re:publica Detroit 2019 – ACCESS

The Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI, United States
27 Sep 2019 - 28 Sep 2019

Photo credit: Nana Afriyie

Photo credit: Nana Afriyie

re:publica, Europe’s largest festival on the digital society, is taking place in Detroit for the very first time.

Detroit and Berlin’s creative counter-cultures and shared history of techno music have created a special bond between the cities. re:publica Detroit aims to further strengthen this connection by creating an opportunity for transatlantic exchange around our digital future.

re:publica Detroit invites to explore the topic of ACCESS across three tracks: Business & Innovation, Arts & Culture and Mobility & City. Who receives access to creative expression, economic opportunity and urban mobility in an age of digitalization?

The program offers a great diversity of speakers, subjects, perspectives and formats thanks to the many inspiring submissions and the support of a team of co-curators  rooted in Detroit – Dimitri Hegemann, Jessica Robinson, Karen Prater Jasmine, Lauren Rossi, Maria LaLonde, Tiff Massey.


Business & Innovation

This Track is all about the future of work, digital economy, new business models, and the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in our societies.

Beyond the buzzwords of Industry 4.0, Internet of Things or Big Data: these terms are standard in the discussion of how new technologies will change our daily life, particularly in the context of work. But simply name dropping doesn’t really help us to understand what and exactly how technology is changing our world of work.

Look forward to reports, analyses, research findings and other data-driven reflections on some of these questions: How will a city like Detroit benefit from technological developments such as artificial intelligence in the working market? How can an afrofuturist approach to cryptocurrency be created in an accessible manner? How can digital technology contribute to business growth in Detroit and across the nation? Can Detroit become America’s richest city once again? What counterexamples are there to serve as models?


Arts & Culture

From Detroit Techno to Afrofuturism, Detroit’s diverse creative scene has nurtured the city into a global beacon of arts, music and culture. But how inclusive and accessible is its cultural scene?

Let’s examine the pulse of Detroit: How does the city’s boom and bust shape its vibrancy? How is art creating a more inclusive, supportive and active community? What infrastructure exists to establish global creative expression among struggling musicians and artists? How will the future of museums impact the consumption of cultural artifacts? What should a digital society meeting space look like for cultural workers, so that they can collaboratively discuss, design and experiment? Who should pay for it?

Let’s playfully reinvent culture, test boundaries and impart knowledge. Together, we want to search for places of interest in the digital society, rethink artistic spaces and analyze how established cultural institutions, like libraries and museums, are frequented in Detroit. We are looking forward to multifaceted contributions from artists, cultural experts, representatives of cultural institutions and researchers.


Mobility & City

From Hamtramck and Southwest to Eastern Market and North End, Detroit offers a wide urban scope, but how does access vary for each neighborhood in the city? Citizens and entire neighborhoods are feeling the impact of development projects that have transformed the city into an innovation hub — for better or for worse. In this track re:public is taking a look at the impact digitalization has on cities. 

Some of the questions we are hoping to tackle: What role does access to the urban space play for Detroit metro inhabitants? How can we ensure access to and for all communities and neighborhoods, especially for those communities that need it most? What urban developments must happen but aren’t, and which projects are leading to unwanted gentrification? What role should public transportation play in Detroit’s future? How does the 24-hour economy encourage neighborhood access and play out in the long run? What does accessible recycling have to do with urban development?

On the topic of Mobility & Urban Space, there’s a lot to learn from almost every discipline, and we are looking forward to the critical, creative, academic and artistic contributions of this topic. Urban life and the mobility of the future concern all of us – regardless of whether you ride a bicycle, drive a car, live in the suburbs, or in midtown.


Speakers include: Monica Lewis-Patrick, Ingrid LaFleur, Armen Avanessian, Janice Gates, Katie Hearn, Lauren Hood, Tiff Massey, Saskia Sassen, Hossein Derakhshan, Devita Davison, Mark de la Vergne, Katie Hearn, Piper Carter and many more.


Doors open at 10am on both days, Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.

The conference will be accompanied by an evening program including a live performance by jessica Care moore, and the closing party at Electric Studio on Saturday night.

Registration is free, and to keep you up to date, re:publica will be reporting via it’s social media channels on twitter and facebook!



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