Diversity Shaping Tomorrow
Porsche Central and Eastern Europe – Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv, a five-day festival, brings together everything creative in the region – as its core is openness and the idea is to combine heritage with innovation. The title picture of the market pages section represents artwork created especially for SCOPES Tel Aviv.
Every city likes to boast that there is no place like it in the world. In Tel Aviv’s case, this is actually true. Where else can you find the astonishing mix of sparkling beaches and sprawling parks, nonstop nightlife, first-rate arts and culture, and centuries’ worth of history and archaeology?
Since it was founded in 1909, the city on the Mediterranean coast has come a long way. Although just slightly older than the Porsche brand, Tel Aviv represents the combination of heritage and innovation just like Porsche does. Making it the perfect place for the latest iteration of the Porsche SCOPES live event format, where people from the creative, music, and start-up scene share their work and connect with each other.
Fusion of heritage and innovation
While Tel Aviv is renowned for its history, culture, and bustling nightlife, one thing you may not know about the Mediterranean metropolis is that it’s as easy to find tech start-ups with industry-altering ideas as it is to find a hip bar downtown.
Characterized by a culture of openness to change, new ideas, and moving fast.
The city is increasingly becoming the new hotbed for global innovation. When it comes to the start-up scene, the numbers are impressive. Tel Aviv is home to some 3,000 start-ups and has launched 30 new unicorns, making it the best place to get to know the forward thinkers shaping our future.
Defined by chutzpah and openness
Tel Aviv’s reputation as a creative and start-up obsessed hot spot is even more miraculous when you consider it is such a young city. So how did a small settlement on the fringes of the old world grow into a so-called “Start-Up Nation” leading the rest of the planet in generating new ideas and solutions for the problems facing global communities and economies?
Well, yet again, very much like Porsche, by combining openness and innovation with a good dose of “chutzpah.”
From the very outset, when the city was first established, Tel Aviv had to think outside the box to stand out from and compete with neighboring Jaffa. Trading in an area with few natural resources encouraged Tel Avivians to adopt an innovative and outward-focused mindset. The country’s geographic centrality in trade between Europe and Asia further fostered a mentality of openness to change, new ideas, and moving fast.
“Chutzpah” is derived from an old Hebrew word that roughly translates as “audacity.” It certainly takes audacity to look to the smallest businesses in society for the biggest ideas, and to model a city on a thriving creative and start-up ecosystem. But that’s what Tel Aviv did. It poured money into supporting start-ups, developing tech and fostering innovation.
Against this backdrop, it comes as no surprise that – after Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Warsaw, and a virtual edition in Southeast Asia – “Porsche SCOPES” visited the innovation hotbed of Tel Aviv this year. This unique live event, fueled by Porsche, brings together true pioneers from the fields of design, art, music, tech, and social to showcase their work and connect with each other. It is a collective celebration of local creative voices. Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv brought together more than 40 artists for a five-day event packed with inspiring stories. Through film screenings, discussions, book presentations, live podcasts, action art, installations, and workshops the festival encourages exchanges and dialogues on what the future could look like. The end goal: to create a melting pot of visionaries and driven individuals that will help shape tomorrow.
It is Tel Aviv’s open-mindedness that makes it one of the most diverse and innovative cities in the world, drawing in local and international creative and start-up talent. Proof of this is plentiful at SCOPES. Not only in the work of the artists on display, but also in the abundant representation of the Israeli queer community.
Bravery and courage
The queer community, by default, has a layer of courage and bravery that comes from stepping outside of what is seen as normal and acceptable. It is this celebration of courage and diversity that made SCOPES proud to host the biggest ballroom event the city had ever seen. The idea behind these events is to create a safe space for self-expression and unite various people of color, different sexual and gender identities, backgrounds, etc.
The screening of the short film Giving further highlighted the city’s diverse creative scene. The documentary about three young women in Tel Aviv’s queer nightlife scene takes spectators on a voyage where fantasy and reality collide.
