Workshops (Closed Sessions)

The workshops will focus in concrete terms on the issues and implementation possibilities of the urban practitioner. The participants invited consist of the lecturers, along with artists, architects, urbanists, theoreticians, politicians and planning officials of public authorities, as well as experts with backgrounds from sociology to new economic strategies for commons.
Specific artistic formats are developed for the workshops so that new tools and methods of communication and production for current urban issues can be experienced directly and their potentials for being deployed in (planning) practice can be sounded out.
In a workshop with students from the Technical University and the Academy of Fine Arts, artist Folke Köbberling is creating a spatial setting for the contact space. Performative warm-up exercises for the workshop will be prepared by Georg Winter and Barbara Holub.
The moderators will report from the workshops to the public audience before the evening lectures, so that the issues raised can be further discussed.

The workshops address the following topics:


1  Tools and strategies of the urban practitioner
In this workshop, already familiar and possible new tools, roles and strategies of the various players in the urban space are explored.

Paul Rajakovics (architect, urbanist, Dept. for Housing and Design / Vienna University of Technology, transparadiso, Vienna)

Markus Ambach (artist, curator, MAP, Düsseldorf)
Torange Khonsaari (architect, public works, London)

Michael Diem (MA 19)
Roberto Gigliotti (architect, osservatorio urbano lungomare, Bolzano)
Christine Hohenbüchler (artist; Institute for Art and Design 1, Vienna University of Technology)
Birgit Hundstorfer (MA 21)
William Menking (architects newspaper/ New York; Pratt Institute, New York)
Dirck Möllmann (KÖR/ Public Art Styria)
Christoph Steinbrener (artist, curator, Vienna)
Martina Taig (KÖR / Public Art Vienna)
Wochenklausur (artist group, Vienna)

_What artistic-urban tools, methods and strategies already exist?
_How can these tools be integrated into planning in the long term and formulate and make effective new values of social and community activity beyond neoliberal interests?
_What role does communication play?
_How can (short-term) appropriation through investor interests be prevented?
_How can a non-order or the ”un-useful” be created?

“Tools and strategies for the urban practitioner“
Who or what could be an “urban practitioner“? Does he already exist? Should he/she be deployed only where the unplanned and/or the unplannable takes place? The urban practitioner is a new figure, and can perhaps be best approached by using well-known examples.
“Park Fiction“ evolved from an Art in the Public Space project, out of opposition to a conventional market-oriented development plan at the Pinnasberg/St. Pauli/Hamburg. The park was developed through participative planning processes and the production of desires, which today throughout the world represents a new model of tactical urban planning processes. What roles have been played here by Christoph Schäfer and Cathy Skene? How important is their background in the visual arts? Here issues of urban planning are raised that cannot or do not want to be aired by the presentationial level of the master plan.

In 2002, El Cartucho in Bogotà (a slum situated in the city centre) is cleared and pulled down. Not because it is to make way for new commercial buildings, but because living in this district is unhealthy and dangerous, and moreover so that important internal urban transport links can be built. A new park (Third Millenium Park) is also created here. Although the residents are to receive generous apartments with solid public infrastructure, financed entirely by the city, many still do not want to leave their houses. But the then mayor Antanas Mockus, known for his unorthodox approaches, commissions “Mapa Teatro“ to put on a large-scale play together with residents, “Witness to the ruin“. This helps to allay people’s fears of the new future, and they are able to come to terms collectively with the memory of the old district. After one year, all signs of “grief” have disappeared.

Both projects are based on artistic strategies which have enabled urban fiction to really happen. They put their trust in a strategic concept based on urban-tactical stakeholders and on establishing a collective desire.
What trans-disciplinary cooperations are needed here? Does a new professional field need to be created if the intention is to brush up the city against the grain? What players can take on which roles in this? Is it possible for the these players to change roles? Is it essential? Can the artistic strategy alone fulfil the unwanted hope of the unexpected?
(Paul Rajakovics)

Paul Rajakovics, architect and urbanist, founded transparadiso with artist Barbara Holub in 1999 as a transdisciplinary practice. Recent projects include Stadtwerk Lehen and Fotohof Gallery, Salzburg; 2001 thesis on “contextual acting in architecture and urbanism”; 1997-2003 and since 2009 assistant professor / Dept. for Housing and Design / Vienna University of Technology; 2004 Schindler grant, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; 2004-2006 co-secretary of Europan Austria; since 2002 member of the editorial board of “dérive – magazine for urban research“; 2007 Otto-Wagner Award for Urban Design; 2012 funding by departure for “Direct Urbanism“; “Direct Urbanism“, Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, (forthcoming Dec. 2012).


2 Collaboration, cooperation, participation
explores the potential of conflicts as a productive force and critically investigates arguments for and against current forms of participation and cooperation.

