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05 Aug 2009

springerin 3/09: Escape Routes. Out now!

© Claire Fontaine, Recessions, 2009
Courtesy Gabriele Senn Gallery Vienna

Escape Routes


Issue 3/09 July–September

+43 1 5229124
+43 1 5229125

Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna

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It has long been asserted that there is simply no alternative to the global capitalist system and its manifestations in society, and all efforts to demonstrate the contrary were, at best, gently mocked (with a revanchist twist after 1989). Nonetheless there has been considerable resistance to this assertion, both before and after the fall of the Wall. The development of alternative economies, along with »Sharity« and »Freeware« models, as well as attitudes of political dissent, which have adapted to contemporary developments and have recently scaled new heights in advocating »exit strategies« – these phenomena all aimed to find ways to escape from a system that is no longer able to survive in the long term and above all is not at all pleasant to live in. The current crisis may act as a catalyst for these kinds of exit strategies, although such strategies, which came into being long before the system's near meltdown, are generally rooted in a mindset that focuses on much more than merely systemic issues.

The »Escape Routes« edition examines the feasibility of these scenarios offering a way out, looking both at their theoretical underpinnings and how these scenarios are manifested in art. Brian Holmes for example locates the new culture of protest in terrain that has been extending – in an experimental and mobile mode – ever since the first actions critiquing globalisation in Seattle in 1999. Looking to an uncertain future, he asks: »Is 1999 our 1968? «; for him, freeing this future from the clutches of »over-codification« due to social control is of the utmost importance. Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito conceives the current crisis of community and social cohesion in the light of immunology and develops highly critical questions about the ways in which Western societies attempt to protect themselves from the purported Other – in a sense taking an »auto-immune« approach.
A series of essays looks at models of piracy, buccaneering and illegal movements of people throughout history and in the contemporary context. Jochen Becker hunts for clues about the historical role of seafaring and »piracy« in shaping the global economic system. Anna Schneider takes us around the Caribbean following up on an art project relating to the unstable concepts of identity associated with crossing invisible maritime boundaries. And a conversation with Edgar Arandia, Director of the National Museum of Art in La Paz, Bolivia, addresses the laborious detailed work being done nowadays in processing the Western cultural canon that was once firmly entrenched in Latin America (and other colonies).
Finally this edition also takes a look (for example in Beti Zerovc's essay) at the limitations of anti-capitalist »Sharity« concepts in art spaces that cannot act independently of the broader economic context. The focus here, as in other essays, is on the question of what kind of realm outside the current system is even conceivable, and indeed the extent to which the system can be reshaped from within.

springerin 3/09:

Net Section

Gudrun Ankele and Andreas Rumpfhuber on the media project »Cybermohalla«.
Alessandro Ludovico interviews Paolo Cirio on his online game »The Big Plot«.
Annett Busch on a recent dynamic of privatisation and protest around a Vilnius cinema.
Christa Benzer on »Video Edition Austria – Release 02«
Yvonne Volkart on Cornelia Sollfrank and on authorship in the Net Age.
Franz Thalmair in conversation with Josephine Bosma on Net Art criticism.
Futures & Pasts: Christian Höller on »sharity«-blogs.

Main Section

Brian Holmes on a new culture of protest post 1999.
Image Gallery: Claire Fontaine, Recessions, 2009.
Krystian Woznicki in dialogue with Roberto Esposito on the current crisis of community.
Ana Peraica on smuggling in economy, history and culture.
Jochen Becker on piracy and a ›minor‹ global history of the oceans.
Anna Schneider on »El Flexible«, an art project crossing the Caribbean.
Alice Creischer, Max Hinderer and Andreas Siekmann in conversation with Edgar Arandia.
Christina Töpfer on Kyong Park’s project »24260: The Fugitive House«.
Beti Zerovc on alternative economies as iconographic motifs.
Vera Tollmann traces alternative art spaces in Beijing.
Werner Fenz on the artist Hartmut Skerbisch (1945–2009).


Critical reviews of new publications as well as exhibitions in Arnheim, Budapest, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Florence, Moscow, Umea, Vienna.