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Posted on February 12, 2018

From touring exhibitions to ‘social factories’

Join us on 24 February in Stockholm for a special lecture with CityLab journalist Benjamin Schneider.
Color Me

Magic City visitors in Stockholm having fun with Giant Markers

Have you ever heard about the Museum of Ice Cream? Or the Color Factory? Or our production of MAGIC CITY – THE ART OF THE STREET, described by critics as an “urban playground“ or a “hybrid between exhibition and happening“? We’ll be discussing this new breed of exhibitions on 24 February, with renowned journalist Benjamin Schneider (from The Atlantic magazine’s CityLab). The event is part of a special XXL event weekend in Stockholm (check the programme for 22-25 February here), which will kick off a season of events to celebrate SC Exhibitions' 10th anniversary this year.

At the event, Mr Schneider will lead a discussion on how new kinds of urban pleasure grounds are emerging in the social media age. Neither museum, nor store, these social factories are spaces designed almost exclusively to be documented via social media. Places like the Museum of Ice Cream are runaway successes, providing prosumers with the bright colours and unexpected decor already favoured on Instagram. Social factories are the most extreme manifestation of social media's transformative effect on cities and urban life, shedding light on subtler changes taking place in restaurants, stores, and public space.

Mr Schneider is an editorial fellow at CityLab, where he covers California, transportation, and the intersection of cities and digital media. He is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Impose, and other publications. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he studied urban studies.

Join us in Stockholm!


Keen to dig deeper into this topic? Here’s three pieces of essential reading:

  • The Smithsonian explores the “Instagramization” of cultural institutions, with a look at San Francisco’s The Museum of Ice Cream and its 93,000+ posts, documenting everything from its rainbow sprinkle-filled pool, to its giant white unicorn and ceiling covered in pink bananas. | Click here
  • The Atlantic’s City Lab discusses how new kinds of ‘social factories’ are toning down the art and branding aspects, and leaving their social media appeal to do the heavy lifting – spawning a new genre of urban pleasure grounds | Click here
  • W Magazine uncovers 2017’s “art selfie destinations”, and how the relationship between the art world and Instagram is becoming more and more tangled – particularly as increasingly “photo-baiting” exhibitions are produced. | Click here


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