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FIFTITU% / Offener Brief / Schade um die vertanen Möglichkeiten! (ARS 2010)

FIFTITU% / Offener Brief / Schade um die vertanen Möglichkeiten! (ARS 2010)

FIFTITU% - Open letter sent to Mayor Erich Watzl, Cultural Director Julius Stieber, Artistic Directors Gerfried Stocker and Wolfgang Winkler and representatives of the press

October 5, 2010

Looking back on the ARS Electronica 2010, FIFTITU% - Networking Agency for Women in Art and Culture allows itself some critical feedback, which we would like to summarize under the following heading:

Shame about the missed opportunities!

On September 5, 2010, the Long Concert Night took place in various rooms of the Tabakwerke as part of the ARS and to celebrate the 75th birthday of the composer Arvo Pärt. Bringing these special spaces to life musically and creating sound spaces was a very nice idea and also a good opportunity to introduce the genre of New Music to a wider audience. We see the fact that the six pieces presented were exclusively by composers as a missed opportunity. What's more, the curators should have made it a point not to exclude the work of numerous outstanding composers and artists, especially in the field of new music and in the area of sound spaces.

For the Concert Space in the Sound Space program, held in Tabakfabrik's "high-bay warehouse", six artists were also invited to present their music relating to the acoustic properties of the space. Among them was a single female artist (AGF aka Antye Greie). - An imbalance in the invitation policy, which unfortunately appears to be a regularity rather than a coincidence when looking at other events within the festival

Only experts were invited to the podiums for discussions in the New Work Factory series, for example on the topic of "Economy for the Common Good", as well as on the topic of "Separation and Alienation Processes in the Modern Working World" with Richard Sennett or on the "Future of Tobacco Factories", and no female experts. The press release for the latter discussion confidently stated: "City Councillor Johann Mayr (SPÖ), Deputy Mayor Erich Watzl (ÖVP), Robert Bauer (ATW Nachnutzungs-Studie), Gerhard Haderer (artist), Gerfried Stocker (Artistic Director Ars Electronica) and the philosopher and pioneer of "New Work" Frithjof Bergmann will discuss the future of an entire city with the audience."

It is not audacious to expect more awareness and responsibility from the curators and organizers of a festival for art, technology and society in terms of fair participation and representation. There is a clear need for repair.Unfortunately, the opportunities for this year's festival have been lost. However, in the name of this year's festival, we expect this imbalance to be repaired next year!

Best regards
FIFTITU% - Networking center for women in art and culture in Upper Austria