A future symposium

17 and 18 April 2015, Vienna

Worth all the struggle, work, wait, and even prayer, the future has always held the promise of something better – of light and enlightenment that would reign in the darkness of past eras. Today, in contrast, we have not only lost a sense of future but also a belief in the ‘end of history’, or the triumph of Western capitalism over centuries of intellectual history, first expressed in the 1990s. Our present time might indeed be best characterized by Margaret Thatcher’s claim that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA), the inevitable being the dominant liberal capitalist order. Meanwhile, global economic deterritorialization replaces political advocacy. Yet neither the demise of utopian narratives nor multiple global threats necessarily rule out all approaches to the future. From a historically contingent perspective, despite the largely political and technological developments that appear to signal a new capitalist regime, the preconditions to overcome this system have also never been better.


Friday, 17 April: opening & movie screenings

7:00 pm: keynote by Jonas Staal (NL) The founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit speaks at the opening of the conference on the connections between new models of assembly in student occupations sweeping over Europe and the revolutionary Kurds that declared a stateless democracy in the north of Syria. Staal considers these new imaginaries as the promise of the “gesamtkunstwerk," the total work of art, that declares the end of history dead by making a new world all together and starting history anew.

8:00 pm: screening: Bitter Lake (UK, 2015) According to legendary filmmaker Adam Curtis historical narratives in the 20th century are based on a simplified representation of a complex world. In his latest movie “Bitter Lake” he portrays the disappearance of these historical narratives in the decades following World War II. In doing so he forges a bridge from the 1945 meeting of US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia to the terror of today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Austrian premiere, in English

10:30 pm: screening: Broken Song (IRL, 2015) This documentary accompanies a group of teenagers from the bleak housing complexes in north Dublin on their quest for identity and place in society. Not only shows “Broken Song” that after the crisis there is no room for future - the movie also reveals how rap music becomes both their anchor of identity and the manifestation of resistance.
Austrian premiere, in English, presented by Norient Musikfilm Festival, Bern

11:30 pm: rap performance: James Costello (IRL) James Costello, one of the actors of „Broken Song“, performs after screening.
presented by Norient Musikfilm Festival, Bern

12:00 pm: bar & DJ
Turntables by DJ Ahu (DE/IR)


Saturday, 18 April: talks, discussions and concert

3:00 pm: Policey: In his “Postscript on the Societies of Control” Gilles Deleuze describes “ultra-rapid forms of free-floating control” that are set to replace disciplinary devices of power. Alongside numerous forms of self-control, a return to former disciplinary techniques can nonetheless be observed. Given this emerging dichotomy, what forms will power (“Policey”) take under the post-political regime?

Lecture by Srécko Horvat (HR)
followed by discussion w/ Isolde Charim (AT) and Regina Kreide (DE)

5:30 pm: Acceleration (in English): Capitalism creates technology that is instrumental in its own demise – this idea can be found as early as Marx. Drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari, accelerationism picks up on this argument and it a step further, posing the question: does the path to revolution detour into escapism or affirm existing power relations?

Lecture by Mark Fisher (UK),
followed by discussion w/ Franco “Bifo” Berardi (IT) and Armen Avanessian (AT/DE)

8:00 pm: Intervention: From post-politics to postmodernism to postdramatic performance, a number of contemporary authors draw a link between contemporary forms of authority and contemporary aesthetics, currently a frequent topic in postdramatic theatre. What is the link between the performance of a share and a performance on the stage? And how can narrative performance intervene in politics?

Lecture by Bernd Stegemann (DE),
followed by discussion w/ Margarita Tsomou (DE/GR) and Cesy Leonard (DE)

10:00 pm: concert: Marios Papadeas & Band: Rembetiko is the “Greek blues”, initially played by locals of Piraeus, the so called Rembetes. They were refugees exiled from today’s Turkey to today’s Greek in 1922, the year of the so called Asia Minor Catastrophe. Later it became one of the most popular music styles of left political culture in Greek.

With Marios Papadeas, Kyriakos Tapakis, Loukas Metaxas (all GR)


Idea, artistic direction and presentation: Lukas Franke
Curator music & film: Zuri Maria Daiß
Assistance: Christina Romhányi


Dates and location

17 and 18 April 2015
WERK X-Eldorado
Petersplatz 1
1010 Wien



Armen Avanessian is the most renowned accelerationist in the German-speaking world, founder of the research platform and editor-in-chief of the publishing house MERVE Verlag. He studied philosophy and political science, under, amongst others, Jacques Rancière in Paris. The native-born Austrian lives in Berlin.

