robert adrian on 5 Sep 2000 23:25:37 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Re: Ars Electronica and its political context


Heiko Recktenwald wrote:
>Anyway: I have a friend in austria, who was once in the center of this
>Bruno Kreiski subsidies for the arts system. The main idea was, that they
>were fearing, that austrian artists would go to germany, where they might
>have better chances. So the crazier your art was, the better your chances
>to get subsidies. This seems to have changed a *little* bit.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean ... there was never any "Bruno
Kreisky subsidies for the arts system". Unlike Germany, Austria has a
federal support program for the arts which is usually respected by
whichever party/coalition is in power.

While there is lots to criticise in the funding policies, this is the
first time I've heard anyone suggest it was a ploy to keep Austrian
artists at home. On the contrary, it also supports Austrian artists abroad
- and quite a few German artists are working in Austria because of the
more liberal Austrian arts funding program. The federal arts funding
program has also been a major source of support for alternative media
groups (Public Netbase for one).

Which brings us to the present concern of artists in Austria. The FPOe of
Herr Haider has a very poor record for tolerance in respect to what you
have referred to as "crazy art" and especially socially or politically
critical art. The FPOe threatens to change the unwritten rules which
respect the necessity for a liberal and open (but not necessarily
generous) arts support system and to punish dissenting or critical groups
by cutting their funding. It hasn't happened yet ... but the scrawl is, as
they say, on the wall!

The "free speech camp" at the Ars Electronica this week in Linz is
basically about these justifiable fears.


As for the Nazi frescos ... its over 60 years since they were painted and
they are not very good. But they are history and, for better or worse,
artworks owned by the province of Kaernten. They are also a major
embarassment, but destroying artworks because of their political content
sets a bad example ... what to do???

No easy answers from sanctimonious anglo-saxons please.


______________robert adrian_____________

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: