PREDICTABLY UNPREDICTABLE

A FESTIVAL OF THE FUTURE LAB

On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the Wiener Festwochen festival is inviting participants to sketch out scenarios for possible futures. As part of a four-day lab session, researchers and students from five universities, artists, and members of the public will come together to consider the positioning of festivals yesterday, today and tomorrow, in lectures and discussions as well as performance, installation and acoustic interventions. With the help of the Festwochen archive, they will retrace the festival’s chequered history and, together, draw up visions of the Festival of the Future: as a place of planned unpredictability.

Location brut nordwest
Date
9 - 12 September

ADMISSION FREE

Registration by indicating the days on which you wish to take part, along with your name and phone number at festivallabor@festwochen.at

On the terrain vague of the disused Nordwestbahnhof railway station, four topics are to be explored across four days (attended individually or successively). The focus will be firmly on unpredictable encounters. At the Tandem Talks, experts in all sorts of fields – from art to robotics and architecture – will meet for the first time. Choreographer Anne Juren will get each day underway with an imaginary quest for the ‘fantastical anatomies’ of any festival. Young authors will dispatch participants on a sci-fi audio walk. And researchers from various disciplines ranging from cultural studies to sociology will report back on their encounters with the past among the Festwochen archives.

Moderation Nicola Scherer Scientific accompaniment Theresa Eisele

  • Nicola Scherer

    Artist, curator, and culture manager Nicola Scherer teaches and conducts research into festival studies at the University of Hildesheim. Her dissertation focused on international theatre festivals and their strategies with regard to cultural policy. Since 2006, she has performed with the ‘space ensemble’ collective in, among others, Berlin, Braunschweig, Vienna and San Francisco.

  • Theresa Eisele

    Theresa Eisele is a theatre scholar and author. She studied in Leipzig, Madrid and Vienna, and is currently conducting research on the history of theatre in Vienna in the modern era and theatre-based thought models that pertain to society. In 2021 she became a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Theatre Studies at the Free University Berlin. Her book Szenen der Wiener Moderne. Drei Artefakte und ihre Vorstellungswelten des Jüdischen was recently published as part of the Leipzig toldot series.

9 September
Unpredictable Space(s)
10 September
Unpredictable Encounter(s)
11 September
Unpredictable Time(s)
12 September
Unpredictable Practice(s)
© Yona Schuh / Humayan Memon
© Carlo Favero und Tim Driven
© Bea Borgers / Sony Al Inc
© Elfi Semotan
© Heinz Holzmann / Helga Novotny
© Claudia Bosse
© Christian Werner

9 September
UNPREDICTABLE SPACE(S) Thursday, 10am to 6pm

Festival spaces are as real as they are imaginary. Where does the festival of the future take place? What thought spaces does it open up? To what sort of content and aesthetics does it lend space? Experts in scenography, urban planning, architecture, sociology, and journalism will examine the festival’s relationship with the city, take an inquisitive look at non-Western concepts of public space, and situate the festival of the future.

And stay tuned! Information on each day’s programme is continually updated.

  • 12pm Fantasmical Anatomies for the Future I

    Performance

    With her Fantasmical Anatomies series, choreographer Anne Juren has for years been exploring the power of embodied knowledge. The body can be understood not just as an archive and memory. For Juren it is the only place to think about and sense the future. Fantasmical Anatomies for a Future is a series of corporeal lessons as poetic, fantastic and speculative choreographies that mark the start of every single day. So what does the future feel like?

    Language English

    By and with Anne Juren

    Viennese choreographer, dancer, and performer Anne Juren is originally from Grenoble. Since 2015 she has been developing artistic works as part of her ongoing therapeutic and choreographic research that expands the concept of choreography by incorporating the body in various physical, poetic and speculative experiences. A Feldenkrais practitioner, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

  • 12.30pm Disorder, Difference, Improvisation

    Discourse

    What sort of impulses do the city’s spaces provide for a festival such as the Wiener Festwochen and how does it inscribe itself in the urban space? Social scientists from the University of Vienna share the findings of their joint research in which they examine the interactions between the urban space and a cultural festival. Using urbanistic themes they contrast and compare drafts from the past with the uncertain and the new. In doing so, they bring to the fore internal and external boundaries, the spaces in-between and the areas of shadow, enhancements and enrichments, transformations as well as inclusions and exclusions.

