Upcoming

19:30 CET

Berliner Festspiele / Germany
& online live stream

In coproduction with Theatertreffen / Berliner Festspiele

The Art of Assembly XXVIII
What Is to Be Done? Dealing with new-right cultural struggles

With Amelie Deuflhard, Oliver Frljić, Thomas Krüger & Joanna Warsza
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The net is tightening. What has long been a reality in other countries is also becoming increasingly noticeable in Germany – and not just in the east: new-right politicians are also gaining power in cultural policy, exerting pressure and threatening individual artists. For Amelie Deuflhard, director of the Kampnagel cultural centre in Hamburg, intimidation attempts by the AfD are part of everyday life. Theatre director Oliver Frljić has repeatedly provoked often violent reactions with his productions in Croatia, Serbia, Poland and Germany. Thomas Krüger, President of the German Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education), has been looking for strategies to counter the shift to the right for many years. Curator Joanna Warsza examines how the effects of eight years of national-conservative cultural policy in Poland are slowly being reversed following the victory of the opposition. The 28th edition of The Art of Assembly asks specifically what tactics and strategies we can learn from each other in dealing with far-right intimidation and political interventions.

Past Episodes

19:00 CET

Teatret Svalegangen, Aarhus / Denmark
& Online Live Stream

In coproduction with Aarhus University, Dramaturgy Department, Teatret Svalegangen & Aarhus Teater. Supported by Goethe-Institut Denmark

The Art of Assembly XXVII
The Arts as Playground for the Urban White Middle Class?

With Glenn Bech, Sahar Rahimi & Julia Wissert
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

For years, theatres, museums and other art institutions have been trying to broaden their audiences – with limited success: the (Western) art field still mainly assembles a white, urban middle class by protecting its borders through distinction and offering cultural capital to those who find access. The 27th edition of The Art of Assembly takes an intersectional look at persistent exclusions and privileges: Author and psychologist Glenn Bech, who used to be ashamed about his working-class roots, confronts a homophobic society as much as an urban arts scene that seeks to appropriate the gay writer from the provinces. Theatre-maker Sahar Rahimi raises the question of why classism is rarely openly discussed in the cultural sector: Is her work more determined by her working-class background or her refugee biography? Julia Wissert, the first Black director of a German city theatre, tries to turn Schauspiel Dortmund into an open, safer, and diverse space – backstage, onstage, and in the auditorium.

Podcast “The Arts as Playground for the Urban White Middle Class?”

18:00 CET

Black Box Teater Oslo / Norway
& online live stream

In partnership with Ultima, Black Box Teater and Astrup Fearnley Museum. Supported by the EEA Grants and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms as part of Transmissions, coordinated by Onassis Stegi

The Art of Assembly XXVI
Impacts of Sound – Sounds of Impact

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.

Podcast “Impacts of Sound – Sounds of Impact”

19:00 EET (18.00 CET)

WASP – Working Art Space, Bucharest / Romania
& online live stream

Organized by 4Culture Association, as part of EXPLORING PLUREALITIES

The Art of Assembly XXV
Assemblies of Individuals
Live Work in Non-Performance Spaces

With Mette Edvardsen & Tino Sehgal
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Theatres regulate space and time for their audiences and demand collective engagement. Other kinds of venues – like museums or libraries – are designed to separate and isolate even large crowds and promote liberal ideas of emancipation. Everyone decides for themselves how long they want to stay and engage. The 25th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at artistic approaches to assemblies in cultural places not originally intended for performance. Choreographer Mette Edvardsen looks for soft spaces where her discrete performances become a porous part of the environment, where performers and audiences are in more than one space at the same time. Artist Tino Sehgal has been working with the DNA of museums and the liberal assemblies created by exhibitions, which he uses for his constructed situations – thin lines that direct attention and gazes, choreographing the paths of the audience.

