Graz, Austria’s steirischer herbst festival is presenting a (possibly) interesting experimental forum this summer called “Truth is Concrete.” As the project’s website puts it:
The world is changing so fast that we can’t keep track: the rise of the populist right, financial devastations, fundamental destruction of educational and cultural structures, democratic uprisings, Islamic fundamentalism, threats of technological and ecological catastrophes – where to start, where to end? But what is the role of art in this race of events that we can barely follow, let alone properly understand?
I have to admit that I find the idea of “concrete truths” to somewhat questionable (about as questionable as the choice to make most protest art), but insofar as the experiment is dedicated to moving beyond critique and political activism, toward actually beginning to affect solutions, it could very well be an illuminating experience. “[A]desire for simple solutions is growing,” the site continues:
And we – perhaps indeed leftist hobbyists – seem to have lost touch with a larger base.So we take the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis and look for direct action, for concrete change and knowledge. For an art that engages in specific political and social situations – and for an activism that searches for intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment.
So make it of that what you will; for those interested, the forum is offering a pretty stunning deal: 100 travel and accommodation grants for those who want to take part. Deadline is May 15, and if you wind up going, please let us know.