The Festival of the Regions of Upper Austria
19th Juni - 3rd July 2005
Curling Hall, Schwarzenberg am Böhmerwald
Urs Lehni (Zurich) in cooperation with Sarah Infanger (Amsterdam),
Hansjakob Fehr und Dorothee Wettstein (Berlin)
Irini Athanassakis (Vienna), Sebastian Braun (University of Paderborn), Marina Henning (Humboldt University, Berlin), Eva Hollerweger (NPO Institute of the WU Vienna), Thomas Sander (Harvard University, Cambridge MA), Bernhard Tschofen (University of Tübingen)
Wolfgang Stagel (ISW Linz)
The “Festival of the Regions” is a “Biennale for Art in Public Places” which takes place every two years at a different location in Upper Austria and has long enjoyed international recognition. As a contribution to the general festival theme of “Orderly Relationships”, almost all 400 permanent residents of the municipality of Schwarzenberg were interviewed about their paid and unpaid activities, individual abilities and personal passions with the aim of producing an inventory of the knowledge and activities available in the village which was as complete as possible and from which it would be possible, amongst other things, to gain some understanding of the villagers’ perception of their own interrelationships.
Because it is exclusively based upon the participants’ own perception of reality, this inventory of the collective “Hab & Gut” (literally, the belongings) of the small community identifies those largely invisible activities which, being apparently unimportant or even superfluous, are usually overlooked - often because they appear to have no quantifiable value.
The quantity of unpaid work that takes place in Schwarzenberg every day is then compared with similar, remunerated activities in order to attempt a financial evaluation of such voluntary and often honorary work and then give this a concrete monetary value.
A further attempt to illustrate the notion of “Social Capital” takes the form of a series of large posters showing 44 differing behavioral codes which were identified in Schwarzenberg and its surroundings and which, according to a study by Harvard University, are appropriate ways of promoting coherence.