ORF 3 TV documentary about Schütte-Lihotzky

Last week, the culture TV channel ORF 3 showed a documentary about architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky’s life, including a short sequence with my dramaturge (and relative of Schütte-Lihotzky) Luzie Stransky and of our performance/installation EIN.KÜCHEN.BAU (about from min. 35:00 onwards). The documentary can be viewed online a few days only (click here).

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Q202 Studio festival Vienna on 21-23 April!


Our Vienna Atelier Glockengasse 8a (Miriam Laussegger/Pablo Chiereghin/Joonas Lahtinen) is part of this year’s Studio festival Q202 — we focus on “older” works (made before 2010) and present works of some 30 fellow artists too!

Today 21.4. our studio is open until midnight, tomorrow Saturday between 2 and 9 pm 14-21, and on Sunday between 2 and 6 pm!
Address: Glockengasse 8a, 1020 Wien (U2 Taborstrasse)

Photo: Joonas Lahtinen, Love Letter #2 (for Jenny), 2008, text and ticker, inspired by Jenny Holzer’s practice

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News: Academy of Fine Arts / Art and Education Program

From now on I’ll be working as a University Assistant (equivalent of „lecturer“ in many other countries) at The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna / Institute for Education in the Arts / Art and Education Program in the superb team of Prof. Elke Krasny – it seems that I have landed at a place where I can combine all of my key professional interests (doing own artistic and research projects + teaching and planning practical and theoretical courses, exhibitions and events) at one of the oldest and most renowned art universities in the world.
I will be able to realize projects with external partners and outside the academia too; all current project plans are still valid. That is, in the coming years there will be a lot going on both within the institutional walls and beyond them — stay tuned!




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“What’s your take on Mad House?” until 8 April 2017 in Helsinki!


We had a great opening weekend at Mad House Helsinki – you can listen to the sound installation until 8 April 2017 during the Mad House Season 4 events!
Free access!

On your way to the toilets of Mad House Helsinki, you will be confronted with provocative questions taken from a questionnaire on death – however, the word “death” is replaced by “Mad House” in each question, resulting in emotional, playful and quirky statements about one of the most exciting performance venues in Helsinki!

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Coming up in early 2017

My 2017 will begin with teaching and the premiere of our sound installation in Helsinki —

12 Jan:  Guest Lecture session “Parts that matter – contemporary critical discourses and the politics of participatory art practice” at the course Relational, Immersive and Participatory Activities, University of the Arts Helsinki / Theatre Academy

13-14 Jan:  Sound installation What’s your take on Mad House? at the Opening weekend of Mad House Helsinki Season 4. You can listen to the installation during the opening hours of Mad House during the whole spring, until 9 April 2017!

Also, I’m very happy and proud to announce that I have been invited to the steering group of the new international Master programme “Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research” at the University of the Arts Helsinki / Theatre Academy.
The innovative programme starts in Fall 2017 and it will be organized in cooperation with Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Université Libre Bruxelles/Brussels, Aberystwyth University Wales, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, and Kunsthøgeskolen Oslo.

Yet another exiting piece of news:

I have been invited to teach an course on transdiciplinary art-making practices at the Studio for Art and Education (Kunst und Bildung/Institut für das künstlerisches Lehramt) of the renowned Academy of Fine Arts Vienna!! The course takes place between  early March and June 2017.

More info about these and other activities to follow soon…

*** We wish all our audiences and partners all best for the remainder of 2016 – and hope to see you in 2017!! ***

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Coming up: audio installation at MAD HOUSE HELSINKI 13 Jan – 9 Apr 2017 !!

Now it’s official! —

We will make a sound installation “What’s your take on Mad House?” for the MAD HOUSE HELSINKI SEASON 4 and it will run between January and April 2017 in the toilets of the festival centre at Suvilahti, Helsinki!

The previous version of the project, “Wie stehen Sie zum brut?” was part of the So weit so brut festival in brut Wien (Vienna) in 2015.

