Can art serve as an effective instrument for conceiving utopian alternatives? And how can it avoid being instrumentalised? In an escLAB international artists develop potential answers, raise questions and generate new synergies.
With CN:FM (GB), etc – Eclectic Tech Carnival, FemHack (CA), GreenNet (GB), Maschen (AT), Mzbaltazar‘s Laboratory (AT), THF – Transhackfeminist Meeting
Our time may quite rightfully be described as the sum total of all the dystopias of the past fifty years. Whatever Orwell and Co. imagined has come true and some things are even worse than expected. Feelings of fear and powerlessness are deliberately fanned, with political and economic powers using terror attacks, migration crises and the concomitant sense of uncertainty and danger, to call for more efficient surveillance, increased weapon production and so on, boosting their businesses and increasing their profits.
The “Zerstören” project deals with the questions raised by this situation: Could an analysis of the exploitative processes and catastrophes that characterise our dystopian world engender new, even more artful deals and speculations? Does the description of misery and suffering offer a kind of vicarious action that relieves us from taking action in real life?
And last but not least: Can we escape a dystopian matrix, five hundred years after Thomas More’s “Utopia”, the origin of the utopian concept, was published? Can we write a new programme? Is art, in all its facets and implications, an effective instrument, a utopian island? esc medien kunst labor invites collectives from various artistic disciplines to discuss these questions in an escLAB in Graz. The results will be presented in the exhibition rooms of esc medien kunst labor as part of the steirischer herbst festival: Collective processes consisting of individual approaches that complement each other productively.