DUAL COMMITMENT

Dual Commitment | Symposium

Dual Commitment -
Current examples of Public Art Projects in the USA and in Austria
July 1-20, 2005, Symposium
(Planing process: October 2006-July 2007)
Linz, Vienna, Salzburg (Austria)

Website: dualcommitment.net

The transdicplinary symposium brought together artists and theorist from the US and from Austria to discuss about repetedly upcoming questions of public art practices.
Planed as a “real” one week long symposium of living and exchanging the symposium started with a first meeting in the Lentos Museum of Modern Art Linz hosted by the museum’s director Stella Rollig to introduce the participants and open with the Lentos’ general situation and its strategies for integrating public art practices into the daily operation. The Linz part was a prologue ment to connect all speakers and therefor was not open to the public.
The following two days (July 15 and 16) were dedicated to public presentations, lectures and discussions in Vienna, hosted by the RadioKulturhaus, which is the cultural center of Ö1/ORF, Austria’s federal Radio-program for culture and information. The symposium was live-streamed on the Ö1 website and the ORF produced a feature for “Kulturmagazin”.
The symposium was then transferred to Salzburg accomodated by the ICCM. The participants were invited to the opening receptions of the International Summeracademy on Festung Hohensalzburg, together with the artists teaching at the Summeracademy. Two participating artists showed their work at one of the Summeracademy’s locations, the “Gallery Alcatraz” in the olf salt factory in Hallein.
On July 19 and 20 two days with public workshops and a series of lectures invited the public in Salzburg to take part and bring in their experiences to the reflection of artistic processes with the claim for a “dual commitment”.

Contents of Dual Commitment
The transdisciplinary symposium focused on art projects that communicate simultaneously on two levels: with persons and groups mostly without connection to the arts, and with those participating within the art context. For this claim we use the term “Dual Commitment”. Operational models, tactics, and methods were presented and compared, and the development of standards for the evaluation of such practices were discussed.
Many of the art projects that comprise this field address socially or economically marginal areas, and are frequently physically located in places that could be described as such. The projects are often not transferable to other places without fundamental changes, and in this sense qualify as site specific, which thus bring into the discussion as an additional consideration all the issues that accompany site specific practice.
The people, as constituencies created or made visible by such art projects, are not merely seen as a new kind of audience. Essential to the project of emancipation and the ideals of democratic participation in society is the dialogue itself, and this requires the involvement of different actors (for example, the artists and a project’s local population) as equals.
If social realities are integral parts and prerequistites for public art practices, and if, at the same time, we agree that it is still art, then in what ways can classical art institutions like museums and galleries treat this kind of art? Clearly, because the art institutions belong to the world of the bourgeoisie, rethinking their self-definition is a condition for a fruitful collaboration with the art projects in question. However, there remains the question of the socio-political aim of all these efforts.
From a pragmatic side, the symposium organizers and participants wished to extend and strengthen international exchange in this field, on the levels of theory, practical knowledge, and concrete support.
The very well received symposium and its vivid discussions between audience and speakers made the symposium a highly acclaimed success (symposium folder and press reactions attached in the materials map).

Speakers:
Anette Baldauf, sociologist, New School University, New York, USA, Academy for Fine Arts and Webster University, Vienna/Austria
Elena Bertozzi, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. She teaches interactive multimedia digital arts and game design and is founder of Ardea Arts.
(www.ardeaarts.org www.edu/games)
Henriette Brouwers, performing artist, Amsterdam/NL and Los Angeles/USA (http://lapovertydept.org/)
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., printer, artist in residence at the Coleman Center, York, Alabama/USA (http://kennedyprints.org/)
John Malpede, performing artist, Los Angeles/USA (http://www.appalshop.org/kennedy)
(http://lapovertydept.org/)
Elisabeth Mayerhofer, scientist / cultural studies, Vienna/Austria and Erasmus University, Rotterdam/NL (http://www.fokus.or.at/)
Monika Mokre, political scientist, Austrian Academyof Science, Vienna/Austria (http://www.oeaw.ac.at/)
Wolfgang Preisinger, founder of „Die Fabrikanten“ in collaboration with Gerald Harringer (1990), since then comissions for companies in the field of communication and design and media- and culture projects (www.fabrikanten.at)
Barbara Putz-Plecko, artist, professor at the University for Applied Arts, Vienna/Austria (http://www.dieangewandte.at/)
Gerald Raunig, philosopher and art theorist, Vienna/Austria (http://www.eipcp.net/) (http://www.republicart.net/)
Ula Schneider, artist, founder and organizer of the art-project “Soho in Ottakring”, Vienna/Austria (http://www.sohoinottakring.at/)
Georg Schöllhammer, art theorist, independent curator and editor of the art magazine springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst; planed and directed the publication project of documenta 12 (2007), Vienna, Austria (http://www.springerin.at/)
Stephanie Smith, curator at the Smart Museum of the University of Chicago/USA (http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/)
Dan S. Wang, artist, writer, activist and member of messhall, Chicago/USA (http://www.messhall.org/)
Wolfgang Zinggl, artist, MP, Vienna/Austria (http://www.wochenklausur.at/) (http://www.depot.or.at/) (http://www.parlament.gv.at/)

Concept, Organisation:
Beatrix Zobl and Wolfgang Schneider

The symposium was supported by:
Bundeskanzleramt, Kunstsektion
Land Salzburg, Wissenschaftsförderung
Stadt Wien, Wissenschaftsförderung
Stadt Salzburg, Kunstförderung
U.S. Embassy, Vienna
Theater Hotel Cordial, Vienna
Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz
Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg
RadioKulturhaus, Vienna
Die Jungs, public relations, Vienna
Paul Weihs, webmaster, Vienna

And numerous private persons and friends with accomodation for the symposium’s participants, babysitting, proof-reading and consultation.