[spectre] Welcome to the Revolution, Zurich, Nov 9-11, 2001

Inke Arns inke@snafu.de
Sun, 04 Nov 2001 17:27:02 +0100

Welcome to the Revolution*

International Symposium November 9th to 11th, 2001=20

Institute for Theory of Design and Art (ith) at the 'Hochschule f=FCr
Gestaltung und Kunst Z=FCrich' (HGKZ)=20

How are subjectivity, collectivity and their gender-specific manifestations
formed against the background of non-linear work and lifetime conditions?
What impact does this tendency of society as a whole have on political
culture and on current cultural practice?

Ulrich Br=F6ckling (Freiburg/D)
Karen Lisa Goldschmidt-Salamon (Kopenhagen/DK)
Michael Hardt (New York/USA)
Bettina Heintz (Mainz/D)
Tom Holert (K=F6ln/D)
Verena Kuni (Frankfurt a. M./D)
Angela McRobbie (London/UK)
Faith Wilding (New York/USA)

Entrance fee: 2-day-pass SFR 50,-=20
Single day SFR 30,-=20

@ Hochschule f=FCr Gestaltung und Kunst HGKZ, Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 8031
Z=FCrich, Main Building, Lecture Hall, 2nd floor=20


Since the events of 1968 the view of society as a universal whole has
changed. The social movements in the West as well as the emancipatory
movements in the countries of the global south have secured an
understanding of the particularity, difference and specificity of social
issues, which has become part of the thinking of and about postmodernity.
These developments on the intellectual and socio-political terrain are
mirrored in the dynamics of a post-industrial society, in which the
consolidation of the service industries on the one hand and of new
communication technologies on the other hand has been furthered since the
mid-1970s. The level of production has continuously been replaced by
management and marketing of consumer goods.

Management literature advertises company restructuring with titles like
"Welcome to the Revolution". New organisational structures like "Fractal
Organisation", "Lean Production" and "Chaos Management" have already found
real application in companies. Rigid hierarchies are being dissolved and
replaced by team work, self-dynamics, and social competence. Comparisons
are made with guerilla strategies and the Italian 'autonomia', who in the
late 1970s developed radical democratic organisational paradigms in a
dialogue with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. There are correlations
between the counter-culture of the 60s/70s and their 'groupuscles' on the
one hand and group work in new company strategies on the other hand. The
incorporation of former dissident practices and subject positions in favor
of making institutions and economically motivated organisational processes
more efficient is to be located within the context of neo-liberal politics,
which declare the regulating effect of the market as well as its agent, the
entrepreneur/manager, to be the most effective paradigm and sell this as an
emancipatory project.

Business and marketing strategies have become essential players in terms of
the formation of our cultural environment, the creation of life styles and
the definition of how a society describes, feels and sees itself. At the
same time the consolidation of the production of consumer goods has lead to
an 'asthetization of everyday life' in the fields of the branding and
marketing industries. Also in Switzerland, particularly in Zurich, a
booming 'creative industry' has taken shape and formed a new generation of
free-lancers, whose self-understanding is similar to that of artists and
produces new hybrid forms of cultural practice. The life of a cultural
worker, artist, author, journalist becomes the model for a flexible and
creative organisation of life.

The former dichotomy between work and leisure, formal and informal, is
beginning to become more diverse and aesthetic in areas other than the
image industry as well. With the concept of flexible working biographies of
the so-called life-entrepreneur it is becoming increasingly difficult to
pin down when, how and why we call something work or non-work. Also in the
new service-oriented work relations work and lifetime overlap or even
become wholly identical. This transformation not only produces new spaces
of collective experience and hybrid cultural forms but in its positive
assumptions also opens up possibilities for new subject positions, which
could be understood as enemies to traditional gender dichotomies on the one
hand, but also as neo-liberal technologies (of the self) in the sense of
Foucault on the other hand.=20

Concept/Realisation: Marion von Osten and Sibylle Omlin
Institute for Theory of Art and Design (ith), Zurich=20

Organisation/Information: Isabel Kempinski, Institute for Theory of Art and
Design (ith), Postfach, 8031 Z=FCrich, telephone 0041-1-446 26 52, email:

FRIDAY, 9.11. 2001

Transformation of the concept of "labor" / Technologies of the Self=20
Introduction by Marion von Osten and Sibylle Omlin


Spiritual Transformation at Work. Contemporary Social Networks and
Ideological Discourses of Management Consultants=20

