The ‘crisis of representation’ is growing and the diffuse dialectical confrontation between ‘two models’ of ideology is increasing; the tension on the political level and in the social-sphere is dramatic. Democracy and all its institutions are threatened by new onslaugths of neo-liberal ‘reform’.
The research-project UTOPIA MACHINE uses the current political situation in Brazil – a possible coup d’etat, an opaque impeachment-process, corruption in the highest places and a fierce new, neo-liberal (coup) government - as a dramatic case story. With a first research-base in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, the project considers the World Social Forum as a model of political representation. World Social Forum was founded in Porto Alegre in 2001 and held its first global summits here. The initial slogan of the forum - ‘Another World is Possible!’ - is twisted into the ambiguous title of the project, that pinpoints the the arguments on both sides of the current ‘state of emergency’ that Brazil seems to be heading into.
In a series of artworks and performative actions the artists participating in UTOPIA MACHINE attempts to visualize and give voice to this deep conflict. What kind of imagination – artistic and political – is needed to challenge a reality of increasing violent, social division?
In Brazil, right now in the mids of this crisis, we see artists and cultural workers unite and acting against the forces of the neo-liberal coup. Artists have occupied Cultural Administrations/Ministeries all over the country and are engaging in the resistant struggles of teachers/students and other repressed groups. All of a sudden art and culture is again part of the struggles for democracy and equal rights; a new artistic and political imaginary emerges.
With UTOPIA MACHINE we try to investigate and infiltrate this new imaginary.
Main contributors: Thomas Kilpper, Grupo Etcetera (Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garin Guzman), Frans Jacobi
Various documents relating to this project can be found here:
Grupo Etcetera (Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garin Guzman)
Goethe Institute Porto Alegre