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IDEAS CITY, Second Biennial Festival about the Urban Future, to be held in New York City, May 1–4, 2013


“Untapped Capital” is the 2013 Theme
Festival’s International Programs Launch with
IDEAS CITY: Istanbul, October 11–14, 2012

New York, NY - The New Museum is pleased to announce that the 2013 iteration of IDEAS CITY, the biennial festival created to explore the future city and to effect change, will take place in downtown New York from May 1–4, 2013. Formerly known as the Festival of Ideas for the New City, IDEAS CITY was founded by the New Museum as a major collaboration between dozens of downtown arts, education, and community organizations to harness the power of the creative community and imagine our collective future. This ambitious initiative is built upon the core belief that arts and culture constitute a driving force behind the vitality of urban centers worldwide.

The inaugural festival was launched in May 2011. It included a three-day conference of symposia, lectures, and workshops with visionaries and leaders, including exemplary mayors, architects, artists, and technology experts; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery featuring over 100 organizations and small businesses presenting model products and practices for a better city; and hundreds of independent projects and public events attracting over 70,000 participants. The overwhelmingly positive response led to the festival’s establishment as a unique biennial event in New York City with international satellite programs organized in intervening years. Audi is the Lead Sponsor of IDEAS CITY.

The theme for IDEAS CITY 2013 is Untapped Capital. As the world’s resources continue to be endangered, depleted, and destroyed, we all need to imagine new solutions and develop innovative approaches and practices. Rather than focusing on deficits, IDEAS CITY 2013 will encourage intensive examination of surplus resources that may be under-recognized or underutilized: Untapped Capital. There are many ways of thinking about what might define “untapped capital,” ranging from people and raw materials, to ideas, networks, varied resources, and modes of communication. The topic of Untapped Capital provides a touchstone for alternative thinking about new methodologies, new solutions, and new goals.

The theme of Untapped Capital will also be explored in the festival’s first international satellite event, IDEAS CITY: Istanbul, in October 2012. Additional international programs are planned for Săo Paulo, Brazil, and Delhi, India, in subsequent years.

IDEAS CITY: Istanbul October 11, 12, 14, and 19, 2012

Beginning October 11, IDEAS CITY: Istanbul will be a three-day conference featuring a series of workshops organized by the New Museum, in conjunction with the first Istanbul Design Biennial and the Audi Urban Future Initiative (AUFI) Awards. The conference will be a primary resource for identifying key issues around this year’s overarching festival theme of Untapped Capital, while further developing an active network of international colleagues.
Keynotes, roundtables, workshops, and panels will bring together diverse participants, including a mix of artists, architects, designers, entrepreneurs, urban planners, economists, sociologists, technologists, environmentalists, and governmental representatives. IDEAS CITY events will expand the festival’s network and enrich discussion on biennial topics, as well as engage other urgent issues. Online publications and platforms will open the conversation up to a larger international community.

IDEAS CITY: Istanbul will kick off the three-day conference with a keynote by Amanda M. Burden, New York City Planning Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Planning Commission.

On October 12, the first discussion “Structures and Networks” will include panelists Burak Arıkan (Artist), Aslı Aydıntaşbas (Columnist, Milliyet), Adam Greenfield (Founder and Managing Director, Urbanscale), Yancey Strickler (Cofounder, Kickstarter), and Anthony Townsend (Research Director, Institute for the Future). The panel will be moderated by Marc Kushner (Architect; Cofounder, Architizer). The second discussion, “Collaboration and Exchange,” will include panelists Yaşar A. Adanalı (Urban blogger: Mutlukent (Happy City) and Reclaim Istanbul), Rupali Gupte (Founding Member, Collective Research Initiatives Trust), Selva Gürdoğan (Architect; Cofounder, Superpool), and Suketu Mehta (Author; Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University). Artist Pedro Reyes will moderate.

On October 14, the workshop session IDEAS CITY: Istanbul World Café, organized in collaboration with SALT, an Istanbul-based organization that explores critical and timely issues in visual and material culture, will explore the themes discussed at the panels with regional students and practitioners. Participants will include architects Ömer Kanıpak (Professor, Istanbul Technical University), Yelta Köm (Cofounder of IPWT—In Public/Projects/Publicity/Party etc. We Trust), and artists Ahmet Öğüt, Metehan Özcan, and İz Öztat, in addition to Merve Arkunlar (Editor, Timeout Istanbul), among others.

On October 19, the event will conclude with a panel discussion “The Ten Commandments: What Ten Considerations Do Architects Need to Embrace for the Urban Future?” The discussion will include panelists Christian Gärtner (Curator and Board Member, Stylepark AG), Ligia Nobre (Codirector and Curator, SP Lab/Studio X GSAPP Columbia University, Săo Paulo), Mi You (Curator and Writer), and will be moderated by Richard Flood (Director of Special Projects and Curator at Large, New Museum) and Mark Wigley (Dean, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University).

History of the Festival
The Festival of Ideas for the New City 2011 was conceived and directed by the New Museum as a major collaborative initiative between downtown New York organizations and served as a platform for artists, writers, architects, engineers, designers, urban farmers, planners, and thought leaders to exchange ideas, propose solutions, and invite the public to participate. A natural outgrowth of the New Museum’s ongoing commitment to public education and civic outreach, the concept quickly attracted a core group of downtown organizing partners who continue to meet regularly. Besides the New Museum (founder), the organizing partners for IDEAS CITY 2013 are Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Architectural League of New York, Bowery Poetry Club, New York University Wagner School, and the Drawing Center.

For the inaugural festival in 2011, Rem Koolhaas opened the three-day conference with a provocative keynote on preservation and David Byrne concluded it by introducing a mayors’ panel including Sergio Fajardo, former mayor of Medellín, Colombia, Greg Nickels, former mayor of Seattle, WA, and Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, PA. On Saturday, a StreetFest hosted 115 vendors composed of local artists, nonprofits, and designers promoting ideas rather than wares. Hundreds of cultural spaces in the downtown neighborhood stayed open late into the evening to present exhibitions, events, and site-specific installations of light, sound, performance, and projection related to the festival themes.

IDEAS CITY was founded by Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, and Karen Wong, Deputy Director and Director of External Affairs, New Museum.

IDEAS CITY: Istanbul panels and workshops are organized by Richard Flood, Director of Special Projects and Curator at Large, New Museum, in collaboration with Vasif Kortun, the Director of Research and Programs, SALT.

Lead Sponsor: Audi Urban Future Initiative
Founding Supporter: IDEAS CITY is made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of Hermine & David B. Heller.
Producing Sponsors: Brookfield and Lonti Ebers are gratefully acknowledged.
Support for IDEAS CITY: Istanbul is made possible, in part, by Virginia Lebermann and John Wotowicz.

About the New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.


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