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Anxiety, Culture and the Future

18 - 19 October 2019
9:00am - 5:00pm
AGNSW (Art Gallery of New South Wales) and MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences)
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Two women wearing VR goggles

How can we imagine the future when we can’t see it? Can arts and culture create the individual and collective resources to support future thinking – not as an abstract proposition but in ways that save and transform lives.

This two-day conference explores collaborative cultures that enmesh arts with science, clinical and other knowledges to create new ways to imagine the future. It examines the radical social role of cultural institutions at a time of general anxiety.

Through workshops and presentations, it will focus on the practical question of how we generate individual and collective responses to address anxieties, loss of hope and the general failure of future thinking.

DAY ONE: Friday 18 October 2019, 9am - 5pm AGNSW (Art Gallery of New South Wales)
DAY TWO: Saturday 19 October 2019, 9am - 5pm MASS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences)

Speakers include
Claire Doherty (UK): Producer, writer and curator, founder Director of the international arts producing organisation, Situations, which over 15 years spearheaded new approaches to arts in the public realm.

Nathan Filer (UK): Qualified mental health nurse and novelist. His book, ‘The Shock of the Fall: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia’ won several major awards, including the Costa Book of the Year.

Leigh Ledare (USA): Artist whose projects in photography and film raise questions of agency, intimacy and consent, transforming the observer into the voyeur of private scenes or situations dealing with social taboos.

NPY Women’s Council Uti Kulinjaku project (Aus): An Anangu-led project by artists and traditional ngangkari healers addressing the trauma of youth suicide through practices of deep listening.

Lisa Havilah (Aus): CEO of the Powerhouse Museum and former Director of Carriageworks


Anxiety, Culture and the Future is produced by Curating Third Space, The Big Anxiety - festival of arts + science + people, MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) and AGNSW (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Curating Third Space is led by UNSW Art & Design, supported by the Australian Research Council, The Australia Council for the Arts and Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and Australia’s Science Channel.