clayton, Larry Achiampong and Yuri Suzuki. The panel will talk about what it means to be an artist today, thinking in particular about topics of resilience and funding. Later, Margaret Salmon shares her insight behind her award-winning filmic portraits and cinematic inspirations. Julianknxx also explores themes of inheritance, multidisciplinary practice and belonging, whilst Steve Messam considers how artworks can transform our perceptions of place. Elsewhere, we put photography in focus. Lens-based artists and curators, Hannah Starkey, Kavi Pujara, Mary Phan, Tom Hunter and Edgar Martins answer questions such as: what are the ethics of documentary in 2024? How do you construct a “good” shot? What does the ever-increasing capability of smartphones mean for the future? What are the emerging trends in photography?

This two-day event connects key UK institutions, galleries and artists to energise our minds. It invites dialogue around the most pressing topics from the creative sector, offering up portfolio reviews as well as peer knowledge exchange. It investigates topics relevant to practitioners today, exploring what the future of curation looks like. More than this, it considers how to develop a career as an artist, the impact of AI, as well as what it means to make and create art that is caught between multiple places, times and genres.

It also witnesses the opening of The Aesthetica Art Prize at York Art Gallery. The exhibition presents 21 artists from across the world, each using creativity as a powerful means of expression. From installation and sculpture, to digital art and mixed-media these works inspire a collective response to challenges facing us right now. They remind us that the connection between artist and viewer can drive transformation, fostering empathy and understanding. Featured artists include the Sony World Photographer of the Year, Edgar Martins and Jerwood winner, Yevhen Samuchenko recommended by CNN. Film is widely represented, including works by artists Hussina Raja, Kenji Ouellet, and Atonia Luxem. Innovative sculptural works fill the gallery space, including works by Mo H. Zareei and Cinzia Campolese. It’s a presentation that moves between digital and analogue media, directly confronting life in the 21st century.

Federico notes, “Future Now is a place for you to connect with likeminded individuals using the Aesthetica Art Prize as a catalyst towards further your network and pushing the boundaries of today’s contemporary artistic landscape. We value the exchange of ideas and here at Future Now, we encourage new collaborations and idea generation. Many of the pieces draw attention to issues such as the climate crisis, the impact of technology, colonial legacies and inequality. These works are active rather than passive, and, together, they create a dialogue that defies existing paradigms and contributes to the progression of the human story. These artists will influence generations to come.”

Future Now Symposium 2024 | 15-16 February

Click here to discover the full programme and book your pass.

Image Credits:

1. Hannah Lim, Sculptural Still Life, 2018.

2. Steve Messam, Spiked, (2021).