Vienna Austria

A New Social Action Holocaust Memorial Project

This post comes to you from Cultura21

the-vienna-project-300x110October 2013 – May 2014, The Vienna Project, Austria

The project is to be situated on the streets of Vienna and along the Danube Canal. Forging a dynamic relationship between different disciplines: art, video, typography, web design, street theater, sound art, history, archival research, and Holocaust education, The Vienna Project is envisioned as a “living” memorial based on a participatory model of engagement.

Developed through dialogue as a citizen-led initiative, The Vienna Project is a “process-based” expression of remembrance. The Vienna Project marks the 75th anniversary year of the Anschluss in 1938, when racial persecution officially began in Austria; it will conclude on V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day). The memorial project unfolds over the course of six months as a dynamic series of performative events, dedicated to stimulating fresh conversations in novel formats regarding the Holocaust and National Socialism.

For more information about the project : click here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Sociology of the Arts – Artistic Practices

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Vienna

5th to 8th of September 2012

Call for Papers: The 7th Conference of the Research Network Sociology of the Arts, which is part of the European Sociological Association (ESA), takes place from the 5th to the 8th of September 2012 in Vienna, Austria. The conference will be organised by the Institute for Music Sociology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and is an event in a biannual rhythm since 2000. The key aim of these conferences is to enable collaboration and scholarly exchange between art sociologists and other scholars of the arts, and to support the presentation of new research projects. Furthermore, inspiration for the further development of the sociology of the arts can be seen as a goal.

The invited four key speakers, Karlheinz Essl (composer), Nathalie Heinich (sociologist), Theodore Schatzki (philosopher) and Laurent Thévenot (sociologist) will focus their speeches on artistic practices. The conference welcomes participants and papers on all core areas of arts sociology.  (Please find the PDF file of the call for papers at the bottom of this post.)
Experienced as well as young scholars from various disciplines sensitive to social inquiries into the arts are invited to participate in the conference. Their presentations can be related to following fields:

  1. Sociology focused on particular domains in arts including architecture, urban planning, applied arts, arts within the domain of popular culture (e.g. film, television, and popular music) as well as traditional ‘high’ arts (e.g. music, visual arts, literature, theatre, etc.).
  2. The process of production, distribution, promotion and commercialisation of works of art including the impact of technology, new means of production, forms of collaboration, the formation of art theory, the development of arts markets, process of valuation etc.
  3. The process of presentation and mediation of arts including art criticism and publicity in all domains of the arts, museums, theatres, concerts, audience studies, attitudes towards the audience, educational programs, etc.
  4. Professional development including amateurs and semi-amateurs, vocational education, art schools, professional differentiation, artistic income, artistic reputation, relation to arts management, etc.
  5. Arts organisations (not only houses such as museums, theatres but also festivals and artists’ unions) – investigation of historical development, power relations, effects, program selection, processes within the organisations such as gate-keeping, leadership, etc.
  6. Arts policy (especially the sociological aspects thereof) including legal issues, public and private funding, public discourse and debates (e.g. classification of art, arts and religious symbols, arts and sexuality, arts and racism), censorship, analysis of the impact of arts, sustainability, lobbying associations, cultural ministries or other government bodies.
  7. Social and cognitive effects of the arts including:  arts and identity formation, arts and bodies, aesthetic experience, arts and ethics, coding and decoding, gender related practices, ethnographic aspects, art for social transformation, arts in communities and arts as a part of urban culture.
  8. Arts from a macrosociological perspective including: (de-)institutionalisation, economisation, globalisation vs. localism, digitalisation, mediamorphosis, arts and social cohesion, arts and ethics, arts and hegemony and arts and power.
  9. Theoretical development in arts sociology such as the production of culture approach, (post-) structuralism, field theory, system theory, praxeology as well as methodological issues.

The deadline for submission is the 31st of January 2012.
Further information on the conference and about the application details can be found on the conference website.

The call for papers can be downloaded as PDF file here:

Call for Papers, Vienna 5-8 Sept.2012, ESA-RN02

For further details on the conference please contact zembylas [at] mdw [dot] ac [dot] at or tel. +43-1-71155-3617.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Synth-ethic vs Vandana Shiva

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Synth-ethic: Art and Synthetic Biology Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria.

Synthetic biology is at the scientific cutting edge, but also on the ethical edge.  The works in this exhibition explore that edge.  The curatorial essay starts with the principle that synthesis is one of the fundamental practices within art.  As the exhibition title suggests, when moving from mimesis to synthesising with the living, ethics need to be half the work.

Art has always involved synthesis. Uniting disparate elements, putting them into a collage to create new works, metaphors, sensory experiences, or aesthetic genres, however, is also inherent to a curiosity, present in every epoch, for finding new ways of creating with new expressive media. Those contemporary artists, who in recent years have begun to employ laboratory methods and biotechnology for their own purposes in new contexts and to modify living systems, are particularly “close to life”. Here, it would seem, the newly declared discipline of synthetic biology is well-suited to the task, seeking, as it does, not only to modify existing organisms but to design “life” anew, from the ground up. Yet, this biological science is not concerned with living beings but rather with components, circuits, and systems. The language of engineering has been shifted to biology. These new dimensions to our technical ability to act, however, call for a new ethical engagement concerning the question of how and whether we should act simply because we can. The exhibition synth-ethic offers perspectives on human intervention in biotechnology and the responsibility that arises with it. Artists appropriate these technologies for their own purposes, see through the mania of novelty and beyond the constraints of economics to examine the areas of tension between molecular biology and ecology, architecture and biochemistry, technology and nature, cybernetics and alchemy.

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But reading Vandana Shiva‘s text The Corporate Control of Life (Hatje Cantz, 2011) provides a different and significant critical perspective on these issues.  Shiva sets out the activist work of many years challenging the corporatisation of nature.  She articulates the powerful arguments against the application of IPR to biodiversity and the impact on farmers, women and indigenous people.  Underlying her argument is an epistemological position radically at odds with the economically driven epistemology of Western corporate and governmental cultures which she describes as biopiracy.  She says (2011, p8),

The rise  of reductionist science was linked with the commercialization of science and resulted in the domination of women and non-Western peoples.  Their diverse knowledge systems were not treated as legitimate ways of knowing.  With commercialization as the objective, reductionism becaue the criterion of scientific validity.  Nonreductionist and ecological ways of knowing, and nonreductionist and ecological systems of knowledge, were pushed out and marginalized.

The genetic-engineering paradigm is now pushing out the last remnants of ecological paradigms by redefining living organisms and biodiversity as “man-made” phenomena.  Patenting life was transformed into international law through the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In the context of this epistemological critique, artists need to step with care into the field of Synthetic Biology and the work of the Critical Art Ensemble is, amongst others, exemplary for demonstrating the potential for art to position itself as an effective counterpoint to corporate-political cultures.  One must question carefully the ability of artists to appropriate these technologies, and the form of appropriation must manifest the critique.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

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