    By and with students and lecturers of Institut für Soziologie & Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (Petra Herczeg, Christoph Reinprecht, Irina Kachapova, Oliver Wittich) / Universität Wien

  • 2pm Tandem-Talks

    Talk

    Artists meet up with experts of their choice in a series of public talks. Who will they be inviting to reflect together on the festival of the future? In an unpredictable encounter, they will meet publicly for the first time and search for common visions, but from very different perspectives.

    Elke Krasny in conversation with Marvi Mazhar
    Jozef Wouters in conversation with Sandi Hilal

    Language English

    Elke Krasny is professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her research work focuses on issues pertaining to feminism, labour, the economy, ecology, and the politics of remembrance in architecture, urbanism, contemporary art, and art education; she is also co-editor of the book Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet.

    The work of Pakistani architect Marvi Mazhar combines visual studies, intervention, and spatial politics. In her work at Goldsmiths, University of London, she researches the potential of collaborative urban planning, based on the example of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.

    Jozef Wouters is a stage designer and theatre maker from Brussels. His works reference specific locations, triggering an exploration of strategic spaces, social processes, and the power of the imagination. He has been artist-in-residence at Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods since 2017.

    Sandi Hilal is an architect and educator. She is co-director of Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR), a renowned architectural and art collective founded in Palestine. In a refugee camp in Bethlehem she co-founded Campus in Camps, an experimental educational programme aiming to overcome conventional educational structures. Hilal initiated The Living Room, a series of spaces of hospitality that have the potential to subvert the role of guest and host.

  • 4pm Table Talks & Plenary Session

    Discourse

    The experts of the day will host small discussion groups in which the day’s contributions are discussed further. At the end of each afternoon all the participants and experts will come together to reflect on the day. What was said and thought? What remains? What will still be relevant tomorrow?

    Language German and English

  • all-day echo / ghost I

    Audiowalk

    Young authors present four audio walks based on the archive concept. On each of the four days, a different literary work of art invites participants to view familiar surroundings with new eyes. The focus is on the question of historiography as a creative, entertaining, but also violent act, and on what the authors’ writing might look like if it were able to gain access to back rooms, to examine the back of pictures in order to reshuffle the deck for the future.

    Language German

    By and with Institut für Sprachkunst (Gerhild Steinbuch) / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

  • all-day Between celebrating and capturing a festival

    Part of the Festwochen archive is actually on site, among the festival visitors themselves. ‘Do touch!’ is the motto: hands are allowed to reach in, pull out, open, twist, turn, examine – and perforate. The four-day interactive installation examines the archive’s holes, gaps, and the spaces in between. What is being kept? What is being discarded? How can an archive be brought to life in terms of performance? So get the ticker tape ready: the moment is about to tip into the future.

    By and with students and lecturers of Studiengang raum&designSTRATEGIEN (Larissa Meyer, Ton Matton, Franziska Schink) / University of Art and Design, Linz

10 September
UNPREDICTABLE ENCOUNTER(S) Friday 10am to 6pm

A festival creates encounters and establishes communities. How does the festival of the future trial new forms of coexistence? Who gets to meet who? And who is left out? How does a festival shape social togetherness, both within the context of its performances and beyond? Artists, robotics researchers, art and cultural mediators and other experts all enter into dialogue as they set about encountering the festival of the future – between physical and virtual co-presence and co-creation.

And stay tuned! Information on each day’s programme is continually updated.

