THE ARTS+ : strengthening the connections between past and future!
At THE ARTS+, see how ancient alphabets are brought into the future, how long-forgotten cultural content is given new life through new media and how politics and the publishing industry need to work together to protect society’s cultural achievements in times of major technological transformation. The aim of THE ARTS+ is to discover new business trends and innovations in the cultural and creative sectors and to present them to visitors.
THE ARTS+ is the platform that brings together representatives of the culture and creative industries and innovative players from the technology sector. It is these individuals who, together, with the help of digital technologies and new business models, are shaping the future. Architects, fashion designers, photographers, curators and publishers – all create and curate unique content that can be exploited even more effectively through the use of new media. The 2018 edition, to be held from October 10-14, 2018 at Frankfurt, will focus on the main topic of Cultural Heritage. Here, Claudia Kaiser, VP – Business Development, Frankfurt Book Fair, shares more about this creative business festival. Excerpts.
AABP: What was the reason/ need and objective behind the first THE ARTS+ – the creative business festival, in 2016?
Claudia: Cultural content is an exciting, attractive and expensive business. Art-book publishers know that. Yet technology is also increasingly infiltrating photography, design and architecture. What does that mean for publishers, designers, architects, museums, media, artists and photographers? In what areas does it make doing business easier, cheaper – or more difficult? These questions form the basis of THE ARTS+, which is aimed at anyone who creates, manages, exhibits, publishes or processes cultural content. Our goal is to bring all of these people together so that they can tap into new business areas and continue to develop existing ones.
AABP: What are the highlights and achievements of 2016 and 2017?
Claudia: THE ARTS+ made its very successful debut in 2016, with 55 exhibitors on 2,000 sq m and a first-rate programme. As part of the opening press conference of the Frankfurter Buchmesse and during the fair in THE ARTS+ area, David Hockney (TASCHEN Verlag) presented his SUMO book and offered insight into the digital production of his artwork. In 2017, THE ARTS+ area expanded to 3,000 sq m and succeeded in attracting new exhibitors, including museums and publishers. What’s gratifying is that many exhibitors like TASCHEN Verlag, Google Arts & Culture and the Munch Museum have chosen once again to present their products and services as part of THE ARTS+.
AABP: THE ARTS+ explores innovation in culture. Do explain.
Claudia: The aim of THE ARTS+ is to discover new business trends and innovations in the cultural and creative sectors and to present them to visitors.
AABP: How does THE ARTS+ depict the future of the culture and creative industries?
Claudia: THE ARTS+ achieves this on various levels. For one, start-up founders and digital pioneers introduce their business models and discuss the present and future of the creative sector. In addition to keynotes, short presentations, workshops and panels, the programme also includes professional matchmaking events. Moreover, the festival allows people to experience innovative technologies like virtual or augmented reality and artificial intelligence first hand on site.
AABP: How can publishing community benefit from THE ARTS+?
Claudia: For us, the publishing industry is the most important component of the cultural and creative industries. Our goal is to create smart intersections with music, technology, games, art, film, radio, design, architecture and media – the other branches of the “cultural sector.” Our biggest publishing exhibitors to date have been TASCHEN und Gestalten Verlag, as well as a number of museum publishers. The Motovun Group International, the largest network of creative book publishers from around the world, has also been present, reaching many fair visitors with its exciting programme. In addition, publishing start-ups like Lapisly and Books & Magic have also presented their business models and have shown how book content can be transformed into immersive experiences with the help of digital technology. This is how we want to get publishing people excited about our programme and exhibition space in a targeted way, but at the same time we are also counting on sparking an interdisciplinary conversation between all participants.
AABP: What are the technologies highlighted which you think will help the publishing world tremendously?
Claudia: Many digital technologies have already become firmly established in publishing, including creating and preparing content as well as using DTP to transfer print files. By now, most publishers also consider it obligatory to maintain a website and use social media to cultivate their community anywhere, anytime. In addition, many readers shop on platforms like Amazon, which, with the help of artificial intelligence, make purchase recommendations based on user behaviour. Moreover, digital innovations such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality hold tremendous potential for publishers. They can help readers experience stories even more directly, for example by allowing them to – proverbially speaking – dive into an image (with a VR headset). Actually existing spaces can be expanded with the help of an app. This presents completely new possibilities, both in book sales and in the public and private sphere.
AABP: Are they any particular genre of books more suitable for Augmented and Virtual Reality?
Claudia: In principle, the new technologies are suitable for all genres. We have observed their use above all in the art and children’s book sectors, where printed images can become animated through the use of an app. But these technologies are also becoming more common in education and science publishing. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality are also being used increasingly at points of sale.
AABP: What will be the highlights for 2018 for THE ARTS+?
Claudia: In 2018, with a focus on the theme of “Cultural Heritage”, THE ARTS+ will strengthen the connections between past and future. We will see how ancient alphabets are brought into the future, how long-forgotten cultural content is given new life through new media and how politics and the publishing industry need to work together to protect society’s cultural achievements in times of major technological transformation.
AABP: Why do you think publishers specially should watch THE ARTS+ space?
Claudia: THE ARTS+ is aimed at anyone who works or deals with content – which, as it happens, is at the heart of what publishers do. Our wish is to inspire our visitors with relevant best practices and to open up new conceptual worlds. We want to shine a light on interdisciplinary perspectives and potential for all branches of the creative industry that can benefit all of our visitors. We hope that they will all join us in thinking beyond the box so that, together, we can shape the future of publishing as well as of other sectors of the cultural and creative industry. Last but not least, these new possibilities contain many business models focussed on the smart selection and exciting presentation of culture – something that no one knows more about than publishers!