Future Now Symposium 2019


7-8 March 2019

Debate. Discuss. Connect.

We are currently living in a time of globalisation, expansion and media saturation. There have been considerable shifts in civilisation in the Information Age – we now communicate with each other instantly, yet with an alarming level of disconnect. Through panel discussions, lectures and portfolio reviews, The Future Now Symposium is an exploration of 21st century culture through the mechanism of art.

This two-day event brings together key institutions, galleries and publications for discussion surrounding the most pressing issues from today’s creative industries. Through imaginative debates, career advice and cultural engagement, Future Now is a platform for idea generation.

Representatives from the following organisations will be in attendance:

Aesthetica / Artnet / BALTIC / Chiswick Auctions / Creative Review / DASH / Dazed / DYSPLA / Flowers Gallery / Foam Amsterdam / Frieze / Gazelli Art House / Getty Images Gallery / Goldsmiths University / Harmony Studios / Huxley-Parlour / ING Discerning Eye / Liverpool John Moores Painting Prize / London Art Fair / London College of Communication / Michael Hoppen / Moniker International Art Fair / Open Eye Gallery / RIBA / Royal Academy / Royal College of Art / SPACE / Tate / The Art Newspaper / The Design Museum / University of York / V&A / York Art Gallery / York St John University / Yorkshire Sculpture International

Book Your Passes


One-Day Pass: £24 – 3 Sessions + 1 Headline Session + Lunch + Private View or Cocktail Reception

Two-Day Pass: £36 – 6 Sessions + 2 Headline Sessions + Lunch + Private View and Cocktail Reception

The Future Now Symposium runs over two days from the 7-8 March 2019. You can order a One-Day Pass or a Two-Day Pass.

A One-Day Pass entitles you to attend three sessions on either Thursday 7 March or Friday 8 March, and a Two-Day Pass permits you access to three sessions on each day of the symposium. A free lunch is included.

To book your place, register for the sessions below. Choose one session from the Morning, Midday and Afternoon Sessions.

Symposium Pass

Your sessions:

  • No sessions added yet. Select your sessions from the page (up to three sessions per day)


Thursday 7 March 2019

8:45-9:30: Registration & Coffee
De Grey Court Foyer, York St John University, YO31 7EX

09:30-10:00: Keynote Speech
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University
Speaker: Cherie Federico, Director, Aesthetica Magazine

16.30-17.30 Headline Speaker: Alex Majoli, Magnum Photographer
The Human Impact: How Does Art Help Us?
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Image: Rebecca Reeve, Untitled #16 (Through Looking). Courtesy of the artist and Upfor Gallery.

Choose Your Morning Session



The Politics
of Representation
10:45-11:45
De Grey 019

SOLD OUT
Panel Discussion: DASH, DYSPLA, Goldsmiths University; Museum Detox; The Design Museum & York St John University. What are we representing, who and why? In a world where accessibility and diversity must be addressed and then changes must follow, how is the art sector making a progressive movement towards a more inclusive society? What conversations are happening throughout the curatorial and educational spheres, and how is this influencing what audiences are expecting to see?

Image: Teppei Yamada, Apart and/or Together, 2017.




Artists’ Film:
Storytelling and Concept
10:30-11:30
De Grey 124

Register for session
Panel Discussion: Charlotte Ginsborg; Kit Monkman; Ludivine Large-Bessette & Rhea Storr. Film is rich in narrative. It can cover both personal and universal stories in a matter of seconds and span far-ranging landscapes. Artists have been using film for decades, but in recent years it has gained in popularity both for artistic output and for audience engagement. Artists are using it as a tool to create alternative futures, depicting wider social concerns that reflect present-day issues. The panel will speak about how film plays a vital role in storytelling, and how it is developing.

Image: Ludivine Large-Bessette, Drop Out Bodies, 2017.




Do Curators Take Risks:
How Are Exhibitions Programmed?
10:30-11:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Panel Discussion: BALTIC; Doncaster 20-22; Royal Academy of Art; V&A and York Art Gallery. Curators are responsible for joining ideas and presenting artists’ works in ways that comment on and transform the current state of play. How are curators responding to public demand? Is this a factor in what we consider within our galleries and museums? What opportunities are there for emerging practitioners? How much does footfall determine the programme? In essence: how do curators decide what to curate?

Image: © Jim Poyner.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals

10:00-11:00
De Grey 016

Register for session


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts – from a range of different fields – who provide essential advice on current practices and how to develop a career from both professional and personal perspectives. See the Portfolio Reviewers here.



