Discussion 24.09.22, 8 p.m. Saloon Entry: Free

steirischer herbst

The Special Optics of War

Guest production

Panel discussion with Tom Holert, Olexii Kuchanskyi und Asia Bazdyrieva
Moderated by David Riff

Russia’s war in Ukraine is a hybrid war of images and real violence, where iPhone journalism counteracts constant accusations of so-called fakes. Media theorist and curator Tom Holert, critic and theorist Olexii Kuchanskyi, and theorist Clio Nicastro discuss the new porosity and agency of images in the current war.

In English
Forum Stadtpark & livestream


Tom Holert works as an interdependent scholar and curator. In 2015, he cofounded the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. From October 2022 he will be visiting professor at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK). Recent book publications include Knowledge beside Itself: Contemporary Art’s Epistemic Politics (2020), Politics of Learning, Politics of Space: Architecture and the Education Shock of the 1960s and 1970s (2021) and Ca. 1972. Gewalt—Umwelt—Identität—Methode (2022). Among his recent exhibitions are Neolithic Childhood: Art in a False Present, c. 1930 (with Anselm Franke, 2018) and Education Shock: Learning, Politics and Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s (2021/22), both at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (the latter also at Vorarlberger Architektur Institut, Dornbirn).

Olexii Kuchanskyi is an independent researcher, film curator, and writer whose main interests lie in experimental moving-image art, collective visual practices, their ecological impact, and critical cultures of nature. S/he was born in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, and lives in Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine. His/her works have been published in Prostory, Your Art, TransitoryWhite, Political Critique, East European Film Bulletin, Arts of the Working Class, Moscow Art Magazine, e-flux Notes, Theory on Demand, and others. S/he was a member of Occupy Kyiv Cinemas, an activist network protecting Kyivan communal property cinemas at risk of privatization.

Clio Nicastro is a theorist, writer, and educator. From 2016 to 2018 she was a postdoctoral fellow at ICI Berlin, where she founded the series of conferences, lectures, and screenings In Front of the Factory with Saima Akhtar and Rosa Barotsi. From 2018 onward, she has been cocurating, together with Hannah Proctor and Nadine Hartmann, the event series Spellbound (Diffrakt, Berlin). She is the author of La dialettica del Denkraum in Aby Warburg (2022) as well as coeditor, with Cristina Baldacci and Arianna Sforzini, of the volume Over and over and over Again: Reenactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory (2022). Since 2022 she has been a member of the board of directors of the Harun Farocki Institut.

The Special Optics of War