14. September 2013 - 02. March 2014 Dortmunder U, Level 6
The might of industrial society is lodged in men´s minds.
Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, The Culture Industry, 1944

From September 2013 to March 2014 the Dortmunder U presents the NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL in cooporation with the Hartware MedienKunstVerein, the TU Dortmund University, the U2_Centre for Cultural Education and Urbane Künste Ruhr on the premises of the Dortmunder U and in the surrounding urban space. Through various formats including exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, film screenings and performances, this four-month-long international festival explores the past, present and future of industry.

The structural changes in Europe’s former industrial regions such as the Ruhr, Northern England, Belgium and Upper Silesia epitomise the transition of societies from industrial to knowledge- and service-based societies and the so-called “creative classes”. The NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL asks how we became what we are, how industry marks our lives today, and how individuals can influence or appropriate the mechanisms of the industrial and working world.

Based on the experience of the Ruhr and other former industrial areas, the festival will retrace the history of social and economic change caused by the transformation and displacement of industrial production. This mutation is echoed by shifts in economic, finance and social policies as well as changes in the workplace and in daily life. The promise of social and cultural emancipation thanks to long-term employment and social advancement has given way to working and living environments where self-reliance, initiative, flexibility, mobility and creativity are essential requirements to take part in society.

The NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL maps the conditions and consequences of these changes. How does the process of (de-)industrialisation affect communities and landscapes? How do industrial culture and cultural industry interact? Is there any industrial work left in former industrial nations, and if so, what does it look like? What is the value of work after the end of the factory – and what if the factory extends beyond its physical walls? Are “creative industries” industries in the traditional sense?

The festival furthermore explores the “new industries” that have emerged in the wake of economic transformations – most notably the financial industry – and how they perpetuate the ‘might of industrial society’ (Adorno). The exhibitions and events span the time from the Second Industrial Revolution to the economic crises in 1929, the 1970s, 2007 and the present day. The international focus of the festival will enable visitors to gain a global perspective on these economic, social and ecological developments, while highlighting the consequences of individual and collective decisions.


HMKV formats curated by Inke Arns, Thibaut de Ruyter and Fabian Saavedra-Lara.

Opening: Friday 13 September 2013, 7 pm, foyer of the Dortmunder U

Welcome addresses:
Kurt Eichler
executive director of Kulturbetriebe Dortmund

Dr. Inke Arns
artistic director of HMKV
and curator of INDUSTRIAL (Research)

Thibaut de Ruyter
curator of INDUSTRIAL (Research)

Fabian Saavedra-Lara
and curator of Requiem for a Bank & Axel Braun

Funders and Partners

Main funders of HMKV and the NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL are the Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and
Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
, the Sparkasse Dortmund, DSW21 and the Cultural Office of the City
of Dortmund.

The HMKV festival formats are co-produced by URBANE KÜNSTE RUHR and supported by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, LWL-Kulturstiftung, Stiftung Kulturhauptstadt RUHR.2010, Kunststiftung NRW, Stiftung Zukunft NRW, British Council, Polnisches Institut Düsseldorf, Königlich Norwegischen Botschaft, as well as NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) Guest Performance Fund for Theater.

You will find press material on this program item in our press area.