Lecture performance, 30 minutes, 2022

The meaning crisis, the movie "Battleship Potemkin", information theory, Schmidhuber's mathematical theory of aesthetics, post-conceptual art – everything compressed to the question: What is the feeling of "understanding"? And how does this feeling relate to producing and consuming art?

Contemporary (post-conceptual) art often speaks about itself in highly political terms. Claims about its significance towards social change – if not saving society and the world altogether – are made not only in grant applications, but also in opening speeches and documentary texts. Yet, it is hard to observe tangible impact or attributable outcomes.

The lecture performance departs from the example of the Soviet-era movie "Battleship Potemkin" (1925, directed by Sergei Eisenstein) to critically inspect both the interdependence and independence of arts' aesthetical and political ambitions. Through an information-theory driven theory of aesthetics and reception the audience is ultimately thrown back to the very experience of the lecture performance: Did they come to have a systemic insight about their lives and act upon it – or were they just pursuing a momentary feeling of understanding in an artsy environment as a leisure time experience before returning to an unchanged everyday life?