Talk program 2019

Digital Transformations in the Art Scene

The third edition of Art Düsseldorf dedicates its talk program to the topic of “digitization”. Will it become necessary to redefine trust, expertise and quality? Are clicks, likes and buzz the quality parameters for the constantly growing number of biennials, fairs and exhibitions? Do they determine the career of artists? With international talk guests from the art world, we will discuss the most diverse perspectives on digital transformations and the opportunities that are enabled. How do digital evaluation and analysis mechanisms change the role of art criticism? How do collectors respond to an art world in digital turmoil? What is the effect on young galleries and their working conditions? Will artistic strategies change in the context of a digitized art market? How do intelligent technologies have an impact on the interaction of institutions, collectors, artists and galleries? And what are new models of cooperation between art and businesses?

The author and filmmaker Nicola Graef leads the audience through the talk program, and presents the talks in German and English.

Location: Talk Area, Alte Schmiedehalle

Concept of the talk program:


Friday, November 15
Digital Transformations of the Art World

12.30 pm
What is digitization for the institutions of the art world? (EN)

Today, museums are facing the challenge of digitizing collections, exhibitions, and the museum experience in general. How equipped are the institutions for this, and what changes are necessary to prevail as a museum in the 21st century, in terms of structure, programming, and curating? What about the digitally savvy younger generations? Does social media replace the museum visit? How do institutions use the potential of digital tools?

Talk Guests:
Emma Enderby (Senior Curator, The Shed, New York)
Ulrike Groos (Director, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart),
Felix Krämer (Director, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf)

2.00 pm
How does art production change with and through digital tools? (DE)

Our everyday life is determined by a constant flow of images and data. Where is the production of artistic practices heading in this digitalized context? Are artistic expression and the term “materiality” reformed using digital tools? Must traditional art production succumb to AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) art?

Talk Guests:
Marianne Dobner (Curator, mumok, Wien)
Bernhard Buhmann (Artist)
Manuel Rossner (Artist)

4.00 pm
How does art criticism change in times of digitalization? (DE)

In times of digital marketing, can the presentation of art, evaluation, sale and reporting still be separated from each other? Do ‘likes’ decide upon the career of artists? Does art criticism take place on Twitter and Instagram today?

Host: Moritz Scheper (Art Critic, Curator)

Talk Guests:
Noemi Smolik (Art Critic, Teacher)
Judith Welter (Curator, Art Critic, Brand New Life)
Johannes Bendzulla (Artist, Editor of Pressespiegel)
Carina Bukuts (Art Critic, FRIEZE)

Saturday, November 16
Art Collecting 

12.00 noon
How is collecting changing in digital times? (EN)

We live in a time in which the sharing of goods is increasingly in demand. Environmental awareness, mobility and global networking drive the trend. Is collecting art also changing?

Talk Guests:
Alain Servais (Brussels)
Florian Peters-Messer (Berlin / Viersen)
Carolin Scharpff-Striebich (Bonn / Berlin)

2.00 pm
Collecting, how to start? (DE)

The Japanese collector Daisuke Miyatsu discusses the beginning of his collection in 1996 and how he built up his art collection as an employee with great commitment. Today he owns one of Japan’s most important collections of international contemporary art.

3.00 pm
How to foster and support innovative art practices as a foundation (EN)

Chihiro Watanabe is the director of Contemporary Art Foundation, one of Japans most renowned art foundations. The Contemporary Art Foundation aims to contribute to the promotion of young contemporary art and music. The CAF also carries out art exhibitions to promote knowledge and education of contemporary art in Japan.

Sunday, November 17
New cooperation models in the art world

12.00 noon
New forms of cooperation (EN)

What kinds of new cooperation models between different actors are driven by digitization? What projects are emerging between the art world and businesses? Do institutions adapt to economic structures? Does art venture into new issues and topics?  Is art only promoted for economic reasons or are there still patrons today?

Talk Guests:
Coraly von Bismarck (Pace X)
Ben Vickers (Chief Technical Officer, Serpentine Galleries)
Nina Raftopoulo (Independent Collectors / Independent Connectors)
Simon Speiser (Artist)

3.00 pm
Next Generation: Is the classic gallery model in upheaval? (EN)

What do galleries have to do today to meet the expectations of the international art scene? How do they remain relevant to artists, collectors, institutions and curators?

Talk Guests:
Silvia Ammon (Paris Internationale)
FOAF (Warschau)
Max Mayer (Galerie Max Mayer)