Conference "Work as Invention. Art for Social Change"

International Conference in the context of the programme “Artecitya. Envisioning the City of Tomorrow (2014-2018)"
Thessaloniki & Basel

Conference dates: 31 March-1 April 2017 / Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki (GR) and Museum der Kulturen, Basel (CH)

Preparatory workshop:
4 March 2017 (Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki)

Media Lab workshop: 18-22 March 2017 (Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki)

The conference will present case-studies and scholarly debates that discuss novel approaches towards work and socially engaged art practices. The aim is to show the mutual dependence of work and art in envisioning the future of an upcoming society, via a productive exchange between the fields of art, education, creative industries, technology, politics, economy and research-based knowledge. Distinguished contributors from these fields, both academics and practitioners, will offer their proposals and insights on building alternative models of urban creativity, social entrepreneurship, resilient economies and civic participation, that can shape the future of work.

The conference will be divided into five sessions with the following working titles:
1. Art for Social Change - theory and practices
2. Political Strategies in Art
3. Community, Urban Transformation, Digital Practices
4. Economy, Invention of Work, Digital Commons, Maker Movement
5. Politics of the Future

Live Broadcast - Public involvement:
A unique trait is the conference format. Directed as a creative laboratory, the conference will pay particular attention to audience interaction, and at the same time function as case-study / best-practice model relevant to the the topic at hand. Public around the world will be able to follow the conference live online broadcast and join the discussion via a specially setup youtube channel. International institutions are invited to host the live broadcast of the event and/or organise parallel discussions.

Training opportunities:
The live broadcast will be done via a specially built, custom-made media lab, conceived and designed in collaboration with Institute HyperWerk. Young creatives from Thessaloniki will be trained to develop and use the system, being offered the opportunity to acquire a new, unique set of skills that they can practise in the future, establishing themselves professionally, not only for future Artecitya events, but also for other occasions, that the conference organisers intend to create, in collaboration with partners in Thessaloniki and elsewhere.

Participation form for the media lab available here:

The conference scenography is designed by Practise(in)Cognition, a group of artists, architects and designers that emerged as a result of Eric Ellingsen’s Perceiving Academy, a project developed for the artist’s residency in the context of Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki last Summer. Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s Artecitya Agency supports Practise(in)Cognition in their first steps, offering them opportunities to learn-by-doing.

Finally, in preparation of the Conference, an introductory workshop with the Conference Principal Scientific Consultant, Dr. Sotirios Bahtsetzis, will take place one month prior (on March 4), introducing the local public to the main concepts to be discussed during the conference.

Reserve your seat for the preparatory workshop here:

Confirmed contributions include:

Video statements by:

Tania Bruguera, political artist
Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York
Eric Ellingsen, artist, architect, educator
Anne Filson and Gary Rohrbacher, architects, professors, and founders of the US based architecture, design, and research firm Filson and Rohrbacher
Pablo Helguera, artist, educator, author ​
Jeanne van Heeswijk, artist
Dr. phil. Monika Kästli, art historian and curator
Achilleas Kentonis, trans-disciplinary artist, innovation trainer and engineer; founder and director of ARTos Foundation Nicosia
Florian Malzacher, freelance curator, writer and dramaturge, artistic director of Impulse Theater Festival
Pedro Reyes, artist
Prof. Dr. Felix Stalder, Professor for Digital Culture, Zurich University of the Arts; Senior Researcher, World Information Institute, Vienna
Nato Thompson, Artistic Director, Creative Time, New York
Jeanne Van Heeswijk, artist

Stephanie Bertrand, independent curator
Niels Boeing, journalist, author, co-founder of Fab Lab Fabulous St. Pauli, Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Christopher Dell, Professor for Urban Design Theory at Hafencity University Hamburg
Giovanni Flore, Benetton Digital Signage Project Management, former consultant at Fabrica
Dr. Giorgos Giouzepas, environmental scientist
Harikleia Hari, architect
Philip Horst, artist, KUNSTrePUBLIK, co-founder ZK/U Berlin
Lena Jöhnk, PhD student in the field of Socially Engaged Art, Hafen City University Hamburg
Samuel Kalika, artist, designer; founder of Critical Concrete, Porto
Christof Mayer, Raumlabor, Berlin​
Christos Pierros, Economist, Senior researcher at Labour Institute of GSEE (General Workers Confederation of Greece)
Rainer Rosegger, sociologist
Dr. Stergios Seretis, political economist
Prof. Max Spielmann, Hyperwerk Institute for Postindustrial Design, Basel
Dr. Kostis Stafylakis, art theorist and visual artist, political scientist, Adjunct at the University of Patras
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Theocarakis, Associate Professor of Political Economy and History of Economic Thought at the Department of Economics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Organised by: Artecitya by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design – Academy of Art and Design – University of Applied Sciences & Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Basel

Co-organised by:
LABattoir by Municipality of Thessaloniki

In collaboration with:
Artecitya by TIF – Helexpo, Thessaloniki
Museum der Kulturen, Basel
Artecitya by KUNSTrePUBLIK, Berlin

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki
66 Vasilissis Olgas Str., 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
Language: English and Greek with simultaneous translation

Museum der Kutlturen Basel
Münsterplatz 20, 4051, Basel, Switzerland
Language: English and German

Free Entrance

Aris Kalogiros, Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki
Τ: +30. 2310.88.96.11

Institutions interested in hosting the live broadcast of the conference, please contact:
Lydia Chatziiakovou, ArtBOX Creative Arts Management
T. +30.2310.22.46.26

The project receives financial support from the European Commission within the framework of the Creative Europe - Culture programme. The present communication reflects the views only of the authors. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Information on Artecitya:;
Information on the Conference:

  • Δωρεάν είσοδος