Shared Digital Futures

Date: June 12/14/15, 2013

Location: Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, MAK, Rhiz

The New Access to Culture is a workshop and public debate on Austrian cultural institutions and their digital future. (June 12 MAK Wien) More →

Shared Digital Futures is a conference that explores the impact of digital network technologies for cultural production. (June 14/15  Kunsthalle Wien, Rhiz)

SDF Videoarchive of talks. and a short overall SDF documentary: here.


Panels, Debates and Events 

Conference Abstracts and Speaker Bios


Over the last decade digitization has reached deep into our societies, invaded the archives, transformed production and distribution. The established divisions of labor are called into question, and deep challenges emerge to the theory and practices of many cultural domains. A diverse group of people – artists, researchers, critics, entrepreneurs and an engaged audience – will exchange experiences, debate ideas and reflect on essential challenges:

  • How can expanded access to digital networks benefit diverse cultural landscapes?
  • What opportunities are offered by the blurring of boundaries between artists and audiences?
  • What does it mean when cultural works are both finished works and material for new works?

The popular resistance against ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) in early 2012 showed that current attempts to support established business models in culture have reached an impasse. Simply expanding copyright legislation and enforcement is not only not working, but also politically no longer viable. This has led to a number of outcries by authors and publishers who see the basis of Western culture threatened, but relatively little in terms of new ideas and approaches how to adapt to the changing times. Is there simply a change from old monopolies, based on copyright, financing and distribution, to new monopolies, based on access, intelligent filtering and interactivity?

But then the future is unwritten and there is an urgent need to examine these issues. “Shared Digital Futures” contributes to this debate from the point-of-view of a new solidarity between artists and audiences, of innovative cultural producers and engaged publics. A view where increased access is matched with increased opportunities.