Business professionals have become culturally sensitive and explicitly
concerned with integrating so-called cultural values in management
practice. Their ideal is one of a 'corporate religion' and opens a
heterogeneous ideological form (involving a broad range of New Age
spiritual practices and religious and philosophical traditions). The
Spiritual Transformation of Work can thus be viewed as a multi-local and
transnational, polycentric ideological movement, organized in the form of
communicative networks that address central issues of neo-liberal workplace
organization and strongly influence corporate management today.=20

Karen Lisa Goldschmidt-Salamon (Kopenhagen/DK), social anthropologist. She
has published among others in "Cultural Capitalism: Politics after New
Labour" (London: Lawrence & Wishart). She teaches at the Department of
Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Kopenhagen Business School.

15.15 discussion and pause

16.30 - 17.15
DR. ULRICH BR=D6CKLING Freiburg/Germany

Intrapreneurship. Excursions into the world of quality- and self-management

Manuals and seminars about personality coaching not only convey tehcniques
of efficient time planning, work organization or stress coping, but also
design a comprehensive model of neo-liberal subjectivity: the model of the
entrepreneurial self. The manuals for the successful marketing of 'Ego&Co'
make use not least of the fund of feminist and leftist critique.
Paradoxical hybrid forms appear as the vanishing points of self-modelling:
the team-oriented single combattant, the empathetic maximiser of benefits,
the self-portrayer with a view of the whole, or the customer-oriented slick
guy with a highly idiosyncratic profile.

Dr. Ulrich Br=F6ckling (Freiburg/Germany), reseacrh field: sociology with a
focus on cultural sociology, history and social technologies. Co-editor of
"Gouvernementalit=E4t der Gegenwart. Studien zur =D6konomisierung des Sozial=
(Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp Verlag). Research assistant at the
Sonderforschungsbereich "Literatur und Anthropologie" at the University of

17.15 discussion and pause

18.00 - 18.45
TOM HOLERT K=F6ln/Germany


In digitized "work environments" profiles of competence emerge which are
informed by ideals of coginitive and social competence but also by the
battle cries of neo-liberalism and social darwinism. Against the background
of a dichotomy of the official "soft skills"-ideology and inofficial
brutalization/naturalization the question is pursued how a) the new
categories of "gender" and "intelligence" are being inscribed into the new
"work environments" and how b) the representation of these categories in
the context of "profession&work" has changed in the course of the last
decades with the computerization of the work place.

Dr. Tom Holert (K=F6ln/Germany), freelance cultural theorist and journalist
in K=F6ln. From 1992-1995 editor at 'Texte zur Kunst', from 1996-1999
co-editor of 'Spex', from 1997-1999 Professor for Theory of Culture and
Media at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart. April 2000 foundation of the Institute
for Studies in Visual Culture (isvc) with Mark Terkessidis. Book
publications: K=FCnstlerwissen (1998), Mainstream der Minderheiten. Pop in
der Kontrollgesellschaft (Editor, with Mark Terkessidis, 1996),
Imagineering. Visuelle Kultur und Politik der Sichtbarkeit (Editor, 2000).
In preparation: Books on the "visual formations" of today and on categories
of intelligence in popular culture.

18.45 discussion and pause=20


Collective Maintenance a lecture/performance=20

In recent decades, the mass deployment of electronic technology in offices
and workplaces has profoundly changed the structure of work. The
relationship of home and work life in ways which are having particularly
disturbing effects on women worldwide. Once again many women are confined
to the private sphere of the home where they perform double maintenance
labor, simultaneously maintaining the family and the global consumer
economy. I will present a model of cyberfeminist collective work and
discuss the problematic maintenance of collectivity. My example will be the
cyberfeminist collective subRosa, an activist cultural production group
deeply committed to critical performance, creative subversion of
authoritarian institutions, and radical restructuring of social relations.

