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Elevate Arts Guide

In addition to an advanced music programme and a stimulating discourse programme, this year's festival edition with Elevate Arts also highlights facets of contemporary art creation. Installation and interactive works can be found in public spaces and at selected locations in the city. This guide summarises what exactly there is to discover.

The first programme feature of Elevate Arts will be on view two weeks before the festival begins. In cooperation with zweintopf, a number of national and international artists have been invited to deal artistically with this year's festival theme "(Unlikely) Alliances". Finally, works by the artists Katharina Gruzei and Mimu Merz, the textile artist Luise Höggerl, the comic artist and illustrator Vinz Schwarzbauer, the Ukrainian artistSasha Kurmaz, the photographer Paola Lesslhumer and studio ASYNCHROME were selected. The resulting posters will be attached to historical, cast-iron city map panels stretching from Andreas-Hofer-Platz to the Eiserne Tor and Geidorfplatz. The series was created in cooperation with the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria.

Music for Elevators geht in die dritte Runde

This year, the Schlossberg lift will once again be made to sound. With the sound installation "Music for Elevators" another work in public space will be explored. After the Finnish artist Jimi Tenor and the ambient music icon Brian Eno, this year the exceptional Italian musician Caterina Barbieri has been entrusted with the task of creating the appropriate sounds for the futuristic-looking lift. "Music for Elevators" will be accessible for a year.

KairUs is the name of the Finnish-Austrian media art duo around Linda Kronman and Andreas Zingerle. Together they deal with virulent questions of the digitalised world. Based on scientific facts, they develop artistic works that make us alert and activate our critical consciousness.

For example, the interactive work "Suspicious Behavior" (2020) will be on display in the Heimatsaal foyer during the festival. Visitors are invited to click through video material with which artificial intelligences have been trained to identify suspicious situations (keyword machine learning). These image recognition programmes are intended to prevent and detect potential crimes. The parameters on which the AI was trained are being negotiated. But the focus will also be on the so-called click workers: People who spend hours sifting through material in order to train these machines.

Finally, Elevate Arts 2023 will focus on the work of the Vienna-based artist and composer Andreas Trobollowitsch. He is represented at the festival with three installations, two of them sound art works commissioned by KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis from Zagreb for the EU project Re-Imagine Europe. Trobollowitsch's artistic approach is conceptual and site-specific, often playful and experimental. His compositions and sound installations are often based on self-developed or prepared musical instruments, modified everyday objects or changing aggregate states.

The first work, "hybrid #1 – ⥀12", will open on Thursday at Forum Stadtpark. It is a sound installation consisting of three self-built mechanical record players, flutes and balloons. While the record players rotate at different speeds, the flutes attached to them are made to sound by the air flowing out of the balloons. The sound is modulated by the successively decreasing air pressure. Once the air has escaped from the balloons, the flutes also fall silent and only the sound of the empty spinning balloons is perceptible.

The second installation "when the music is over / melt in peace" presents us with two human-sized figures made of ice, standing bent over two snare drums with frozen drumsticks, two music stands in front of them. The melting ice now drips onto the differently tuned snare drums until the drumsticks and entire limbs begin to come loose. This work is a "predicted composition", as Trobollowitsch himself says. The outcome of the piece is predictable. It is "a march to the tactless end - man melts, silence remains".

Finally, the audiovisual installation "pflügl" will also be experienced at the Orpheum Extra. This follows the rather absurd idea of stretching a concert grand behind a tractor in order to plough a field with it. "pflügl" is an attempt to link a culturally charged object to an activity that is diametrically opposed to its original use. The object is a concert grand piano; the activity is ploughing. While the plough is always superior to the ground, "ploughing" creates a balanced contest of forces that has a destructive effect on both the ground and the grand piano.