Podcast “Assemblies of Individuals. Live Work in Non-Performance Spaces”

23:00 CET (17:00 EDT)

Van der Heyden Theatre at the Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University, NC / USA
& online live stream

In partnership with Center for Social Choreography / Duke University

The Art of Assembly XXIV
Interwoven Bodies

With Michael Hardt, Michael Kliën, Pedro Lasch & Corina Stan
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

How do we deliberate before and beyond language, how do we create relations without words, how are our bodies determined by the spaces we are in? The 25th edition of The Art of Assembly takes place in the context of Michael Kliën’s Parliament, a social choreography in which citizen-performers work in silence to hold council amidst the elemental phenomena and fundamental concerns of collectively lived experience. Political philosopher and literature theorist Michael Hardt together with Antonio Negri coined the term “multitude”, describing a „multiplicity of singularities acting together“: a network that is neither homogeneous nor self-identical. Visual artist Pedro Lasch, director of the Social Practice Lab at Duke University, works with choreographies of festive gatherings, multiplatform social communication, and other artworks created through interaction. Literature scholar Corina Stan shows that relations are not only constructed by proximity but also by interpersonal distances that have shaped ethical thinking throughout modernity.

Podcast “Interwoven Bodies”

21:00 CET (15:00 EDT)

In the metaverse at nowhere.io
& online live stream

In partnership with Max Media Art Xploration & ONX Studio NYC / USA

The Art of Assembly XXIII
Gathering (in the) Cloud
Digital Performance Beyond Zoom

With Kent Bye, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko & Sarah Rothberg
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The pandemic introduced virtual gatherings into many people’s lives. Team meetings, activist assemblies, even theater performances were now attended from kitchen chairs, sofas, and beds. Both activists and performance makers (usually strong believers in the need for bodily presence) resorted to screens–and if only because there was no choice. Where are we now and what comes after Zoom? Is the metaverse more than a promise or threat? In this edition of The Art of Assembly we look at how performing arts are approaching digital realms. Journalist Kent Bye, who hosted hundreds of game developers, academics, creatives, and enthusiasts in the VR and AR fields on his podcast Voices of VR, offers a brief overview of virtual gatherings in art and activism. Jaamil Olawale Kosoko speaks about their virtual performance suite Chameleon: The Living Installments, exploring the fugitive realities of living at the intersection of digitality, Blackness and queerness. Sarah Rothberg introduces her playful VR/AR experiences and talks about the intersection of interactivity and performance.

Podcast “Gathering (in the) Cloud. Digital Performance Beyond Zoom”

19:00 CET

Playground, Labor Ateliers, Studio 3, Munich / Germany
& online live stream

In coproduction with Playground Munich

The Art of Assembly XXII
Provoke Me If You Can
The Crisis of Artistic Disturbances

With Núria Güell & Renzo Martens
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Provocations as a means of disturbance have long been part of artists’ as well as activists’ basic toolkits. But in a time when many already feel permanently snubbed, artistic provocations often seem stale and redundant. The demand for repair, care, and healing dominates artistic discourse. On the other hand, when climate activists glue themselves to highways or oil paintings, emotions run high throughout society. Meanwhile, the political far-right blatantly focuses on lowering inhibition thresholds: Continued taboo-breaking pushes the boundaries of what is say- and doable. Núria Güell’s artistic practice continuously challenges moral and legal conventions when, for example, she offers herself as a bride to random Cuban man who wants to get a Spanish passport, or when, in reverse, she tries to become stateless herself. Renzo Martens disturbed viewers with videos such as Enjoy Poverty in which he centered himself as a white man and propagated the self-gentrification of Congolese plantations. Meanwhile, however, his role as a performer as well as the relationship to the protagonists of his work has fundamentally changed. In time where confrontational practices are generally questioned, The Art of Assembly investigates how the concept of provocation has shifted in recent years.

Podcast “Provoke Me If You Can. The Crisis of Artistic Disturbances”

19:00 CET

brut Vienna / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XXI
The Power of Music

With Phil Collins, Anne Hahn, Reyhan Şahin aka Lady Bitch Ray
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Music is biggest business and at the same time a space for revolt against the status quo, the regulations and constraints of society. This edition of The Art of Assembly looks at the dissident side of music, how it can suggest alternative ways of living, create identities and foster feelings of belonging and support. Author Anne Hahn organized punk concerts in the GDR, lost her permission to study and later was imprisoned: East German sub-cultures were one of the few ways to carve out a bit of freedom within the system. For visual artist Phil Collins, who grew up in the North of Eng­land in the ’70s and ’80s, clubbing has always been political. He organised a disco-dance marathon in Palestine, worked with fans of The Smiths across three conti­nents, and recently released a benefit album of house music recorded with formerly incarcerated individuals. Linguist and author Reyhan Şahin aka Lady Bitch Ray – the most prominent and controversial female rapper in German language – lost her journalistic job fifteen years ago over lyrics that were considered as too sexually explicit. With her songs and writings she fights against racism, sexism and discrimination – and has proved that hard rap and feminism may well go together.

