Austrian Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
This week, the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale should have opened to the public. But the Covid-19 pandemic has not only thrown these plans into disarray—it has changed much more: fundamental human rights connected to our physical presence in the world have vanished into thin air, giving way to an army of on-demand platforms in control of shadowy figures glued to computer screens.
The power and control that digital platforms have gained over our lives is now more evident than ever. The question of access has moved centre stage in everyday struggles as much as in the shaping of future societies. But importantly, architecture and urban planning remain key arenas in which the conditions of access are created, configured and maintained.
Indeed, there is a new breed of “platform urbanism” emerging today, pervasive and insidious enough to extend the dominance of Big Tech even further into our living environments and which is at the heart of the project PLATFORM AUSTRIA curated by Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer (Centre for Global Architecture).
“Not least in light of the profound transformations we are experiencing at this time, the question of how access has become the new capital will continue to set the agenda for the Austrian contribution, now being adapted for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021” (May 22 to November 21, 2021), say the two curators.
“To engage with the challenges of the ‘New Normal’, we are devising a programme that can bridge the physical-virtual divide in such a way as to reclaim the common-good potential of platforms—celebrating openness and rejecting algorithmic exclusions, championing equal opportunities over tiered privileges, and recapturing human dimensions while rejecting excesses of affective exploitation.”
“We will continue to refine our curatorial response to this new world of platform ecologies and look forward to unveiling the results of this process at the official opening of the Austrian pavilion on May 20, 2021.”
Join us for this debate at the Austrian pavilion in Venice or online at www.platform-austria.org