Throughout 2022, the European Capital of Culture will offer a rich and varied programme of events around digital culture and its ever greater presence in our daily lives. The programme starts with two major exhibitions in Belval, in the Möllerei and the Massenoire respectively, both opening on Saturday 27 February 2022. ‘Hacking Identity – Dancing Diversity’, organised in collaboration with the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media reflects on the way in which identities are constructed and disseminated in digital media such as social networks, video games and other connected devices. While this exhibition explores today’s society and its future, ‘REMIXING INDUSTRIAL PASTS – Constructing the Identity of the Minett’, organised by the C2DH interdisciplinary research centre of the University of Luxembourg, will look at the industrial past of the Minett region and the life of its inhabitants when the Belval steel mills were still operating.
To accompany these two major exhibitions, our young audiences department has devised a varied programme of events based on digital arts and culture. Offering different types of workshops and tours, it allows all participants to have entertaining and unforgettable experiences in Belval. The Balades contées are a series of guided walks that allow children to discover the exhibitions through playful and amusing storytelling. Aimed at families and pre-school children, these tours tell the story behind the exhibits and actively encourage children to explore art and technology.
In the Generations tours, families large and small can take a transgenerational look at the works on display: children, parents and grandparents will be able to explore contemporary art together, in the exhibitions and in specially devised workshops. The Konscht ouni Alter tours are aimed at audiences over 60 who are encouraged to familiarise themselves with new media and digital technology. They provide an opportunity to acquire new skills by stimulating participants’ faculties of reflection, sense of exploration and curiosity.
As part of its ‘Accessibility for all’ strategy, the European Capital of Culture was keen to develop mediation tools that would enable all audiences to take part fully in this exceptional year. The Potlatsch visits will use art to bring together audiences who otherwise are not likely to mix in daily life. The term ‘potlatch’, introduced as a concept in anthropology in 1924 by the sociologists Marcel Mauss and Georges Davy, refers to a practice of Native American tribes that aims to substitute a ‘war of wealth’ for a ‘war of blood’. The concept of these visits is essentially based on the idea of creating a meeting place for people of different social, economic and geographical backgrounds, who agree to exchange ideas and get to know rather than confront each other. This flexible format will be developed with partner associations to suit the needs and demands of local audiences.
Furthermore, regular tours of the exhibitions will be available each weekend in English, French, German and Luxembourgish, as well as in other languages on request. Tours for the general public and schools can be booked at any time of the week. Onsite mediators in the exhibitions at the Massenoire and the Möllerei will provide visitors with contextual information on the works on display. Tours for people with specific needs will also be available.
Disrupting our daily habits, digital culture is undergoing major changes in the wake of the current pandemic, a time when human relationships have become increasingly dependent on digital connections. The ‘Art, Technology & Digital Culture’ podcast, broadcast on 18.01.2022 at 6 pm on Radio Ara, was dedicated to digital art and the fledgling development of digital culture in Luxembourg. What is digital culture and what are its effects? Who are the emerging actors in Luxembourg? One of the objectives of the podcast is to reveal the diversity of this artistic scene and chart a fast-evolving landscape, specifically within the framework of Esch2022.