Podcast “The Power of Music” not available anymore due to copyright issues

19:00 CET

brut Vienna / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XX
Nous Accusons!
People's Tribunals Between Politics, Activism and Art

With Lisa Ito-Tapang / Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Wolfgang Kaleck & Madlyn Sauer
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Inspired by People’s Tribunals like the one organized by philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1966 to investigate American war crimes in the Vietnam war, but also by artistic influences such as Brecht’s learning plays or the popular agitprop theatre of the early Soviet Union, civic courts between activism and art have become a dramaturgical form and a political tool at the same time. The 20th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at concrete attempts to turn exercises of symbolic justice into concrete change: Art historian and activist Lisa Ito-Tapang threads through different historic people’s tribunals in the Philippines fighting against state terrorism till today. Wolfgang Kaleck, founding director of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and lawyer of dissidents like Edward Snowden, gives insights into Milo Rau’s Kongo Tribunal and connects the political and artistical with the legal struggle for human rights all over the world. Activist author and artist Madlyn Sauer shows, how the non-governmental tribunals, convened parallel to the state trials against the far-right terror group NSU in Germany use aesthetic and transformative means to practice other forms of recognition and justice.

Podcast “Nous Accusons! People’s Tribunals Between Politics, Activism and Art”

20:00 CEST

Theater Neumarkt, Zurich / Switzerland
& online live stream

In coproduction with Theater Neumarkt & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XIX
Safe vs. Brave?
Art Between Sanctuary and Confrontation

With Miriam Ibrahim, Edit Kaldor & Ingo Niermann / Army of Love
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Contemporary stages have often become places to exhibit one’s own injuries, traumas, or shame. Theater as a safer space – in the spirit of a concept that emerged in the USA in the 1960s in feminist and civil rights movements: A protected sphere in which one could communicate about one’s own experiences, goals, and strategies without already being confronted with permanent opposition from those who already dominate all discourses. But as important as protection against insult, injury, and re-traumatization is – doesn’t theater also have to be a space where there are no limits to freedom of expression, where everything can be discussed openly and radically? Perhaps, however, this oft-repeated juxtaposition is already following the wrong path.
In her work, the German-Ethiopian dramaturge and director Miriam Ibrahim repeatedly addresses issues of postcolonialism and racism, also questioning the institution of theater as a safe space. Hungarian-Dutch theatre maker Edit Kaldor’s Inventory of Powerlessness created a brave space for people with a wide range of experiences, which at the same time needs to be able to protect the protagonists when encountering an audience. German Artist Ingo Niermann and the Army of Love propagate the idea of redistribution of love with collective rituals of care and tenderness for both for the known and the unknown. This episode of The Art of Assembly asks how a theatre can be safer and braver at the same time – behind the scenes as well as on stage.

Podcast “Safe vs. Brave? Art Between Sanctuary and Confrontation”

19:00 CEST

Olympiapark Munich / Germany
& online live stream

In coproduction with raumlaborberlin & brut Vienna. In the frame of “Soft Democracies”

The Art of Assembly XVIII
Body Next to Body
Gathering Masses in Sport Events

With Z. Blace, Caitlin Davis Fisher & Michael Gabriel
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The energy of body next to body. The excitement of the game. Winning, loosing, bursts of emotions. Shouting, singing, yelling, joy, and anger – sometimes on the verge of violence. Elite sport events bring together masses of people across nations, they are gathering with an immense personal importance for many and at the same time highly politicized billion-dollar businesses, streamlined for maximum profits on the borders of legality. This edition of The Art of Assembly takes place 50 years after the Olympic games in Munich, right in the middle of the legendary Olympiapark, envisioned as an open, democratic, and egalitarian space but immediately drawn into the abyss of world politics. Artist and queer activist Z. Blace looks at how sport events could become owned by the community, counter-nationalist, counter-normative, gender-just and a sex-positive emancipatory experience. Caitlin Davis Fisher, a former professional athlete, works as movement researcher, artist and activist on gender, labor, the body, and community organizing in/with/through football. Expert in fan culture and social worker Michael Gabriel gives an insight into the cultural practices of the ULTRAS, claiming streets and stadiums with elaborated choreographies and the self-confidence of the masses.

