Global Art Forum 2015: "Download Update?"

Global Art Forum 2015: "Download Update?"

Art Dubai

Cécile B. Evans, What A Feeling. Courtesy of the artist.

January 26, 2015

Global Art Forum 2015: “Download Update?”
March 14–15, 2015

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Amricani Cultural Centre
March 18–20, 2015

Art Dubai, Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

– 2015 Global Art Forum takes on the theme of technologies, and their impact on the world of art, culture and beyond

– 50 local and international contributors participate in the ninth edition of the Global Art Forum, co-directed by Turi Munthe and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, with Shumon Basar as Director-at-Large

– The Global Art Forum begins, for the first time, in Kuwait, where it also features a workshop on digitising archives

The Global Art Forum is known as a particularly innovative, leading platform for cultural debate, featuring live talks and presentations, plus commissioned research and projects. In 2015, the Forum takes place over five days, beginning for the first time in Kuwait (March 14–15), before continuing at Art Dubai (March 18–20).

Titled “Download Update?,” the 2015 Forum takes on the theme of technologies, and their impact on the world of art, culture and beyond. Co-directed by Turi Munthe and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, with Shumon Basar as Director-at-Large, the Forum debates how technologies have transformed not only the way we work, but how we think, interact, learn and create.

“The 2015 Global Art Forum will alter the conversation about technology and the Middle East, and shed light on how the region’s culture in being influenced by the streams of communication innovations that have appeared in the past few decades,” says Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Global Art Forum Co-director.

“Perhaps nothing makes our lives feel better and worse at the same time than technology,” says Shumon Basar, Global Art Forum Director-at-Large. “And while it’s humans who theoretically ‘invent’ technology, the truth is that it’s technology that ‘re-invents’ us humans constantly, in ways we aren’t aware of. ‘Download Update?’ is an opportunity to zoom out and take a screen-shot of the world today, in all its high-definition glory and confusion.” 

The Forum’s diverse talks and presentations in Kuwait and Dubai include:

–a debate on the online art market, with directors from leading art dotcoms brought together for the first time
–ways in which virtual museums in the Arab world and Latin America are reaching diasporic publics
–conversations with artists working at the forefront of new technologies
–a look back at the first communication technologies in the Gulf, from newspapers to radio and cinema
–a panel that asks whether we have “Too Much Artificial Intelligence”

The line-up of speakers range from those at the forefront of new developments in technology—including Jawbone founder Alexander Asseily, Artsy President and COO Sebastian Cwilich, Paddle8 Managing Director Thomas Galbraith, M3/Relativity design director Christopher Bevans, Google Cultural Project director Amit Sood and digital media in education innovator Ayesha Khanna—to artists, writers and curators engaging with technologies in particularly innovative ways, including Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Amar Bakshi, James Bridle, Manal Al Dowayan, Cécile B. Evans, the artists’ collective GCC, Omar Kholeif, Dan O’Hara, The Otolith Group and Troy Therrien.
The full list of contributors participating in the Forum can be viewed here:

In Dubai, the Global Art Forum also features the launch of a two-year partnership with 89plus, the long-term, international, multi-platform research project co-founded by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, investigating the generation of innovators born in or after 1989. A presentation at Art Dubai 2015 is geared towards developing a collaborative project—the first in the region—to be presented at Art Dubai 2016. 

In Kuwait, a special workshop led by Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, together with Sultan Gallery, Kuwait is devoted to debating and developing expertise in preserving and digitising archives. 

In Dubai, the Global Art Forum is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and supported by Dubai Design District (d3).

Global Art Forum Kuwait is supported by The Tamdeen Group and is held in association with Nuqat and Sultan Gallery. The Forum is kindly hosted by Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Amricani Cultural Centre.

The International New York Times is the international media partner of the Global Art

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January 26, 2015

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