Future Now Symposium 2020


12-13 March 2020

Debate. Discuss. Connect.
#FutureNow2020

There has never been a time in human history when things have been so interconnected. The climate crisis is connected to the economy, which is in turn connected to trade and tariffs, and so on and so forth. We are living in an age of alternative facts, fake news and misinformation. We are more divided than ever before. Innovation is what keeps us going. Future Now invites you to connect and engage with the key themes of our times.

Through panel discussions, lectures, funding advice sessions and portfolio reviews, Future Now is an exploration of 21st century culture through the mechanism of art, offering practical support as well as wider inspiration for artists, writers, designers, programmers and curators. It is a key event in the UK arts calendar for practitioners and industry delegates.

This two-day event brings together key institutions, galleries, fairs and publications for discussion surrounding the sector, including how to develop your career, key funding opportunities, building an inclusive industry and the changing world of journalism in the digital age.

Representatives from the following organisations will be in attendance:

Aesthetica / Acute Art / Ameena M. McConnell / Andrea Luka Zimmerman / Arnolfini / ArtAngel / Artes Mundi / Arts Council England / Arts University Bournemouth / Atlas Gallery / British Journal of Photography / Cornelia Parker / Creative Review / Design Museum / Fabrica / Flowers Gallery / Gazelli Art House / House of African Art / Jasmina Cibic / Jerwood VisuaL Arts / John Keane / Julia Fullerton-Batten / Leeds Arts University / Magnum Photos / Martin Parr / Nadav Kander / Northumbria University / Photo London / Queer Britain / Serpentine Galleries / Somerset House / Sotheby’s Institute / The Art Newspaper / The Other Art Fair / The Photographers’ Gallery / University of Bournemouth / University of York / Unlimited / Visual Arts South West / XR Stories / Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Book Your Passes


One-Day Pass: £30 – 3 Sessions + 1 Headline Session + Lunch + Private View or Cocktail Reception

Two-Day Pass: £50 – 6 Sessions + 2 Headline Sessions + Lunch + Private View and Cocktail Reception

The Future Now Symposium runs over two days from the 12-13 March 2020. 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 12 March or Friday 13 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 12 March 2020

8:45-9:30: Registration
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: Nadav Kander
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Image: Andres Orozco, from the series Raw. Aesthetica Art Prize finalist 2020.

Choose Your Morning Session



Building an
Inclusive Industry
10:30-11:30
De Grey 019

Register for session
Queer Britain, Unlimited, House of African Art, Leeds Arts University.
We invite a panel of speakers who will discuss who and what we are representing across the sector. How is programming changing on a wider level to radically transform audiences’ expectations? We must ask big questions about the underpinnings of our society, the roots of exclusion, and most importantly, under whose terms of engagement will we change the future? The session will be chaired by Dr Ope Lori from PILAA (Pre-Image Learning And Action) whose research reflects upon race and gender stereotypes and unpacking social narratives.

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




Engaging Audiences
Realising Ideas: Curators’ Spotlight
10:30-11:30
De Grey 124

Register for session
Somerset House, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Sotheby’s Institute, Shasti Lowton and Ameena M. McConnell.
How do curators make decisions? How does an idea develop into a fully realised exhibition? How can you ensure it is a success? In a world where attention spans have been reduced to three seconds, how do you captivate audiences and ensure that public engagement is high? What opportunities are there for emerging practitioners in an age defined by footfall and what is “Instagrammable”? This panel discusses the role of the curator in all its many forms and intricacies in the gallery world today.

Image: Pierre Huyghe, Les Grands ensembles, 2001 © Pierre Huyghe. Courtesy of Somerset House.




Understanding the
Funding Landscape
10:30-11:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Arts Council England
What opportunities are there for artists to access funding and grants in 2020 and beyond? The demands for Arts Council England funding is high but with only 40% of applications being granted an award, what are the best ways to ensure your application has the highest chances of success? What are the current priorities for Arts Council England and does your project fit within these objectives? Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts, Arts Council North will lead a session on understanding best practice for writing an application to propel your career and access the wider industry.

Image: 1.8 London by Janet Echelman, Lumiere London 2016. Photo Matthew Andrews.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals

10:00-11:00
De Grey 016

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.



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. Complimentary refreshments are available with a symposium pass.


Choose Your Midday Session



Design: Function,
Form, Sustainability

12:30-13:30
De Grey 124

Register for session
What makes for good design? How are new and existing products contributing to the conversation surrounding the climate emergency? What responsibility do artists and designers have to set an example through sustainable, ethical practices and material choices? How are industry leaders and key decision-makers taking new routes – thinking about the use of materials in new and innovative ways? In this insightful session, speaker(s) will discuss how contemporary design – across style, necessity, function and form – is part of a wider restructuring of sustainable models and idea generation.

