Steirischer Herbst conference

05 October 2013

Friday 04/10, 14.30 - 23.00
Saturday  05/10, 11.00 - 20.30
Sunday 06/10, 11.00 - 23.00

Ex-Zollamt, BusBahnBim; free entry

“Age of disaster” is the term applied by cultural philosopher and activist Lieven de Cauter to our disastrous age marked by dramatic conflicts, growing inequality and the dissolution of final certainty. But where to start rescuing when liaisons dangereuses start to get out of hand in all spheres – in politics, in the economy and in society?

In global finance capitalism, the culture of collective sharing is being marginalised, with egoism and destruction being the dominant driving forces and desperation and melancholy the consequences for the individual. “Melancholia”, according to the philosopher Giovanni Leghissa, is the final consequence of the impossibility of articulating needs other than economic ones or not being able to distinguish between economy and politics at all.

What is wrong with the economy? The ratio economica as the sole, generally accepted meaningful principle makes a utopian project of a society which guarantees human rights and allows everyone to share equitably in social profits. Countering such abstract speculations, the sociologist Erik Olin Wright suggests provocative “Real Utopias” that seek to redesign social institutions fundamentally and specifically: education for all, minimum wages and truly democratic decision-making processes. The conference “Liaisons dangereuses: Seeking emancipatory alternatives in trembling times”, sets out to create a space for community healing, a process of social justice that also allows wishes and hopes (Hector Aristizábal). But on the other hand, phenomena such as colonialism and racism are reappearing with great vehemence, phenomena which Alanna Lockward is reconsidering in order to find alternative strategies of resistance or exit. How can art institutions contribute to restructuring the sociopolitical context? Artists and curators from North Africa and Europe will question the institution as a possible space of liberty and creativity.

Following on from last year’s “Truth is concrete – a 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art”, the conference is an attempt by steirischer herbst to set up an international discourse platform for philosophical, artistic and political exchange: to get to the bottom of the disaster and to open up new spaces of liberty and practice. In the form of lectures, round-tables and artist presentations, platform focuses on key topics such as participation in post-revolutionary times and decolonialism along with new politics of organising economy and labour.

With Hector Aristizábal (CO), Zdenka Badovinac (SI), Beirut (Sarah Rifky (EG), Jens Maier-Rothe (DE), Antonia Alampi (IT)), Aeron Bergman (US/NO), Ellen Blumenstein (DE), Reinhard Braun (A), Sarah Browne (IR), Lieven De Cauter (BE), Jeannette Ehlers (DK), Luigi Fassi (AT/IT), Marianne Flotron (NL/CH), Zachary Formwalt (NL/US), Sam Gindin (CA), Tue Greenfort (DK), Katerina Gregos (BE/GR), Krist Gruijthuijsen (AT/NL), Marina Grzinic (SI), Núria Güell (ES), Jan Peter Hammer (DE), John Jordan (US/FR), Dimitris Kassimatis (GR), Giovanni Leghissa (IT), Alanna Lockward (DE/DO), Florian Malzacher (DE), Markus Miessen (DE), Saverio Pesapane (IT), Taaniel Raudsepp (Visible Solutions (EE)), Oliver Ressler (A), Joshua Simon (ISR), Jonas Staal (NL), Marina Vishmidt (GB), Wooloo (Martin Rosengaard & Sixten Kai Nielsen (DK)) und Erik Olin Wright (US)

Moderated by Lieven De Cauter (BE) & Erik Olin Wright (US)
Curated by Luigi Fassi (AT/IT) & Anne Faucheret (AT/FR)