Into the Culture Cave: Generator of Art and Community, Emotions and Ideas


Into the Culture Cave: Generator of Art and Community, Emotions and Ideas


28 × 23 cm | 9 × 11 in
220 ills | 256 pages

Editor: Jörn Weisbrodt


For 17 days in June 2016 the Luminato Festival transformed the Hearn Generating Station in Toronto's Port Lands into the largest temporary cultural and community centre in the world. The Hearn Generating Station is three times the size of Tate Modern and could fit the Statue of Liberty inside it, standing upright. It was decommissioned in 1983 and, apart from serving as a shooting location for movies such as Robocop and Pacific Rim, has been closed to the public.

During the Luminato Festival around 100,000 people visited the Hearn Generating Station and experienced large-scale exhibitions; theatre performances; classical, pop and electro concerts; club events; talks; parkour workout sessions; drag queen shows; a high-end French bistro run by Canada's top chefs in the former control room; and no walls. Luminato Festival's residency at the Hearn was inspired by three ideas: Jane Jacob's dogma that new ideas must use old buildings; Ariane Mnouchkine's hierarchy free theatre company, Théâtre du Soleil and Cedric Price's and Joan Littlewood's Fun Palace thinking about architecture in terms of process and events in time rather than objects in space.

Into the Culture Cave: Generator of Art and Community, Emotions and Ideas fully documents this remarkable festival, and the 17 days that created a model for a multidisciplinary cultural institution of the twenty-first century that can reflect the openness and diversity of the society in which it is founded.

Conventional multidisciplinary institutions like the Barbican Centre still separate in space, and not in time. In the 'Culture Cave' this rule is inverted. Everything happens in one huge space—inspired by the cave, the earliest form of human shelter—but is separated in time. Audiences are able to experience the entire breadth of human activity and creativity and do not have to prioritise.