NEW DATE: September 14th, 2021
Halle G, Vienna, in the frame of Wiener Festwochen & online live stream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly V
With Didier Eribon (Paris) & Chantal Mouffe (London)
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 5th 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.

Past Editions

June 16th, 7 pm
Online Livestream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly VI
with Radha D’Souza, Sibylle Peters

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.

Listen to the podcast episode “ASSEMBLING MORE THAN HUMANS”

May 27th, 7 pm
Online Livestream
Gesellellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly V – Special
In context of the Action Day of “Die Vielen”
with Eduard Freudmann, Gin Müller, Philine Rinnert, Heidrun Primas

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.

Listen to the podcast episode “ASSEMBLIES OF THE MANY”

April 10th, 2021
Online Livestream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly IV
With Claudia Bosse (Vienna), Alia Mossallam (Cairo/Berlin) & The Church of Stop Shopping (New York City)
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. Theatre director Claudia Bosse, art theorist Alia Mossallam, and the 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.

Listen to the podcast episode “CHOIRS OF PRECARITY AND POWER”

March 20th, 2021
Online Livestream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly III
with Jodi Dean (Geneva, NY) and Jonas Staal (Athens/Rotterdam)
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?

Listen to the podcast episode “ASSEMBLISM”

February 19th, 2021
Online Live Stream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly II
With Julia Ramíres-Blanco (Barcelona) & Oliver Ressler (Vienna)
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 Gesellschaftsspiele – The Art of Assembly they reflect the crucial role of collective decision making for developing political alternatives.


January 23rd, 2021
Online Livestream
Gesellschaftsspiele: The Art of Assembly I
With Oliver Marchart (Vienna) & Dana Yahalomi (Tel Aviv)
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?

Listen to the podcast episode “ASSEMBLY AS PREENACTMENT”