Informations about Contributors
May, 4-6 2022
Zentrum Fokus Forschung
University of Applied Arts Vienna
curated by Ruth Anderwald, Leonhard Grond and Laura Brechmann
exposition design by Laura Brechmann
photos by Julia Strikovska
Dust is a collective performance and installation to precisely measure this: how dizziness is something that we inhabit, and to what extent we do it. We will use somatics to navigate and measure dizziness in terms of radical imaginations and distances. Grounding dizziness in our flesh and what composes it will allow us to resolutely incarnate it.
Lecture and collective experiment by Rebekka Ladewig
Negative Environments and Perceptual States of Exception: The Ganzfeld Experiment
Equilibrium is a fragile state, informed mainly by visual, vestibular, and muscular stimuli. In the first decades of the 20th century, psychological research picked up on this trivial fact in a rather drastic way, as questions arose about the basic rules and principles of perception: These persons were exposed to entirely homogeneous sensory environments, so-called Ganzfelder, reporting about most peculiar perceptual experiences. The paper will reconstruct the context of the Ganzfeld experiment, its theoretical status in the school of Gestalt psychology, and the impact it had on popular culture. It will also discuss the implementation of its results in the military context. Participants can participate in a Ganzfeld experiment conducted collectively during the symposium.
We understand dizziness as an unpredictable motion, or the illusion of such a motion, causing a shift from the given to the uncertain. This shift unbalances us as individuals, groups, and societies. As we try to get a grip, find out feet, and balance again, we find ourselves exposed to both destructive and generative dynamics.
Anderwald + Grond
Before a textile reaches the European market, it travels approximately 35,000 km - almost around the entire globe. But even after it has been worn, it keeps traveling, swamping markets like the ones in Accra, Ghana, with cheap second-hand clothes. The two installations focus on the dizziness created by the tempo-spatial connections of textiles.
Dead White Man’s Clothes
In his project Dead White Man’s Clothes, artist Jojo Gronostay explores the second-hand clothing trade in the context of Accra, Ghana. He researches the multi-level formal and informal economy behind what Europeans throw away as used garment. For the installation, Jojo Gronostay decided to bring garments from markets in Accra back to Vienna.
Ever since the Spinning Jenny 1764 started turning in England, Europe became the center of what historian Sven Beckert calls the ‘Empire of Cotton’. This centralized power, in the only continent where cotton can’t grow, is strongly associated with the rise of the ‘modern world.’ Focussing on the exploitative global power dynamics in textile production, this installation creates a space for what Frantz Fanon might call 'the vertigo of the question mark.' With this installation, your on-site printed textiles temporarily become part of the all-encompassing global threats.
In-situ installation by Luca Hierzenberger,
in cooperation with Jojo Gronostay
Made in Dizzy
On this exposition you find the audio contributions by the dramaturg and writer Dénètem Touam Bona, the performance artist Laura Brechmann, the architectural theorist and leader of the interdisciplinary project Vertigo in the City, Davide Deriu, visual and sound artist Dani Gal, novelist and essayist Anna Kim, cultural history and media theory scholar Rebekka Ladewig, the somatic architect María Auxiliadora Gálvez Pérez, philosopher Marcus Steinweg, and by a group of master students of the Cross-Disciplinary Strategies led by Christine Böhler (die Angewandte): Luca Hierzenberger, Daniel Huettler, Frieda Teller, Jana Weisst, Samo Zeichen in collaboration with artist Jojo Gronostay.
In addition you can listen to a sound performance by the Vienna-based institute for transacoustic research, performing a Feldenkrais ATM with María Auxiliadora Gálvez Pérez and get visual impressions of the guided walk by the artistic researchers Anderwald+Grond, the performance of artist and clown Florent Golfier/tYhle and the collaborative installation of graphic designers Christian Hoffelner and Katrin Heinlein.
Did you ever pay attention to your eyeballs? Did you ever massage them? Not to stay awake but taking care so that your eyes can relax? Have your eyes ever experienced dizziness? Did they stagger once? In my darkest moments, my eyes are staying calm, but I refuse the gaze of another being. Am I afraid? Am I afraid to experience dizziness? I read that the white within another person's eye activates our amygdala. In theory, I know what this means. In practice, I am struck by the word. Amygdala! – Have you ever been there?
