Round table discussion by the “Kurie für Kunst und Wissenschaft” *)

20 November 2017, Vienna, Hofburg
Peter Noever and Anton Zeilinger in discussion (Zeilinger is president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences). Christina Lutter, professor at the university of Vienna heads the discussion on the occasion of the reception of the “Kurie für Kunst und Wissenschaft” by the federal president of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen.

*) most prestigious award for science and arts in Austria

What is art?

(notes for the round table discussion)

A fundamental question that needs to be posed again and again, one that—as we know—cannot be answered conclusively. For this reason alone, art cannot exist without its latitude.

Art emphatically does need its territory, places to inhabit where it can develop free from limitations.

The experiment of art needs spaces of freedom, just like science does.
A clear commitment to art and science, along with esteem for them, is absolutely essential.
Esteem expressed also in terms of budgets.

Institutionalization’s centralization poses a threat to the production of art.
Pro Helvetia.

Art’s independence must be permitted and guaranteed.

A model for an art school of the future?
An art school has to be conceived of with consideration for radical diversity. A challenge to architecture to open up new spaces of thought and art.

A model for an art school of the future? (Is migration truly recognized as a significant societal factor?)

Differing perspectives on various aspects
Thinking today’s society forward in radical diversity

Integration into what?
Every demand for integration, assimilation, and homogenization gives rise to this question.
What would it be like if the answer were a diversity that doesn’t submit to a particular vision of society?

Identity is more diverse and more complex than just one conception.

Discourse: hysterical, voyeuristic, over-eagerness to over-achieve sustainability, frequently no sense of proportion, bigotry

To paraphrase Michael Foucault: One who defines the boundary will always push it outward.

Apropos contemporary art:

Something I just heard from a passerby on my way to the Hofburg:

“When will it finally be yesterday again?”