Podcast “Body Next to Body. Gathering Masses in Sport Events”

20:00 EEST (19:00 CEST)

Uniarts Theatre Academy, Studio 1, Helsinki / Finland
& online live stream

In coproduction with Uniarts Theatre Academy Helsinki & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XVII
Assembling Knowledges

With Satu Herrala, Ahmet Öğüt & Lotte van den Berg
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

At least since Joseph Beuys’ legendary “International College for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research” artistic assemblies are also a playing field for the production and transfer of knowledge. The 17th edition of The Art of Assembly investigates along concrete artistic practices how tools and experiences from performing arts offer settings and strategies for unexpected communication and transversal education: Choreographer and curator Satu Herrala in her works focusses on embodied knowledges in artistic and curatorial work, creating conditions for art to summon collective and transformative agencies. Artist Ahmet Öğüt – initiator of the Silent University, a solidarity-based knowledge exchange platform by displaced people and forced migrants- often seeks his collaborators outside the art field. Theatre maker Lotte van den Berg, one of the initiators of the ongoing project Building Conversation, centers her practice around collective experiences and the relation between performance and social as well as ecological challenges. How can art offer spaces for empowerment and self-development?

Podcast “Assembling Knowledges”

19:00 CEST

Kunsthalle Vienna (Karlsplatz) / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with Kunsthalle Vienna & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XVI
Shifting Power
When Grassroots Movements Win Elections

With Athena Athanasiou, Teodor Celakoski & Marcelo Expósito
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

When activist movements gain momentum, even win elections after many years of struggle and work on the ground, there is a lot of enthusiasm – but also larger-than-life expectations. A diverse electorate with often very different expectations demands immediate and fundamental shifts of politics. The parties once in power just wait for any opportunity to attack. The former establishment uses its long-knit networks to slow down any transition. And former allies accuse the elected representatives of their compromises. So, what does it actually mean to govern, to change structures, work with a large administration, include the political base, and accomplish concrete change? Inspired by the impressive development of the Croatian movement “Možemo!” with its landslide victory in the Zagreb city elections in May 2021, in this edition of The Art of Assembly cultural worker and activist Teodor Celakoski describes the strategies used to achieve “Možemo!’s” success and talks about the difficulties to implement new policy. Artist, activist and former member of the Spanish parliament Marcelo Expósito gives insides in the struggles, achievements, and failures of Podemos and other citizens’ electoral organizations in Spain. Drawing on the trajectory of SYRIZA after winning the general election in Greece in 2015, philosopher Athena Athanasiou reflects on the general conditions activist movements are confronted with when coming to power.

Podcast “Shifting Power. When Grassroots Movements Win Elections”

19:00 CEST

brut Vienna / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XV
Parliaments of Things and Beings

With Alexander Karschnia / andcompany&Co. & Eva von Redecker
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The question of who or what has to be represented draws wider circles than most assemblies with their focus on humans. In his fundamental critique of modernity, the sociologist of science Bruno Latour sketched out a “parliament of things” as early as 1989, in which people, animals, plants, and objects jointly determine how they even could decide and how they want to live together. Thirty years later, Latour sums up, “The question is no longer to grand rights to non-humans, but to accept to be dependent on them.” But what does that actually mean? How can non-human representation look like, what would be a non-anthropocentric assembly? In the 15th edition of The Art of Assembly the theatre group andcompany&Co. praises the intelligence of insects and considers renaming itself ANTCOMPANY, while philosopher Eva von Redecker proposes a “revolution for life” in order to escape the prison of capitalism and find new forms of solidarity: Care instead of domination, regeneration instead of utilization, participation instead of exploitation.