Christine Böhler, Alexander Damianisch, Felipe Duque, Ondřej Holba, Marianna Mondelos, Julia Strikovska and all contributors and participants.
A walk on unstable ground: To foreground the environment in which we discuss and research dizziness, Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond propose a walk through the historically important as well as unassuming sites in the area surrounding the institute and their studio space that can be connected to dizziness, unbalance, uncertainty and vertigo.
Inspired by Joseph Beuys' social plastic approach and pushed by the curiosity of my clown alter ego, Atlas, I want to explore ways of creating connections with passers-by. How can I spontaneously connect to someone and blow a space for dialogue out of the blue? Or out of the green, out of the pink? Atlas’s social plastic must be multi-colored and recycled. With Atlas, I am seeking ways to develop curiosity and create ephemeral communities where everyone feels safe enough to share, play, to confront the vertiginous complexity of the challenges our civilization is facing. How can we laugh, brainstorm, and share about climate, extinction, and the foreseen collapse of our civilization? Through Atlas I play with the narratives we all share and aim to create different ones.
Based on his recent film, Three Works for Piano (2020, 34’min) Gal’s contribution examines the roles of silence, silencing, and listenting in the politics of dominant national narratives. Gal questions how socially accepted violence is constructed and deconstructed through the performativitiy of the witness in historical trauma studies and in post-colonial and post-Holocaust discourses.
In his film, Gal reconstructs three piano performances of the 20th century European avant-garde as allegories to contemplate the complex dynamics between the historical witness and society. The triangulation of performer-sound-audience is reflected in a recent real-life event, where a testimony of an Israeli soldier as a violent perpetrator in the occupied territories, was discredited and denied by the state. This negation of culpability sidelines the story from the real victims and exposes the soldier’s moral ambiguity.
In his composition created as an escape in minor mode – Dénètem’s preferred expression when referring to his interventions – the emphasis will be on the need to rethink what a refuge is in a world that continues to up walls and control people’s movements in ever more sophisticated ways. Escaping and finding refuge seem impossible without embracing the dizziness of 'losing the ground under your feet' and without helping hands. The 'wisdom of lianas' invites us to a practice of alliance between 'minor' forms of life.
Minor, because they are minimized or even criminalized, but also, because (like marronage) pertaining to an art of escape, dodging, camouflage: a game of hide-and-seek, with multiple variables, which subverts roles and places assigned, thus sketching alternative futures. The 'sub-version' mobilizes memory, thus sketching alternative futures and making it a fabulatory power.
Excerpt from Dénètem Touam Bona, Fugitive - where are you running?, Hoboken: Wiley John + Sons, 2022.
Quote read by Ruth Anderwald.
Dizziness needs a body to exist. But what a body is can be discussed. Dizziness can have multiple incarnations. But how do we recognize these embodiments and how can we be aware of our dizziness? Dizziness has multiple performances and produces different symptoms. When we feel unstable, we undoubtedly know we are dizzy. But not all the expressions of dizziness are so clear. Moreover, when dizziness is a socio-political, urban, or ecological state.
María Auxiliadora Gálvez Pérez
Western urban modernity is inextricably bound up with the experience of dizzy heights. Since the first skyscraper age, the built environment has been associated with vertigo both literally and metaphorically. This process has taken new forms over the past two decades through the proliferation of various design features and spatial devices that challenge our sense of balance. By staging the encounter with the abyss, buildings elicit a spectrum of emotional states that range from thrill to anxiety. The talk discusses the emergence of architectures of vertigo from a cross-disciplinary perspective informed by medical and social sciences. As an expression of the ‘experience economy’, this phenomenon arguably reflects and reproduces the groundless condition in which we live today.
Taking Vladimir Nabokov's introduction Good Readers and Good Writers in his book Lectures On Literature as a starting point, I would like to talk about the changes reading has undergone over the past years. According to Nabokov, reading is an activity that requires only one living person: the reader. The writer is only present in their writing, therefore being alive and being present is not a requirement. As far as Nabokov is concerned, reading is a different way of being creative: 'Since the master artist used his imagination in creating his book, it is natural and fair that the consumer of a book should use his imagination too.' But to use one's imagination, to 'notice and fondle details,' a distance between the writer and the reader is necessary, a distance that is noticeably disappearing.
