In his well-attended lecture “And End is a Start” in Iceland at the end of June, Christopher Patrick Peterka spoke of new possibilities in the shadow of a financial crisis at the invitation of the Iceland Design Center and the Reykjavík Art Museum.
Summarized from the lecture manuscript (courtesy of Peterka) by Bernhild Vögel, photo by Kristín Gunnarsdóttir.
At the end of his lecture Peterka organized a live performance art event. He placed 150 glow sticks under the chairs and then asked the spectators to fasten them to a wall, spelling out: “Iceland – State of the Art.”
“You don’t need to be afraid of change—change is the new constant,” stated Peterka, who is the founder of the international think tank gannaca.
“My mission is your inspiration. Accretion should be measured not only by economic, but also by social development, by life-quality and sustainability,” he added.
Peterka described the internet as an important tool to exchange ideas worldwide, saying that “in a world without borders we need to rethink the way we run the world. Only together you will survive.” In that sense, “We’re all Icelanders.”
Peterka stated that there is a growing interest in Europe in “learning from David instead from Goliath,” adding that he had found potential in Iceland, “to create a positive atmosphere of creation.”
“Think about creativity as the most important instrument to treat the crisis and culture, not as an extravaganza but the central asset of your nation,” Peterka urged. “Iceland has the chance to become the first national think tank of the planet. A culture that is vital and critical, constantly asking questions, being the needle in the flesh and the greatest muse at the same time.”
“The lecture was attended by around 100 people from different community sectors but mostly from the creative industries and the public sector,” said director of the Design Center, Thórey Vilhjálmsdóttir.
“Peterka’s model was very well received and following that is a keen interest from the creative industries in Iceland to use the model in order to boost the creative sector,” Vilhjálmsdóttir added.