Image: Yinka Ilori and Pricegore, The Colour Palace, London Festival of Architecture 2019. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.




The Business of Art:
Galleries, Art Fairs and Markets

12:30-13:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Atlas Gallery, Gazelli Art House, The Other Art Fair, Photo London
What is the landscape of the commercial gallery world? How do artists and gallerists get started in a highly competitive market? How do you develop a roster of collectors and how do galleries decide who to represent? Do sales determine success? What role do art fair play in creating new collectors and buyers? How do galleries and fairs interact today? A panel of gallerists will speak about how they are developing artists’ careers, whilst at the same time spurring on the art economy and engaging with the wider industry as an ecosystem of ideas and creation.

Image: Shanghai, 2017. © Erwin Olaf.




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

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.




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 unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session, offered on a 1-1 basis, gives individuals the opportunity to discuss the realities of funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects, ideas and aspirations. 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 and at differing levels. Essential for those seeking personalised advice on funding.

Image: © Jim Poyner.



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



The Changing Face
of Journalism

14:00-15:00
De Grey 124

Register for session
Aesthetica Magazine, The Art Newspaper, Creative Review, British Journal of Photography.
Since the iPhone was released in 2007, journalism has transformed. Content has been reshaped in a myriad of ways including digital editorial, social media, podcasts and video content. A new visual literacy has also emerged where the image is just as powerful as the text, if not more. What does this mean for the way that content is produced and the journalists who are producing it? A panel of experts from British Journal of Photography, Art Newspaper, Creative Review and Aesthetica will talk about the media industry today.

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




What is the Power
of a Photograph?

15:00-16:00
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Julia Fullerton-Batten, Lottie Davies, Thomas Dukes, Magnum Photos, The Photographers’ Gallery.
Footfall for photography exhibitions is up year on year, events like Photo London and Paris Photo are experiencing surges in audience numbers. Photography has never been so present in our daily lives; it is the vernacular of our times and the most immediate form of communication. How are brands, agents, galleries and practitioners maximising and contributing to the evolution of visual cultures? What makes a good image and how far can it go in terms of likes, shares, followers and influencing the photography industry?

Image Credit: Julia Fullerton-Batten, The Race Box from Old Father Thames, 2018.




Portfolio Review Sessions
with Industry Professionals

14:15-15:15
De Grey 016

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.




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

Register for session


Join Denise Fahmy, Relationship Manager Visual Arts from Arts Council England, for a series of unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session, offered on a 1-1 basis, gives individuals the opportunity to discuss the realities of funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects, ideas and aspirations. 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 and at differing levels. Essential for those seeking personalised advice on funding.

Image: © Jim Poyner.



Thursday Headline Speaker
Nadav Kander: What Makes an Image Successful?

16:15-17:15 | De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Nadav Kander is a London-based artist and director. He is recognised as one of the most original and highly regarded photographers of our time. His work forms part of the public collection at the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, and he has won several awards with Prix Pictet, Sony World Photography Awards and World Press Photo. In conversation with Hannah Hughes (Flowers Gallery), Kander speaks about his diverse career – from celebrated portraiture to fine art – pushing boundaries across form, genre and technique.

Image: from the series Yangtze – The Long River. © Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery.


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.


 Friday 13 March 2020

8:45-9:30: Registration
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

16:15-17:15 Headline Speaker: Martin Parr
A Chronicler of Modern Times
Fountains Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Image: Andres Orozco, from the series Raw. Aesthetica Art Prize finalist 2020.

Choose Your Morning Session



Artists’ Film:
Social and Cultural Dialogues

10:30-11:30
De Grey 019

Register for session
Andrea Luka Zimmerman; Sara Je Jong, University of York. Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist and filmmaker whose work is concerned with marginalisation, co-existence, waywardness, social justice, class and structural violence. Zimmerman has been shortlisted for the Grierson and Jarman awards, as well as the Aesthetica Art Prize. Her latest film is the Artangel-produced Here for Life. In conversation with Sara de Jong (University of York), Zimmerman will explore how filmmaking engages with social and political spheres, asking questions about a sense of belonging, class and culture in the moving image.

Image: Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson, still from Here For Life, 2019. HD video. 86min.




Career Support:
Key Funding Opportunities

10:30-11:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Aesthetica Art Prize, Arts Council North, Arts Council England, Jerwood Visual Arts, Visual Arts South West, XR Stories. Funding and budgeting are some of the most important elements to consider. What opportunities are available for artists? What are organisations offering in terms of pastoral and financial support? This practical session brings together the UK’s leading organisations to discuss their key initiatives and how practitioners can engage with these opportunities in 2020 and beyond. Speakers will discuss the different routes to consider and how to apply in the next wave of bursaries and grants. This is an essential session for those looking to find and secure funding.

