Located somewhere between resignation and revolt means of artistic expression are to be found, which, politically inspired, take on activist forms in order to draw attention to social injustice. "Artivism", the combination of art and activism, is "probably the first new art form of the 21st century" (Peter Weibel, ZKM Karlsruhe).
"Artivism" is also the motto of the first edition of the biennial festival "digital spring", an initiative of ARGEkultur and subnet, which focuses on the possibilities of media art to address issues like refugees, free speech or ecology. How can digital technologies be used by the civil society in order to bring about social and political changes? Does theory end in the street? What can be expressed and achieved by digital activism and where are the limits of the (virtual) system?
The reflections on the festival's motto pursue discursive as well as artistic approaches. Via open call, artists had been invited to submit projects dealing with Salzburg and its democratic deficits. The majority of the artistic contributions were chosen by a jury (Cornelia Anhaus, ARGEkultur | Séamus Kealy, Salzburger Kunstverein | Marius Schebella, subnet | Franziska Schurig, Galerie Fotohof).
Further items on the programme were curated in cooperation with our partners, i.e. Salzburger Kunstverein, Kunst am Bau, Galerie Fotohof, Toihaus Theatre. ARTgenossen, Schwerpunkt Wissenschaft & Kunst (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg and Mozarteum University Salzburg) and FS1.
On 8 days (from March 6 to March 13, 2016) the festival invites its visitors not only to experience their first digital spring in Salzburg, but also to play an active role in different participative formats. These times of democratic helplessness require politicized artists and, above all, a politicized audience which appreciates terms like art, action and solidarity critically.
Cornelia Anhaus, festival management