People, 1. -  3. October 1998
Herbert Lachmayer
University of Art and Industrial Design, Linz, A
Abstract: Technology politics needs culture politics

The increasing number of innovations and the presence of new media and technology are causing a revolution in civilisation, in which the social as well as economic organisational forms of our lives are radically changing, although the primary reason is the enormous and world-wide dissemination of data stores, communication and network technology. This change in paradigms is accompanied by visions and a longing for emancipation that have not been realised until the present day : decentralised organisation, reduction of hierarchies, real equality of rights for women and men in terms of competence, social status and payment, altered professional roles, lifelong learning, communication in a global network, mobility, flexibility, projection-oriented ways of working, free time and unemployment etc. - all these subjects require a comprehensive new evaluation. Designing these current aspects of life - PatchWork and PatchLife after the end of "monosequential careers" - requires creative discussion and new contexts of interpretation. This demands a contemporary concept of culture and education that is located at the centre of our complex lives and does not refer to reserves of high culture (has no reserves of high culture to fall back upon?). What is meant is a lively and social, conscious everyday culture without fundamentalistic restrictive lines, that is still able to incorporate conflicting energies and contradictions in a non-deactivated form and makes them communicable. Technical innovation and the optimisation of rationality should not be the exclusive priority in decision strategies within a multi-cultural, diversified society that is concerned with the acquisition - on an everyday culture basis - and individual interpretation of what is primarily technical progress. The enhancement and consolidation of individual quality of life continues to be the goal of every progressive and citizen-oriented political strategy within a democratic society.

The loss of those familiar and binding forms of overall social synthesis, which is causing dramatic structural changes in the contemporary performance society (a society in which, for instance, a professional group is no longer automatically a "social group"), social-cultural creativity and the joy of creation are increasingly demanded from political action, in order to solve major problems like unemployment, economic growth, profession-oriented training etc., in a contemporary, human and practical fashion. The social problems of the information and media society can no longer be solved by a production of ideology in terms of classical party traditions but require new and especially cultural forms of communication that also transport political value systems. Technology politics needs culture politics - as a productive detour that could eventually be more effective in terms of achieving goals than apparently direct strategies.

Biography: Herbert Lachmayer, (*1948) Teacher of the master class for experimental design at the University of artistic and industrial design in Linz. He studied philosophy, sociology, and art history in Vienna, Frankfurt/Main, and Berlin. He teaches in Berlin, Vienna, Linz, Graz, London, Zurich. Pertinent publications on the theory of art and culture and the history of architecture; exhibitions in Austria and abroad as curator, most recently in September 1998 for the exhibition Work & Culture - BÜRO. He staged his work on the occasion of the EU cultural month in the city of Linz.
Institution: Archimedia