Image: Studio Wayne McGregor, Tree of Codes, MIF 2015. Credit: Joel Chester Fildes.




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

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.



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. Complimentary refreshments are available with a symposium pass.


Choose Your Midday Session



Painting
Contemporary Thought

12:30-13:30
De Grey 019

Register for session
John Keane. John Keane is a renowned political artist whose work continues to address the most pressing social and political issues of our time. His sustained artistic inquiry into military and social conflicts around the world has extended from Northern Ireland to the Middle East, where he was commissioned as the Official British War Artist of the 1991 Gulf War. His paintings depict displacement, war, terror, politics and the environment. He is using one of the oldest forms of art but in new ways. He will discuss the ethics of representing a war zone, as well as his impressive career, reinterpreting the definition of painting.

Image: Fear No. 191037, 2013. © John Keane, courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York.




How to Get Ahead
as an Emerging Artist

12:30-13:30
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Fabrica, Arnolfini, Artes Mundi, Aesthetica Art Prize, Parker Harris, Jasmina Cibic, Liz West. This practical session will explore the various avenues for career development, gaining gallery representation and understanding the routes into exhibition programming. Are Art Prizes the best route for practitioners to reach wider audiences? What are their benefits beyond the prize money? In this informative session you will hear from representatives from a range of art prizes, galleries and agencies, as well as individual artists as they speak about the best ways to navigate the complex and competitive art world as a practitioner today.

Image: Jasmina Cibic, still from Nada: Act II, 2017.




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

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.




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 unique and tailored advice surgeries. Each 30-minute session, offered on a 1-1 basis, gives individuals the opportunity to discuss the realities of funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects, ideas and aspirations. 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 and at differing levels. Essential for those seeking personalised advice on funding.

Image: © Jim Poyner.

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, in a lively and open-minded setting, connecting with other creative practitioners from a variety of different fields.




Choose Your Afternoon Session



New Technologies: The Potential
of Data-Influenced Artworks

15:00-16:00
De Grey 124

Register for session
Acute Art, ArtAngel, Serpentine Galleries, Northumbria University. Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies provide new forms of interpretation and experience. The development of immersive curation, including apps, projections and mapping, has created an accessible route for increased audience engagement. Acute Art, Serpentine and Artangel will speak in conversation with Charles Danby, Northumbria University, about the intersection between art and technology, and its potential for the future with regards to wider dissemination of cultural and artistic output beyond the gallery.

Image: Marina Abramovic donning HTC’s Vive. Image via Acute Art.




Cornelia Parker:
Transforming Objects
15:00-16:00
De Grey Lecture Theatre

Register for session
Cornelia Parker. Cornelia Parker (RA, OBE) is world-renowned. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997 and was the first female figure to be appointed the Election Artist for the UK General Election in 2017. She has exhibited internationally with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, V&A, Tate, the British Council and the British Museum, and, most recently, MCA Australia. Cornelia will discuss the conceptual, political and physical elements of her practice. She will touch upon the use of materials in sculpture and large-scale installation, exploring their meaning in a world of mass-consumption and geological fragility.

Image: Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991. Installation view. Image courtesy of the artist, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Frith Street Gallery, London.




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

Register for session


These 1-1 sessions are for practitioners working across all different types of genres including drawing and painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, design and three-dimensional art, video, installation and performance. Whether you’re established or emerging, book a slot with our renowned industry experts from the worlds of publishing, curation, academia and business. These experienced individuals will provide essential advice on how to develop your ideas and further your career, whatever level you’re at. See the Reviewers page for more information on who will be in attendance for each session.

Image: © Jim Poyner.




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, offered on a 1-1 basis, gives individuals the opportunity to discuss the realities of funding applications and gain feedback on prospective projects, ideas and aspirations. 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 and at differing levels. Essential for those seeking personalised advice on funding.

Image: © Jim Poyner.



Friday Headline Speaker
Martin Parr: A Chronicler of Modern Times

16:15-17:15 | Fountains Lecture Theatre, York St John University

Martin Parr is one of the world’s most celebrated documentary photographers. He is also a photojournalist and photobook collector. Parr is best known for this intimate, satirical and anthropological works that scrutinise contemporary life, over consumption, and in particular the social classes in England. He has been a member of Magnum since 1994 and has exhibited worldwide most recently a major retrospective, Only Human, at National Portrait Gallery. He will speak about his distinguished career at this year’s Future Now.

Image:Tenby, Wales, 2016 © Martin Parr.



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. Complimentary cocktail on arrival. First-come, first-served.