Friday, 21 September 2012
An opening proposal by Tim Etchells / Forced Entertainment (GB)
Performed by Jerry Killick (GB)
Questions, hellos, dedications, fragments, answers and yet more questions. In characteristic seriously unserious and unseriously serious style „Some kind of beginning“ is a tentative and extremely partial introduction to things otherwise not spoken about or yet unspoken. A proposal of a structure of brief exchange, call and response to kick off the Marathon.
Introduction and welcome
By Florian Malzacher (A/D)
“Truth is concrete” was written in big letters over Bertolt Brecht’s working desk in exile – quoting Lenin quoting Hegel quoting Augustine. “Truth is concrete” takes the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis and looks for direct action, for concrete change and knowledge. Large or small scale, loud and aggressive, or intimate and careful. Obscure or obvious. An art that engages in specific political and social situations – and an activism that not only acts for the sake of acting but searches for intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment: artistic strategies and tactics in politics, political strategies and tactics in art.
Interventionist art in the age of enterprise culture
Lecture by Gregory Sholette (USA)
Many key assumptions held by an earlier generation of artists and activists about oppositional culture are being challenged today: a new wave of practitioners is less concerned with demystifying ideology than with disrupting it or establishing alternative models apart from the mainstream altogether. At the same time, the overall spirit of this new social-interventionist culture reveals a similarity to the anarcho-entrepreneurial spirit of the neo-liberal economy, including a highly plastic sense of collective identity and a romantic distrust of comprehensive administrative structures. Adorno once cautioned that culture was becoming increasingly similar to the realm of administration. Today business managers throw off traditional forms of organisation to extol non-linear thinking and flexible working habits not unlike artists and other creative labourers.
Video Lecture by Herwig G. Höller (A)
Austrian politicians once famous in other countries are now dead – Kurt Waldheim or right-wing governor Jörg Haider for example. So what’s up now? A boring coalition of a social democrat nicknamed “Failman” and a lacklustre conservative party. The next election is scheduled for 2013. Haider’s successors long for power, the Green Party’s hopes are high, too: but are they entertaining enough?
Lecture by Leo Kühberger (A)
1918 was the year of big revolutions. Even in Graz, the “stored material for an explanation” was considered to “easily lead to something”. Fifty years later, 1968 left its marks in the city of Graz. And today, the revolutionary changes ahead of us will overshadow everything: “we are living in a period of transition from the world system, the capitalist global economy, to another system or other systems”, wrote Immanuel Wallerstein.
Lecture by Michael Zinganel (A)
Graz isn’t known for political rebellion, even the Bourgeois revolution was deputed by an aristocrat. And in the 1960s, there were no clashes in the streets; instead Forum Stadtpark, the three-countries-biennale trigon and steirischer herbst were established – all three with complacent participation of the bourgeois political establishment. So Graz became internationally acknowledged as an intersection of advanced cultural production – in which even a local shoe manufacturer made media history.
Quite opposite to Austrian tradition, the Masala Brass Kollektiv is organised without a command structure, but with about twenty brass musicians who claim to be amateurs. The Masala Brass Kollektiv plays its own compositions and arrangements, be it Balkan brass, klezmer, reggae, funk or rock. As brass music creates its best impact on the streets, where activists operate, Masala Brass Kollektiv is often asked for musical support by political initiatives.
“Truth is concrete” replaces business as usual during the first week of this year‘s steirischer herbst festival - but it is just a start: The festival continues afterwards with exhibitions, performances, concerts further investigating the relationship between art and politics.
Performance by Kavecs (GR)
"The black circle" project is an improvisation on the ideological complexities of the European countries under crisis. Drawing upon the recent experience in Greece and the political radicalisation of the Greek youth since December 2008, "The black circle" manifests the dark sides of collective mobilisation and the allure of alternative definitions of national identity and European geography. "The black circle" performances are ambivalent appropriations of ideas and aesthetics that inform the so-called third-positionism today.
Antanas Mockus (CO) in conversation with Joanna Warsza (PL)
When Antanas Mockus took over Bogotá for the first time as mayor in 1995, the city was considered as one of the most hopeless in the world. Mockus got elected without the backing of a political party – and employed artistic tactics to change the fate of Bogotá: mime artists regulated the streets, weapons were exchanged for toys, a big heart was cut out of his bullet-proof vest … With ideas like these, Mockus not only brought back a feeling of civil responsibility to the citizens, but he also was successful in hard numbers: the homicide rate fell 33%, traffic fatalities 50%, 7,000 community security groups were formed and more than 60,000 people voluntarily paid 10% more taxes to support his policies.
Lecture by Srđa Popović / CANVAS (SRB)
The internet age has brought new types of protest, such as hacktivism, clicktivism and even slacktivism. Now one can witness the rise of a new -ism: Laughtivism – the use of humour in social mobilisation and nonviolent action. Political satire is nothing new but laughtivism applies the idea of subversion through humour directly in protest. Laughtivism derives its power from the ability to melt fear – the lifeblood of dictators – build the morale of groups and cut to the core of out of touch leaders, sensitive to derision because of their intense narcissism. 2012 was a bad year for dictators and there is hope that 2013 will be good for democracy.
Antanas Mockus (CO) continues his conversation with Joanna Warsza (PL)
When Antanas Mockus took over Bogotá for the first time as mayor in 1995, the city was considered as one of the most hopeless in the world. Mockus got elected without the backing of a political party – and employed artistic tactics to change the fate of Bogotá: mime artists regulated the streets, weapons were exchanged for toys, a big heart was cut out of his bullet-proof vest …
Tactic talk by Arash T. Riahi (A/IR) & Arman T. Riahi (A/IR)
“Everyday rebellion” is a cross-media project paying tribute to the creativity of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience. With a cinema documentary and an online platform, it deals with borders of political paradigms. Global nonviolent activists share their activities, beliefs and destinies. An app for smart phones, to support street movements, will be created, as well as a desktop game to be used in schools to teach students about the possibilities for peaceful protest.
Tactic talk by Róza El-Hassan (H/SYR)
Toma Sik and Róza El-Hassan met in 2002 in Budapest. He defined himself as social non-artist and socialised bon vivant, practicing the art of life. Far before others, in the 1960s and 70s, Toma Sik started in the Palestinian/Israeli peace movement as a human rights activist while living in Tel Aviv. He was a vegan, anarchist and cosmopolite. When one looks at Sik‘s heritage today; his life, his message and poems, one could get an urgent feeling to follow his path.
Discussion and presentation of film clips with Arash T. Riahi (A/IR) & Arman T. Riahi (A/IR) (Everyday Rebellion), hosted by Claus Philipp (A)
All over the world the brothers Riahi film and collect material for an epic documentary about global tendencies of opposition, resistance and rebellion. For the first time they will present outtakes to a broader audience.
Tactic talk by Jeudi Noir (F)
Using humour and derision, Jeudi Noir hacks the media in order to spread its social and political message. Armed with costume and fake bank notes and helped by the frenzy of social networks, they create flash mobs on-the-go. Jeudi Noir has had to find a way to use the media that are sometimes reluctant to relay civil disobedience. The next step to hack buildings, choosing significant places and occupying them to make sure politicians speak about major and everyday housing problems.
Tactic talk by Don Karl aka Stone (D)
The Arab uprisings triggered an explosion of graffiti and street art in the Middle East. Graffiti has been one of the most important tools to express public dissent. Thus walls become the interactive newspaper of the people. In Syria everything started with kids writing graffiti on school walls, while a popular political street art movement formed in Egypt. Artists were detained in many countries throughout the region and in Libya and Syria were even tortured and killed.