Oliver Ressler on 21 Jul 2000 13:49:23 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Nachhaltige Propaganda” in Berlin


a project by Oliver Ressler

Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 1-2
D-10997 Berlin 
opening: Thursday, July 27, 2000, 20:00
28.7. – 13.8.2000, Wed – Sun 14 – 19 

"Sustainable Propaganda” is realized as a series of solo-exhibitions in
the following galleries:

Kunstverein Nuernberg, Nuernberg (20.5. – 11.6.2000)
Ausstellungsraum Konstantin Adamopoulos & mak-ffm, Frankfurt (16. – 27.8.2000)
Kunstbuero 1060, Vienna (6. – 24.9.2000)


The project "Sustainable Propaganda” (Nachhaltige Propaganda) confronts
"sustainable development”, the main theme of the world fair in Hannover
(June 1 to October 31, 2000). Under the motto "Human – Nature –
Technology” the Expo 2000 propagates that threatening environmental,
developmental and population problems can be solved by technology.
Although science and technology are indeed named as "causes” of the
ecological crisis, at the same time they are considered part of the
Since the 1992 Rio Summit at the latest, the ecological question has
been articulated almost exclusively in terms of the world wide debate on
sustainable development. The discourse flows from questions of
modernization, down-sizing, efficiency, population control and future
technologies. Utopian ideas are replaced by the technocratic management
of nature. The sustainability debate is marked by an exclusion of the
dimension of domination; the ecological relations are separated from
relations of domination (i.e. between "North” and "South”).

In a gigantic self-display of capitalist power, the future viability of
the system should be proven at the Expo 2000. For the first time in the
world fair’s history, the central exhibition area in Hannover is not the
exclusive presentation platform. So-called "world-wide projects” in
various cities and countries should also show solutions to ecological
and economic problems. The Expo offers itself as a symbolic battlefield
to make other social developments and designs visible. 

In the project "Sustainable Propaganda”, the ideologies displayed in the
Expo theme parks will be analyzed and alternative models of thought and
action presented. The models for a sustainable future are thus exposed
as domination strategies. In this aspect the project ties in with my
project "100 Years of the Greenhouse Effect” which I carried out in 1996
in Salzburg’s Kunstverein. (http://www.lot.at/politics/contributions/s_ressler3.htm)

The project "Sustainable Propaganda” consists of diverse elements: 
Computer produced visual material of the Disney-like settings in the
theme parks forms the starting point for a series of 9 digital prints
(http://www.kunstundbuecher.at/propaganda). The Expo’s future designs
are overlapped by a number of commentaries based on a leftist analysis
of hegemonic concepts of sustainability. The commentaries are designed
as dialogue boxes in the print series which inform the computer user
about problems. In the project "Sustainable Propaganda” these "error
messages” point out the flawed programming of the content of the Expo
2000 and the inherent systematic errors of the concept of

In the video "Sustainable Propaganda” (44 min.) the drafts for an
ecologically sustainable reformed global capitalism are criticized in
additional facets. Jörg Bergstedt (author of the book "Agenda, Expo,
Sponsoring”, 1998), Sonya Schneider, Kai Kaschinski from the magazine
Alaska and mamba – working group for feminist Expo critique, present
their points of criticism in the conversations recorded for the video.
In the second part of the video, writer Christoph Spehr explains an
alternative concept for development which was discussed in the ‘90s in
connection with BUKO under the motto, "Winding down the North!” and
places it in contrast to the future scenarios of the Expo planners. 

"Nachhaltige Propaganda” is not an Expo project!

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