Moderation: Mick Wilson (artist, curator, theoretician, Valand Academy, Gothenborg)

Grant Kester (art theoretician, University of California, San Diego)
Markus Miessen (architect, architecture theoretician, Studio Miessen, Berlin, Städelschule Frankfurt)

Christoph Chorherr (die Grünen/ Green Party, Vienna)
Wolfgang Förster (MA 50, Vienna)
Martin Fritz (curator, Vienna)
Barbara Holub (artist, transparadiso; Institute for Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology)
Sonja Huber (KÖR/ Public Art Vienna)
Astrid Konrad (MA 19)
Yvette Masson-Zanussi (EFAP/ European Forum of Architectural Policies, Brussels)
Alan Mee (architect, UCD School of Architecture, Dublin)
Bernd Vlay (architect, Europan Österreich, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)
Georg Winter (artist, Academy of Fine Arts Saar, Saarbrücken)

_How do the aesthetics of critically committed projects relate to social / socio-political expectations?
_Under what conditions should we cooperate, how, with whom and for whom?
_How is artistic production generated between an independence/ a view from “outside” / a different expertise and the expectation of the client?
_Is consensus always a good thing?
_How much involvement is essential?
_What new paths exist or can be imagined between ”bottom up“ and ”top down“?
_Participatory projects and new cooperations between the space of possibility and the abyss?
_How can conflicts and extraordinary methods of action become productive?

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Critical Challenges to “New Urban Practices”
The last ten years have seen an especially intense debate emerge around a range of practices that: (i) seek to overcome the traditional professional/positional divisions of “artist” “architect” “planner” “activist” and “urban designer”; and (ii) to do so in a way that engages directly with the socio-political dynamics of urban processes and the production of “new” urban areas.  Often these practices are specifically framed as an attempt to bridge the opposition between the planning of urban areas and the active production of the unplanned and emergent unpredictable dynamics of urban life within these processes of urban renewal or extension.
The oppositional political ambition of these projects – often connected to themes of grass-roots democracy, activism, collaboration and self-organisation – has been an especially prominent point of debate and critique. This often manifests in a critical description of projects as “co-opted”, “gentrifying”, and/or normalizing of the neoliberal state’s withdrawal from the production of “the public good” and radical privatization of “the social.” This ranges from moderate critique to much more vitriolic and damning opinions.
Phillips and Erdemci’s (2012) Social Housing-Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice presents a moderated form of critique: “For many years, artists have contributed to the design and organization of structures of living together, often with ambivalent effect. Whilst many have imagined—and attempted to implement—radical new forms of social housing as alternatives to both privatization and state provision, they have also ushered in waves of gentrification, thus contributing significantly to a story of capitalization now dominant within urban infrastructures.”
A much more aggressive polemic is at work in BAVO’s critique of “NGO art” in texts such as (2007) “Always Choose the Worst Option – Artistic Resistance and the Strategy of Over-Identification”: “Faced with an open invitation extended by the same powerful players they used to criticize, artists have reconceptualized their role as socially engaged actors … Most symptomatic in this regard is the rise, over the past decade, of what might be called ‘NGO art’ … these art practices share the idea that, considering the many urgent needs at hand, there is no call for high art statements, big political manifestoes or sublime expressions of moral indignation. Instead what is needed are direct, concrete, artistic interventions that help disadvantaged populations and communities to deal with the problems they are facing … a growing army of artists who are travelling around the globe making their artistic-creative skills available for problem assessment and solving – sometimes even anticipating problems or creating problems to dynamize social processes. Whether it concerns the development of a cheap, sustainable and easy way for illegal communities on the border between the United States and Mexico to build their own housing (Estudio Teddy Cruz) or running a popular theatre in a third world slum (26’10 south Architects), all these projects betray a concern for social empowerment, for small, modest interventions that attempt to improve life in specific situations from the bottom up, in close interaction and participation with local actors and stakeholders … commitment is understood as the constant production of innovative micro-solutions – so-called ‘pocket revolutions’ – to the real, everyday problems people encounter in their immediate life world. This constitutes a fundamental move away from any deep criticism … towards an art practice devoted to providing answers, solutions, toolkits and DIY manuals for the problems at hand, often in close cooperation with market players”.
This workshop will look at how this critical debate might be encountered within the elaboration of particular projects and urban practices.
(Mick Wilson)

Mick Wilson is an artist, educator and writer; currently Head of the Valand Academy of Arts, Gothenburg, Sweden, previously founder Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Ireland (www.gradcam.ie); Chair of the ‘SHARE’ EU-wide network (www.sharenetwork.eu) for doctoral level studies in the arts; member of the European Art Research Network (www.artresearch.eu). Co-editor with Paul O’Neill of Curating and the Educational Turn, Amsterdam/London, (2010). Recent art projects/group exhibitions include: “The Food Thing: Of the Salt Bitter Sweet Sea” Dublin, 2012; “The Recipe Salons”, Dublin, 2012. Current collaboration projects include “the food thing” 2011-2014; and “dead publics” 2009-2013. Recent publications include: ‘We Are the Board, But What is an Assemblage?’, in Mara Ambrozic & Angela Vettese, (eds.) Art as a Thinking Process Sternberg Press (2012).


