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Icelandic Pavilion
La Biennale di Venezia


Reinventing Harbour Cities


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Reinventing Harbour Cities




Part I: Urban Planning and Art in Public Space:
10 May 2008, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

25 April 2008, 6p.m. - 8 p.m.

Part II: City Illumination
Architecture and Art in Urban context:
14. February 2009, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

 Olafur EliassonRoger NarboniVito AcconciMader Stublic WiermannFreee Art CollectiveHamburg HafenCity


Participants (part I)
Christopher Marcinkoski, Field Operations (New York) | FREEE art collective (London) | Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, HafenCity (Hamburg) | Louise Mielonen Grassov, Gehl Architects (Copenhagen) | Martin Biewinga, West 8 (Rotterdam) | Ólafur Elíasson (Berlin, Copenhagen) | Yvonne P. Doderer, Office for Transdisciplinary Research and Cultural Production (Stuttgart) | Vito Acconci (New York)

Participants (part II):
Jürgen Hasse, Dept. for Human Geography (Frankfurt) | Ellinor Coombs (London) | Deike Canzler (Stockholm) | Alexander Stublic (Berlin) | Roger Narboni (Bagneux) | Jeroen Everaert (Rotterdam)

Harbour cities have long been formed by industrialization, shaped by international trade and constantly confronted with the untamed power of the ocean. Today, these cities compete on a global stage as they create new identities, new images to attract foreign business and tourists. As the industrial zones of business harbours are moving out of city centers to the outskirts of towns, prime waterfront areas are opening up for the development of commercial, residential, and leisure spaces. It is about revitalization of entire districts, a constant restructuring of city life, rejuvenating individual and community engagement with and within the urban environment, or in short: Reinventing Harbour Cities. Culture—measured in part by avant-gardist concepts and perspectives, architectural attractions and artist works—plays a significant role in creating cities’ new identities. Recently built concert houses and museums are emergent landmarks, parks and squares have become the stages for various art forms and performances, and all are important links to the social life of inhabitants and visitors alike.

Reykjavík, the largest city in Iceland and the world’s northernmost capital, had seen enormous economic and cultural growth in recent decades. The economic crisis has slowed down or even stopped this rapid developement and many major projects - giving the advantage of revaluation and rethinking concepts. The first part of the conference, held in April/May 2008, focussed on general aspects of urban planning, architecture and art in public space (see the interviews and articles in LIST icelandic art news). This seceond part analyses strategies of approaching the cities' nights with urban functional, architectural and artistic light concepts. A broad-spectered group of artists and lighting designers, architects and theoreticians give an insight in recent, inspiring projects related to the growing interest in new visions for city life, followed by panel discussions who might cast light on the position and possibilities facing the city of Reykjavik.

As the harbour and public spaces within the city continue to develop, policymakers, corporations, urban planners, artists, and individuals have a shared responsibility to discuss how Reykjavík’s future will be shaped for all who live and work here.

The first part of the conference was organized by CIA.IS – Center for Icelandic Art in cooperation with Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland Academy of the Arts) and the Nordic House.

The second part of the conference was organized by CIA.IS - Center for Icelandic Art in cooperation with the Nordic House.

>> please check the official website: http://cia.is/news/conference.htm
>> for articles and interviews see: LIST#18 and #22