  • 12pm Anatomies for the Future II

    Performance

    With her Fantasmical Anatomies series, choreographer Anne Juren has for years been exploring the power of embodied knowledge. The body can be understood not just as an archive and memory. For Juren it is the only place to think about and sense the future. Fantasmical Anatomies for a Future is a series of corporeal lessons as poetic, fantastic and speculative choreographies that mark the start of every single day. So what does the future feel like?

    Language English

    By and with Anne Juren

    Viennese choreographer, dancer, and performer Anne Juren is originally from Grenoble. Since 2015 she has been developing artistic works as part of her ongoing therapeutic and choreographic research that expands the concept of choreography by incorporating the body in various physical, poetic and speculative experiences. A Feldenkrais practitioner, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

  • 12.30pm Who actually cares about the Wiener Festwochen?

    Discourse

    Who attends? Who attended? Who was invited then, and now? Artists as well as art and cultural mediators present the findings of their research project, which takes a critical look at the inclusion and exclusion mechanisms of urban festivals. A performative retracing of those present and absent, based on archival research, artistically-based survey methods, and public interventions in the run-up.

    By and with students and lecturers of MAE Master of Arts Education (Peter Spindler, Susanne Wolfram) / Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien

    Language German

  • 2pm Tandem-Talks

    Talk

    Artists meet up with experts of their choice in a series of public talks. Who will they be inviting to reflect together on the festival of the future? In an unpredictable encounter, the two will meet publicly for the first time and search for common visions, but from very different perspectives.

    Begüm Erciyas in conversation with Michael Spanger
    Wolfgang Zinggl / WochenKlausur in conversation with an expert of his choice

    Language German and English

    Turkish choreographer and performer Begüm Erciyas lives and works in Brussels. Her works often revolve around sound and voice, enabling audiences to enjoy paradoxical experiences ranging from collective to solitude. Her work Letters from Attica is on show at the 2021 Wiener Festwochen.

    Michael Spranger is a researcher at the Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc. in Tokyo – a think-tank on future technologies that blur the boundaries of science, technology, and society. He specialises in autonomous robotics and is a co-artist on Das Fremde – an ongoing art project focusing on cultural identity and machines.

    The group WochenKlausur creates art, but without formal works, and therefore a novel concept of art. It shapes human coexistence and, in its projects, reduces socio-political deficits. A case in point was the establishment, in 1993, of a medical care centre for the homeless at Vienna’s Secession.

  • 4pm Table Talks & Plenary Sessions

    Discourse

    The experts of the day will host small discussion groups in which the day’s contributions are discussed further. At the end of each afternoon all the participants and experts will come together to reflect on the day. What was said and thought? What remains? What will still be relevant tomorrow?

    Language German and English

  • all-day echo / ghost II

    Audiowalk

    Young authors present four audio walks based on the archive concept. On each of the four days, a different literary work of art invites participants to view familiar surroundings with new eyes. The focus is on the question of historiography as a creative, entertaining, but also violent act, and on what the authors’ writing might look like if it were able to gain access to back rooms, to examine the back of pictures in order to reshuffle the deck for the future.

    Language German

    By and with Institut für Sprachkunst (Gerhild Steinbuch) / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

  • all-day Between celebrating and capturing a festival

    Part of the Festwochen archive is actually on site, among the festival visitors themselves. ‘Do touch!’ is the motto: hands are allowed to reach in, pull out, open, twist, turn, examine – and perforate. The four-day interactive installation examines the archive’s holes, gaps, and the spaces in between. What is being kept? What is being discarded? How can an archive be brought to life in terms of performance? So get the ticker tape ready: the moment is about to tip into the future.

    By and with students and lecturers of Studiengang raum&designSTRATEGIEN (Larissa Meyer, Ton Matton, Franziska Schink) / University of Art and Design, Linz

11 September
UNPREDICTABLE TIME(S) Saturday 10am to 6pm

A festival is about time fashioned, with the past and the future, tradition and innovation culminating in the festival’s present. How does the festival of the future relate to a society’s time economy? How does it define contemporaneity? Dramaturges, curators and sociologists, art and cultural scholars, and experts in critical studies set out in search of a festival in touch with the times.

