Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann (D)

Monopolartige Produktionen (Monopoly-Like Productions)
For Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann, the critical engagement with political, social and economic issues is always tied up with the question of how to illustrate complex subject matter. With their characteristic sensitivity to problems of linguistic and visual representation, Creischer/Siekmann were invited as the ideal candidates to design the large wall in the lecture room. In this room, which functions as a presentation, demonstration and interpretation space for economic and technological developments, the artists’ wall design takes as its theme the problem of representation as such. As they already did in some of their earlier projects, Creischer/Siekmann refer here to a historically significant model for the visualization of economic and social conditions – the atlas of Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft (Society and Economy) published by Otto Neurath and Gerd Arntz in 1930, which combined the development of statistical diagrams with a critique of contemporary economic conditions. For their enamel wall panels at Lakeside, Creischer/Siekmann translated two sheets from this atlas that were devoted to showing how the monopolistic production dominated by the national economies of European and non-European countries was in the process of being replaced by the reign of transnational corporations. Together with Prof. Kellermann’s students at the University of Klagenfurt, the artists updated these two sheets in terms of today’s existing and emerging monopolies on intellectual property, patents and copyrights and their social and human consequences. This was a matter of both researching the relevant data and figures and interpreting them, as well as developing a corresponding pictorial language and symbolism for depicting them. The questions that guided the artists’ research, such as: “Which companies own the most patents on genes? Which have the most copyrights to software?” show how the theme is related to the technology park, while collaboration with the students also highlights the problem of the increasingly close connections between business and the realm of research.