The Exchange - The Truth is Concrete

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Working Group coordinator: Neil
Working Group Members: Marsha Bradfield, Kuba Szreder, Sharon, Metod Blejec, Karem Ibrahim

Critical Practice Truth is concrete project

Livestream from Truth is Concrete

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A 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art.
steirischer herbst festival, Graz, Austria
21/09 – 28/09 2012

Description of Festival:
24-hour, 7-day marathon camp: 200 artists, activists and theorists, lecture, perform, produce and discuss artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art together with a local and international public. It is a platform as well as a statement, an extreme effort in a time that seems to need some extreme efforts. (...) A full grant program will additionally attract 100 students and young professionals from all over the world.

Aim of Festival:
To ask eternally recurring lefties' questions about 'what is to be done?' by discussing real examples of political strategies in art and artistic strategies in politics.

Details of invitation:
Critical Practice are invited to host one of the daily 2hour General Assemblies, during one of the afternoons, preceded by a preparatory period during the event, potentially encompassing workshops with stall-holders
The session should be led by Critical Practice, but also embody Critical Practice, so that its a response to the marathons specific politics / agenda

See the programme

Critical Practice Proposal for: Truth is concrete:

P2PExchange A5Flyer.jpg
  • The Form: Critical Practice proposes to reconfigure the Festival's spatial and temporal arrangement into a Peer to Peer (P2P) Exchange. To do so we will re-purpose the technology of a ‘market of ideas’, which was tested and honed by Critical Practice during a previous event, [Public modes of assembly and forms of address].

Festival contributors will be transformed into nodes in networks of exchange: Every speaker, invited contributor or group will occupy an expert node (a table, some chairs and information or materials - representing the contributors’ interests or expertise) and we will produce lo-fi posters to publicise each node. We imagine between 15 and 40 nodes, depending on the amount of space available and contributor uptake.

During the P2P Exchange, the festival’s milling publics will roam between each node, and engage in reciprocal, intimate, simultaneous and distributed conversations, discussions and debate. Each node is also encouraged to roam the networked exchange; ideally each node will be manned by two or more people to enable them to interact.

  • The Crux: P2P Exchange aims to reconfigure the festival’s temporal succession (i.e. one speaker after another) into a distributed and spatial aggregate (i.e. speakers simultaneously contribute). And, in contrast to the ‘captive audience’ conditioned by one-to-many ‘broadcast’ presentations, the Exchange’s ‘many-to-many’ peer structure transforms the Festival’s passive publics into active social actors; actors who co-produce this distributed exchange. The expertise of our publics is unleashed, possibilities for diverse forms of knowledge production are increased, while deep, rich and intimate engagements can occur.
  • The Result: Expert nodes and milling publics work together to co-produce a specific spatio-temporally experience with multiple epicenters of interactive knowledge production.
  • The Logic(s): The proposed P2P Exchange aims to devise an alternative knowledge economy by ‘upcycling’ the Festival’s resources. We will constitute the Exchange as a multi-threaded network of situated knowledges, skills and experiences among Festival resources. Moreover the Exchange’s peer-based architecture will distribute attention and symbolic recognition between different participants in the network, regardless of their affiliations as Festival contributors, support staff or attending publics.
  • Preparations: Before the P2P Exchange, Critical Practice will launch an open call, encouraging all Festival contributors to take part in the Exchange. We will target official speakers and performers, scholarship recipients, members of the publics, the technical team, the curatorial staff and volunteers. During the preparatory phase, members of Critical Practice will act as agents; canvasing the Festival, they will identify and involve potential expert nodes. Expert nodes will be invited to 'reserve' spaces in the Exchange and participate in preparatory workshops, during which the Exchanges technology will be introduced, lo-fi posters produced, and spatial arrangements tested. Members of the publics will be informed of the event and invited to come and contribute. The entire operation will be facilitated and documented using social media. A hashtag (#p2pExchange) will be distribute interactions.

See the programme


See more of karem's-Graz-photos

Addendum Email invitations to the Truth is Concrete

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