Advice Surgery with Arts Council England
10:30-12:00 | De Grey 103

Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations.


Coffee Break
11:30-12:30
De Grey Court Foyer

Situated in the welcoming setting of De Grey Foyer – central to York St John University’s campus – visitors can enjoy a morning refreshment and plan their busy day ahead, getting to know the professionals, practitioners and participants in attendance in a relaxed environment. An ideal way to kick-start a day of industry sessions and networking, Morning Coffee is the perfect place to gather your thoughts, questions and portfolio materials before heading off to the next event. Complimentary refreshments are available with a symposium pass.


Choose Your Midday Session



Sustainable Design:
Why Materials Matter

12:30-13:30
De Grey 124

Register for session
Seetal Solanki, Founder and Director of Ma-tt-er. What does it mean to live in a material world? Given the disquieting scale of both consumption and pollution on today’s planet, a reassessment of how to use materials to our advantage – ethically and responsibly – is fundamental to both artists and designers working today. Solanki discusses why materials matter, offering sustainable solutions through exploring the earth’s elements and the rise of scientific developments.

Image: Filter Lights @ Sabine Marcelis. © Ronald Smits, 2017.




The Business of Art:
How the Art Market Influences All

12:30-13:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Panel Discussion: Chiswick Auctions; Flowers Gallery; Huxley-Parlour Gallery; London Art Fair; Moniker International Art Fair & START Art Fair. Auction houses, galleries, collectors and fairs influence market trends and ultimately what determines success. What is this ecosystem and how does it control the business of art? How far does the media play a role in determining the value of a given work? What does this mean for artists and gallerists who are just starting out?

Image: Todd Hido, #7373, 2008. Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour Gallery.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals
12:00-13.00
De Grey 016

Register for session


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts who provide essential advice and guidance on current practices and how to develop both personally and professionally. Reviewers will be announced shortly.






Advice Surgery
with Arts Council England
12:30-14:00
De Grey 103

SOLD OUT


Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects, as well as expanding on forming ideas. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations working in multiple media. Learn bout the application process first-hand.





Networking Lunch
13:30-14:30
De Grey Court Foyer

The networking lunch takes place in De Grey Foyer, open to all attendees and speakers with a symposium pass. Offering a brown bag lunch – with both meat and vegetarian options available – this is a great opportunity to network with delegates and artists alike. Use this time to discuss future collaborations, feedback and ideas in a lively and open-minded setting, finding out the answer to questions, building upon conversations from sessions and connecting with other creative practitioners from a variety of different fields.




Choose Your Afternoon Session



Modes of Consumption:
Arts Journalism in the Digital Age

15:00-16:00
De Grey 124

SOLD OUT
Panel Discussion: Aesthetica Magazine, Dazed, Frieze, The Art Newspaper. Today, visual media is circulated and consumed within seconds, so how can digital and print platforms maintain, develop and grow readerships? What is the value of print and digital editorial considering consumers’ expectations for freely accessible content? Curation, selection and journalism add value to content, but what is the process for creating such successful and engaging editorial? Panellists discuss.

Image: Arian Kang, installation view of Digital Book Project, 2011.




The Reflective Lens:
Photography Today

15:00-16:00
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Panel Discussion: Creative Review, Christiane Zschommler, David Birkin, Edmund Clark, Hannah Starkey & Open Eye Gallery. The invention of the camera gave birth to a 21st century mass media tool. Photography is ubiquitous. Is it the signifier of our times, opinions and lives in contemporary society. How can we work towards a compassionate culture which promotes visibility to a diversity of perspectives and encourages the full spectrum of expression, including meaningful development for the arts at large?

Image Credit: Untitled, 2006. Courtesy of Hannah Starkey and MACK.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals

14:15-15:15
De Grey 016

SOLD OUT


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts who provide essential advice and guidance on current practices and how to develop both personally and professionally. See the Portfolio Reviewers here.






Advice Surgery
with Arts Council England
14:30-16:00
De Grey 103

SOLD OUT


Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations working in multiple media. Gain knowledge about the application process first-hand.





Thursday Headline Speaker
The Human Impact: How Does Art Help Us?

Alex Majoli, Magnum Photographer
16:30-17:30 | De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Since joining Magnum Photos in 1996, Alex Majoli’s work has been published in the likes of National Geographic, NY Times and CNN, documenting major conflict zones and humanitarian issues, including the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. If art is a mechanism to understanding the world around us, how can it help us to make sense of large humanitarian issues? Majoli discusses how art can help to establish dialogues around issues such as displacement, war, terror and the environment.

