Technopolitics@codedcultures: Break On Through!

Technopolitics is a praxis oriented research project initiated by Brian Holmes and Armin Medosch. It is a self-educational project which works out a theoretic framework and vocabulary that makes complex and difficult concepts accessible to cultural producers and activists such as themselves. Technopolitics@codedcultures consists of two parts, a presentation of technopolitical issues with short talks and audivisual support materials, and a second part with a panel of respondents and open discussion with the audience.

Technopolitics@codedcultures: Break On Through!
Tuesday, 27th of September, Urania, Mittlerer Saal, 19:00 - 23:00 CET

Idea and presentation: Armin Medosch

Short Talks:

John Barker: Time and Technology in Textile "Sourcing"
Felix Stalder (recorded talk): Neoliberal Zombie Ideologies vs. the Commons
Christian Lauk: The End of the Age of Fossile Fuels
Brian Holmes (recorded talk): Technopolitics on the Move - Continental Drift through the Pampa

Panel discussion with:

Konrad Becker
Beate Firlinger
Christian Lauk
Alex Nikolic
Axel Stockburger

Audiovisual shorts:

Matsuko Yokokoji and Graham Harwood: Open Data Book Stabbing (2011)
Lucas Bambozzi: Mobile Crash (2009)
Manu Luksch: Faceless (2007)
Deptford TV / Mediengruppe Bitnik: Austrian Surveillance Techno (2011)


The current hegemonic centre of the world, the US and its Western allies, are going through a profound economic crisis which is on the verge of becoming a political crisis of world governance. This is made all the more complex because of a looming ecological crisis, created by climate change and the foreseeable end of fossile fuels. Technopolitics tries to find an adequate response to this situation for artists, cultural critics and other people concerned. How can we gain an understanding of the current transformations that does not paralyse us and enables us to act? Which critical investigations do we need to undertake to understand the current technopolitical transformations and which meaningful steps can we take?

We take “technopolitical paradigms” as a useful theoretical starting point. These are coherent articulations between types of machines, forms of organisation and supporting social institutions and change about every 50 years. They originate in a particular hegemonic centre (in our era, the USA) and disseminate through the capitalist world in outwardly radiating movements. The power of the hegemon accrues from its ability to spark innovations - combinations of ways of organisation, political domination and new technologies – which, as they are picked up by rivals, slowly start to loose their capacity to guarantee an advantage. Once a paradigm has lost its persuasive power, a deep crisis arises which cannot be resolved within the same paradigm. We think that we are experiencing such a moment. We are asking if the next paradigm will still have America as its centre and if it will be still based on the commodity-form? What can we do to break through the borders of the informational paradigm?

short cv's (alphabetically):

John Barker is a novelist and has written extensively on political economy for Mute, Variant, and Adbusters magazines as well as the journal Science as Culture.

Konrad Becker is a media researcher, artist, author and editr of numerous publications, director of Institute of cultural technologies/t0 and

Beate Firlinger is an independent journalist and media worker based in Vienna

Brian Holmes is a cultural critic and activist researcher, currently living in Chicago.

Christian Lauk is a researcher at the Institute of Social Ecology of the University of Klagenfurt

Armin Medosch is a researcher, writer and exhibition and conference organiser based in London and Vienna.

Alexander Nikolic is an artist, activist and researcher; he is currently waiter and curator of cultural centre Boem in Vienna.

Felix Stalder is lecturer in digital culture and epistemologies of networks at University of Arts, Zurich and researches at Institute of cultural technologies/t0

Axel Stockburger is an artist and theorist who lives and works in Vienna and London