Inside a 19th-century warehouse known as Ugly Duck, the residents and visitors of London’s Bermondsey will be able to attend The Art Conference, the first ever edition of the event joined by an array of professionals from the world of art, tech and media. During the two-day gathering, which will feature a series of exhibitions, activities and talks, the public will have a unique opportunity to experience immersive, interactive creations in a unique environment, made by a curated selection of local and international artists. Immersing, educating and enthralling, The Art Conference promises a marvellous display of shows and experiences that blur the line between art and technology, letting the visitors enter the mind of each artist! Under the direction of Californian curator Tina Ziegler, TAC aims to become one of the relevant events of the new contemporary sector.
Exhibitions, Installations, Events and Activities
For two days in July, The Art Conference will focus on urban contemporary art as one of the most important movements today through a series of virtual reality experiences, light installations and limited edition artworks available for purchase. For the occasion, many renowned artists from the creative field flew in from all over the world to contribute to the event.
Among the artworks they made, there will be Dan Witz’s Breathing Room, inspired by the activism projects of Amnesty International and bringing new perspectives and a profound message of peace and tolerance in the unexpected setting of the iconic British red telephone box; Light Poetry by Robert Montgomery, the critically-acclaimed 3D light architecture piece which encourages visitors to experience a tender interplay of poetry, public urban intrusion and an understanding of space; the Modular collection of paintings by graffiti artist Will Vibes, which will draw attention to the relationship between marine life and polluting waste. Bringing “augmented reality technology” to the Ugly Duck hall of The Art Conference is Jordan Seiler, whose Collisions and Access will have participants pick up a tablet on a specially-constructed podium to change the scenery, art and atmosphere around them.
Colin McMaster, on the other hand, will create Ill Repute, a 1950s noir motel room that is part theatre set, part immersive portrait. Tackling rapidly rising house prices, there will be Tinsel Edwards and Signs of the Times, which features estate signs picked from the streets in order to tell a different kind of story. Photographer and visual artist Jose Montemayor’s Death is Only the Beginning / Virtual Awakening project uses cutting-edge software and provocative subjects to draw attention to negative cultural conditioning, letting the viewers live in a whole different reality. Finally, the City Lights Installation by Maser will have Ugly Duck’s tunnel transformed into a neon light installation.
Topics of Discussion and Keynote Arts Speakers
The first edition of The Art Conference in London has chosen three talking points for debate that will include seminars, panel discussions and interactive exhibitions: the power, the worth and the future of Urban art. To elaborate on these themes, there will be professionals such as gallery directors, curators, tech savvies, activists, bloggers and artists themselves. In the words of main curator Tina Ziegler, this year’s program will remove the myth and stigma associated with the urban art scene and will emphasize the way the movement has grown and been adopted by a wide, global audience.
The first topic, The Wealth of Walled Streets: Modern Murals and the Art Scene, will answer the question of the worth of art on the walls in both cultural and commercial terms. What is the meaning of city murals and how do others choose to invest in their development? Discussing this there will be Teresa Latuszewska of Urban Forms Foundation in Poland, Mia Grohndal of Women on Walls, Vestalia Chitton of MB6 in Morocco, Mark Clack of Wood Street Walls in the UK, RJ Rushmore of vandalog.com and Guillaume Trotin, the director of OPEN WALLS Gallery in Berlin.
Pixels in Pounds: The Value of Digital Art will examine the relationship between technique and technology, and the way the digital found the way to become part of an artwork, or the artwork itself. To talk about the potential of virtual reality as art, there will be artists Robert Montgomery and Jose Montemayor, digital art curator Valentina Fois and Dan Lewis, app developer and founder of skute.me.uk.
Debating on socially engaging art, its impact, influence and inspiration, as well as just how much difference art can and does make on a social level, there will be seven individuals, including the aforementioned Mia Grohndal, Dan Lewis and RJ Rushmore, alongside Dan Witz of Project Breathing Room, artist and activist Tinsel Edwards, Louis Jensen of Spraying Bricks and Jordan Seiler, artist and founder of Public Ad Campaign from New York. This part of The Art Conference will bear the title ArtSoc: Social Engagement Through Art.
The Art Conference London 2016
The debut edition of The Art Conference will take place at Bermondsey’s Ugly Duck at 47-49 Tanner Street in London, UK, on July 23rd and 24th, 2016. Daily ticket prices range from £45 for students, £65 for the Early Bird Day Ticket and £80 for the General entry. The weekend tickets (both days) will go from £90 for students, £120 for the Early Bird Weekend Ticket and £150 for General. For more information, please visit the official website of The Art Conference London 2016.