June 12, 2015 - MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art - Opening of the Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas For Change
June 12, 2015

Opening of the Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas For Change

Design: buero bauer.

Vienna Biennale 2015
Ideas For Change

11 June–4 October 2015


On 11 June 2015, the Vienna Biennale opened as the world’s first multi-sector biennale combining art, design, and architecture to make a better society. It was founded in view of the all-encompassing process of digitalization that is changing our daily lives so radically that we can call this a new era of modernity: Digital Modernity offers enormous potential but also entails great risks due to the total economic quantification of human beings. Furthermore, in light of the learning abilities of digital machines, we must assume that over the coming decades a significant part of manual and cognitive jobs will be replaced by fully automated systems. This upheaval of our society coincides with the massive overexploitation of the planet Earth. 

Challenges of this scale demand a radical change of attitude. The most effective mechanisms to promote this can be found in Digital Modernity itself. We must therefore “retool” the digital revolution and place it at the service of ensuring human dignity and sustainable meaning on our planet. The development and design of the necessary concepts and tools are dependent to a substantial degree on human creativity. This means that the creative disciplines of design, architecture, and art have a particular responsibility to develop new paths for positive change. While the applied disciplines of design and architecture are expected to produce directly applicable ideas, fine art does not need to be directly useful; instead, it can offer other kinds of impetuses. Since these disciplines have been progressively instrumentalized for traditional growth, they need to form a new, holistically oriented unity of the arts—a unity of the arts which does not lead to their merging, but uses innovative structures and a lively dialogue to ensure that art, design, and architecture respect, pay attention to, and inspire one another in order to promote positive change. This is precisely the aim of the Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas For Change

Initiated by the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, the Vienna Biennale is organized in partnership with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien, the Architekturzentrum Wien, as well as the creative unit of the Vienna Business Agency, departure, with support from the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. Four external curators have been invited to develop projects: Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Harald Gruendl, Co-Partner, EOOS, and Head of the IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna; Maria Lind, Director of Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Peter Weibel, Executive Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe; Professor (emer.), University of Applied Arts Vienna. Internal curators from participating institutions: Gerald Bast, President, University of Applied Arts Vienna; Thomas Geisler, Curator, MAK Design Collection; Dietmar Steiner, Director, Architekturzentrum Wien; Bärbel Vischer, Curator, MAK Contemporary Art Collection; Marlies Wirth, MAK Curator. 

The common theme of the projects is the potential and problems of cities, which will be examined from various perspectives: architecture and design will deal with six megacities on five continents—Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro; art will focus on Bucharest as a fascinating example of a city behind the former Iron Curtain; design and architecture will address Vienna; art will examine the possibilities of a new Enlightenment emerging above all in the urban context as well as the importance of urban public space. Although the projects are each grounded in a specific discipline, they initiate dialogues with other disciplines. An interdisciplinary exhibition manifesto on the future of human work and a related art exhibition will round out the biennale. 

Information on all exhibitions and other projects of the Vienna Biennale 2015: Ideas For Change and the full list of participating artists, designers, and architects is available at www.viennabiennale.org.

Key sponsors: OMV and OMV Petrom 
Premium sponsor: voestalpine AG
Digital content partner: T-Mobile
Program sponsor: Wien Holding GmbH
Sponsor: Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
Media partner: KURIER
Mobility partner: ÖBB

MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art
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