Hope to see you (or hear you) in Helsinki in early 2017!



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Yet another brilliant essay about R.I.P. SERVICES at URB16 !!

Mustekala culture webzine has published a brilliant philosophical essay “Hyvän mielen markkinat” – that employs e.g. Michel Foucault’s concept “biopower” – about R.I.P. SERVICES and Wunderkinder, another celebrated recent performance that discussed our possibilities for life control in the contemporary society. Please find translated excerpts below:


Fair of “good feelings”

by Matti Tuomela,
editor-in-chief, mustekala culture webzine

(…) R.I.P. Services is a multisensory performance that took part in Alppitalo, in my case in a beautiful late summer evening (…) We could move freely on the site. There was a number of precise rectancle-shaped “boxes” marked on the floor that I associated with graves. In the middle of the room, a projection screen showed us footage of a wind turbine. This “cemetery setting” with all its associations made me think of the cycle of energy production. Little by little towards then end of R.I.P. Services, I realized what the “catch” of the performance was: it was sort of a fictitious advertisement event that aimed to sell us (as the name of the performance tells us) a service that will make our death as pleasant an experience as possible.

How does R.I.P. Services take part in the debate on wellbeing? Surely, it includes dark humour when making business about dying. In a theoretical sense, the performance can be seen to “fill” the “loophole” in Michel Foucault’s (1926-1984) concept of “biopower”. In general terms, biopower refers to a technology of power to discipline and subjugate one’s body into a productive entity. Also, at the macro-level, biopower is linked to the control of populations, institutions, and hierarchies. An easy example of biopower is the justice system: our society does not execute criminals anymore but, instead, tries to “cure” them, make them into decent citizens – in a sense, into servants of power. Death, as Foucault puts it, is the limit of power. A dead body is not a productive body. In this sense, death is a crime against power. Capitalism requires biopower that organizes life into productive activity (…) R.I.P. Services, perhaps also as a general critical comment on the consumerist society, toys with the idea that we may be able to productivize this ultimate limit that escapes power – the limit between life and death.

R.I.P. Services offers interesting parallels and challenging views regarding the side effects of our fixation on ”wellbeing” [Carl Cedeström & André Spicer: “The Wellness Syndrome” (2015)]. Already the thought of a “good” or a “better” death is a sarcastic notion about our contemporary culture. The performance propagates the view that we are afraid of the process of dying and death because it includes many issues that we cannot control, such as pissing one’s pants at the moment of death. At the same time, the performance asks: what if you had the chance to decide? The fictitious service marketed by the performance reminds me of the services of life-coaches: the “product” being sold is located within the spectator; you just have to take control over it, “grasp it, decide yourself”. The starting point of the service that offers a “good death” is the customer’s fear of death. However, this service does not aim to erase that fear but to offer various ways to keep it under one’s control. Once again, the “space” of the human mind is infinite: can we ever really accept death? If we can’t, it is possible to cash in with it until the very end. The principle of life-coaching follows the same logic, only in the contrary meaning: towards a fee, the individual is “trained” to reach e.g. the potential or happiness or whatever that resides in him. But where are the apexes of these so-called “potentials”?

In R.I.P. Services, the customer’s need to buy the service is evident: all of us will die eventually. This need also relates to the control and disciplinary society. Activity wristbands, heart rate monitors and the millions of apps that help us measure our sport performances are side products of wellbeing; they are ways for disciplining our bodies. Indeed, introspection and the myriad ways to measure our performance in various areas are good examples, first, of the biopower directed at subjects and, second, of how we produce data about ourselves. The data acquisitions made by websites and apps are part of the process that aims to capitalize on the knowledge production that we, as individuals, have done about ourselves. (…) I think that the test about the fear of death is essentially connected to the current trend of introspection, self-disciplining, and self-control. (…) The male performer told us that we can tailor the service to suit our individual needs: the company gathers data about the customer so that they can give him/her (playfully) the perfect dying situation.

(Photo: Luzie Stransky)

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