Theatrum Mundi is today hosting the final of three expert round tables to debate issues raised by Sadiq Khan’s plans to create a Cultural Infrastructure 2030 plan for London, asking if and how we can design the conditions for culture. The round tables have asked a variety of questions, including: What kinds of urban activities can be seen as culture, and which should be included in planning for provision? Along with cultures generating visitors and economic value, how should commercially unproductive cultures, or ones without audiences, be provided for? Beyond economics, what other benefits does cultural infrastructure bring to the city? What kinds of value are artists expected to create, and what do they get in return? What is special about spaces for culture and the conditions they create, beyond spaces for other types of production and gathering?
While previous round tables have addressed “infrastructures of performance” and “infrastructures of making”, the focus of this final discussion will be on “infrastructures of the virtual,” asking if there should there be special places in the city for virtual culture or if it needs a new kind of planning for infrastructure everywhere. The debate will be stimulated by provocations from writer Alice Honor Gavin, publisher Shumi Bose, sociologist Adam Kaasa, and housing activist/artist Tom Keene. More information on the round tables is available here.