5 – 9 October 2021

Contingent Agencies

Notations, reflections & Strategies of display

A project by Alex Arteaga + Nikolaus Gansterer


with: Alex Arteaga, Emma Cocker, Karmen Franinović, Nikolaus Gansterer, Paul Petritsch & Nicole Six, Frida Robles, Charlotta Ruth.


Contingent Agencies is an artistic research project conceived as an inquiry into the subtle, dynamic, complex, and enveloping presences that emerge in given situations for those who inhabit them. These presences are denominated with various terms such as “Stimmungen,” “moods,” or even “places,” or “figures.” In this project we favor the words “atmospheres” and “environments.”


More particularly, this project investigates the specific ways in which the actualization of the agencies of single components of a situation (from light to animals, from artifacts to sounds, from matter to vegetation, from traffic to color) conditions the emergence of these comprehensive and senseful presences.


Accordingly, atmospheres are considered as coherent networks of phenomena that emerge due to a systemically organized set of intertwined agencies: the capacity of each component of a given situation to transform the presence of the other components and the arising environment.


Contingent Agencies aims at investigating this subject matter in a non-reductive way through artistic and aesthetic practices and connecting this inquiry with other processes of research realized through practices developed in the humanities, the social, and the natural sciences.


The event Notations, Reflection & Strategies of Display aims at critically sharing the project’s research practices and conceptual frameworks in order to deepen and expand the ongoing processes of inquiry. As the event’s title suggests, the practices of notation and reflection as well as the strategies of display defined and performed in this project are points of focus. Practices of notation are understood in this framework as processes realized in different media and in immediate contact with the inquired agencies, aiming at producing artifacts that enable a sensory- cognitive access to these agencies, not only for the notators but for all researchers interested in this issue. The practices of reflection are mediated by notations and intended to intensify the approach to the investigated agencies as well as outlining (provisory) conclusions about them. The strategies of display, on the one hand, connect both practices by presenting the artifacts of notation in the most adequate way for performing practices of reflection and, on the other hand, they lead to realizing the most convenient ways of presenting both artifacts of notation and reflection to a specialized and a general public.


This event is structured in three parts. In the first, the internal workshop, the above-described practices and their underpinning conceptual frameworks will be scrutinized using a hands-on approach by a small but diverse group of researchers. In the second, the public dialogue, the findings of the workshop will be dialogically shared with an open audience. In the third, the exploratory installation, artifacts of notation and reflection will be publicly displayed in order to further incentivize dialogues and open-ended processes of reflection.


Contingent Agencies is hosted by the University for Applied Arts Vienna and funded by the Program for Arts-based Research (PEEK) of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The artistic research project Contingent Agencies presents findings and lines of inquiry into atmospheres in the form of an internal workshop, a public dialogue, and an exploratory installation.



Internal workshop: 5 – 7 October

Public dialogue: 8 October, 5 pm

Exploratory installation: 9 October, 11 am – 8 pm

Angewandte Performance

Laboratory (APL)

Georg-Coch-Platz 1

A-1010 Vienna

[workshop, dialogue, and installation]