And stay tuned! Information on each day’s programme is continually updated.

  • 12pm Anne Juren: Fantasmical Anatomies for the Future III

    Performance

    With her Fantasmical Anatomies series, choreographer Anne Juren has for years been exploring the power of embodied knowledge. The body can be understood not just as an archive and memory. For Juren it is the only place to think about and sense the future. Fantasmical Anatomies for a Future is a series of corporeal lessons as poetic, fantastic and speculative choreographies that mark the start of every single day. So what does the future feel like?

    Language English

    By and with Anne Juren

    Viennese choreographer, dancer, and performer Anne Juren is originally from Grenoble. Since 2015 she has been developing artistic works as part of her ongoing therapeutic and choreographic research that expands the concept of choreography by incorporating the body in various physical, poetic and speculative experiences. A Feldenkrais practitioner, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

  • 12.30pm The project and its Time

    Discourse

    There was a time when the festival, as a temporary event, was tasked with countering established institutions with experimental projects. But once project culture itself has become a dominant format, the exception becomes the rule. Is the institutionalisation of festival culture tantamount to the establishment of precarious conditions? Can the festival narrative be sustained as an institution-critical corrective? How does it need to be rethought? Artists as well as art and cultural scholars take a critical look at these changes.

    Language German

    By and with students and lecturers of Institut für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften & Institut für Kunst und Architektur (Leonie Huber, Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Andreas Spiegl)/ Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

  • 2pm Tandem-Talks

    Talk

    Artists meet up with experts of their choice in a series of public talks. Who will they be inviting to reflect together on the festival of the future? In an unpredictable encounter, the two will meet publicly for the first time and search for common visions, but from very different perspectives.

    N.N in conversation with an expert of his/her choice
    Alexandra Althoff in conversation with Helga Nowotny

    Language German

    Dramaturge and theatre scholar Alexandra Althoff is deputy artistic director at Vienna’s Burgtheater and a member of the RAUM+ZEIT artists’ collective, which creates stage productions and installations that toy with the logic of a consistent space-time continuum and the inner world of perception.

    Helga Nowotny is professor emerita at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and former president of the European Research Council (ERC). Her books Eigenzeit [Time: The Modern and Postmodern Experience] (1987) and Eigenzeit. Revisited (2016) have been translated into several languages. Helga Nowotny has been a member of the International Society for the Study of Time for many years and was its president from 1992 to 1995.

  • 4pm Table Talks / Plenary Session

    Discourse

    The experts of the day will host small discussion groups in which the day’s contributions are discussed further. At the end of each afternoon all the participants and experts will come together to reflect on the day. What was said and thought? What remains? What will still be relevant tomorrow?

    Language German and English

  • all-day echo / ghost III

    Audiowalk

    Young authors present four audio walks based on the archive concept. On each of the four days, a different literary work of art invites participants to view familiar surroundings with new eyes. The focus is on the question of historiography as a creative, entertaining, but also violent act, and on what the authors’ writing might look like if it were able to gain access to back rooms, to examine the back of pictures in order to reshuffle the deck for the future.

    Language German

    By and with Institut für Sprachkunst (Gerhild Steinbuch) / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

  • all-day Between celebrating and capturing a festival

    Part of the Festwochen archive is actually on site, among the festival visitors themselves. ‘Do touch!’ is the motto: hands are allowed to reach in, pull out, open, twist, turn, examine – and perforate. The four-day interactive installation examines the archive’s holes, gaps, and the spaces in between. What is being kept? What is being discarded? How can an archive be brought to life in terms of performance? So get the ticker tape ready: the moment is about to tip into the future.

    By and with students and lecturers of Studiengang raum&designSTRATEGIEN (Larissa Meyer, Ton Matton, Franziska Schink) / University of Art and Design, Linz

12 September
UNPREDICTABLE PRACTICE(S) Sunday 10am to 6pm

How does the festival of the future go about taking the plunge into the unknown, but with a sense of curiosity and fun? How does it trigger open-ended processes, create flexible production conditions, and encourage artists to take risks? Theatre-makers and choreographers embark on a search for new models of artistic production. Art and cultural scholars and artists who work with space, media, photography, and language explore the requirements and conditions of creative output.

