In the second half of the twentieth century the world appeared to be heading towards something better. Today, the optimism is tinted with dystopian future prospects for a planet on a collision course when it comes to the impossibility of continued increase in consumption and economic growth. On which levels can the artist work in this context of constant change on the geopolitical map? Can we see the apocalypse in a different light?
The theme of the discursive program at this year's festival is utopia, and the changeability connected to it. Throughout the ages, societies can be interpreted based on which utopias they yearn for. What opportunities, what solutions are possible?
A utopia is defined as a "non-place" and is itself impossible. Yet it is a concept most of us can relate to; the ultimate goal, something to strive for. Is it part of human nature to always long for the next, something better? Can this urge explain why we, as a species, have come to a point in our technological development where we are beginning to question if we are making the human workforce unnecessary?
Is it viable to argue that the discussion about what we want with our world has stopped? Is it possible to discuss a utopia for community and a utopia for the individual in the same breath? We need solutions, not doomsday prophecies. We need new stories, and have long since had enough of moralising.
In this discursive program we will plunge fearlessly into the above-mentioned questions, hoping to generate new perspectives for artists, students, and a general audience attending Oktoberdans 2016. The audience is invited to contribute to the discussions, as well as to send us written texts for the DIGITAL SPEAKEASY section at the BIT Teatergarasjen website. The workshop takes place in a gallery space called Visningsrommet, also the location for the festival’s late night hang out Oktobar.
11:00: Guy Standing by way of Speaker’s Corner (no chairs)
13:00: Linn Stalsberg on utopia, youth and absence of revolt (working title)
11:00: Christophe Meierhans on utopia in relation to art
13:00: Wolfgang Heuer: Queering Europe – solving the European paradox
11:00: Iver Findlay: TOPIC TO BE REVEALED
13:00: Alt Går Bra: Grand Narrative
Moderated by Rune Salomonsen (house philosopher) and Karoline Skuseth (curator for discursive programme), both at BIT Teatergarasjen.
Guy Standing is Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. He is a founding member of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), which work internationally to promote discussion about a universal and unconditional basic income. Standing has written widely in the areas of labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection. His recent work has concerned the emerging precariat class and the need to move towards unconditional basic income and deliberative democracy. His contribution to the theory workshop during Oktoberdans 2016 will focus on the Politics of Paradise.
Linn Stalsberg is MSc in sociology from LSE and is currently working as a freelance author, moderator and journalist. In 2013 she wrote the book, "Am i free now?", an historical perspective on feminist struggle in Norway, with emphasis on the movements clash with marketideology in the 1980s. At present time she is working on a non fiction book about neoliberalism.
Christophe Meierhans is a Swiss artist who showcased a complete political system for one of his last performances, Some use for your broken clay pots. When it was performed at BIT Teatergarasjen the spring of 2014 a spectator was provoked by the lack of a clear distinction between fiction and reality, as he had understood the show as a lecture about a voting system in the Athenian City state known as ’ostracism’, and felt deceived. What mechanisms are at play when art occupies such positions? Can art offer a satisfactory model of society, created by the void of democracy an autocrat director represent?
Wolfgang Heuer gives lectures at the Institute for Political Science at the Free University of Berlin, and as guest professor both in Brazil and Chile. His research and publications deal with the work of Hannah Arendt, with civic courage, and with forms of extreme violence in post-totalitarian society. He is the managing editor of the online journal HannahArendt.net, and he co-curated in 2006 the international art exhibition „Hannah Arendt Thinking Space“ in Berlin. The recent crises of Europa has made him insist on a deeper understanding and a greater wealth of federalism than the predominant technical and bureaucratic one, raising a range of questions: if federalism was an answer to the devastating nationalism in the 20th century, isn’t a federalism of nation-states a paradox? Is there perhaps a different way of thinking inhernet in federalism (pluralistic) and nation-states (either-or)? And may queer theory (and/or) help us redefine plurality and differences on state level? The invitee, the audience and the organizers are asked to find answers.
Iver Findlay (US), is an Artist and Director working with performance company Findlay//Sandsmark, as well as co-founder and project leader at RIMI/IMIR Scenekunst in Stavanger. He was a founding member of notorious Brooklyn performance space 'Collapsable Hole', an artist run project between the companies Radiohole and Collapsable Giraffe.
Findlay//Sandsmark (F//S) is a Norway based performance company working across the disciplines of dance, theater, live music and video art. For the past few years the constellation of Findlay/Sandsmark and Pål Asle Pettersen have created several productions in the borderland between performing arts and installation, bending connections and correlations between disciplines to create live art which resonates from a physical and emotional plane. Several of their previous projects have been presented @ Bit Teatergarasjen, including 'o' death' and 'biograph, last year…' and 'pretty shitty study'. F//S are artists in the APAP network.
The workshop is presented in collaboration with House on Fire with support from the Nordic Culture Fund, Fritt Ord and Bergen Kommune.