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Across 3,000 sq m, 54 exhibitors and 31 partners presented innovative projects

Frankfurt, 15 October 2017 – “Manuskripte sind aus Dialogen und Nichtigkeiten gemacht.” (engl.:“Manuscripts are made of dialogues and voids.”) That is one sentence from Manifest No. 17355 dated 10 October 2017. It was created and recorded not by a human being, but by a KUKA robot normally used for manufacturing automobiles. During THE ARTS+, the creative business festival that took place during the Frankfurter Buchmesse (11–15 October 2017), visitors to the festival space in Hall 4.1 were able to watch “manifest”, the robot, as it produced up to 80 different texts each day in three different languages. The group responsible for the project was the independent artists’ collective robotlab ( in a new window)) which programmed the robot using algorithms to generate innovative ideas on robot art, robot ethics, philosophy and a human-humanoid society.

Surprising exhibits, inspiring speakers, interdisciplinary exchange

In addition to robotlab and manifest, 53 other exhibitors from 11 countries, together with 31 additional partners, made use of the presentation and dialogue platform offered by THE ARTS+. Among those in attendance were Gestalten Verlag and TASCHEN Verlag. A number of museums also participated, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Munch Museum, the Städel Museum, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT, which presented its digital strategies to the festival’s visitors. Institutions such as Google Arts & Culture, Europeana and the documenta archive demonstrated how works produced by the fine, performing and applied arts can be preserved for coming generations using digital media. Many guided tours of the exhibition were given, a service that was positively received by the numerous guests who took advantage of it.

On the festival’s two stages, 120 speakers from almost 20 countries and a wide range of creative sectors presented the projects and ideas they want to use to shape the creative industry’s future. Among the best-known speakers were Volksbühne Artistic Director Chris Dercon, Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe Peter Weibel, Astrid Welter of Fondazione Prada, CEO and founder of Arago Chris Boos, AI expert Dr. Ahmed Elgammal, and Google’s Caroline Atkinson, economic expert and former advisor to the Obama Administration (link to sound file:…(opens in a new window)). Artists such as John Craig Freeman and Jeremy Bailey and creatives such as Diane Drubay of “We are Museums” rounded off the program.

Numerous business meetings took place in THE ARTS+ Hub. In particular, publishing houses, creative enterprises and cultural institutions benefitted from the opportunity to enter into an interdisciplinary exchange across sectors. In an open workshop offered by the Oslo-based Munch Museum, participants collaborated to formulate a new digital strategy.

THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit welcomed 70 participants

Another very-well-received event was THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit. Some 70 participants from the political sphere and from creative clusters and organisations arrived from throughout Europe to exchange views on promoting innovation in the creative industry on the European level. Participants expressed great interest in attending a second event next year.

Immersive access to creativity at the weekend

At the weekend, THE ARTS+ was open to private visitors, as was the Frankfurter Buchmesse in general. Guests could venture into a pop-up museum to experience a completely new take on art and culture. The event “Magic Movies: Welcome to the Virtual Reality pop-up cinema” made it possible to literally dive into film. During
“Innovation made in Germany”, businesses from Germany demonstrated their innovative power and cutting-edge activities. Interested parties could also learn more about the relationship between analogue music and digital technology when three musicians from the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra explored the topic during Klassik Underground on Sunday.

Strong media partnerships in 2017

This year’s edition of THE ARTS+ was supported by a number of partnerships with media organisations, including Berlin Valley, Buchkultur, form, Galore, H.O.M.E., iBusiness, t3n, Venture Daily, WIRED and Weltkunst. Online radio broadcaster streamed live from the Frankfurter Buchmesse. And FRAME magazine organised the café in THE ARTS+ space, complete with photographs and a live installation by Thomas Brown.

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Hashtag: #theartsplus17

THE ARTS+ is a creative business festival and international meeting place for the culture and creative industries, launched in October 2016 during the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The goal of the new format is to exploit the potential of digitalisation for creative content and to develop new business areas. International artists, opinion leaders and experts as well as an impressive range of exhibitors present innovative approaches from the fields of publishing, museums, architecture and design, brands and agencies. THE ARTS+ is organized in the framework of ALDUS – European Book Fairs’ Network and is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. in a new window)

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 278,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists of which 2,400 are bloggers – in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Frankfurter Buchmesse has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. Founded in 2016, THE ARTS+ is a business festival for creatives, investors, publishers, museums, tech companies, that takes place at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. in a new window)

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138, in a new window)
Kathrin Grün, Head of Press & Communications, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-170, in a new window)
> Press information online >
> Photos in print quality >

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