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.
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.
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).
The Global Art Forum Kuwait, accompanied by special exhibitions and events across the city, is supported by The Tamdeen Group and takes place at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, in association with Sultan Gallery and Nuqat.
In Dubai, the Forum is located next to Art Dubai Modern, at Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah and is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and supported by Dubai Design District (d3).
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.
“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 ‘reinvents’ 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 line-up of speakers ranges from those at the forefront of new developments in technology – including Jawbone founder Alexander Asseily, M3/Relativity design director Christopher Bevans, Google Cultural Project director Amit Sood and digital 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, Omar Kholeif, Dan O’Hara, The Otolith Group and Troy Therrien. The Forum features more participation from the Gulf than ever before, with speakers including former Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabi magazine Sulaiman Al Askari, the artists’ collective GCC, Dubai’s Higher Colleges of Technology director Dr. Saoud Al Mulla, Hessa Al Ossaily of Al Oula radio and Kuwaiti writers and academics Al Anoud Al Sharekh and Mai Al-Nakib, among others.
Kuwait | March 14 – 15
Dubai | March 18 – 20
Day 1 | Kuwait
4pm – 7.30pm
Speakers include: Sulaiman Al Askari, Manal Al Dowayan, Sultan Al Qassemi, Al Anoud Al Sharekh, Shumon Basar, May Dabbagh, GCC, Kristine Khouri, Turi Munthe and Murtaza Vali
Day 2 | Kuwait
2pm – 7pm
Speakers include: Sabih Ahmed, Joumana Al Jabri, Mai Al-Nakib, Sultan Al Qassemi, Taleb Alrefai, Shumon Basar, Cecile B. Evans, Habib Haddad, Ramzi Jaber, Kristine Khouri, Turi Munthe, Nuqat and Lana Shamma
Day 3 | Dubai
3pm – 7.30pm
Speakers include: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Georgina Adam, Dr. Saoud Al Mulla, Hessa Al Ossaily, Sultan Al Qassemi, Alexander Asseily, Shumon Basar, Christopher Bevans, Sebastian Cwilich, Thomas Galbraith, Lara Khaldi, Turi Munthe, Anders Petterson, Amit Sood and Troy Conrad Therrien
Day 4 | Dubai
3pm – 7.30pm
Speakers include: Sultan Al Qassemi, Ayssar Arida, Amar Bakshi, Shumon Basar, Gala Berger, James Bridle, Cecile B. Evans, Ayesha Khanna, Parag Khanna, Omar Kholeif, Turi Munthe, Dan O’Hara, The Otolith Group, Gabriel Perez-Barriero, Jack Persekian and Noah Raford
6pm – 7.30pm
Speakers include: Abdulla Al Mutairi, Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist