As humble artisans, and committed disciples of hybrid culture, we keep an eager eye over the shifts, turns and promises of the digital realm — always striving to integrate them into the ever-morphing craft of experience-making. Blockchain technology, and particularly NFTs, offer a fresh and compelling alleyway into the virtual space — which is why, to coincide with our collaboration with NFT music marketplace Twelve x Twelve, we’ve decided to carry out a triad of informative interviews with some of the project’s masterminds. First up, our CEO Brendan Shelper breaks down NFTs role in enhancing the Metaverse, the future of the hybrid industry, and Gen Z’s proclivity for digital ownership.
There is little doubt that the phrase FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — has become a behavioral trademark of our frantic cultural mood. Few things seem to steer our social existence as much as the fear of not necessarily missing, but rather being overlooked by the dynamic flow of organized activities, events, and experiences. For years if not decades, and noticeably accelerated with the advent of digitalization, FOMO wasn’t prompted by an intrinsic desire to constantly be everywhere, at once. If it may have become internalized as a craving, all it did in fact was harbor collective insecurity — and an entrenched, cultivated pressure to be continuously part of the society of spectacle. Needless to remind, things have taken quite a U-turn in the past year, and now that the world appears to be reopening, the FOMO phenomenon has nearly evaporated, leaving room for its anxious, introverted cousin — FOGO (Fear Of Going Out).
Oddly and fortunately enough, in spite of all adversity, it’s been an extraordinary ride. It’s hard to foresee a reaction to a challenge unless directly confronted with it. In our case, thankfully, the past year has demonstrated an unsuspected perseverance and adaptability to change — within less than a year, we’ve fully transitioned from live, staged to hybrid.
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.
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- battleROYAL Appoints Judith Hoch as Co-CEO: We Revisit Her 10-Year Journey With Us