Industrial Culture for Future (IC4 Future)


Can industrial heritage sites and museums be more than places of memory, focusing on the past? In what way can they provide a space to discuss topics of the future? Which common narratives need to be critically questioned, revised, and refined? How can a reframing of industrial culture be made visible and accessible for the public? For the opening of FUTUR 21 - kunst industrie kultur a variety of actors and agents from academia, the arts, and cultural institutions will discuss the future of industrial culture at the conference.

Due to the pandemic, the event is planned as a hybrid conference.

Conference languages: German and English (with translation)


  • 08:30-19:30 - Donnerstag, 4. November 2021
    8:30am-9:00am – Registration
    9:00am-9:05am – Welcome, Dr. Kirsten Baumann, Acting Director LWL-Industriemuseum
    09:05am-09:30am - Conference Introduction, Dr. Cornelia Bauer und Prof. Dr. Thomas Schleper
    9.30am-10:00am Talk: The Future of Industrial Heritage, Dr. Barbara Rüschoff-Parzinger und Milena Karabaic, Heads of the Culture Departments LWL und LVR
    10:05am-11:50am - Panel 1

    Débat d‘idées: What is “the future“? Can there be a future for our present age?

    The conference attempts to approach the topic of the future from an in-terdisciplinary bird’s eye view. What are the key questions on the way to a diverse, sustainable, and digital society and in what way can a reframed industrial culture help to create answers and find solutions? Challenges and visions of the future will be identified to give stimuli for a rethought industrial culture.


    11:50am-12:05am - Coffee break
    12:10am-1:10pm - Talk: Project introduction FUTUR 21 - kunst industrie kultur and artist talk

    What role can arts take in the reframing of industrial culture and what is the potential of an artistic view of the future? The curatorial team will introduce the contents and structure of FUTUR 21 and give an initial glimpse of the festival program. Subsequently, the artistic talk will focus on two best-practice examples which will be shown in two of the industrial museums as part of FUTUR 21 and will discuss how art, industry, and culture can stimulate each other in the future.


    1:10pm-2:10pm - Lunch break
    2:10pm-5:00pm - Panel 2

    Industrial museums as engines of the future

    Based on the impulses from the Débat d’idées, the outreach and sustainability of industrial museums will be questioned. Where is the focus between the poles of customer orientation and political education? Here, the ambivalence of regionality and internationality, universality and diversity, and the potential of analog and digital spaces will be critically examined in order to make use of them for a reframing of industrial culture.

    5:00pm-5:30pm - Coffee break
    from 5.30pm - Political Opening: Viewing of the entire presentation and get together in the machine hall of Zeche Zollern, Dortmund
    7:30pm - Artistic Performance: Old Workshop Zeche Zollern, Dortmund

  • - - Freitag, 5. November 2021
    9:00am-9:10am - Opening of second day of conference, Dr. Kirsten Baumann
    9.15am-1:00pm - Panel 3

    Powerful Narratives - Narratives of Power

    The relationship between narratives of industrial culture and the production of power will be critically examined in a cross-disciplinary dialog. Which powerful narratives are produced, multiplied, and received and who creates them? Whose voices are marginalized and whose are amplified? What kind of ideas of the future do the narratives produce with regard to democracy, diversity, sustainability, and global justice? When do powerful narratives become narratives of power?


    1:00pm-2:00pm - Lunch break
    2:05pm-4:30pm - Panel 4

    Industrial Culture meets Digital Arts: New ways of presentation and mediation in museums

    Currently, presentation and mediation in museums as a form of dialog between institutions and the public finds itself between the poles of digitalization as the most powerful agent of modernization in the 21st century and participation in the sense of offering the opportunity for active and equal access. What might the quintessence of innovative mediation in industrial museums be in the future? Which stimuli can New Media and digital arts offer for the reinterpretation of industrial culture as well as its presentation, public access, and means of participation?


    From 4:45pm - Trip to Peter-Behrens Bau, LVR Industriemuseum in Oberhausen
    From 6.00pm - Daan Roosegaarde with Waterlicht at Peter-Behrens-Bau in Oberhausen