The Forum d'Avignon Ruhr is based on a French-German partnership between the think tank Forum d'Avignon and ecce. The aim of the cooperation is to culturally contribute to future-oriented policies by bringing together Europe's business leaders and experts from the economy, politics, media, science, and culture.
#FAR15: CULTURE IS DIGITAL – DIGITAL IS CULTURE
The fourth edition of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr took place on 22/23 September 2015 in Essen.
Programme and Topic 2015
We live in an increasingly digitalised world. Digital content, applications and structures permeate more and more aspects of everyday life and transform society in a profound way and at a high speed. And yet we are still at the beginning of the digital revolution.
While we had the last seven years to familiarize ourselves with our smartphones, we will need to accustom ourselves to the thought that tomorrow intelligent computers will drive our cars. New ways of thinking and cultures of action, new values and evaluation systems have emerged through the application of digital media and technologies. Data on a massive scale - big data - form the basis of these systems and bring forth new ones, shift industry boundaries and redefine markets and perspectives.
The digital developments are also, and above all, a cultural challenge for society as a whole. The individual, anonymous and transparent at the same time, with their digital "data track" in the flood of data flows becomes an economic commodity, while politics and economics struggle for supremacy in definition and design.
It is especially culture, just where the cultural and creative industries unfold in music, film and literature, advertising, art and architecture, that affects these upheavals with all their opportunities and risks, but which at the same time is also a driver of the digital revolution. Digital offers and their usage in the millions by consumers of culture worldwide - whether with an art app in the museum, with books on the ebook or with music and movies on the smartphone, - decisively move the web and the business and application models in the highly commercialised culture areas or the creative economy.
And therefore it is precisely the culture and creative industries, which in their digital expression are not only globally successful, but also put people in the foreground, promote identity and connect cultures – predestined to participate in the shaping of the digital future with vision and pragmatism, and to even take a lead.
2015 is the year in which digitalisation is a new priority for cultural policy in Europe: the European Commission, which has been newly elected in autumn 2014, declares culture as a field of action in the context of the digital single market initiative. The network of the Forum d'Avignon is working on a "preliminary declaration of digital human rights" as a basis for European legislation. Already in 2014 the German Government started working on a digital agenda, which also includes culture and creative industries and in the "Cultural Funding Act" of North Rhine-Westphalia explicitly mentions a promotion of "interdisciplinary projects and the production and presentation of digital art forms" as well as the digitalisation of analogous culture.
The debate in culture on digitalisation and big data is only in its infancy. It is characterised by little experience, meagre exchange and cooperation, a lack of a differentiated debate about opportunities, risks and prospects, but also by worries about the future.
The Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2015 wanted to be a think tank to shed light on the opportunities and risks of the digital revolution for culture and to hold critical discussions with thinkers, movers and shakers, and decision makers from culture, politics and economy in Europe. With selected best practice initiatives, incentives and discussions about economic principles and ethical requirements, the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr intended to start fact-based debate and to advocate the relevance and crucial role of culture in the digital future.
 Source: Forum d'Avignon »Preliminary Declaration of the Digital Human Rights« (www.ddhn.org/index-de.php )
 Source: Kulturfördergesetz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen § 7,8 (https://recht.nrw.de/lmi/owa/br_text_anzeigen?v_id=10000000000000000530 )
The congress of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2015 on 23 September highlighted the dynamics between culture, creative industries and digitalisation of a cultural and social meta-perspective. The day before the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr on 22 September served as a European meeting place where leading experts, initiatives and movers and shakers of the cultural and creative industries linked up in interactions and exchanges in various formats. On the evening of 22 September at 7:00 pm the opening ceremony for the N.I.C.E. Exhibition took place. Here, 15 innovative projects from all over Europe and one special guest for digital innovations, chosen through a competition procedure, were selected and nominated for the N.I.C.E. Award. The award was presented on Wednesday 23 September as a highlight and finale of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr by Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economics, Energy, Industry and Commerce of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. In the mix of discussions, impulses, question and answer sessions, presentations as well as the exhibition and the award, the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr sought to highlight a selected range of aspects which are crucial not only for future spillover effects between "culture and the digital world", but for the digital future of our society.
The Venue: GOP Varieté-Theater Essen & Galerie Alte Mitte
The congress of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2015 took place at the heart of the Creative.Quarter at the GOP Variety Theatre. The legendary GOP, a former cinema, with its creative show and gastronomy concept has been enjoyed by people from around the world since 1996. On 23 September 2015, the European platform for discussions on the future of digital culture and cultural digitality commenced there. On 22 September 2015 at 7:00 pm, the exhibition of the N.I.C.E. Award took place in the Galerie Alte Mitte in Essen.
GOP Varieté-Theater during FAR15
Alte Galerie Mitte während des FAR15
Alte Galerie Mitte während des FAR15