Text by Jördis Hille

Whether in the form of texts, images or videos, our cultural heritage is growing constantly. Increasingly, it is being produced not only by creative minds, but also by smart algorithms. Inspired by the European Year of Cultural Heritage, we want to seek out what is worth preserving in the past and present. How will our cultural heritage be preserved in the future – and by whom? What will be the selection criteria when everything migrates to the cloud? What part of what we are creating today – frequently with the help of machines – should be preserved for the future?

Questions like these are at the heart of THE ARTS+ festival programme. Keynote speeches, case studies, interactive panel discussions, guided tours and matchmaking events are dedicated to exploring a forward-looking approach both to our historical cultural heritage as well as to the evidence of our current times. Every trade visitor day (10-13 October) will begin with a tour of the relevant exhibitors in THE ARTS+ area. Following a business lunch at midday, from 2 to 4 p.m. we will delve deeply into the content of the respective issues. Another tour and a daily networking event at 5 p.m. will round off the programme.

Day 1: WHO will be the actors in the creative and cultural ecosystem of the future?

On the first day, international pioneers will share their vision of how cultural spaces must reinvent themselves to stay relevant. Using case studies, we will explain how to manage this strategic, cultural and structural transformation – all while keeping everyday business running. We will provide exclusive insight into the current process of managing change and innovation in cultural and creative spaces and will highlight sustainable concepts.

Day 2: WHAT will be the cultural heritage of the future?

On the second day, we will focus on creative projects and visual story concepts that open up a whole new world of immersion. New technologies like AR, VR, 3D and AI cause boundaries to blur. They generate new intersections between the virtual and real, between “high” and “pop” culture, creators and users, humans and machines. We will dive deep into what happens when technology and storytelling intertwine and discuss why audio might have the power to kill the video star.

Day 3: HOW will cultural heritage be consumed in the future?

On Friday, we will discuss new ways of distributing, presenting and valorising creative and cultural products. Experts will provide insight into how to deal with an increasingly fragmented audience and how to satisfy the demands of the new generation of “prosumers”. We will present new technologies that are driving cultural consumption to the next level, and will find out why brick-and-mortar business could be on the verge of a renaissance.

Day 4 & 5: Weekend inspiration

The inspiration will continue on 14 and 15 October, when the fair opens to all visitors. On Saturday, we will present a new avant-garde, at the intersection of creativity and technology, with a selection of Germany’s (possibly) most creative and innovative minds, ideas and companies. On Sunday, the programme will be dedicated to the topic of fashion.