Image: Congo, Republic of the Congo, 2013. © Alex Majoli / Magnum Photos.

SOLD OUT

Special Event: Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition
Private View and Prize Giving
18:15-20:15
York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, YO1 7EW

Visitors have the chance to explore the 2019 Aesthetica Art Prize ahead of the crowds at the Private View. Following an informative day of talks and panel discussions, join delegates, guests from the art world and the Aesthetica team for a special evening of networking and attending the awards ceremony – all within the heart of the York Art Gallery. Find out about 18 shortlisted artists whose diverse works include questions about an increasing level of mass consumption, over-stimulation and emotional disconnection.

SOLD OUT

 Friday 8 March 2019


8:45-9:30: Registration & Coffee
De Grey Court Foyer, York St John University, YO31 7EX

09:30-10:00: Welcome Speech:
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University
Speaker: Cherie Federico Director, Aesthetica Magazine

16:30-17:30 Headline Speaker: Shawn Waldron, Getty Images Gallery
Making Sense of Today: The Role of the Curator
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Image: Noriyuki Suzuki, oh my ( ), 2017.

Choose Your Morning Session



How to Get Ahead
as an Emerging Artist

10:15-11:15
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Panel Discussion: Aesthetica Art Prize, Foam Amsterdam, ING Discerning Eye, Jerwood Arts & Liverpool John Moores Painting Prize. Navigating the art world, understanding the gallery sector and reaching new collectors are all aspects of being a practitioner today. How do art prizes further artists’ profiles? How do you define success? This engaging session will explore the various avenues available to artists for career development and discusses the wide range of progression routes through the lens of talent scouting.

Image: May Parlar, Creative Solitude.




Interdisciplinary Practice:
Painting in the 21st Century
10:30-11:30

De Grey 019

Register for session
Pamela Golden, Senior Tutor, Royal College of Art. Painting and drawing have provided the foundations for contemporary art. But how is it changing in an age of mass media and post-truth? Golden’s practice involves reimagining absent or potential histories, investigating generational relationships with imagery and visual culture and considering how associations adapt and alter over time. This session looks at how interdisciplinary methods uncover new pathways for painting.

Image: Daniel Mullen, 723-763. Courtesy of the artist.




Rethinking Sculpture:
Connecting With Objects

10:30-11:45
De Grey 124

Register for session
Jane Bhoyroo, Producer, Yorkshire Sculpture International. In 2019, the Yorkshire Sculpture International launches with Phyllida Barlow as the “provocateur.” Exploring the notion that “sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms,” the event responds to the idea that there is a basic human impulse to make and connect with objects. Bhoyroo discusses what’s in store for this major international event, as well as discussing how sculpture as a practice continues to assert its significance in a technological world.

Image: Tadao Cern, Installation View, Black Balloons, 2016.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals
10:00-11:00
De Grey 016

Register for session


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts – from a range of different fields – who provide essential advice on current practices and how to develop a career from both professional and personal perspectives. See the Portfolio Reviewers here.





Advice Surgery with Arts Council England
10:30-12:00 | De Grey 103

Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations.


Coffee Break
11:30-12:30
De Grey Court Foyer

Situated in the welcoming setting of De Grey Foyer – central to York St John University’s campus – visitors can enjoy a morning refreshment and plan their busy day ahead, getting to know the professionals, practitioners and participants in attendance in a relaxed environment. An ideal way to kick-start a day of industry sessions and networking, Morning Coffee is the perfect place to gather your thoughts, questions and portfolio materials before heading off to the next event. Complimentary refreshments are available with a symposium pass.


Choose Your Midday Session



The Future
of Sound Art

12:30-13:30
De Grey 019

SOLD OUT
Nick Ryan, Artist. Emmy and BAFTA-nominated Nick Ryan is a multi-award-winning composer, sound designer, artist and audio specialist, widely recognised as a leading thinker on the future of sound, having worked with the likes of Sony, BBC, Tate, MTV and more. His extensive and diverse practice involves working with film, motion graphics, animation, interactive media and instrument making. Ryan will speak about how to push the boundaries of what can be achieved through technology in our digitised world. <

Image credit: Untitled.


Ways of Living:
Responsible Architecture

12:30-13:30
De Grey 124

Register for session
Julia Barfield MBE RIBA Awards Assessor, founder of Marks Barfield Architects. Design has a profound impact on how societies function. The majority of people now live in cities, most notably, in megacities. Today, architecture must push beyond aesthetics and functionality. Where does this leave architects in terms of placemaking? Where space is limited and demand is increasing, how should design be responding? Barfield discusses the emotional and geological value of architecture today.

