The Art of Assembly

30. November 2023
18.00 CET
Black Box Theatre, Oslo
& online live stream

In partnership with Black box teater, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Onassis Stegi and Astrup Fearnley Museum.
The Art of Assembly XXVI
With Fabio Cervi / Earshot, Atiyyah Khan, Brandon LaBelle & Xenia Koghilaki
Hosted by Florian Malzacher
Acoustic spaces play a part in defining borders and creating communities. While they fundamentally influence the shaping of public space, their ideological underpinnings, power structures and implications are often unacknowledged. The 26th edition of The Art of Assembly investigates how reconfiguring sonic environments and practices might lead to new modes of listening and the questioning of cultural hegemonies. Sound theorist Brandon LaBelle engages notions of social equality and acoustic justice, pointing out ways in which listening norms and conventions affect community-building and social participation. Architect and musician Fabio Cervi discusses his work as assistant audio investigator at Earshot, an agency founded by artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Earshot conducts sonic investigations for communities affected by corporate, state, and environmental injustice. Xenia Koghilaki examines crowd rituals and intensity in concerts and other musical situations, exploring collective movement as a means of resistance. Arts journalist and DJ Atiyyah Khan digs up lost histories of how South African jazz musicians mobilised communities and unconventional venues during apartheid, creating spaces of political resistance and joy.
With Ahmed Al-Nawas, andcompany&Co., Athena Athanasiou, Marco Baravalle, Anna Clara Basilicò / Rise Up For Climate Justice, Merve Bedir, Kent Bye, Z. Blace, Claire Bishop, Claudia Bosse, Tania Bruguera, Judith Butler, Teodor Celakoski, Fabio Cervi / Earshot, Phil Collins, Jodi Dean, Die Vielen, Radha D’Souza, Mette Edvardsen, Didier Eribon, Marcelo Expósito, Caitlin Fisher, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius / raumlaborberlin, Michael Gabriel, Nuría Güell, Anne Hahn, Max Haiven, Michael Hardt, Satu Herrala, Miriam Ibrahim, Lisa Ito-Tapang / Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Edit Kaldor, Wolfgang Kaleck, Atiyyah Khan, Xenia Koghilaki, jaamil olawale kosoko, Brandon LaBelle, Pedro Lasch, Oliver Marchart, Renzo Martens, Markus Miessen, Alia Mossallam, Chantal Mouffe, David Mulder van der Vegt, Antonio Negri, Ingo Niermann / Army of Love, Ahmet Öğüt, Marina Otero Verzier, Sibylle Peters, Julia Ramírez-Blanco, Milo Rau, Oliver Ressler, Sarah Rothberg, Reyhan Şahin aka Lady Bitch Ray, Madlyn Sauer, School of Resistance, Tino Sehgal, Jonas Staal, Corina Stan, Nora Sternfeld, The Church of Stop Shopping, The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii), Lotte van den Berg, Eva von Redecker, Sarah Waterfeld/Staub zu Glitzer, Dana Yahalomi / Public Movement, Ann Liv Young et al.

Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Whether in Tunis, Cairo, Madrid, or Lisbon, in Athens, New York, London, or Istanbul, in post-Fukushima Tokyo, in the midst of Niemeyer’s iconic parliamentary architecture in Brasilia, under the umbrellas of Hong Kong, or on the streets of Minneapolis: social and political movements of recent years have often been characterised by their search for alternative forms of gathering, of arguing and making decisions, of negotiating community and society. The potential of these assemblies lies in more than just the demands they put forward; many of them change reality merely by practicing radical models of democracy.

The arts have also shown a renewed interest in concepts of gathering and creating public spheres in which society is not only mirrored but constantly tried out, performed, tested, reimagined, or even reinvented: Court hearings on artistic freedom, religion, and censorship; tribunals on exploitation and violence; summits on climate change or cultural policy; parliaments allowing those who are usually silenced to speak… Theatre in particular has become a stage for assemblies on the fine line between art and reality, a democratic arena of radical imagination.

But what is the future this concept of gathering has ahead of it after months in a state of emergency that has thrown pretty much all areas of social life out of step? Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly brings together protagonists from various fields of art, politics and theory to speculate on the potential of assembly in a time of experiencing that nothing is certain – a time in which every form of physical togetherness has become precarious.

“The Art of Assembly” is based on:
Florian Malzacher. The Art of Assembly. Polical Theatre Today.
Berlin: Alexander Verlag, 2020/23.