Podcast “Parliaments of Things and Beings”

19:00 EST (00:00 CET)

Goethe-Institut New York City / USA
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut VIenna
In collaboration with Goethe-Institut: Performing Architecture

The Art of Assembly XIV
Audience as Allies, WItnesses and Enemies

With Claire Bishop, Tania Bruguera & Ann Liv Young
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Ever since the audience light in most Western theatres has been turned off in the 19th century artists have tried to push spectators out of their comfort zone again. The 14th episode of The Art of Assembly looks at radical approaches to audiences, turning them from spectators into participants, witnesses, collaborators, and enemies. Art theorist Claire Bishop reviews how the relationship between art and audience has changed in the decade that has passed since the first edition of her influential book Artificial Hells. Artist and activist Tania Bruguera has always challenged her audience to become active participants not only in her performances but also in society. The stage personas of theatre maker Ann Liv Young tend to come too close – physically as well as psychologically – attacking her audience and making herself attackable at the same time.

Podcast “Audience as Allies, Witnesses and Enemies”

20:00 CET

Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich / Germany
& online live stream

In coproduction with Münchner Kammerspiele & brut VIenna
In collaboration with Goethe Institut: Performing Architecture

The Art of Assembly XIII
Designing Politics
Architectures of Deliberation and Decision-Making

With Markus Miessen & David Mulder van der Vegt
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Times may change, but not so the venues of official democratic decision-making: opposing benches, a horseshoe, a circle, a semi-circle, or frontal classroom style – nearly all parliaments across the planet follow one of these spatial logics. But the shape of plenary halls not only create metaphors of representation they also organize and influence very concretely how disagreement, deliberation and decision making of legislative bodies work. The 13th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at what we can learn about how architecture shapes decision-making – and at what alternatives there might be. David Mulder van der Vegt, who has researched the design of the parliament halls of all 193 member states of the United Nations, reflects on the correspondence between their architecture and the type of political structure they represent; Markus Miessen proposes the concept of “crossbenching” as a practice of independent individuals acting without mandate, and without having to respond to a pre-supposed set of protocols or consensual arrangements.

Podcast “Designing Politics. Architectures of Deliberation and Decision-Making”

19:00 CET

Online live stream

In coproduction with School of Resistance / NT Gent & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly XII
Pitfalls of Representation
Assemblies in Theatre

With Milo Rau, Kasia Wojcik / School of Resistance, Isabelle Fremeaux & Jay Jordan / The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (labofii)
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Numerous theater makers and artists have been inspired by the concept and the performative reality of assembly in recent years, creating, directing, initiating trials, parliaments, congresses, summits and assemblies in white cubes and black boxes, on proscenium stages and public spaces. But the relationship between theatrical and political representation remains complicated. What are difference and proximity between physical presence within an art institution and on, for example, an occupied square? The 12th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at the often productive, often ambivalent relationship between art and activism, inviting three very different initiators of assemblies: Theater director Milo Rau believes in staging and realistic representation in his plays, while for his tribunals and trials he invented what he calls „symbolic institutions“; the School of Resistance uses theatrical settings but understands itself as an activist, not an artistic project; and the activists Isabelle Fremeaux and Jay Jordan are convinced: If you truly want to do politics, you have to desert the institution of art and entangle insurrectionary imagination into the everyday life of movements.

Podcast “Pitfalls of Representation. Assemblies in Theatre”

19:00 CET

brut Vienna / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna
In collaboration with Goethe Institut: Performing Architecture

The Art of Assembly XI
Architectures of Hospitality

With Merve Bedir, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius / raumlaborberlin & Marina Otero Verzier
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Hospitality – with all its seeming generosity – is a complex concept: Who is invited into our societies, our assemblies? What are the relationships between guests and hosts? Is unconditional hospitality possible? The architecture of public space, the infrastructures of coming together, the borders and thresholds around them inform how we come together, what is prevented from happening, what is possible. The 11th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at the physical relations of gatherings, how bodies and objects are organised, how radical concepts of democracy can be represented in space. Architect and researcher Merve Bedir since long researches infrastructures of hospitality and mobility as well of the residue of solidarity in urban and public space. For raumlaborberlin architecture is a tool, in search for a city of possibilities, considering themselves activists, operating within the urban landscape. And for architect and scholar Marina Otero Verzier is concerned with how the work of architects, in coordination with other social and institutional techniques, produces differential spaces that either facilitate or prevent their encounter of bodies.