Reflections of the future
We start our exploration of Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv with Gal Vardi’s “You Are Here” installation. A Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 4x4 Paris-Dakar (953) from 1984 forms the heart of this work. The installation revolves around a sculpted maze, made out of holographic acrylic mirrors. At the center of the maze is the classic Porsche 953, which transforms into a mirror itself. The arrangement and shape of the mirrors offer an endless array of fresh views of this legendary “young-timer.” Gal’s intention is to take visitors on a journey to a new dimension between space and time intended to remind us that our presence is measured not only by our physicality, but also by our ability to experience our own energy.
Gal is an immersive designer and artist. She was born in Tel Aviv, moved to Los Angeles with her family as a teenager, and promptly returned to Tel Aviv and her roots as soon as she turned 18. For her work, she draws inspiration from reflections both in the physical world and its online echoes. Each of her works becomes a one-of-a-kind experience influenced by the light and surroundings in which it is located. Her exhibitions create a 360-degree environment including mirror play, light design, video art, and original soundtracks. Her Porsche SCOPES installation is particularly mesmerizing in the evening, when the lighting designer Omer Sheizaf bathes the entire location in a special light.
Next, we meet Assaf Reeb, a versatile and innovative fashion pioneer. Assaf was born in Tel Aviv and now lives and works in Berlin. Even from a young age, he always wanted to work in fashion. But Assaf is also passionate about sustainability and about technology. When faced with some of the structural and sustainability issues in the fashion industry, he decided to combine the desirability of fashion and lifestyle brands with the power and scalability of tech, and became one of the first digital fashion designers. Not only does he provide users with new means of engagement and expression in universes like the metaverse this way, he also creates an alternative digital and sustainable revenue stream for brands.
For the Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv festival, Assaf created an installation that explores the evolution of fashion and virtual self-expression in a developing world. Using body tracking technology, his interactive installation transports visitors into the digital world of avatars. Through this immersive experience combining digital hyperrealism and virtual personae, Assaf illustrates what fashion may look like in the future.
Taking Porsche SCOPES to the streets of Tel Aviv, internationally renowned artists Eden Kalif and Shira Barzilay, also known as Koketit, used two Porsche Taycan to create drivable art. An Israeli artist, Shira is known for her abstract and sensual line drawings, as well as unique media art. She transformed the Taycan into a blue and white feast for the eye. Illustrator, video director, and tattoo artist Eden Kalif chose to take on the challenge of tattooing the Taycan. The result: another one-of-a-kind piece of art on wheels.
While the visual part of Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv is impressive, the musical part swept us off our feet as well. And you can take that quite literally. It is hard not to move to the sound of El Khat, a homemade “junkyard band” led by Eyal El Wahab. Named after the drug so widely chewed across the Arab Peninsula, this wild bunch creates original compositions inspired by the music of the golden age in Aden, Yemen.
Those who make up the creative scene have their roots in places all over the world, making it a true melting pot.
Eyal is a master of eclectic instruments, like the dli and the Kearat that he made himself. He started doing this several years ago, using his skills to make musical instruments out of items people discard. Now how’s that for being resourceful! And resourceful, Eyal is. He talked his way into the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra as a cellist. Having been a self-taught busker, he was unable to read music so he learned the orchestra’s repertoire by ear as he went along. But Eyal is also passionate about heritage. Being a descendant of the Yemeni diaspora who grew up in Tel Aviv, his life changed completely when he was given “Qat, Coffee & Qambus: Raw 45s from Yemen,” an LP of Yemeni traditional music from the 1960s. It came as an epiphany. He quit the orchestra, began building instruments, and started the band El Khat.
Talking about orchestra. The next performance is a one-man show that sounds like an orchestra of 1,000 musicians. Shaman Shaman, a musical entity with no limits, dragged us into muddy waters with his “In the Swamp” performance, a new selection of unique material. The muddy waters in this case are synonymous with the sweat we broke while dancing to the uplifting rhythms he produced.
The Beit Romano, the venue for the festival, was not chosen coincidentally either. The building personifies the crossroads of heritage and innovation that forms the core of Tel Aviv. Originally constructed in 1879 by a wealthy Turkish merchant, it later became a guesthouse. At one point, it also housed the “Istanbul Synagogue” on its premises. Today, the building stands five stories tall and covers an impressive 12,000 square meters. It is home to Romano, a concept restaurant that exists in a big passage, which during the day is a lively merchants’ area selling mostly fabric and industry clothes. In the evening, when the merchants leave, the passage wakes up and becomes one big party; the hall is filled with tables and chairs, and the Romano restaurant opens its doors. Next door to Romano, you can find the improvised Teder bar. Here you can explore the latest in electronic music, and dance, drink, and eat. The Beit Romano houses several other cultural ventures, making it the place where the creative minds of Tel Aviv meet, mix, and mingle.
