Addressing the Future: The Tactics of Uncertainty

Attractor: Claudia Westermann

More than 30 years ago, Michel de Certeau suggested that a shift in methodologies was necessary from strategies that operate on the basis of planning and prediction to tactics that operate on the basis of appropriation. Within this context, competition for the best prediction is substituted for a search for authorities that create the places that give space. This stream of interest with the title ‘Addressing the Future – The Tactics of Uncertainty’ suggests that even though Utopia has not been valued recently, it is nevertheless the actual turn towards the future – this radical uncertainty – that allows for a profound re-questioning of our methodologies. How do the sciences and the arts address the future? Can we speak to it, and in doing so, can we create openings in the present?

Methodology: The main intention of this suggested stream of interest is to provide for a ‘good’ start question from which the theme of uncertainty could be addressed in a rather radical way. I am interested in viewpoints from all areas of the sciences and arts. In addition to presentations, there could be conversational panels and workshops. The latter could also be contextualized within the city of Prague. Which inclination this theme takes also depends on the other streams of interest and should be discussed.

Biography: Claudia Westermann is a licensed architect holding a postgraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Karlsruhe (Dipl. Ing.), a second postgraduate degree in Media Fine Arts from the University of Art and Design (HfG) at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, and a PhD from the University of Plymouth, UK. Her Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘An Experimental Research into Inhabitable Theories’ was supervised by Professor Roy Ascott. Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale for Architecture, the Moscow International Film Festival, ISEA Symposium for the Electronic Arts, and the ZKM in Karlsruhe.


Limits of Collaboration: The Revolution of the Geniuses or the Downfall in Middlingness

Attractor: Manuela Naveau

I observed a dramatic proliferation of the use of participative, open creative processes in the production of artistic works in recent years. According to Susanne Jaschko and Lucas Evers’ “el proceso como paradigma / process as paradigm” exhibition at LABoral, Gijon/Spain (2010) and their statement in the accompanying catalog, two factors are responsible for the fact that, today, access to and participation in works of art is on the rise: on one hand, the art system has been destabilized by the absence of structures with respect to authorship as well as simple structures with respect to copyright; on the other hand, a general shift from passive partaker to “involved agent” is evident throughout the art world.[1]

But this „involved agent“- syndrom is not only existing in the artworld. People are nowadays used to share, comment and vote on information via social media platforms and stand for or against something, which they like to express. On the other hand many people are only driven by the prominence of their digital ego, represented by a well shaped and constructed identity over the internet. The borders between public and private, champion and dabbler are blurred.

Methodology: Main goal on a meta-level is to collaboratively think, speak and research on the topic limits of collaboration. I would set up a new platform of Ars Wild Card and I would equip members of the research group with the App and would like to begin to collect relevant information due to our common topic via this system. It should succeed as a book of information and contributions to a topic and is the base for the conference that will then take place.

Biography: Manuela Naveau lives and works in Linz, Austria. Since completing her studies at Linz Art University, she has worked as an artist and curator in Austria and abroad since 1997. She returned to Linz in 2003 to assume curatorial and project management responsibilities at Ars Electronica. In collaboration with Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, Manuela Naveau developed the Ars Electronica Export division, which she has headed since its inception. In addition to curating, producing and placing Ars Electronica exhibitions at museums and institutions worldwide, her interest is focused on the manifold manifestations of contemporary artistic practice. Manuela Naveau is currently working on “Crowd & Art”; her PhD thesis research investigates new forms of internet-based participation in the artistic process and their influence on artistic practice that is currently in a phase of flux.