Podcast “Architectures of Hospitality”

19:00 CET

Laboratorio Occupato Morion, Venice / Italy
& online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna
In collaboration with
Goethe Institut: Performing Architecture

The Art of Assembly X
The Politics of Multitude
Assemby as Strategy

With Anna Clara Basilicò / Rise Up For Climate Justice & Antonio Negri
Moderated by Marco Baravalle

Multitude is a „multiplicity of singularities acting together“ (Antonio Negri/Michael Hardt), „the many, seen as being many“ (Paolo Virno): a network that is neither homogeneous nor self-identical. The concept of the multitude is a counterproposal to the idea of the people, a revolutionary subject that is difficult to grasp or to define – and has been both praised and criticized for this openness. The 10th edition of The Art of Assembly looks at the role of the assembly as a tool and strategy for the multitude to make decisions and to communicate. Political theorist Antonio Negri revisits the concept he – together with Michael Hardt – popularized in the early 2000s while climate activist Anna Clara Basilicò looks at its potential for current movements.

Podcast “The Politicis of Multitude” (English)
Podcast “Politiche delle moltitudine” (Italiano)

20:00 CET

BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen / Norway
& online live stream

In coproduction with BIT Teatergarasjen Bergen & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly IX
Reassembling Institutions

With Ahmed Al-Nawas, Nora Sternfeld & Sarah Waterfeld / Staub zu Glitzer
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Can institutions be driving forces of change? Or are they doomed to be bastions of the status quo, capable of slow reforms at best? Arguments about institutions, instituting and institutionalizing are at the core of many progressive movements. But what would it actually mean to imagine institutions in a radical democratic way? How can we understand museums, theatres, galleries, festivals, biennales as assemblies – not only symbolically but by consequently re-negotiating their organizational structures?
Curator Ahmed Al-Nawas, focusing in his work on collaborative, anti-racist and de-colonizing practices, takes a close look at the role of authorship and representation within collectives. Nora Sternfeld, art educator and curator, negotiates the possibilities for a radical-democratic museum, imagining a future that is more than the mere extension of the present. And Sarah Waterfeld, part of the collective Staub zu Glitzer (Dust to Glitter) that occupied 2017 the Volksbühne in Berlin, demands a fundamental rethinking of the way the iconic theatre on Rosa-Luxemburg-Square is run.

Podcast “Reassembling Institutions”

19:00 CEST

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin / Germany
& online live stream

In coproduction with Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Berlin & brut Vienna. Supported by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

The Art of Assembly VIII
10 Years Occupy Wall Street

With Judith Butler & Max Haiven
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

About ten years ago the series of square occupations all over the world begun – after Tunis, Cairo, Athens, Madrid the wave swept over to New York. Mid-September 2011 the fist protest begun in the midst of Lower Manhattan’s bank towers: Occupy Wall Street became a symbol of resistance against financial capitalism and big corporations. And it’s assemblies set examples for a different way of discussing and decision making that influences activists all over the word but also resonated in theatre and art. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the occupation of Zucchotti Square the 8th edition of The Art of Assembly takes a close look at its legacy: Philosopher Judith Butler, author of the probably most influential book on assemblies in recent years, asks how – in the light of recent pandemic experiences – an ethics of care can enter into our politics of assembly. Writer and activist Max Haiven summons the ghosts of Occupy and looks – in the the spirit of the late anthropologist and OWS key figure David Graeber – back at a haunted decade.

Podcast “10 Years Occupy Wall Street”

19:00 CEST

Halle G, Vienna / Austria
& online live stream

In coproduction with Wiener Festwochen & brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly VII
Agonistic Gatherings

With Didier Eribon & Chantal Mouffe
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The assemblies of the numerous square occupations during the last decade have often been laboratories of radical forms of democracy, experimenting with non-hierarchical structures and consensus models instead of majority voting. While watching these movements with sympathy, political theorist Chantal Mouffe emphasises also the necessity of dissensus, of an agonistic pluralism in which adversaries openly fight for their hegemonic projects. Philosopher and sociologist Didier Eribon reflects on the conditions and the limits of such mobilisations and insists on the unsurpassable plurality of movements like the gilets jaunes in France, or more recently, the massive strikes and protests against the demolition of the public sector, as well as the demonstrations against racism etc. In the 7th edition of The Art of Assembly Eribon and Mouffe discuss how much agonism social movements can bare and how the diversity of democratic demands should be addressed.

