These days there is nothing that shapes our notion and practice of sharing as strongly as the Internet. In our virtual connection with the world, we are constantly encouraged to share what seems important to us and at the same time defines us. We emphatically share personal matters, embarrassments, information and opinions, songs, cars, flats and most recently even breast milk via social platforms. Sharing is the imperative of our age – from creative commons to social media to shareconomy. If you don’t share much, your status drops. If you don’t share at all, you are regarded with suspicion.
It is not only social pressure and Edward Snowden’s revelations that make this brave new world of sharing seem dubious: the working conditions under which our electronic tool is produced is an issue we prefer to ignore. We silently share in the profits obtained from the exploitation of miners in Congo. Then, all at once, the technologies of the future appear quite old fashioned. Sharing is all well and good, until it comes to losing something.
The “Academy of Asociality” investigates and propagates strategies for de-sharing that reverse this process – in a conference with talks, discussions and expeditions. Based loosely on Bartleby’s statement “I would prefer not to”, it encourages withdrawal from sharing and participation for which you have not opted. Exiting a framework that possesses as little transparency as Facebook’s terms and conditions. Where does this path of a categorical non-compliance lead us? Out into the woods, straight to jail or can we only disappear in the system? Can there be individualisation without diminishing solidarity? What needs to happen in order for us to really give something up – even if it hurts?
» Conference-Folder and Timeline
Sat 11/10, 15.00 - 17.00
In the research area of Social Computing, Know-Center Graz focuses on the extraction and utilisation of data from social networks. The aim is to provide relevant information for companies. Stefanie Lindstaedt, managing director and scientific director, gives a tour of Austria’s leading Research Centre for Data-driven Business and Big Data Analytics, hacker and IT specialist Nathan Andrew Fain accompanies the expedition.
The diethARdT collection comprises some 2,000 contemporary artworks, including the largest Beuys collection in Austria, Viennese Actionists (Brus, Nitsch, Muehl), works by West, Wurm, Kippenberger, and others. This afternoon, Reinhard Diethardt shares his enjoyment of art as well as stories from thirty years of collecting. The journalist Thomas Wolkinger accompanies the tour of the private museum in the former soup-kitchen.
With 500 inmates, Karlau Prison is Austria’s third-largest prison. The extension from the 19th century was designed on the basis of Bentham’s panopticon. Today the guard towers are unmanned, replaced by surveillance cameras. Cultural anthropologist, historian and activist Leo Kühberger gives a tour of the prison – a place of total segregation for people with whom society does not want to share common ground.
The festival centre is based this year at Palais Wildenstein. A commemorative plaque recalls the Sisters of Mercy who worked at the provincial hospital housed there until 1924. There is no hint whatsoever that this was the central site of Nazi terror in Graz from 1938 to 1945. Heimo Halbrainer, historian and director of CLIO – Verein für Geschichts- und Bildungsarbeit, speaks about the history of the place and why it is not shared.
We were saddened to hear of the death of Harun Farocki, who passed away unexpectedly on 30 July 2014. The film-maker had been invited to this year’s festival to take part in the “Academy of Asociality”. We have lost a great artist, whose ties with steirischer herbst through a wide range of projects go back to the 1980s.