• News
  • Feb 10, 2015

Technology in the Arts is Theme for Global Art Forum 2015

(Left to right) Farah al-Nakib, Kristine Khouri,

Technologies and their impact on the world of art, culture and beyond will be the theme of the five-day Global Art Forum (GAF), the innovative platform of talks, presentations and commissioned projects run by Art Dubai. Starting for the first time in Kuwait (March 14–15) before continuing at its Art Dubai home (March 18–20), the 9th edition of the Forum boasts 50 local and international contributors, including more participants from the Gulf than ever before. “Download Update?” is the title of the 2015 Forum, co-directed by columnist and political commentator Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi and Turi Munthe, founder of citizen newswire Demotix, with former GAF director and commissioner Shumon Basar returning as director at large.

The lineup of speakers strikes a balance between the art and technology spheres: artists, writers and curators engaging with new technologies share the spotlight with innovators from the tech world. Speakers from the Gulf region include former editor-in-chief of Al Arabi magazine Sulaiman al-Askari and the artist collective GCC. Beyond the Gulf, artists Laurence Abu Hamdan and The Otolith Group will be joined by writer/curator Omar Kholeif, founder Alexander Asseily of the wearable device company Jawbone, and Google Cultural Project director Amit Sood, among others. A never-before-assembled panel of directors from leading art dotcoms will debate the online art market, while another discussion will focus on ways that virtual museums in the Arab world are reaching diaspora audiences.

In Kuwait, the local Sultan Gallery will team up with Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive to lead a workshop on developing expertise in preserving and digitizing archives. In Dubai, the GAF will also feature the launch of a two-year partnership with 89plus, a multi-platform research project co-founded by curators Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, investigating the generation of innovators born in or after 1989. The Forum will host the kick-off of a collaborative project with 89plus—the first in the region—to be presented at Art Dubai 2016.