Opening keynote speech: Art in the age of populism
“Populism” has become a container concept which needs clarification. But regardless of the shapes it takes, it comes down to a way of doing politics, pretending to express directly the voice of the people without mediation. Thus it is a symptom of the crisis of representative democracy, of the void between politics and the citizen. If we don’t want to give up on democracy by choosing for an authoritarian system, we have to search for new forms of democracy. That search, intertwined as it is with the question of representation, challenges the producers of art, culture and knowledge. What are the shortcomings of existing forms of representation? How can art and science contribute to participatory democracy? What are the mental maps for a world in transition?