Podcast “Agonistic Gatherings”

19:00 CEST

Online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly VI
Assembling More Than Humans

With Radha D’Souza & Sibylle Peters
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Discussions about representation in assemblies, democracies and legal cases are usually reserved to human beings. But recent discussions around the Anthropocene and new materialism have fiercely challenged such anthropocentric limitations. Professor for Law Radha D’Souza argues that the concept of rights is fundamentally flawed as it is always associated with private property, contracts, and contractual social relations. Drawing on insights from indigenous cultures and everyday practices, she points out the centrality of assembly for collective life among animals and humans. Performance maker and theorist Sibylle Peters deals in her practice as theorist and theatre maker since many years with concepts of assembling – recently also trying to create zones of companionship in which humans and other co-species can come together without food chains or zoo cages getting in-between.

Podcast “Assemblies of the Many”

19:00 CEST

Online live stream
IN GERMAN LANGUAGE

In coproduction with brut Vienna
In the context of the Action Day of “Die Vielen”

The Art of Assembly V – Special
Assemblies of the Many

With Eduard Freudmann, Gin Müller, Philine Rinnert & Heidrun Primas
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

On the occasion of the action day “Der Vielen” – a solidarity-based association of numerous art and cultural institutions in Austria and Germany – this special edition of The Art of Assembly takes a look at various artistic-activist actions in Austria’s public space. Heidrun Primas, director of the Graz Forum Stadtpark, is co-initiator of the “Camps for Moria”; artists Eduard Freudmann and Gin Müller protest with the Schandwache (Vigil of Disgrace) against the monument of the anti-Semitic Viennese mayor Karl Lueger; the stage designer Philine Rinnert is a central protagonist of DIE VIELEN (THE MANY) in Germany.

Podcast “Assemblies of the Many”

19:00 CEST

Online Live stream

In coproduction with brut VIenna

The Art of Assembly IV
Choirs of Precarity and Power

With Claudia Bosse, Alia Mossallam & The Church of Stop Shopping
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

Choirs are a very specific form of assembling – from representing “the people” in Greek tragedy via all kinds of religious choirs, political choirs, revolutionary choirs up to the legendary human mic at Occupy Wall Street and the iconic chants at Tahrir Square in 2011. German theatre director Claudia Bosse, Egyptian art theorist Alia Mossallam, and the US-American activists of The Church of Stop Shopping discuss the potential (and perhaps dangers), the tenderness, the precarity and the power of synchronised singing, chanting, shouting along concrete artistic and activistic practices in Cairo, New York and Vienna.

Podcast “Choirs of Precarity and Power”

19:00 CEST

Online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly III
Assemblism

With Jodi Dean & Jonas Staal
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

“Assemblism” is a term used by Dutch artist Jonas Staal to describe the role of art, performance and theater in the performative assembly of mass protests and social movements, which is central to his own artistic work. US-American political theorist Jodi Dean on the other hand emphasizes in her writing that social movements need to be translated into a new communist party if they want to become sustainable. So, what is the potential of art in not only investigating or inventing new forms of assembly but also in contributing to the process of transforming them into sustainable organizational structures? And how do recent political mobilizations – from anti-mask-demonstration up to the storming of Capitol Hill – challenge romanticized notions of assembling precarious bodies in space?

19:00 CET

Online Live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly II
Assemblies as Backbones of Social Movements

With Julia Ramíres-Blanco & Oliver Ressler
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

The General Assembly has been at the core of many social movements during the last decade: A zone of gathering, of building community, of experimenting with the way democracy can function. A space not only for trying out but living a different kind of decision making. Art historian Julia Ramírez-Blanco just finished a book on the Spanish 15M movement, Oliver Ressler is one of the main documentarists of worldwide social mobilizations since many years. In the second edition of The Art of Assembly they reflect the crucial role of collective decision making for developing political alternatives.

Podcast “Assemblies as Backbones of Social Movements”

19:00 CET

Online live stream

In coproduction with brut Vienna

The Art of Assembly I
Assembly as Preenactment

With Oliver Marchart & Dana Yahalomi
Hosted by Florian Malzacher

„Preenactment“ is a term used by choreographer and artist Dana Yahalomi / Public Movement as well as by political theorist Oliver Marchart to describe the artistic anticipation of political events to come. So, how can political or artistic assemblies become rehearsals or trainings for an unpredictable future?

Podcast “Assembly as Preenactment”