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Indepth Arts News:

"5th Graz Biennial on Media and Architecture Opens"
2001-11-07 until 2001-11-11
Graz Biennial - [art.image]
Graz, , AT Austria

Announcing the launch of Biennial-Layers, the virtual start of the 5th graz biennial on media and architecture. You are invited to take advantage of this permanent Biennial platform as a warm-up to the festival in Graz. Join in exploring current trends in architecture and urban culture.

The inception of the Biennial-Layers is our response to current challenges posed to a festival by the changed forms of production and presentation of contemporary art and culture production says Charlotte Pöchhacker, director of graz biennial on media and architecture. With this virtual layer of the Biennial, we have established a contemporary dispositif for collaborative, process-based, cultural production and mediation on the Internet. In co-operation with architects, artists and theorists from a range of disciplines, we develop in this virtual lab the focal issues of graz biennial on media and architecture. The design and programming of the demanding concept of the biennial website was ideally implemented by Alexander Kada and digital_context.

A particulary interesting example of this changed working situation is marked by the concept of a conference as process developed in the context of the Biennial-Layers. The conference Cityscapes: Imagineering the Urban Condition is designed as a 3-month process of discussion between the invited speakers. This permanent media-based exchange creates a discursive space hosted by international culture and architecture theorists. The themes of discussion focus on the relation of images of the urban sphere and of the production of urban space (host: Kai Vöckler; speakers: Edward W. Soja, John Fiske, Walter Prigge, and others), the changes and new modes of existence that result from imagineering as a contemporary paradigm of architecture (host: Andreas Ruby; speakers: John Urry, Klaus Ronneberger, Patrick Schuhmacher, and others) and the current self-perception of urban planning in view of the global exchange of urban wishful images and images of fear (host: Christian Kühn; speakers: Christopher Charles Benninger, Jorge Mario Jáuregui, Wolf D. Prix, and others).

In order to implement this process of discussion on the Net, the Belgian architect team Lab[au] specially developed a tool for the Biennial-Layers, the Cityscapes Interface, that links the media-based exchange of information with the conference in Graz, mapping the exchange of information throughout the entire duration. This discussion held in the Biennial Layers Net space culminates during the 5th biennial on media and architecture in Graz in 9 panel discussions and 4 roundtables featuring more than 30 internationally renowned speakers in a dialogue with the public.

The conferences Cityscapes 'Imagineering the Urban Condition and Infoscapes' Processing Information/Communicating Architecture constitute the two core themes of the 5th graz biennial on media and architecture. The theoretical approaches presented and discussed at these events will constitute the range of topics that pose a specific challenge in terms of the reception of current media works for the International Competition Programme at the Biennial. The link between theoretical and artistic positions, then, sets out a dynamic field of observation covering complex perspectives on architectural spaces and social conditions in the urban context and makes the five days of the festival a dynamic platform for exciting debates and intensive exchange.

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