Introduction

Theatrum Mundi is a professional network of urbanists and artists in different cities. The collective consists of academics, architects, planners, performing and visual artists, with the aim to stimulate discussion about practices spanning stage and street. The dialogue between art and society has long produced surprising results in both domains; we want to carry this discussion forward within the diverse contexts of contemporary urban life.

These surprising results are often practical. And yet, while Theatrum Mundi encourages and hopes to stimulate these practical outcomes, its role is that of a provocateur and enabler where ideas that link art and urbanism can be discussed and debated.

Theatrum Mundi began in 2012. Currently it is based in London and New York, with partnerships and projects in Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro. However, these sites inform a broad scope of activities that hopes to spread and share across a wide network and diverse geographies. It organises workshops for small groups, ‘salons’ which are slightly larger discussions, conferences for the public, exhibitions and research.

Activities

Conferences

Theatrum Mundi organises mid-sized symposiums and larger conferences. These include ‘Presence and Absence in the City’ at Columbia University, ‘Currencies and Collectives’ in partnership with the Frankfurter Positionen, the Welkulturen Museum and Städelschule, ‘Common Ground:

Salons

Launching in June 2013, Theatrum Mundi curates a series of salons, ‘Negotiating Spaces’. Split into four parts the salons will bring together artists, curators, musicians, designers and social scientists to discuss the changing face of space and place in art production and engagement.

Workshops

We host a wide range of workshops on light, sound, movement and the city. In the autumn of 2012 we hosted a series on Music and Architecture in four parts: Harmony, Rhythm, Narrative and Porosity. All of these are purposefully small and informal discussions, emphasising maker-to-maker exchange. We also host more intensive week-long ‘studio based’ workshops with emerging practitioners. We encourage cross-participation between workshops and draw colleagues from a wide range of art and urban disciplines.

Exhibitions

We are interested in translating ideas and discussions through exhibitions to a wider public. Examples include ‘Trading Style’, an exhibition in collaboration with the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt and a new International Ideas Challenge series which will first look at ‘Designing Spaces for Free Speech,’ based out of New York.

Research

We are dedicated not only to providing a forum for face to face exchange, but also to continually investigate the methods, contents and outcomes of our activities. We commission writing on topics arising from our workshops, salons and conferences. We host a blog with contributions from leading thinkers in a variety of fields, and also produce short thematic publications.