Is that art or is it criminal?

Date 21. November 2014
Start 17:00 Uhr
End 18:30 Uhr
Event Discussion
Place Theater Freiburg, Winterer-Foyer
With Günther Friesinger, Martina Leeker, Cesy Leonard, Myon, Petr Žílka, Alexandra Müller (moderation)

On the boundaries of legality
Those who want to find possible ways to break up prevailing systems won’t get very far these days without computer skills. In performance art too, basic know-how – whether it’s soldering or programming – is becoming increasingly more important. How has the self-image of artists changed? What is their attitude towards technology and und civil rights? Performers talk about going beyond limits, self-enlightenment and hackerdom as a part of art.

In English

Günther Friesinger

Günther Friesinger, born 1973 in Graz, lives in Vienna and Graz as a philosopher, artist, curator and producer. He is managing director of monochrom, head of paraflows festival for digital art and culture in Vienna and the Arse Elektronika festival in San Francisco, producer of the Roboexotica festival in Vienna, the KOMM.ST festival in Anger and the Hedonistika in Montreal and Tel Aviv. Friesinger teaches Cultural Management, Production and Exhibition Dramaturgy at various universities in Austria and Germany. In recent years, he faced up with art in public space and urban hacking. His latest publications are “The Art of Reverse Engineering: Open – Dissect – Rebuild” (2014) and “Context Hacking: How to Mess with Art, Media, Law and the Market” (2013).

Cesy Leonard

Cesy Leonard, born in 1982 in Stuttgart, is the director of the planning committee at the Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (Centre for Political Beauty), “a storm troop for the establishment of moral beauty, political poetry and human megalopsychia”, in their own words. The centre recently made headlines with their campaign Erster Europäischer Mauerfall (First European Fall of the Wall), during which memorial crosses for Berliners who died at the Wall were moved from Berlin to the outer European borders in Bulgaria, Greece and the North African coast. After Berlin’s Interior Senator, Frank Henkel, spoke of “theft”, the group handed in a cease and desist notice against him for slander. Cesy Leonard was a key person in the development and concept of the campaign. She also runs the film department at the Centre for Political Beauty. The film “Schuld – Die Barbarei Europas” (Guilt – The Barbarity of Europe) won the German Web Video Prize in 2012. At the Steirischer Herbst festival, she directed Philipp Ruch’s play “Kanzlerin im Untergrund” (Chancellor Underground).

Martina Leeker

Martina Leeker studied Theatre Studies and Philosophy in Berlin and Paris. She completed a theatre training course in 1986 in Paris with Jacques Lecoq and Etienne Decroux. From 2002 to 2010, she was a junior professor for theatre and media at the University of Bayreuth and ran the digital studio for media art and media performances there. Since autumn 2013 she has been a Senior Researcher for the Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL) at the Leuphana  University in Lüneburg, where she does research from a theoretical and practical-artistic standpoint into “Re-thinking Methods” ( Besides this, she does research in the areas of critical media anthropology, theatre and media, and digital cultures. She is a director/dramaturge for post-dramatic theatre, theory-theatre and academic  performances. ( Her most recent publication was: “Theater – Raum – Medien: Optionen für einen reflexiven Umgang mit Medienkulturen”, in: K. Westphal, B. Jörissen (Eds.): Vom Straßenkind zum Medienkind: Raum- und Medienforschung im 21. Jahrhundert (2013).


Myon is a physicist and a member of the Chaos Computer Club in Freiburg. He works as an audio-visual designer for concert and theatre set designs. He not only teaches online skills to people who have been left behind by the rapid development of machines, but also equips computer experts to understand the situation of people in the real world. In search of radical new routes which include lifelong learning, he has also been involved in stage projects, for example “Digitales Theaterlabor,” a 1990s production by the Catalan group “La Fura Dels Baus” in Freiburg. The result was a performance that took place on several European stages at once, connected by video-conference technology. What at the time was avant-garde technology is now Myon’s everyday work: learning together live and online through joint performances on the worldwide network of the web – a world of stages.


Petr Žílka (Ztohoven) is the public voice of Zthohoven, a Czech artists’ collective. The group works anonymously and only appears in public every few years – but when it does, very effectively. It specialises in media hacking and interventions in public spaces that provoke not only social controversies but, quite often, legal battles about the freedom of art too. In 2003 they commented on the resignation of Czech President Václav Havel by manipulating a huge heart-shaped sculpture on the roof of the President’s seat in Prague Castle, and turning it into a question mark that shone out over the city. In 2007 they caused an international furore with their work “The Media Reality”, in which they hacked into the weather cams of Czech television broadcasters and inserted fake footage of an atom bomb explosion into tranquil weather pictures of Krkonoše. Zthohoven is a play on words that can be read as “exit“ (Z toho ven) or “the hundred diarrhoeas” (Sto Hoven). The collective consists of about 20 permanent members and grows to about 100 when they move into action. With its organisation Fair Art, which provides a network for artists, curators and lawyers, the group also stands up for artistic freedom and represents artists in legal battles. Members of the group are currently setting up a hacker space in Prague.

Alexandra Müller

Alexandra Müller (moderator), born 1983 in Fulda. She studied creative writing and journalism in Hildesheim, was a YouTube one hit wonder (with her hit single “Kleiner Hai”), did some writing and a lot of performance art. These days she mostly works as a journalist for SWR and lives somewhere between Berlin, Baden-Baden and the internet. As @workinggrrrrl she tweets about radio, sex and feminism and as someone named Heiner she posts a lot of selfies on Facebook.