steirischer herbst 2007
(Playing field research)

“Close enough”: that is a place that we yearn for when it is far away – and too much when we achieve it. Love, for example. “Not”, as Niklas Luhmann writes, “a mere anomaly, but rather a perfectly normal improbability.” Improbably close. Close enough. Too close: “In the communication type for intimate relationships, it is not allowed to withdraw personal matters from the communication.” Relationships are that easy. And that complicated. We start them, stumble into them, neglect, overrate, underestimate, tax them and end them.
But “Close enough” is also a geopolitical topos: Europe, that is growing closer together, Africa, that is drawing closer, the economic closeness of the globalised world. Whoever makes treaties, laws or even constitutions is in constant status negotiations. This status is negotiated in the field of tension between closeness and distance by discussing correspondences and differences, rights and obligations, the drawing and opening of borders.
And it is an aesthetic category, here again a category of contradiction. Close enough, that is a performative state, a state in time: a process, not a product. Movement, not inertia. Participation, not explanation. Presence, not meaning. “The law of touching is separation” (Jean-Luc Nancy). Art touches us when it repels or holds us, but also when it throws us back on ourselves, on a moment, a memory, a repressed occurrence perhaps.
This too much and too little, this never being right, this paradox, that is at the same time the driving force of interhuman, political, artistic and performative force and motivation is the leitmotif of the “Spielfeldforschung” (playing field research) of steirischer herbst.
“Spielfeldforschung” is not an academic programme that examines art as an object but rather seeks to find ways of exposing itself to art: With a rambling understanding of theory, in formats that allow visitors to meet artists and theorists on site in the course of the festival programme.


Close Enough – Walking Conference

herbst academy
Deadline for registration: Mon 16/07
This year again, three workshops bring young international artists, theorists and students to Graz during the festival to reflect on the festival’s leitmotif and exhibited art works.

Open Ups
Public lectures and discussions of herbst-Academy

20/09 - 14/10/2007
steirischer herbst
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