3 Urban Practitioners and Commons
discusses ownership, access and social justice

Moderation: Stefan Gruber (architect, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) and Anette Baldauf (sociologist, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

Part I: Brigitte Kratzwald
Part II: Tamara Schwarzmayr/Nadia Prauhart

Angelika Burtscher (osservatorio urbano lungomare, Bolzano)
Jutta Kleedorfer (MA 18)
Martin Krenn (artist, curator, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Inge Manka (architect, Institute for Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology)
Nadia Prauhart (Austrian Institute for Ecology, Vienna)
Lisa Schmidt-Colinet (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Tamara Schwarzmayr (art and cultural science, community building and migration)
Andrea Seidling (Az W/ Architecture Center, Vienna)
Robert Temel (researcher, journalist, communicator, initiative für gemeinschaftliches Wohnen)

Part I: Solidarity Economy and Commons
Part II: Urban Practitioners und Commons

The fierce debate on ownership, access and social justice has confronted urban practitioners with a new set of pressing questions on the goals as well as means of their interventions. In this workshop we want to share our experiences with artistic practices situated outside or at the margins of capitalist markets; we are interested in practices revolving around the ideas of the solidarity economy and the commons, the art of sharing, thieving and rescaling.
(Anette Baldauf, Stefan Gruber)

Anette Baldauf is a sociologist and cultural critic. She is currently Professor at the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies and co-coordinator of the PhD program “PhD in Practice” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Stefan Gruber
is principal of Vienna based STUDIOGRUBER working at the intersection between architecture, urbanism and research. He is a professor for architectural design and urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he directs the platform for Geography, Landscape, Cities. His teaching and research revolve around urban strategies based on focused interventions at multiple scales aiming at systemic effects. From 2002 to 2006 Stefan Gruber collaborated with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York on projects such as the redesign of Lincoln Center and Alice Tully Hall.


4  After the applause
brings up for discussion the longer-term effects of urban interventions and summarises concrete possibilities of establishing the urban practitioner.

Moderation: Regina Bittner (cultural scientist, curator, head of the International Bauhaus Kolleg at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Bauhaus Dessau)

Paul O’Neill (artist, curator, art theoretician, Bristol)
Alisa Prudnikova (curator, Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg)

Peter Arlt (sociologist, Linz)
Werner Fenz (curator, Graz)
Karin Harather (artist, Institute for Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology)
Andrea Holzmann (housing company GPA, Vienna)
Folke Köbberling (artist, Köbberling/ Kaltwasser, Berlin)
Otto Mitmannsgruber (artist, Institute for Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology)
Katrina Petter (KÖR NÖ/ Public Art Lower Austria)
Heidi Pretterhofer  (architect, arquitectos, Vienna)
Isa Rosenberger (artist, Vienna)
Katharina Sokol (MA 19)
Erich Streichsbier (MA 19)

_What is the role of the urban practitioner ” after the applause“, when the (artistic) project has come to an end? How does this role change before, during and after the event/ project?
_Is the role of the urban practitioner at one location ever finished?
_How can the unplannable and the unplanned function as a strategy in contrast to and together with conventional planning methods?
_How can the energy and public awareness be transformed and used for a longer-term strategy and cooperation with the city and urban planning departments?
_What new forms of temporality and planning rhythm are needed to involve the urban practitioner on an equal footing in longer-term cooperations?

Field Tests in a City on the Move
Cities have been set in motion: they can no longer be considered as exclusive, territorially located, nationally contextualised units; rather they are a flexible entity in which widely diverse currents of people, goods, ideas, images, information and cultures are concentrated, each in their own special way. In view of the explosive juxtaposition of different spatial and temporal relationships, the criteria available to urban researchers in terms of what urban life now really is, are no longer sufficient to describe the particular form of socialisation called the city. Current debates in urban research are dominated by criticism of a stereotyped, leitmotiv-driven concept of the city, continuing to this day.

The controversy surrounding the subject of the city has also reached disciplines involved in shaping the city, such as architecture and urban planning – ownership structures, clients, institutions and constellations of players are all changing. Architects and planners operate less as experts with particular institutionalised agendas, but rather as catalysts, curators, agents or mediators. In the discourse concerning a new planning culture, there has been talk for some time now of a paradigm shift: a shift of dominance from the planner’s and architect’s planning space towards the resident’s living space. What comes to the fore here is a second-level spatial production. The lecture discusses parallels and contradictions between definitions of objects in current urban research and the attempts at the definition of planning and architectural interventions in the urban space. Two tendencies of this change in perspective are to be examined. Firstly, one consequence of the shift of the city’s significance from the object of what is built to the process of acting in the city is that the design activity is targeted more at identifying problems than at solving them. Secondly, the expansion of the design’s field of action is also linked to a critical examination of the discipline itself. The intention is to discuss to what extent, in the wide range of urban projects that test out the possibilities of urban commitment by means of architectural art and design, contributions for a new conception of architecture and planning can also be developed as a critically reflective discipline.

Bittner Regina, Dr.phil., cultural theorist and curator, head of the International Bauhaus Kolleg at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, vice director of Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

Key research areas: urban ethnography, cultural history of modernism, urban culture of the globalised city, heritage studies. Curator of exhibitions on cultural and architectural history of modernism as well as on urban culture, numerous lectures and teaching internationally, publications see www.bauhaus-dessau.de.