The on-sight installation implemented by Christian Hoffelner during the symposium days operates as a collaborative initiative involving Katrin Heinlein (Mikrodruck, Kunstuniversität Linz), the team of Navigating Dizziness Together, the guests and speakers at the symposium, and a selected group of students from Christine Böhler’s (Luca Hierzenberger, Daniel Hüttler, Friederike Teller, Jana Weissteiner, Samo Zeichen) Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (die Angewandte). The integrated DIY-Screen-Printing-Unit produces narratives with typographic modules on secondhand textiles. These customized combinations of emblems, texts, or dizzying imagery and research, are meant to be worn – carried out of the bubble. The production was conceived as a collective project, which is practically longing for multiple authorship and 'tentacular maneuvers.' Garments are dried in the garden on a temporarily erected clothesline.
We are two, we are always two. Our visual pathways cross each other. The image, an image, whatever image, is upside down. A reversal process stands between us and our view of the world. Suddenly the world is less real. We, the eyes, invite. We invite the light to come to us, we open ourselves. She feels the need to close us off, to close us off from the world, in the hope that the dizziness will stop. But, once closed, her vertigo intensified. Are you aware of it?
Turbulence is part and parcel of thinking. The subject is dizzied. Sometimes it crashes. No thinking without risks. The most dangerous option is not always the best one. The altogether safe one, meanwhile, is not one. What philosophy shares with art is that they hazard the venture of not knowing.
Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond are visual artists, artist-curators, artist-researchers, and professors for the Ph.D. program (Ph.D. in Art) at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Their work has been exhibited internationally, e.g., at Centre Pompidou, Paris, Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai, Tate Modern, London. They have curated screening programs/exhibitions with i.a. Whitechapel Gallery London, Kunsthaus Graz, Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw. Their artistic research projects include the EU-funded ART WORKS! European Culture of Resistance and Liberation (2019-21) with Museion Bolzano, MSU Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Foundation wannseeFORUM, HKW Berlin and Foundation Between Bridges, Dizziness-A Resource (2014-2017), and recently Navigating Dizziness Together (2020-2024) at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, both funded by FWF PEEK. Since 2007 they reflect on construction sites of cultural institutions, i.a. History in Between for House of Austrian History (2017-19), or The Construction Site of Remembrance (2018-2021), at Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau commissioned by the Austrian National Funds.
Laura Brechmann studied Film- Theater- and Cultural Studies and European Literature for her Bachelor's degree at Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz and Scenic Research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in her Master's degree. From 2018 to 2021, she worked as a research assistant at JGU Mainz in the field of theater studies. Her research focuses on essay research, artistic methodologies, performance & philosophy, and artistic research. In addition to her teaching and research activities, she is active as a performance artist in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2017, she initiated the project 'In/Out Balance', which performatively explores vertigo as a cultural, political, and subjective phenomenon. The individual vertigo episodes are both solo works (monologues) and collaborations with artists* (dialogues) and are dedicated to different aspects of vertigo (e.g. loneliness, deception, loss of orientation). The episodes so far have been created through the support of various production houses and residency formats, including Atelier Automatique (Bochum), Folkwang Museum Essen, Tanzfaktur Cologne, Choreografische Werkstatt Frankfurt, and Studio Alta (Prague). Since spring 2021, she is continuing her dizziness study as part of the PEEK project Navigating Dizziness Together (21-23).
Davide Deriu is a Reader in Architectural History and Theory at the University of Westminster. His research explores critical intersections between spatial and visual cultures and is published in journals such as Architectural Theory Review, The Journal of Architecture, and Emotion, Space and Society. Edited works include Emerging Landscapes: Between Production and Representation (Ashgate, 2014). Davide has been awarded grants from the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council, British Academy, Paul Mellon Centre, and Canadian Centre for Architecture, where he also curated the Modernism in Miniature exhibition. He’s currently working on a book based on the 'Vertigo in the City' project he leads at Westminster.
