“The Passenger” – are a swarm, a cloud, a multitude of human, non-human, post-human companions and components, whose overall experience cannot quite be grasped in human language.
So calling them “them” is only the next best solution, and a bit better than calling them “he”, “she” or “it”.
For the fact that they are made up of many does not mean that they act and think as one. There is diversity and conflict among them.
Some even do not express themselves at all. Still they have agency and the respect of (the, some, a few) others.
One could call “The Passenger” a “heuristic avatar”, implying that they are a fiction born from the necessity of guiding a fresh experience humans need to undergo to enter a reality of many agencies, only some of which are human.
But one could also point out that we are very familiar with a multiple agency similar to “The Passenger”– so familiar that this very special friendship is even older than humanity itself, even older than any multicellular organism on Earth.
A lot older.Read More
The community of microbes without which humans could hardly live or digest their food is a multitude of widely different microorganisms collaborating with each other and their human hosts while also programming them and their organs. Those “microbiomes” are also sites of heavy conflict and selection. They are highly diverse from micro-habitat to micro-habitat (mouth, gut, genitalia etc.), individual to individual, diet to diet, world to world etc.
So when asking yourselves: How shall we understand what and who and how “The Passenger” are, work, move and live? One could answer that they are a heuristic fiction, born from Mythology and Science Fiction. But one can also answer: They are akin to the agency of the Microbiome. And in that reading the spaces and cities they are moving through would be situated inside our own, or any other, organism.
Whatever the scale and the site of their world: Important to know are the following five points:
- The Passenger are moving, are always on the move and take everyone they meet on a trip.
- The Passenger are taking possession of certain humans – for some time or only for a short trip – to teach them an immersive experience they could otherwise not have. Yet they do not want to control or own anyone for longer than this deep learning process is taking.
- The Passenger are friends with many creatures humans tend to ignore or treat as property, from microbes to plastic bottles, but they are also critical about the behaviour of their friends.
- The Passenger are not free from the most basic laws of the Universe, hence the necessity to feed in order to create energy for living, moving and acting. Yet as they are hovering in between the organic and the “inorganic” worlds they feed off patterns and information, being “glorified parasites” profiting from the pattern-producing surplus of human civilization. As they had a lot of “time” to cultivate their tastes they learned to cherish “boring” patterns and tiny differences as can be found at the periphery of every city, one of which being Vienna.
- The Passenger live in a “space-time” environment that cannot be translated into human dimensions; still they take the effort to somehow translate their experience into our standard languages.
One product of that effort is this diary and blog.
The Passenger took hold of a few individuals to guide them through the whole process of this project.
works as artist & researcher focusing on contemporary performance, especially its ramifications into the choreographic and the ethical. She currently pursues her habilitation Choreo-ethical Assemblages – Narrations of Bare Bodies (Elise-Richter-PEEK) at Angewandte.
Her work explores a politicized practice, aiming at trans-subjective, communicative processes, enabling performative encounters. Using expanded choreography and somatic practices as compositional tools, it is her interest to unsettle and interrogate the transitional thresholds crossed through sustained life practices of experimentation.
In the frame of Passenger Diaries she asks how the passage between matter and body as trans-subjective space emerges and negotiates sustainable ecologies. The passenger activates routes and routines that take place in the trans-urban space. They attend to the dynamics of muddy movements through chromatographies and probe poetics of subterranean water bodies. They undertake investigations into the correspondence between bodies and atmospheres, cityscape and perception and how routes get choreo-/carto-/photo-/video-graphed. This project proposal touches base with questions concerning the weight of daily routines and practices.
Currently she is appointed as Senior Artist for the new Angewandte Performance Laboratory.
Lucie Strecker works as an artist, researcher and lecturer in the fields of performance art and hybrid art. She is a Fellow of the Berlin University of the Arts and holds a senior postdoc position at the Art & Science department of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, conducting the Elise-Richter-PEEK project The Performative Biofact, funded by the Austrian Science Fund. 2019-2020 she held a lectureship at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano for Performance Art and Experience Design.
Katherina T. (KT) Zakravsky
ZAK RAY as performing/conceptual/fine artist
Academic philosopher until 2012; working in experimental theatre and performance since mid 1990ties, since 2015 working mainly at the interstices of urban studies, performance, ecology, spiritual practice and interdisciplinary theory. Since 2021 PEEK project “MORPHOPOLY” on city model building and game development with and for children (6-12) and other groups; cooperation with Klaus Spiess and Lucie Strecker on critical bio-art; since 2021 INTRA project “Passenger Diaries” with Mariella Greil, Lucie Strecker, Viktor Fucek, Radek Hewelt et.al.
is an artist and architect who uses rituals to explore the consciousness of space. For this purpose, he creates performances, paintings, and installations that push the boundaries of what is usually perceived as architecture and show how experimental practices can help to find new strategies to solve the problems of contemporary society. He studied fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and architecture at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. He completed his doctoral studies at the Academy of Arts in Slovakia with a project combining performance and architecture.
