Future everything

Festival as a (living) lab!


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GB United Kingdom
Web http://award.futureeverything.org/ecas-festival-as-lab


About the project Edit

Festivals are a space where new cultural forms, methods and technology prototypes may be tested and evaluated with a live audience. They offer the ability to discuss and give attention (including media attention) to a topic or experiment. And they are a place where different forms and communities cross-fertilise, acting as a meeting place between audiences, cultural workers, artists and other stakeholders.

The cultural sector is increasingly fluid, changing at a bewildering pace. Over the past 15 years it’s been possible to see the rise of a new generation of cultural festivals, which increasingly reflect and represent the fast-paced cultural sector of today. The ECAS network proposes these festivals can be viewed as a new kind of cultural institution, which, unlike other traditional cultural institutions such as the museum, has the versatility to respond and adapt very rapidly to emerging artistic forms and trends. They engage with wholly new themes, formats and art forms each year, or within a single year’s programme.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The theme Festival as Lab is inspired by the FutureEverything festival, which is conceived and designed as a ‘living lab’ for prototyping the future.

The ECAS festivals are experimental spaces or laboratories where it is possible to experiment and play with future art, music and ideas.

They are looking for projects that engage the festival audience and artists in a participatory experiment in creating a new kind of artwork, a new form of participation, new understanding on art or technology, or a new and innovative way of presenting inspirational art.

Proposals should experiment with the festival format, transforming the festival environment into a lab or experimental space.

The ECAS festivals network is looking at this unique approach where festivals act as experimental spaces for new cultural forms, new technologies, and new modes of audience engagement.

It is optional not essential that proposals involve collaboration with scientists and social scientists as well as audience groups and ethnographers to inform future project design.

The ecas festivals will favour proposals which promote the concept of the ‘active participant’ over traditional assumptions about passive audiences, and seek to involve audiences integrally in the project.

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