The Institute of Contemporary Art of the TU Graz is delighted to invite you to this year’s Open Modes weekend, that will take place on November 12th and 13th, at Forum Stadtpark. Within the frame of this year’s Open Modes, the Institute for Contemporary Art is inviting Tomislav Medak and Femke Snelting to present PUBLIC LIBRARY.
The public library is:
  • free access to books for every member of society
  • library catalog
  • librarian
With books ready to be shared, meticulously cataloged, everyone is a librarian.
When everyone is librarian, library is everywhere.
Public Library at Nova
PUBLIC LIBRARY is the synergy of two efforts. First, it makes the case for the institution of a public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge. Second, it is an exploration and development of distributed internet infrastructure for amateur librarians.

A public library is one of those almost invisible infrastructures that we start to notice only once they go extinct. A place where all people can get access to all the knowledge, that can be collected, seemed for a long time a dream beyond reach – until the egalitarian impetus of social revolutions, the Enlightenment idea of universality of knowledge, and the exceptional suspension of the commercial barriers of copyright made it possible.

The Internet has, as in many other situations, completely changed our expectations and imagination about what is possible. The dream of a catalogue of the world – a universal access to all the available knowledge for every member of society – became realizable. A question merely of the meeting of curves on a graph: the point at which the line of global distribution of personal computers meets that of the critical mass of people with access to the Internet. Today nobody lacks the imagination necessary to see public libraries as part of a global infrastructure of universal access to knowledge for literally every member of society. However, the emergence and development of the Internet is taking place precisely at the point at which an institutional crisis — one with traumatic and inconceivable consequences — has also begun.

* Within the frame of the Summer semester 2017 curriculum, the WORKSHOP ‘LET’S BUILD A LIBRARY TOGETHER’ which is set around the idea of the public library will take place at the Institute for Contemporary Art from May 29 until June 2. For students, the registration will be opened during the course registration period. For more info about the workshop, contact



OPEN MODES is a network developed by nine Graz institutions and initiatives; its projects confront the changing requirements for educating artists in the wake of a continuing discussion of the deteriorating conditions for ‘Bildung’ in general. A project by: Akademie GrazCamera Austriaesc medien kunst laborForum StadtparkGrazer Kunstverein, Institut für zeitgenössische Kunst/TU GrazKünstlerhaus. Halle für Kunst und Medien< rotor >Schaumbad – Freies Atelierhaus Graz.

The topic of this year’s Open Modes is: Trial Mode 02: (Un)learning contemporary art – Building Synergies. It is an intensive gathering weekend curated to explore and deepen the ways art education could take or is already taking place within the city of Graz and beyond. Mapping the synergies of contemporary art production, working on their sustainability and validating an urban-open-curriculum will be some of the central points of this event, with local and international guests coming together in an experimental condensed format with talks, inputs, workshops, durational performances and live-music interventions. The Open Modes Program and Methodologies for 2017 will be collectively outlined.

with Anne Goldenberg + Ellen Foster, Fiona Hallinan/ Department of Ultimology, Rebecca Close/ Diásporas Críticas, Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka/ Schaffeld Ensemble, Vera Hagemann & Students, GT22 + SMGK, Tomislav Medak/ Memory of the World + Femke Snelting, Johannes Schrettle + Max Höfler



If you would like to subscribe directly to the Open Modes mailing list please write an email to