This past year, the challenges posed by the pandemic came coupled with several opportunities for fresh thinking. This has, in our methods, processes and output, taken the form of a new understanding of cultural production as open, modular and fluid. The Hybrid Culture worldview and creative approach have seen us through the worst of times for the live event industry. It has made us realize that the “normal” is dead — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. How can our creativity adjust to a lasting, if not permanent, cultural shift?
In our last interview with Creative Director Michael Masberg on interdisciplinary storytelling, we briefly touched on the fact that European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) change rather slowly. Now, Michael takes us further in having a closer look at the causes and posing two central questions: How can cultural institutions be beacons of digital transformation? And what potential do interdisciplinary collaborations have to address an audience that already lives digitally? In doing so, he will not only look at ECOCs, but expand our view to other cultural institutions such as theatres and museums. The focus here, however, is primarily on Germany.
As previously raised by Brendan Shelper, CEO of battleROYAL, and Nancy Braun, Director of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022, the central question of the initial concept for the Esch2022 Launch was: How can we build the crescendo for a societal momentum that takes a region’s population over the threshold into a new era? Or, in the words of Moloko: How can we “make this moment last”? Our answer: Rituals.
When cultural institutions in Germany went dark due to the strict contact restrictions in Spring 2020, creatives moved their activity from stages and other places of live encounters to the digital and hybrid realms causing some wild innovations. The rules of theatrical and live production were rewritten hourly. During this time, our creative team at battleROYAL were meant to enter the ideation phase for a major production and went fully remote. We developed our own approach, referring to it as ‘Creative Prototyping’. Let us take you on a journey of what‘s possible as soon as we take our minds off the treaded paths and start modulating the processes of ideation towards creating in and for a hybrid world.
Following the interview with Esch2022 director Nancy Braun that we shared last week and in which she gave insight on her vision for the process and impact of Esch-sur-Alzette and the greater region as the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) of 2022, we now spoke to our CEO Brendan Shelper about this major project. He shares how his experience in large-scale opening ceremonies, as well as the method of Design Thinking, informs the launch of Esch2022.