Female talent galore
Embracing diversity is one of the things that has turned Tel Aviv into the innovative hot spot it is today, and it being one of the cornerstones of what Porsche stands for, there is plenty of room for female talent at Porsche SCOPES as well. Up-and-coming and more established talent alike.
Combining heritage and innovation to help shape our future.
Let’s start with Eden Derso. Eden Derso is one of Israel’s rising hip-hop artists. Over the past few years, she has become a sensation in Tel Aviv’s small but rapidly growing rap scene. Eden’s captivating and provocative work is largely autobiographic and voices some of the challenges she faces as a female artist. But also as a black woman in Israel – Eden is of Ethiopian descent – and as a voice for the new Israeli-Ethiopian counterculture.
Noga is another local talent that stands out. A young underground sensation making a name for herself with her first-ever single – “Everyone’s in love with me” – hitting heavy rotation on Israel’s leading radio station GLGLZ. Noga is the next big thing in the “bedroom pc music makes it big” genre. Originally from Haifa, she is increasingly becoming a name to remember in Israel’s busy indie scene. Her repertoire on the SCOPES main stage: her well-known YouTube hits alongside some new work and future releases.
Female talent as a counterbalance for a male-dominated music scene.
Since musical genres are as diverse as people, we will add two more to the mix. Riff Cohen being the first. Innovative and creative, Riff is a French-English-Hebrew chameleon and one of Israel’s most celebrated singers. She lives and performs in Tel Aviv, but also in Paris, Istanbul, and around Europe. Her sound juggles a wide variety of musical influences – from French pop to avant-garde, and from North-African traditional music to classic rock. Next is J. Lamotta. This Moroccan princess of neo-soul and jazz rap currently lives in Berlin but her roots lie in Israel. Lamotta recently debuted “So I’ve Heard,” an album in Hebrew. Its lead single, “Fruits” is all we need for a low day to become high or for SCOPES to become even higher.
Female talent is also plentiful in Tel Aviv’s other creative fields that Porsche stages at SCOPES.
Danielle Cantor for instance, a Tel Aviv–based community organizer and food writer, presents her book SPREADS, a book packed with stories and photographs showing various people, places, and perspectives that nicely capture the diversity theme once again. SPREADS takes you on a compassionate journey and curious interrogation of culture and the self through the lens of food. Danielle is also the author of Culture of Consumption and the cofounder of “Culture of Solidarity” – a mutual aid initiative that sprouted during the first days of the pandemic.
And Karin Kimmel, a local visual artist and animator focused on computer-generated graphics. Karin has a deep passion for everything related to the intersection of digital technologies, science, and art. At Porsche SCOPES, she presented several live and prerendered video works, which together compile a project with the epic name “Space Is Sculpted By Ripples.” More visually mesmerizing work comes from Barr Zutra. As a multidisciplinary visual artist and designer, Barr creates detailed and intricate images through simple hand-drawing techniques and sticker collaging. Her work includes branding, visual identity, poster design, and artwork in the fields of music, nightlife, culture, fashion, and lifestyle. For Porsche SCOPES, she joined forces with Kornit Digital, a titan in the field of sustainable fashion and textile production on demand. By empowering brands, print service providers, and creative entrepreneurs with unlimited graphic capabilities and an efficient, single-step production mechanism, Kornit eliminates overproduction, water waste, and C0₂ emissions, and makes proximity production profitable. Together the duo created dedicated festival merchandise.
On to a bright future
The final word for Porsche SCOPES Tel Aviv is for Motivo Positivo. They closed the festival with a big party, bringing to the stage a series of events creating a unique experience where space and time cease to exist. That is also the feeling we leave the five-day festival with. For five days we got to experience everything Tel Aviv has to offer. A combination of the old and the new, of heritage and innovation, of different cultures, different backgrounds. Mix in the positive vibe that the city and the people here exhume and the future can only look bright and promising.
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