Do You Hear Me When You Sleep?
MAK NITE Lab
Tue, 09.12.2014, 8.00 PM–10.00 PM
MAK Columned Main Hall
A roundtable discussion organized by Ana Dokić, Marc Neelen (STEALTH.unlimited, Rotterdam/Belgrade) and Stefan Gruber (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)
Viennas recent wave of urbanization, euphorically referred to as the second Gründerzeit, is embedded in a discourse that aims at positioning Vienna as a global player in a European competition of cities. Indeed Vienna is growing and is to reach the magic number of 2 Million inhabitants by 2030.
At the same time, and somewhat ironically, the city also continues to affirm its Red-Vienna legacy and its commitment to welfare policies. But with the century-mark of what can be seen as the emergence of Viennas public welfare program getting into sight, signs are out that change is immanent. An accumulation of triggers is step-by-step embracing the city: the on-going financialization of urban centres around the world, the tightening of EU regulatory frameworks on Viennas public policies, the electoral shift that is affecting the political balance in the city, demographic changes that gradually erode its welfare system - to name just a few.
That it could profoundly affect the city is clear. Just what type of change will it trigger, and how deep it will carve its traces into the urban life of its citizens, is still up for debate. Remarkably, not much of what seems to be heading to Vienna is being brought up to public discussion. Are Viennas long-held mantle of comfort and the achievements of a century of nearly uninterrupted Social Democratic rule blinding its citizens? Or what could possibly make Vienna immune to the crisis that are ravaging many of its European neighbors?
The ongoing Hypo-Alpe-Adria debacle has shown once more that denial is no long term solution. Still, we seem innately inert until we hit the wall. Thus the MAK NITE Lab is an exercise in constructing the likelihood of an upcoming Viennese crisis, in order to start thinking of possible alternate futures.
It is a roundtable discussion, or speculation rather, organized by Ana Dokić, Marc Neelen (STEALTH.unlimited, Rotterdam/Belgrade) and Stefan Gruber (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna) with guests: Andreas Rumpfhuber (architect and researcher, provocative thinker on spatial strategies), Andreas Exner (ecologist), and others.
Guest curator Maria Lind, VIENNA BIENNALE 2015
The MAK NITE Lab with STEALTH.unlimited is the last of a three-part series in 2014, guest-curated by Maria Lind, Director Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, in connection with her upcoming group exhibition for VIENNA BIENNALE 2015. The first evening of this series in April hosted a talk by Brian Kuan Wood (Is it Love?, e-flux journal 2009) and a film screening by Marysia Lewandowska (Museum Futures, 2008). The second MAK NITE Lab in November featured a talk by Fernando García-Dory On art, agriculture, and the countryside: possible futures of existing initiatives in the fields.