And then they also took hold of a few guests for a brief period.
Studied dance and choreography at PARTS (Belgium); till 2017 active as choreographer, dancer and performer; from 2015 transition to visual arts and photography in particular. His last photographic projects focus on environmental issues. His photographic curriculum includes also photography for dance, performance and fashion. He is a member of PROJECT SARA – a multidisciplinary art collective based in Vienna.
More info at: radekhewelt.com and project-sara.com
works between visual art and music in the expanded field of sonic art and aesthetic practice. He deals with the plasticity of sounds in acoustic, intermedial and performative contexts and facilitates dialogues in the field between new music, electroacoustic improvisation, conceptual art, weird beats and artistic research. For his work he has been awarded, among others, the Music Award of the City of Vienna and grants of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture for Chicago and Mexico City. As part of the INTRA project “Passenger Diaries” he created the sound for the audio-visual work “Borderland” in collaboration with Radek Hewelt.
(b. 1967) is an Irish artist currently based in Helsinki; her practice is willfully interdisciplinary and celebrates an undisciplinarity, stems from a visual art background. It employs performance, sculpture, biotechnical practices, writing and experimental media with which to consider speculative reconfigurations of The Body in its most expanded sense, across multiple spaces, scales and temporalities, often but not always, working with site, duration and context as generative elements.
is a Paris and Copenhagen based media studies scholar and art curator focusing on the interactions between art and technology. He is currently a professor in art history at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He is also a researcher at the Medical University Vienna, University of Copenhagen’s Medical Museion, and at École Polytechnique Paris-Saclay, as well as a distinguished faculty member of the Department of Art, Art History and Design at Michigan State University, where he co-directs the BRIDGE artist in residency program.
Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is a feminist cultural theorist, urban researcher, curator, and author. Her scholarship addresses ecological and social justice at the global present with a focus on caring practices in architecture, urbanism, and contemporary art. With Angelika Fitz and Marvi Mazhar, she co-edited Yasmeen Lari. Architecture for the Future (MIT Press, 2023). Her book Living with an Infected Planet. Covid-19 Feminism and the Global Frontline of Care develops a feminist perspective on the rhetoric of war and the realities of care in pandemic times (transcript, 2023).
Visual artist, freshwater ecologist, lecturer at Social Design at Angewandte. Her interest in water has led her to explore this element as the connector between stories of different places and layers, running through everything that exists on this Earth, from clouds to data centers. The last years she was living along different rivers and now back in Vienna she is breeding sturgeons on an artificial island to re-establish a healthy population in the Danube. In the frame of Salon de Passage #2, she gave a lecture performance on the tiny ear bones of the sturgeon.
She works at the Institute for Soil Research, is specialized in soil micro biology and shared her scientific knowledge and experience in the frame of Salon de Passage #2, where she expounded the scientific results of chromatographies made from soil samples taken at the dwelling places of the Passenger.
Robert Linke, studies of technical chemistry with doctorate at the TU-Vienna, 1998 – 2004 Univ. Ass. at the Academy of Fine Arts, since 2004 head of the natural science laboratory at the Federal Monuments Office. Various lectureships at the TU-Vienna, the University of Applied Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts. Is concerned with the preservation and natural scientific research of our cultural heritage in the fields of monument preservation and conservation-restoration.
Heinrich Büchel, studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Technical University Munich, University of the Arts Berlin – co-founder of an art and culture festival in Feldkirch/Vorarlberg – lectures and guest critics in London, Kassel, Munich and Vienna – several prizes in competitions – since 1993 executed buildings, projects and exhibitions of various types and scales from interior to urban planning. Lives and works in Vienna, Munich and Vorarlberg. References (selection): Adaptation “Altes Hallenbad” in Feldkirch as a culturally usable open space, “[t]raumhaus” (flexibly usable spatial structure made of 100% wood), exhibition “FRIEDRICH KURRENT 90”, urban piece with about 130 studio apartments.
Thomas Feuerstein interweaves art, literature and philosophy with economics, politics, digital media and biotechnology to create artistic narratives. The works include expansive installations, processual sculptures, drawings, radio plays, bio- and net art. He studied art history and philosophy and received his doctorate from the University of Innsbruck in 1995. He was, among other things, co-editor of the journal Medien.Kunst.Passagen from 1992, worked on research commissions on art and architecture and art in electronic space. Since 1997 Feuerstein has been a lecturer and visiting professor at universities and art colleges, currently professor of artistic discourse at the Institute for Experimental Architecture/studio3 at the University of Innsbruck.
Daniel M. Büchel worked in an architect’s office before he began studying architecture in Vienna after a few years of practice. Extensive travels in ancient Europe as well as in the Asian region were an important part of his education besides studies and practice. 1994 studies of architecture (University of Fine Arts Vienna, TU-Vienna and University of Applied Arts Vienna). He currently works as an artist and designer in Vienna.