How to apply Future

AIL Program Outlook 2023/24

Text by Elisabeth Falkensteiner and Alexandra Graupner (Heads of AIL)

Thinking about the future holds both promising as well as dispiriting prospects. How can we deal with opaque uncertainties? Which conclusions can we draw in the present, and which role do research and technology play in all this? What tools can artistic practices provide to help overcome the challenges facing our society?

How can we ‘apply’ future?

Next semester, and the following year, AIL will present various new projects – the question of how different temporalities are connected will be at the heart of all of them. The concrete and invisible as well as the manifest and ephemeral relationships between yesterday, today and tomorrow will be explored. We will take a close look at phenomena that take hold of materials or float in a free physical state.

New AIL Topic:

Haunted – Persistence of the Past

In addition to presentations of university-wide artistic research projects, external collaborations and various kinds of events, AIL sets its own thematic priorities. Starting point for this was the cooperation project Decolonizing Technology, led by Elisabeth Falkensteiner and Clemens Apprich (Department of Media Theory) in the fall of 2022.

The next AIL Topic will kick off in October 2023:

Titled Haunted – Persistence of the Past, the program will address the eerie and analyse what haunts us in the here and now. Which past haunts us?

What futures can we imagine? What can we call upon in order to understand the present and that which is imminent? Can we predict the future? And can artificial intelligence do future?

The first instalment of Haunted – Persistence of the Past, the sound performance series Sonic Specters. Between Nostalgia and Anticipation in collaboration with struma+iodine, will take place in October 2023. The invited performers will use eerie and futuristic sounds to search for traces of times past and times to come. The sound series Sonic Specters is concerned neither with resurrecting real events from the past nor with celebrating nostalgia, but sets out in search of lost futures (Mark Fisher) to elude eternally backward-looking feedback loops

Upcoming events:

October 4, 19:00: KMRU and Inou Ki Endo & Misonica (DJ-Set)

November 8, 19:00: Perila and Afrodeo

December 15, 19:00: Katatonic Silentio and dieb13

In cooperation with Wien Modern, AIL will also present the piece Phantom Voltage in November, which promises a totally different experience of the invisible. Control voltages isolated from electromagnetic fields will create new video, sound and light modulations.

We will explore this topic further in another performance series in 2024.

Artistic Research at AIL: Sensing Living Systems

The PEEK research project Sensing Living Systems explores human system awareness and analyses the way artistic presentations of olfactory, auditory and haptic artworks can create direct sensory stimuli that activate this sense of awareness. The results of this artistic research, which are jointly conducted by artists and system scientists, will lead to a multisensory scenography that allows a diverse set of users to have an embodied learning experience.

AIL has been an interdisciplinary platform at the intersection of art, science and research since its foundation in 2014. AIL supports the realization of projects which highlight the in-between spaces that are the result of the interplay of different disciplines. Experiencing, understanding, learning and unlearning as well as rethinking relationships and interactions play a crucial part in making AIL a flexible and open space. With its first artistic research project, led by Alexandra Graupner in collaboration with the artistic duo MUELLER-DIVJAK (Jeanette Mueller & Paul Divjak), AIL is breaking new ground and combining and applying expert knowledge in new ways.

The team of Sensing Living Systems will regularly provide updates about the processes and results of the research project.

Research Presentations

What’s next: 2023

With our upcoming exhibition Conservator at Work, starting October 12, we will look at temporality in terms of uncovering sediment layers, preserving the past and confronting permanence and decay by means of concrete materials. The exhibition will also reflect on the developments over the past 24 years in the academic field of conservation and restoration at the Institute of Conservation and Restoration of the University of Applied Arts Vienna under the directorship of Gabriela Krist. A series of lectures will accompany the exhibition. Live demonstrations will provide the opportunity to experience conservators at work and ask questions.

STATION ROSE will also have its own retrospective on October 17. The performance lecture '35.0' of artistic duo Elisa Rose and composer Gary Danner will provide insights into 35 years of digital work, music and art forms, from 1988 until 2023. These pioneers of digital culture will jump between decades of their work, between overground and underground spaces and extended realities: 1998 will immediately become 2018 as soon they transfer their early digital work to new systems, culminating in NFTs. Early works meet current works in AR, VR and in RL [Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality und Real Life].

Artistic Research in Focus – Preview 2024

At AIL, we regularly present projects from the field of artistic research, showcasing a variety of formats and even works in progress. In 2024, no less than 3 exhibitions will provide insight into artistic research projects that revolve around various materials and the challenges they pose.

The interdisciplinary research project Radical Matter, headed by Martin Reinhardt, will kick off the series of exhibitions in 2024. Tracing 'unpredictable matter', we will end up at the subatomic level. Quantum physics can provoke radical change by challenging human conceptions of the world.

Reverse Imaging Vienna: By using scientific data to explore the past, the research project Greenwashing Concrete creates visions of the future. The respective research objects are a Viennese Gründerzeit house from the turn of the 20th century and a section of Vienna's urban highway A23, which will be de- and recomposed in historical, material-analytical, poetic and visionary ways.

The research project Reflecting Oil: Arts-based Research on Oil Transitionings focuses on the fossil resource that is petroleum: Exploring its global dimension as a cause of geopolitical conflicts and severe environmental pollution, as well as its symbolic dimension as an object of desire. Art-based research methods will throw new light on the raw material. This way, the project also aims to provide information about sustainable energy.

Further information about our program can be found here. Our list of upcoming events includes the continuation of our series Dialogues for Tomorrow with Philipp Blom, a cooperation project with the Bruno Kreisky Forum and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). Rewatch past episodes here.

We look forward to seeing and talking to you all in our new home at the Otto Wagner Postal Savings Bank. Where once foreign exchange and cash transactions took place, interdisciplinary practices now take hold.

See you soon at AIL!

Elisabeth Falkensteiner, Alexandra Graupner & Team

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