Karoline Feyertag is a freelance philosopher and essayist after studying philosophy, anthropology, art history, and gender/queer theory in Vienna and Paris. She enjoys collaborating with artists and activists whenever her wage work allows. Karoline taught philosophy and gender studies at the University of Klagenfurt and collaborated with Ruth Anderwald and Leonhard Grond at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She worked in the research support office of the mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and currently works as an open access and open science adviser at the University of Klagenfurt. Karoline is the author of the monograph Sarah Kofman. A Biography (2014) and co-author of Dizziness-A Resource (2019).
Dani Gal lives and works in Berlin. He studied at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt, and Cooper Union in New York. His films and installations have been shown at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), Istanbul Biennale (2011), New Museum New York (2012), Kunsthalle St. Gallen Switzerland (2013), The Jewish Museum New York (2014), Berlinale Forum Expanded (2014), Kunsthaus Zurich (2015) Kunsthalle Wien (2015), Documenta 14 (2017), Centre Pompidou (2018) and at Club TransMediale Festival Berlin (2020). In 2019 he was artist-in-residence with Blood Mountain. Projects and research fellows at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute.
María Auxiliadora Gálvez Pérez is architect by E.T.S.A.M (1998), Ph.D. in Architecture since 2012, and Landscaper. She is also a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education by the Feldenkrais Institute (2018). Since 2016, she has directed the Platform of Somatics for Architecture and Landscape (PSAAP) and its associated Laboratory (LSAAP). She is a professor at the Institute of Technology of the U.S.P - C.E.U in Madrid, Spain. In parallel, she develops workshops, doctorate programs, seminars, or happenings all around the world. She has been distinguished in national and international urban and architectural contests, highlighting the VI, VII, and IX editions of Europan. Her work has been published and exhibited worldwide featuring her presence at the 8th and 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. Nowadays her works challenge and transform the role, definition, and performance of design developing the potential of 'Somatic Architecture' within a more-than-human world.
Florent Golfier is a performer, clown activist and choreographer. He studied Acting in Nancy and Dance, Clown, and Physical Theater at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. Together with Lukáš Karásek, Marie Gourdain, and Zuzana Režná, he founded the performance art collective tYhle. He has co-created numerous performances as a choreographer and/or performer. He has worked with choreographers such as Karine Ponties, Kitt Johnson, Vít Nezval, Linda and Mathias Straub, and Ondřej Holba. As an artist, he aims to connect with the fragility we all share, and from which we draw inspiration, honesty, and power, and help others to accept it as a precious part of ourselves. Based on this artistic approach, Florent searches for ways to connect initiatives across disciplines to work on acknowledgment and clarification of our present and future identities.
Katrin Heinlein (Mikrodruck) is a Graphic design student and screen print enthusiast from Vienna working on collaborative projects as well as on independent ideas in the visual realm. Into lots of colors, organic shapes, and funky imagery with a focus on a research-based foundation.
Christian Hoffelner is a graphic designer and potter, writer, and editor. He holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Technology, Graz, and graduated in Book Design/Graphic Design from the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig. Currently, he’s a Senior Lecturer for Typography at the University of Art and Design Linz (Kunstuniversität Linz). CH Studio is a microscale atelier founded by Christian Hoffelner in 2009. The studio works for private and institutional clients, collaboratively and academically as well as a project selfinitiator – all the while focusing on typography and printed matter.
Anna Kim is a writer and essayist based in Vienna. Her publications include: Die gefrorene Zeit. Literaturverlag Droschl, Graz 2008; Invasionen des Privaten. Literaturverlag Droschl, Graz 2011; Anatomie einer Nacht. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2012; Der sichtbare Feind. Die Gewalt des Öffentlichen und das Recht auf Privatheit. Residenz Verlag, St. Pölten 2015; Die große Heimkehr. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2017. For the Research Project Navigating Dizziness Together she will write a novel about Anderwald+Grond's Artist's Novel.
Rebekka Ladewig is a cultural history and media theory scholar based in Berlin and Weimar. In 2012, she received her Ph.D. from the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-University Berlin. She held research positions at the Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung at Humboldt University and at the Faculty of Media at Bauhaus University Weimar. Between 2018 and 2020, she was an Adjunct Professor of History and Theory of Cultural Techniques at Bauhaus-University, and in 2020/21 she held a Visiting Professorship at the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. She is a founding member and co-editor of the journal ilinx. Berliner Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft and the book series ilinx-Kollaborationen, published by Spector Books, Leipzig. Currently, she completes a monograph on Michael Polanyi, Alan M. Turing, and the origins of tacit knowledge in the light of digitalization. She also pursues a research project on the cultural history of bow and arrow, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and affiliated with the Bauhaus-University Weimar.