Faith Wilding (New York/USA), artist and cultural theorist, mixes her
biography with that of subRosa. SubRosa is a (cyber)feminist collective
which studies new information- and bio-technologies as well as their
effects on female body-, life-, and work-relations in a combination of art,
activism and politics. In her lecture/performances Faith Wilding draws a
comparison between the Feminist Maintenance Performance developed in the
1970s by the Woman's Action Coalition and the political conditions of
SATURDAY, 10.11.2001

Immaterial Work I. Cultural Perspectives: Introduction by Sibylle Omlin=20

14.30 - 15.15=20
VERENA KUNI Frankfurt a.M./Germany=20

"Pre-Register Now!" J'est un JobCreator.Bot=20
On Cultural Part Time Worker Self-Management under Net_Conditions

In future, will cultural workers be required only as friendly
hosts/hostesses, cleaning ladies of data spaces and graveyard gardeners in
the holiday parks of the information society? Are self-organization and the
work on, in and with collaborative structures only warming up exercises in
trainee centers conditioning us for mc-jobs the sweatshops of culture
industry? Any alternative options? (This text was automatically generated
by an abstract generator bot).

Verena Kuni (Frankfurt a.M./Germany), art historian and critic with a focus
on gender studies in the the fields of art and media studies and on theory
and aesthetics of electronic art. Member of the 'old boys network' and the
'webgrrls'; co-founder of the 'filiale zeitgen=F6ssische kunst gender
vermittlung'. Research assistant in art history at the University of Trier
and coordinator of interdisciplinary gender studies.=20

15.15 discussion and pause

16.00 - 16.45=20

Everyone Is Creative... Artists as Pioneers of the New Economy?

The lecture considers UK policy on creativity and employment. It also
explores the full impact of corporate interests in hitherto state funded
arts and argues this contributes not to the expansion of creativity but to
the extinguishing of the 'indies'. The lecture concludes by asking how
cultural workers can organise as 'new labour'?=20

Prof. Angela McRobbie (London/UK), research field: Culture, Gender and
Media Studies. She has published among others "Feminism and Youth Culture:
>From Jackie to Just Seventeen" (1991), "Postmodernism and Popular Culture"
(1994),"British fashion design: rag trade or image industry?"(1998), "In
the culture society: art, fashion, and popular music" (London: Routledge
1999). Editor of "Zoot Suits and Second Hand Dresses" (1989). She teaches
at the Department for Media and Communication, Goldsmith College London.

16.45 discussion and pause

Immaterial Work II. New Gender-Perspectives: Introduction by Marion von=

18.00 - 18.45

Affective Labor

The concept of biopower has been important in discussing the progressive
indistinction between production and reproduction, the indefinite,
expansive nature of the length of the working day. The concept of affective
labor has also helped recognize the corporeal nature of these new,
immaterial productive forms. This new paradigm of laboring activity
constitutes not only a new regime of control but also contains the
possibility of liberation: The powers of invention, of mixture,
hybridization, and metamorphosis of immaterial labor present a new
liberatory potential for the autonomous construction of subjectivity.=20

Prof. Michael Hardt (New York/USA), romance languages and literature. He
has published among others with Antonio Negri "Empire" (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press) and "Die Arbeit des Dionysos" (Berlin: ID Verlag). He
teaches at Duke University, Durham, New York.

18.45 discussion and pause

19.30 - 20.15

The Power of the Global: Women's Rights in the context of world society

Untouched by the public discourse on globalisation gender research in the
social sciences is still looking for the causes of the continuing
disadvantage to women within national states. Today, the change and the
form of gender relations cannot be explained without reference to the level
of world society. When globalisation is the subject matter, the diagnosis
is mostly one of loss. But specifically in the field of women's rights and
national gender cultures the 'process of globalisation' has not only
negative consequences.

Prof. Dr. Bettina Heintz (Mainz/Germany), sociologist. She has published
among others: "Listen der Ohnmacht. Zur Sozialgeschichte weiblicher
Widerstandsformen" (Syndikat 1981, 3rd ed. 2000, with Claudia Honegger),
"Die Herrschaft der Regel. Zur Grundlagengeschichte des Computers" (1993)
and "Mit dem Auge denken. Strategien der Sichtbarmachung in
wissenschaftlichen und virtuellen Welten" (Berlin: Springer Verlag 2001,
with J=F6rg Huber). Professor for sociology at the Johannes
Gutenberg-Universit=E4t Mainz.

20.30 - 21.45
Final discussion
Moderation: Eva Nadai, Z=FCrich

SUNDAY, 11.11.2001


With the speakers and students of HGKZ=20
By registration only (limited number of participants)

"Welcome to the Revolution" is a production of the Institute for Theory of
Art and Design (ith), Zurich, in cooperation with the Theoriepool (STH) of
the Hochschule f=FCr Gestaltung und Kunst, Zurich (HGKZ). The event is
sponsored by the British Council/Switzerland and Migros Kulturprozent.