truth is concrete


While the machine of the marathon is running and running, several projects in the camp have their own speed and logic: a mapping of camp relations, a discoursive hairdresser, a resilient garden, a radio spreading the word, a mobile video archive and a pirated library …

The Camp

raumlaborberlin (D)
Opernring 5-7, 8010 Graz / Austria

For raumlaborberlin, building in an age in which the Holocene era has long since given way to the man-made Anthropocene era, when the sediments of the waste products of civilisation by far exceed those of nature, means building with materials that do not need to be newly produced. With material intended for recycling, or with things that have reached the end of their useful lifecycle.
But building a camp for this steirischer herbst also means building for artists, activists, theorists, for visitors, for the city of Graz, for its inhabitants. Building for content, building for the 24/7 enjoyment of being there, giving and taking, discussing, thinking for yourself, learning something new, having a different opinion, having a place where you can be left alone for a while, so as to be able to carry on watching, listening, singing along, getting tired, fighting it. Get a breath of air, go back in, take a break, moan about everything, grab a bite to eat, go to bed.
raumlaborberlin, who transformed the Joanneum into a festival centre at the 2008 steirischer herbst, gives the marathon camp a flexible form, linking the two buildings, the Thalia and Opernring 7, creating a landscape for working and living, a landscape that wants to be used. Not a turnkey facility handed over when the festival begins, but one that is constantly changing during the course of the marathon camp. And which will afterwards proudly sport the scars of a bustling week of living and working.


Camp: Exhibition space
21/09 (2 pm) - 28/09 (4 pm)
00.00 - 24.00
Guided tours

Fri 21/09, 4.30 pm  / 22/09 - 27/09, 12 noon, 2 pm, 4 pm & 6 pm  / Fri 28/09, 12 noon & 2 pm

The question as to the relationship between art and politics is not only directed towards the outside. It also addresses the institution itself and its curatorial practice: therefore, the Prague-based exhibition-makers Zbyněk Baladrán and Vit Havránek see themselves more as inviters in this project: in a communal process, they not only develop the form, but also the main topic of “Adaptation” together with the artists – a laboratory for new paradigms, structures, hierarchies and forms of collaboration rather than an exhibition, a collective process that begins long before the opening and that will continue long after it has ended.
Alternative models of society and collaboration are the thematic bookends, which will also be put to the test. A collection of material put together by everyone will be constantly adapted, with groups arranging and rearranging themselves, anew creating joint and separate output. “Adaptation” creates an open space within the institutional art system, both for the artists and curators taking part and for visitors, who become co-authors.
More on Adaptation on the festival's website:

The Mobile Archive – Video library

Camp: Videoarchiv

The Mobile Archive of the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon is a nomadic, ever-growing video library that has been on tour since 2001. The films – mostly from the Middle East, the Balkans and Eastern Europe – focus on questions of identity, ethnicity, nationalism and hidden power structures. Every host adds their own selection of videos, before the collection moves on. The Mobile Archive is freely accessible and usable throughout steirischer herbst. The Archive-Cinema will be forging its own links to the leitmotif of the festival with the aid of selected films.

Camp Library

The Piracy Project (GB)
Camp: Library

The Piracy Project is an international publishing and exhibition activity, exploring the philosophical, legal and practical implications of book piracy. A collection of modified, appropriated and copied books from artists all over the world is a starting point for conversations around the concepts of originality, authorship and ownership.
For "Truth is concrete" The Piracy Project asks participants and speakers and audience of the marathon to provide books they have engaged with by adding thoughts, replies, challenges or any other alterations in the form of, for instance, annotations, underlined passages or ripped-out pages. These books make visible hidden dialogues between authors and their readers. Facsimiles of the original books will be produced and added to the camp library which will be open to the public during the whole festival.

Garden of biological disobedience

Katherine Ball (USA)
Camp: Bloghouse

How can nature strike back as a form of civil disobedience? This emergent common land of disobedient mushrooms, plants and insects will incubate ink cap mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) punching through pavement, crazy Raspberry ants (Paratrechina sp. near pubens) infesting electronics and pigweed (Amaranthus) sprouting as a Roundup immune weed. It also serves as a natural hatchery, seed library, and spawn dispensary to gather and to discuss ethical and ecological ramifications of biological disobedience.
Open call for contributions to the Garden of biological disobedience: //

Studio 24/7 – Radio

Radio Helsinki 92,6 (A)
Camp: Bloghouse

Graz-based community radio station Radio Helsinki is broadcasting to the world from the Bloghouse outside the camp: together with other international community radio stations and artists of the marathon camp, the programme will feature news broadcasts and discussions, interviews and experimental programmes.

Mobile Salon – Hairdresser

The HairCut Before The Party (GB)
Klosterwiesgasse 5, 8010 Graz / Free haircut, 3 pm - 7 pm

The hairdresser’s as a social place, the barber as a political interlocutor – The HairCut Before The Party collective formed in 2009 while sharing the collective experience of house squatting. In their temporary salons, the barber’s chair acts as a means of communication: while the haircut is free, customers are asked to take part in an open discussion about society and politics. Everyone is invited to come along, to get a cut or to simply join in the conversation.

Network map of tactics & Network map of collaborations

Burak Arikan (TR)

Each contributor to “Truth is Concrete” was asked to provide a list of tactics they’ve been using in their practice and a list of other marathon participants that they‘ve worked with in the past. These lists of tactics and collaborators were turned into two separate maps.The network maps organise themselves by running as a software simulation, where the tactics and names naturally find their position on the canvas through connecting forces, revealing the central actors, indirect links, tight clusters, structural holes and outliers.


Interviews, Bibliography, Videos, …

Video documentation

Tactic talks, lectures, panels, …

Truth is concrete

A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics
Second edition January 2015