Marcus Steinweg, born in 1971, lives and works as a philosopher in Berlin. He is a Professor at the Art Academy Karlsruhe. His recent books include Duras. with Rosemarie Trockel, Merve, Berlin 2008; Politik des Subjekts. Diaphanes, Zürich/Berlin 2009; Aporien der Liebe, Merve, Berlin 2010; Kunst und Philosophie/Art and Philosophy. Walter König, Cologne 2012; Philosophie der Überstürzung. Merve, Berlin 2013; Inkonsistenzen. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2015; Evidenzterror. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2015; Gramsci Theater. Merve, Berlin 2016; Splitter. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2017; Subjekt und Wahrheit. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2018; Proflexionen. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2019; Metaphysik der Leere. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2020; Quantenphilosophie. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2021. Some of his books are published in English by The MIT Press.
The Institute for transacoustic research (german: institut für transakustische forschung, iftaf) was founded by Nikolaus Gansterer, Matthias Meinharter, Jörg Piringer, and Ernst Reitermaier in the year 1998 to define and research trans acoustics.
With expertise in visual arts, music, sound poetry, and philosophy and supported by external experts the institute organizes public experiments, laboratories, and expeditions, conducts field research, invents instruments, creates sound and artworks, and holds workshops and lectures in a process-oriented, context-dependent way. Matthias Meinharter, born in 1971 in Vienna, works since 2003 as an intermedia artist with an atelier in Vienna. Installations, mechanical objects, sound-generating machines, photo graphics, video projects, acoustics and performances are main elements of his heterogeneous artwork. Jörg Piringer, born in 1974 in Vienna, member of the Institute for transacoustic research, member of the vegetable orchestra, radio artist, sound and visual poet, musician, master's degree in computer science. Ernst Reitermaier, born in 1974, is a freelance philosopher, musician, and cultural manager in Vienna, specializing in conceptual and organisztional accompaniment of projects in the field of experimental music/performance/soundart and transdisciplinary cooperations.
Dénètem Touam Bona is a thinker with a cross-border identity who strives to build bridges between worlds that twist, even today, the 'color line.' Dénètem is a dramaturge and author who turns 'marronnage' (the escape of slaves and the arts they employed to escape) into a philosophical subject, a utopian experience serving as a basis to reflect on the contemporary world. A Regular collaborator of the Institut du Tout-Monde (center dedicated to the work of Édouard Glissant), he is the author of four philosophical and literary essays: Fugitif, où cours-tu?. éd. Presses Universitaires de France 2016; Cosmopoéticas do réfugio. éd. Cultura e barbarie 2020, Brasil; Sagesse des lianes. éd. Post-Editions 2021; Fugitive, where are you running?; includes unpublished texts, éd. Polity 2022. Dénètem also collaborates on creative projects, mainly as a playwright but also in the dance field, and has recently curated a group exhibition at the Centre International d'Art et du Paysage de Vassivière, entitled The Wisdom of lianas (2021-2022), in which he aims to put in place a 'cosmopoetic refuge'.
In cooperation with Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (CDS)
The study program, led by Christine Böhler, provides the opportunity to work on current societal challenges in a multidisciplinary degree program, linking the approaches and methodologies of art, the humanities and social, and natural sciences. In this sense, the program reacts to the increasing fragmentation of academic disciplines, aiming to face up 21st-century challenges.
Participants: Luca Hierzenberger, Daniel Hüttler, Friederike Teller, Jana Weissteiner and Samo Zeichen
Jojo Gronostay is a German artist with Ghanaian roots. In his conceptual work, he is dealing with questions of identity, platforms, recycling, and the in-between. Furthermore, Gronostay’s works engage systems that interrogate relationships between Europe and Africa. He explores concepts of value and economy as well as spiritual human and material exchange, as they perform in different social contexts. He studied Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Martin Guttmann and the Beaux-Arts in Paris. Gronostays is represented by Gallery Hubert Winter and the founder of Dead White Man’s Clothes, an interdisciplinary clothing label.