Franco "Bifo" Berardi is an Italian contributor to Marxist theory and an activist. He has published more than two dozen books and many essays. In the seventies, he was a member of the first pirate radio station, "Radio Alice" in Bologna. In cooperation with Félix Guattari, he worked on the concept of "schizoanalysis". Currently, he teaches at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Mailand. He is a co-founder of the e-zine “” and also of the “Telestreet Movement” which started up in Bologna with the transmitting station Orfeo TV.

Isolde Charim is a philosopher and writer and works as a curator at the Vienna Kreisky Forum. She publishes in „taz die tageszeitung“ and "Falter", among others.

Mark Fisher lives in London and works as an author in the field of Pop Culture Theory. His essay "Capitalist Realism: Is there no other option?" (VSA, 2009) was also very well received in the German-speaking countries. Other writings like “Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures” haven’t been translated into German yet. He publishes in “The Wire”, “Frieze”, “The Guardian” and “Film Quarterly”, and teaches at the Goldsmiths’ College, University of London.

Srećko Horvat is a philosopher, author and political activist. In the region of former Yugoslavia, he is one of the central thinkers of the New Left. As a regular contributor, he publishes in “The Guardian”, “Al Jazeera”, “Il Manifesto”, “El Pais” and “The New York Times”. He is co-founder of the “Subversive Festival” in Zagreb which has become one of the most important Croatian platforms for discussions on the relationship between art and politics. Horvat is internationally known for his collaboration with Slavoj Žižek, most recently their book "What Does Europe Want?" (2013) was widely discussed in public.

Regina Kreide is a professor of Political Theory and History of Ideas at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. Her field of expertise includes Political Philosophy and Social Theory, she is working particularly on the theory of (global) justice, (post-)democracy and human rights as well as on gender theory, resistance and security ("securitisation"). She is a co-founder and publisher of "Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte/Journal for Human Rights“.

Cesy Leonard is a member of the Center for Political Beauty (CPB) which recently highlighted the European hypocrisy of fortifying borders and violating human rights while celebrating the fall of another border with the political action "First fall of the European Wall". Cesy Leonard is the "director of the planning division" at the CPB and therefore has a leading role in developing and conceptionalizing political actions. She lives in Berlin.

Jonas Staal is the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit, which develops parliaments for stateless and blacklisted political groups worldwide, and of the New World Academy (with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht), which explores the role of art within stateless political struggle. He lives in Rotterdam.

Bernd Stegemann is a dramatic advisor at the theatre "Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz" and teaches theatre history and dramaturgy at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. He has published many books on the dramaturgy and art of theatre, most recently "Critique of Theatre" (2013) and "The Praise of Realism" (2015). He lives in Berlin.

Margarita Tsomou lives in Berlin and works as an author, dramatic advisor, curator and performance artist. She publishes the pop-feminist „Missy Magazine“ and works for print publishing houses and radio stations. Her works were presented at renowned venues like Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel Hamburg, Volksbühne Berlin and the Goethe Institute in Athens. She takes part in the activist art collective Schwabinggrad Ballett and in the publishing-/bookshop-collective bbooks.


Marios Papadeas is one of the most distinctive representatives of today’s Rembetiko in Greek. Among other things he performed as musician in Australia, France, many countries in Eastern Europe and Iran and worked as lecturer. He lives in Athens and works in awhile with Kyriakos Tapakis and Loukas Metaxas.

Ahu runs the record label Shahr Farang. His next release will be published on Third Ear Recordings UK. The native Iranian lives in Berlin.



Lukas Franke is curator for topics and discourse at WERK X and developed the conference CLAIMING TOMORROW and the theme TOMORROW WILL BE PARADISE for current repertory season. He was born in Basel and among others carries jobs in Athens, New York and London. He works as freelance author and dramaturg and writes for blogs and magazines about topics between political philosophy, history and culture. Lukas Franke lives and works in Berlin und Wien.

Zuri Maria Daiß works as free curator and organizer, amongst others for Norient Berlin. She ownes an agency for music and artist management, booking and public relations. She lives and works in Berlin.

Christina Romhányi studied Applied Theatre Studies and workes as a freelance digital PR consultant. Mainly she focuses on net politics, online communications, pop culture and new left theories. She lives and works in Berlin.