Future DiverCities – LABs

I was invited to work as a LAB-artist (BEK, Norway) and Local artist associate (ANTI-Festival, Kuopio) in Future DiverCities – program.


Future DiverCities is an initiative of 10 partners in Europe and Canada, all key players in the field of citymaking and new artistic forms, funded by the Creative Europe programme, to explore the power of creative innovation in challenging urban spaces. Using intercultural collaboration in a socio-cultural and digital context, Future DiverCities is looking to take further the vision of art in cities and harness the spirit and thinking of the City 3.0, a vision of cities in our digital era “harnessing the collective imagination and intelligence of citizens in making, shaping and co-creating their city” (Prf. Charles Landry, The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators.)
Future DiverCities explores new ways of collaboration and co-creation by using innovative co-design methodologies in artistic processes, incubating artwork that shuffles urban geographies, or explores new participative digital tools to creatively experience the city..


Future DiverCities is a holistic programme looking at the ever-changing role of art and creative work in the urban context. The programme includes a wide range of activities, community labs, citizens workshops and artistic interventions, to explore and show how artists and creatives can propose innovative ways to build our future cities and how this responds to the current thinking and needs around urban transformation.
Future DiverCities sees creative innovation as a tool to enable citizens to see things in a different way, supporting the development of stronger communities and contributing to the concepts of happy and resilient cities.

About BEK-LAB:


After exploring the theme ‘Future DiverCitizens’ and its meaning through the first #FDCitiesChat on Twitter Chat, the ‘FROM MACRO TO MICRO AND BACK, the physics and metaphysics of______________distance’ lab was the last step before Future DiverCities moves the onto the next curatorial topic: ‘Future DiverSocieties’. Initiated and hosted by our Norwegian partner, BEK – Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, the lab invited four artists and done expert Piotr Pajchel to explore the notion of ‘distance’. During a week of research and experimentation, the group learnt to use and fly a drone and captured exceptional footage of Bergen city and its immediate surroundings. 

“The possibilities for artistic contribution of drones are multiple: via crowdsourcing platforms, via curators of several designers, via unique artists.”

This quote from Carlo Ratti, MIT professor speaks directly to the current use of drones in art and creative fields. At a time when feelings of surveillance and distrust are all around us, where drone are portrayed as intruders, spies, invading our homes and our privacy, there are artistic collectives who work with drones and drone technology as a medium. Verdensteatret, Piotr Pajchel’s artists group in one of these collectives, made up of artists from different areas of expertise who work together to experiment with live-art and new media art. Verdensteatret explore the use of audiovisual technologies in a closed dialogue with more traditional and historic tools of artistic expression. Its experiments result in complex orchestral works or space-related musical compositions.

“Even though, our project is now very abstract, I’ve decided to use the drone as a tool for research and a new perspective on a landscape.”
Piotr Pajchel on the uses of drones

During the ‘From Macro to Micro Lab and Back’ lab, drones were used by artists as a means to capture the city landscape, using sound to explore distance. The lab aimed at highlighting how technology and new tools impact us and our thinking, and how collaboration can open up our knowledge in a learning situation.

“‘Micro/Macro’ as term in any science and way of relating to knowledge – the need for separating or comparing to understand something. {…} Without distance we will not be able to separate and to then understand what is seen/observed.”
explains Anne Marthe Dyvi, lab curator.

In Bergen, the artists investigated technological aspects, size and content of data, the speed of signal, and how the views offered by a drone can change and affect our relationship to our environment. The lab started with the perspective a camera offers, exploring this echo of the relationship between human beings, the needs and desires of citizens and use of technology. The footage and sound design produced were shared with visitors on an open day at the end of the weeklong lab. The experience from the Bergen lab brought a fresh new perspective to how we see our cities and the cityscape. Those who attended the open day will be invited to return to BEK to discuss the ideas presented in more detail. The work produced has lots of potential to be further shared with Bergen residents.

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