25.3.2022, 12:00
Veranstaltung, Künstlerhaus, Factory

Artistic Research Conference

Day 1

Watch the recording on Facebook!

The conference accompanying the exhibition WHITENESS AS PROPERTY is dedicated to the specific knowledge of the participating artists. As a conference of artistic research, the event provides an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of possessive individualism and racialized property relations from the perspective of aesthetic production. For two consecutive days, the artists will present and discuss their practices with the audience.

Program - Friday, 25th of March:

12 pm – 1:30 pm
Introduction/ chaired by: Ana Hoffner ex-Prvulovic*
Keynote Lecture: Elisabeth Povinelli - How to Draw a Family Tree: The Absorptions of Colonial Modernity in Carisolo, Trentino and Karrabing, Australia

As many scholars have noted, the concept of settler colonialism has broadened from its original use to describe European demographic domination of the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand to social dynamics in, among other places, Eastern Europe, Nepal, Palestine/Israel, South Africa, and Taiwan. Concomitant to this extension is the rise of new forms of white nativism whose politics stretch from the anti-immigration populist right to the progressive pre- or anti-Christianity and Capitalism left in Europe, US, and Australia. Rather than a failure of late liberal settler critique, this project understands the proliferation and diversity of white cultural archaeologies as part of a contemporary cultural counterreformation. No longer able to anchor themselves in the presupposed superiority of European Christianity and capitalism, white nativists in Europe and its colonial diaspora search for new moorings in their own premodern heritage. This twist in the history of cultural politics and political theologies threatens to intensify as the economic and environmental consequences of climate change and new viral contagions spread unevenly. How to Draw a Family Tree approaches this turn in the politics of difference by tracking how two sets of clans have moved through historical forms of the ancestral present - Povinelli's Simonaz Clan and the Nunggudi clan of the Karrabing.

1:30 pm – 2 pm
Screening: The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, 2018
Karrabing Film Collective
Video, colour/sound, 26:29 min
In a dystopian world poisoned by industrial waste, Australia’s indigenous people are the only ones who can survive – only white people are attacked by toxic mud, indigenous people are spared. Mermaids is a futuristic film which tells of the horrors of environmental destruction and lasting effects of colonial dispossession. It is constructed using hyperreal images from the present that show the colonial and industrial exploitation of the continent. These images are bathed in colour filters and infused with the narratives of mystical beings, shifting reality to an in-between space that allows the colonial and racist foundations of possessive individualism to be reflected. There is the story of a boy separated from his family to perform experiments upon him, highlighting the cruel politics of re-education through the
separation of indigenous families throughout the last century. But there is also the story of a recurrent looking away by state supported systems (such as health care), which draws attention to late liberalism as a technology of government.

2 pm – 3 pm
Lunch break

3 pm – 5 pm
Panel discussion: Sugar - On Exploitation and Migration in Relation to Racism and Property
With Fokus Grupa, Tania Candiani, Stephanie Misa
Chaired by Sheri Avraham

6 pm
Performance: Songs for Captured Voices, 2021
Concept & Composition: Laure M. Hiendl
Text: Göksu Kunak
Concept & Directing: Philipp Bergmann, Thea Reifler
Performance: Elaine Mitchener

The performance "Songs for Captured Voices" features the voices of soldiers from the British and French overseas colonies who were interned in the Brandenburg prisoner-of-war camp Wünsdorf during the First World War. Hiendl, Knak, Reifler and Bergmann worked with sound recordings made at the time by linguists for pseudo-scientific purposes, which are accessible in what is now the Lautarachiv of the Humboldt University in Berlin. While little is known about the individuals whose voices were recorded, vocal archives of the present serve to establish their identity with more precision. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF – Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) started using voice recognition software to determine the origin of refugees in 2017. This involves the recognition of dialects, creating racist attributions that have political consequences for the asylum seekers. In this project, the artists trace the history of the racialized classifications of body and voice, and the property relations associated with them. While detainees were literally stripped of their voices in order to create a racially based vocal archive, the patterns of classification derived from this are now translated into digital tools that perpetuate the racist colonial order of the past in a migratory regime. "Songs for Captured Voices" will be performed by Elaine Mitchener, an experimental singer, dancer, and composer.


In cooperation with Universität Mozarteum Salzburg.

Saturday, 26th of March
Artistic Research Conference - Day 2



Im Rahmen von:
Whiteness as Property - Rassismus und Eigentumsverhältnisse

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