continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.

Open Scenarios for Non-Trivial Pursuits



Artist-run research and teaching have long been the source of transformative potentials and radical rethinkings of how communities can be, work and act together, as distributed, collective, synchronic, autonomous and connective. These much deliberated communities support and cultivate the knowledge practices of curious people – artists, researchers, designers; thinkers and makers, activists; administrators, activators and organisers. In our current moment, such communities, if they are operational, are by default both digital and real, streamable and graspable. The very existence and prolonged discourse around such communities directly affirms the need for new forms of encounter between people, producers and audiences. We always need to co-create new potentials and formats for discussing, presenting, learning, sharing – knowing – as well via critical reflection on the media and the technological conditions that allow us to work together. For Coded Cultures: Openism, the publishing collective continentassembles a programme of experimental and experiential, erkenntnis-oriented encounters where people driven by curiosity toward modes of friendship and scholarship support each other in their matters of concern – personal and professional intents forever colliding in "Open Scenarios for Non-Trivial Pursuits".

Open Scenarios for Non-Trivial Pursuits
25.5.–28.5.2016 at Coded Cultures: Openism, Vienna

Main location and meeting point unless otherwise noted: 
The University in Ruins, Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz 2, 6th floor

Day I: Proposals, Prescriptions & Possiblities

#0 Opening Statement: Provoking thought – On the way to thinking (Julia Hölzl)
#1 Prescriptions and Possibilities (Seth Weiner)
#2 Proposal Prosa (Fabian Faltin)

Day II: Hyperconnected (The Whole Picture)

#1 Karin Ferrari: Guided visit to "Hyperconnected: The Whole Picture" at Palais des Beaux Arts Wien, begins at 14:00
#2 Systemic Structure Seance (Applied Demonology) with Karin Ferrari at University in Ruins, begins at 16:00


Day III: Rituals of Friendship & Scholarship

#1 Global Material Pottery (Peter Moosgaard)
#2 Friendship & Scholarship (Jamie Allen)
#3 (18:30) A public conversation about publication and public-making (at Coded Cultures Festival Headquarters)


With additional and ongoing contributions by Nina Jäger, Lital Khalkin, Paul Boshears, Franziska Huemer, Maximilian Thomann and Bernhard Garnicnig.


Please let us know if you're coming: bernhard@continentcontinen 



Provoking thought: On the way to thinking (Julia Hölzl)

“How to free thinking from thought? Where to think, where to think thinking? A/s tedious lecture, this presentation aims to re-turn thought to thinking, to turn thought into thinking.” During her introductory monologue, Julia Hölzl is asking us where and in which forms or formats thinking can take place these days. She will then share her observations of the Open Scenarios for Non-Trivial Pursuits with us during the public conversation on Friday.

Prescription and Possibility (Seth Weiner)

“Do you think you have the same kind of sex as your parents?”* Based on an open score, Seth Weiner proposes a seated scenario in which we explore the process of formulating prompts that through a dose of prescription, open up potentially unforeseen responses about ourselves, the world and what ties us and them together. (* Sharon Hayes, Ricerche: three, 2013)

Proposal Prosa (Fabian Faltin)

Proposal writing means to declare a possible future. What is a proposal? A prediction, a forecast or a vision of one’s own life in the future, or just symbolic knowledge currency entering in a raffle of potential capital for agency? What if the person writing the proposal would suddenly enter a state of de-realisation, and fiction and reality blur into a poetic space beyond the limits of control and scope of the proposed project? In this workshop we explore the performative potential of text-based project proposals, residency requests and funding applications: can they take on a life of their own, that precludes, exhausts or transcends their original purpose?


Karin Ferrari: Hyperconnected (The Whole Picture) & Systemic Structure Seance (Applied Demonology Method)

The visual encodings marking the digital interface might be possessed with a subversive symbolic potential. The symbolic dimension of the digital interface desires to be recognized and examined, which will also unleash its magical transformative power. Is the wireless icon the antidotal counterpart to the all-seeing eye? Or are we simply already entangled in the ever present surplus of symbolic meaning?

In Hyperconnected (The Whole Picture), Karin Ferrari introduces a speculative chart mapping the flux of meanings between a cluster of icons related to the web. By appropriating and re-envisioning mimetic signs and their syntactical relations, new technicoloured virtual possibilities emerge from the ominous undercurrents that flow through planetary telecommunication networks and archaic power structures. Next time you touch a WiFi symbol, a different kind of connection might be established.



Friendship & Scholarship (Jamie Allen)

I want to do something about academic friendship and the love of knowing, as I have some idea that an intimacy with things and other people both is and should be much more central to everything we do as artists, writers, scholars, teachers, people. This seems to me particularly true if we want to escape the mythic pathologies of self-abuse, loneliness, laziness (how did we become so withdrawn that doing something, anything, gets called ‘accelerationism’?) and (spiritual) impoverishment that seem to be a mainstay of the individual-institutional relational condition. This scenario will involve propositional friendships. ‘Friends’ are supportively unknown, unknowable and can even be hard on one another. Can we be friends with institutions? What would you want from such a friendship, anyway?

“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.”  

“Most of us must simply recognize that not much is happening and we are quite far from the levers of power. It is necessary, then, to make more friends.”

Global Material Pottery (Peter Moosgaard)

When machines are capable of doing all manual and informational work for us, we are free to play and regress like spoiled children. The Keynesian Utopia of a society of leisure also supports the rise of a “disposable life”, a transposition from a system that simply does not need people. In a scenario-building process, this workshop employs a global imaginary in which technology emancipates its (human) agents instead of merely using them as genitals (McKenna). The much trending “Art in the Athropocene” calls us to a new game (Huizinga), our new imaginary. The notion of the fetish has to be redefined: Waste Totems, Rare Earth Sculpting, Extinction Aesthetics, rituals metabolising global materials. According to leading mythologist Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell, Saga of the Swamp Thing) all culture evolved from cult - and possibly these anthropocenic desires can reflect in new rituals like the “workshop”, playing society, using participants merely as material processing agents.