steirischer herbstMasters, tricksters, bricoleurs
Conference on virtuosity as a strategy for art and survival
60% theory
30% lecture
10% art & politics

Virtuosity becomes a core skill for everyone in cognitive capitalism: with no distinction between masters and tricksters. Immaterial labour demands virtuosity, and the parallels with art production and performance, are unmistakable: consultation and information, therapy and organisation are all about forms of production that produce virtually nothing but themselves.
Against this foil, the question of virtuosity in art must be negotiated anew, and with it questions regarding the boundaries of art, work, politics and economy. New kinds of virtuosity are evolving along these boundaries today. Between everyday trickery and masterful skill they are hard to grasp and they put artful thought and artistic action into new constellations. They transform thought into dance, non-art into art, and vice versa, and they defy division into those that have something to show and those that merely watch. At the same time, however, they address the question of skill from a new perspective: what is a virtuosity of observing, watching, listening? When is artistic activism virtuoso? Is there a virtuosity of the public sphere, of addressing? Every age, every society produces different virtuosos, different tricksters. Has the subversive potential of trickery become obsolete in deregulated capitalism, or is it also possible to be a virtuoso in eluding the logic of utilisation? What is virtuoso when dealing with economy, and which economies are associated with virtuosity?
For one week, tricks were collected, traded and shared at the casino of the geheimagentur, which is housed in the steirischer herbst festival centre. Artists and theorists, tricksters and virtuosos from various fields are now coming together to discuss virtuosity as a figure of contemporary political and artistic thought.

Fri 09/10, 4 pm - 1 am
Festival centre
Casino of Tricks

Fri 09/10, 9.30 pm
Dom im Berg
Cheap Lecture & The Cow Piece
Performance Lecture by Jonathan Burrows (GB) & Matteo Fargion (I)

Fri 08/10
7.30 - 9 pm, Festival centre
Admission free
”Publics, Art & Activism“
Michael Warner (USA) & Ole Frahm (D)

9.30 pm, Dom im Berg
8 / 6 €
”Cheap Lecture & The Cow Piece “
Performance Lecture by Jonathan Burrows (GB) & Matteo Fargion (I)

Sat 09/10
Festival centre
Admission free

11 am - 1 pm
”Bodies, Dance & Nothing“
Gabriele Brandstetter (D), Jonathan Burrows (GB) & Matteo Fargion (I)

2.30 - 4 pm
”Magic, Maths & Gamble“
Brigitte Felderer (A) & Pierre Basieux (A/B)

4.30 - 6 pm
”Money, Mind & Manipulation“
Yann Moulier Boutang (F), Ralph Heidenreich (D) & Stefan Heidenreich (D)

7.30 pm
Final lecture
Friedrich Kittler (D)

Partly English language

Festival centre Stadtpark
Curated by
Florian Malzacher (A/D) & Sibylle Peters (D)

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