Image: British Airways i360, designed by Marks Barfield Architects. Image: Paul Raftery




How Do You
Define a Photograph?

12:45-13:45
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Marcel Feil, Artistic Director, Foam Amsterdam. Photographs are everywhere and deeply ingrained into society – from selfies and social documentation to advertising and commercial content – the medium has become truly democratised. In an age when taking a photograph is as easy as point and shoot, at what point is the image considered art? Foam Amsterdam discuss when a mass media tool is transformed into an agent of cultural expression.

Image: Alec Von Bargen, Under the blue skies of Agok #2.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals
12:00-13:00
De Grey 016

Register for session


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts – from a range of different fields – who provide essential advice on current practices and how to develop a career from both professional and personal perspectives. See the Portfolio Reviewers here.





Advice Surgery with Arts Council England
12:30-14:00 | De Grey 103

Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations.


Networking Lunch
13:30-14:30
De Grey Court Foyer

The networking lunch takes place in De Grey Foyer, open to all attendees and speakers with a symposium pass. Offering a brown bag lunch – with both meat and vegetarian options available – this is a great opportunity to network with delegates and artists alike. Use this time to discuss future collaborations, feedback and ideas in a lively and open-minded setting, finding out the answer to questions, building upon conversations from sessions and connecting with other creative practitioners from a variety of different fields.




Choose Your Afternoon Session



Evolution of Code:
VR and Data-Influenced Artwork

15:00-16:00
De Grey 124

Register for session
Panel Discussion: Gazelli Art House, Goldsmiths University, Harmony Studios, London College of Communication & University of York. We are living in a technological age – film, sound, code and immersive experiences are becoming more commonplace. VR and Media Arts are integrated into many facets of culture from galleries and museums to cinema and educational institutions. How is VR shaping the future of the art sector? It is making it more inclusive? What kind of opportunities is it opening up for a wider range of audiences?

Image: Daria Jelonek, Technological Nature, 2017.




The Art
of Connectivity

14:45-15:45
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Clarice Hilton & Jamila Prowse, SPACE. Increasingly, more and more artists are making work using the tools of technology. SPACE’s Art + Technology (Art + Tech) mission is to provide a test ground and critical exchange platform for artists and thinkers, whose work engages with technology. A question is asked: what role do devices play in our interest in collections, exhibitions and solo works? Art + Technology artist in residence Clarice Hilton will speak about the journey of the algorithmic self in relation to our online lives.

Image: Giulio Di Sturco, Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals
14:15-15:15
De Grey 016

SOLD OUT


These sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing, painting and mixed media, photography and digital art, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, artists, designers and writers have the opportunity to book a slot with industry experts – from a range of different fields – who provide essential advice on current practices and how to develop a career from both professional and personal perspectives. See the Portfolio Reviewers here.






Advice Surgery
with Arts Council England
14:30-16:00
De Grey 103

SOLD OUT


Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session gives individuals the opportunity to discuss funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects. Learn more about how to access the wider industry through the annual Arts Grants – open access funding programmes for practitioners and art organisations working across multiple media. Gain knowledge about the application process first-hand and receive answers to any questions surrounding funding.





Friday Headline Speaker
Making Sense of Today: The Role of the Curator

Shawn Waldron, Curator, Getty Images Gallery
16:30-17:30 | De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

In today’s media-driven world, we are constantly scrolling through content on hand-held screens. Getty Images Gallery alone holds more than 200 million photographs in its archives. Shawn Waldron specialises in distinguishing between that which is data and that which is fine art, focusing on creating empathy in the viewer. Waldron explores the role and responsibility of the curator to provoke meaningful and lasting experiences, contributing to a wider network of idea generation.

Image: Slim Aarons, Young women by the Canellopoulos penthouse pool, Athens, July 1961. Courtesy of Getty Images Gallery.

Register for Session

Special Event: Cocktail Reception
18:00-19:00 | 1331 Bar & Restaurant, Grape Lane, YO1 7HU

Celebrate new connections and inspirational ideas at the Future Now closing event. This is a fantastic opportunity to unwind after a busy day of sessions, exhibition viewing and networking, and catch up with participants and delegates alike. In York’s picturesque Latin Quarter, 1331, a unique bar and independent cinema, is the location for this event, providing the perfect end to an imaginative and informative two days alongside attendees.



Register for event