And stay tuned! Information on each day’s programme is continually updated.

  • 12pm Fantasmical Anatomies for the Future IV

    Performance

    With her Fantasmical Anatomies series, choreographer Anne Juren has for years been exploring the power of embodied knowledge. The body can be understood not just as an archive and memory. For Juren it is the only place to think about and sense the future. Fantasmical Anatomies for a Future is a series of corporeal lessons as poetic, fantastic and speculative choreographies that mark the start of every single day. So what does the future feel like?

    Language English

    By and with Anne Juren

    Viennese choreographer, dancer, and performer Anne Juren is originally from Grenoble. Since 2015 she has been developing artistic works as part of her ongoing therapeutic and choreographic research that expands the concept of choreography by incorporating the body in various physical, poetic and speculative experiences. A Feldenkrais practitioner, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

  • 12.30pm Thinks today, ready tomorrow

    Discourse

    How does a festival represent an idea? How does an artistic production create a community? What grows in the shadows cast by beacons of light? Based on Wiener Festwochen events (Das tiefe Kehlchen by Martin Kippenberger 1991, and Bitte liebt Österreich by Christoph Schlingensief 2000) and other examples of community-building artistic productions, artists and theorists examine the spectrum that lies between uniqueness and interchangeability, between forum and elite, between quality and sham – as well as the question of what the festival means in the name of the institution that has dedicated itself entirely to its city: ‘Immortal Vienna’, as it was once again called in 1951.

    Language German

    By and with students and lecturers of Institut für Kunst- und Wissenstransfer (Götz Leineweber) / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

  • 2pm Tandem-Talks

    Talk

    Artists meet up with experts of their choice in a series of public talks. Who will they be inviting to reflect together on the festival of the future? In an unpredictable encounter, the two will meet publicly for the first time and search for common visions, but from very different perspectives.

    Claudia Bosse in conversation with an expert of her choice
    N.N in conversation with an expert of his / her choice

    Language German and English

    Claudia Bosse is the director of theatercombinat, a production company specialising in independent performance and theatre art whose space-specific works take on different forms and are created over time periods ranging from one week to four years in cities such as Vienna, Tunis, Cairo, Jakarta and New York. She sees her choreographies as the art of a temporary community, addressing history and exploring utopian ideas. Since 2011, she has also been creating installation works that deal with archives and collections.

  • 4pm Table Talks & Plenary Session

    Discourse

    The experts of the day will host small discussion groups in which the day’s contributions are discussed further. At the end of each afternoon all the participants and experts will come together to reflect on the day. What was said and thought? What remains? What will still be relevant tomorrow?

    Language German and English

  • all-day echo / ghost IV

    Audiowalk

    Young authors present four audio walks based on the archive concept. On each of the four days, a different literary work of art invites participants to view familiar surroundings with new eyes. The focus is on the question of historiography as a creative, entertaining, but also violent act, and on what the authors’ writing might look like if it were able to gain access to back rooms, to examine the back of pictures in order to reshuffle the deck for the future.

    Language German

    By and with Institut für Sprachkunst (Gerhild Steinbuch) / Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien

  • all-day Between celebrating and capturing a festival

    Part of the Festwochen archive is actually on site, among the festival visitors themselves. ‘Do touch!’ is the motto: hands are allowed to reach in, pull out, open, twist, turn, examine – and perforate. The four-day interactive installation examines the archive’s holes, gaps, and the spaces in between. What is being kept? What is being discarded? How can an archive be brought to life in terms of performance? So get the ticker tape ready: the moment is about to tip into the future.

    By and with students and lecturers of Studiengang raum&designSTRATEGIEN (Larissa Meyer, Ton Matton, Franziska Schink) / University of Art and Design, Linz

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