Art on Degrowth
On the quest for alternatives to the logic of growth, the path leads you through different thought patterns and realms of experience; through experiments and games to places of critical reflection and interdisciplinary exchange. Passing obstacles, provocations and irritations, you find moments of poetry and sensations that can give you a fresh impetus.
With the artistic programme “Art on Degrowth”, more than 50 artists, artivists and art theorists opened such spaces for experienceand discourse in 40 events. Photography got transformed into a tool to disturb the logic of growth in the urban space and the methods of design were used to research on energy-sufficient lifestyles. A funny game turned out to be deadly serious; the walls of Leipzig became screens for short films and the conference venue a social choreography. Visitors became performers and an old house turned into a stage. At the interface of activism and art, artists and scientists explored the possibilities of collaboration by trying and discussing different forms of action.
As in times of previous social upheavals, also today’s artists are at the forefront of social movements and critical positions in the face of the global crisis. Which forms of condensing ng the essence of our present do they find, and which stories do these tell about our times and possible futures? In which circumstances can art develop transformative power? Given the current need for action, which expectations can we have towards art and artists? And in which situations can the thought pattern of cost-benefit calculation sneak in that instrumentalizes art and robs it of its scope of action and power ? What turns art’s free spaces and detours, its bends and farewells from the explicitly political into an opportunity? And what makes them lead us away from reality into a hermetically closed enclave?
There are no simple answers and the field of negotiation is constantly. to be redefined. At the Degrowth Conference, artists aesthetically and playfully explored the subjects. Their works directly took up position, examined the subject in a discursive manner or made it accessible for sensorial experience. They encouraged dialogue, participation and empowerment. Some artistic strategies were located at the interface between art and activism where political action and artistic practice melted together and became what one might call “artivism”. Artistic methods of research were tested and the potential of transdisciplinary research was debated.
It was our aim to present work that shows the complexity and contradictions of subjects. Work that moves and startles you exactly where usually too-often-heard terms and too-often-seen images lose their power to make relevant phenomena comprehensible. And we wanted to encourage dialogue between the disciplines and between the participants of the Conference by offering work that challenges and stirs up the mind, body and senses.
Images & Sounds
Performance-project by Diego Agullò, Peter Stamer, Clément Layes and Dmitry Paranyushkin with Beide Messies, Fräulein Bernd, Lukas Bugiel, friendly fire, Laris Hemken, Sylvia Kadur, Maix Mayer, Anna Pescke and Angelika Waniek