The third edition of the biennial IdeasCity Festival took place in the Bowery neighborhood of downtown Manhattan. The theme of the 2015 Festival was The Invisible City, a homage to Italo Calvino’s 1972 literary masterpiece. Rooted in civil action, the theme coincided with each of the Festival’s platforms, serving as an invitation to explore questions of transparency and surveillance, citizenship and representation, expression and suppression, participation and dissent, and the enduring quest for visibility in the city. This year saw the creation of a new event — A Performative Conference in 9 Acts — hosted on the evening of May 29 in the Aula on Mulberry Street. The 2015 edition was more compact, in comparison with the two previous IdeasCity biennials, but succeeded in its aim to serve as a high-impact and effective platform for thought leaders and practitioners to come together—artists, curators, scholars, designers, international mayors, forecasters, architects, economists, sociologists, and technologists—to advocate for the value of “creative capital” in New York City, Lower Manhattan and beyond, as a key creative nexus.
“The intangible, seething energy that the legendary Bowery neighborhood is steeped in will once again become visible as we peel back the surface of the streets to take a closer look at the lives that surround us every day, in our own neighborhood and beyond, to expose, examine, and question the numerous cultural, social, political, and technological transformations we are undergoing as a society,” said Joseph Grima, Director of IdeasCity.