A new prize to mark our 20th anniversary

September 29th, 2014 No Comments

These are some of the questions cultural institutions have to address today. At a time when venues and publics are changing fast, knowing how to respond is one of the challenges facing cultural spaces.

This is why the CCCB has created the International Prize for Cultural Innovation, a project that forms part of the actions of the 20th anniversary and has been developed by the CCCBLab, the Centre’s department of research and innovation in the field of culture.

Why a prize for cultural innovation?

Since 2007, when we coined the term I+C+i to refer to the activities organized by the department, we have realized there’s a great reserve of creativity inside and outside cultural institutions. Part of this creativity, especially the part that is developed on the outside, doesn’t surface or simply never comes to fruition. So we decided to let people know we’re here, that we want to develop that creativity and that as a public institution we are here to serve our citizens.

How is the Prize organized?

The Prize will be biennial, and the idea is to propose a theme for each competition that serves to reflect on that theme from every point of view. The first competition centres on audiences, one of the big challenges facing cultural institutions in coming years. We want to know how the concept of “public” has evolved at a time when the boundaries between physical and virtual space have blurred, and what these new publics need.

Who can enter?

Any individual, group or collective who is interested in answering these questions and can propose a project for the creation, production and presentation of cultural contents whose format or management provides an innovative response to a specific theme.

What is the jury looking for?

This is a prize for innovation, so novelty and originality are two important values. The jury is also looking for conceptual and methodological rigour, as well as the capacity to offer applicable solutions. It also values multidisciplinary actions and methods: projects that incorporate processes and dynamics from other disciplines to enhance those of cultural institutions. Finally, particular importance is also given to proposals that set out to reduce the sociocultural divide, and to promote the use and care of community space.

These criteria will form the basis for the jury’s choice of 10 projects, one of which will be awarded the 10,000 euro prize. This is an international prize, but it’s looking for glocal solutions to the challenges facing institutions in the very near future.

An international jury

For this reason, too, the jury is made up of experts in the world of culture whose work centres in different areas:

. Nina Simon, director of the Museo de Arte e Historia de Santa Cruz, is a specialist in participatory processes. In 2006 she created the Museums 2.0 blog, one of the first to analyse the impact on museums of the digital phenomenon. She is also the author of The Participatory Museum, about the theme of this first Prize.

. Marcos García is director of the MediaLab Prado, a citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects, and has years of experience in participatory processes at cultural institutions.

. Conxa Rodà is the head of digital strategy at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and was a jury member of Museums and the Web and MuseumNext, today’s two biggest meetings about 2.0 museums.

. Johan Moerman is the director of the Rotterdam  Festival  and heads the Audiences Europe Network, which studies publics in the field of culture.

. Mark Miller directs Tate Collectives, a department of London’s Tate Gallery aimed specifically at young creatives that has got adolescents involved in programming.

. Finally, Juan Insua, as head of the CCCBLab department, is the CCCB’s representative on the jury, and has over 20 years’ experience in the museum field, from exhibition curatorship to the development of innovative projects such as Kosmopolis. The Amplified Literature Fest, Now. Meetings in the Present Continuous and I+C+i.

We couldn’t end this article without mentioning the graphic image that goes with the Award, created by DesignbyAtlas, whose Pablo Martín is this year’s winner of the National Design Award. Astrid Stavro has adapted Pete Rossi’s Utopia typeface, giving it an Escherian look that optically reflects the defining idea of the Award: innovation.

All the information and the conditions of entry of the first Cultural Innovation International Prize are available for consultation at http://www.innovationcccb.org/.

(Català) Barcelona, ciutat magnètica?

September 23rd, 2014 No Comments

Lights and Shadows of Drones

September 22nd, 2014 1 Comment

Until recently, the word “drone” evoked a buzzing sound or a stingless male bee. Today, however, its everyday use no longer derives from noises or the animal kingdom. The word “drone” is now better known as a synonym for “unmanned aircraft”. Yet, this is not a twenty-first-century invention. Some years ago they were called “remote control aircraft”, but progress has brought with it three new elements that have made it necessary to coin a new word: autonomous flight, distance from the remote pilot, and military use.

Although the drone’s lethal capacity has made it famous in the past decade, it also has civilian and commercial uses. The two giant companies Amazon and Google are presently competing over which will be able to use it as an urban delivery device, moving packages from warehouse to home in a couple of minutes. Many other companies have dreamt up further drone uses: cultivating fields, rescue work, checking rooftop plumbing, and getting better images for real-estate sales. Its commercial uses will dramatically expand after 2018 when new legislation comes into force in the United States. Drones are not only remotely piloted aircraft. Their new functions will include – if all goes well – a self-piloting version which can respond to software commands.

However, the lamentable fame of drones and the theme of the debate Drones. Siege at a distance is their impressive ability to kill. For the moment, only three countries have killed with drones: the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. The military use of drones is not limited to firing missiles. Surveillance and reconnoitring are more common among their strategic uses. Most of the countries with drones – more than fifty – have this less offensive type. The future violence of drones will not only take the form of missile strikes. China (and no doubt other countries as well) is working on planes that can engage in electronic warfare: blocking GPS systems, or scrambling object-locating programmes.

Nevertheless, the lethal drones have been the most evident type and, moreover, they have been used as freely moving aerial spies, unthreatened by anti-aircraft defences and combat aircraft, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Gaza. Drones have been one of the two outstanding tools of President Obama’s antiterrorist campaign since 2008, the other being the special forces. Their effectiveness in a real war in which the enemy has anti-aircraft weapons is yet to be seen. Perhaps smaller, undetectable drones will be deployed. Some of them measure only 15 centimetres. Soon there will be autonomous solar-powered drones that can remain in the air for up to three years. A whole world to be discovered.

The constant activity of US drones in the remote zones of the world means that alleged members of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates will cannot live or train in peace. Obama has cut back their use in the past two years but the toll of civilian victims is still enormous. The rage of affected populations which are living under constant threat casts doubt on the success of this method.

Drones can be guided by human intelligence. Somebody informs that a target is, or will be at a certain place which is then attacked. But the target might be at a family gathering or party. What then? It will depend on the importance of the target for the attacking force. Drones have also carried out “signature strikes”. The US intelligence services identify a pattern that signals terrorist activities, for example a convoy of cars or a training camp. If a reconnaissance drone records signs meeting these parameters, it can attack. Sometimes the consequences have been dreadful.

Michael Hayden, retired United States Air Force general and Director of the National Security Agency in the dramatic weeks after 9/11, has said, referring to attacks against the Islamic State in Iraq, that, “The reliance on air power has all the attraction of casual sex. It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.” Hayden believes that such a strategy is dubious and insufficient. Now, let’s imagine a strategy where air power is in the hands of unmanned aircraft. What sort of sex would that be? President Obama has been engaging in it for years.

Jordi Pérez Colomé is a journalist specialising in international politics and author of the blog Obamaworld. He takes part in the debate Drones. Siege at a distance, that will take place on the 2nd October, in the framework of the project Under Siege.

(Català) #habitació1418 #h1418 #CCCB #Macba #roomers #creativitat #jovescreatius #Barcelona #quésomos #adóndevamos #dedóndevenimos #etc

September 22nd, 2014 No Comments

(Català) Què ens planteja avui la ciutat contemporània?

September 17th, 2014 No Comments