What's Next?

What’s next? Kunst nach der Krise
Edited by Johannes M. Hedinger and Torsten Meyer
What's Next

The script for Museum Futures: Distributed has been reprinted as part of What’s next? Kunst nach der Krise a reader, published in December 2013 by Kulturverlag KADMOS Berlin. A substantial website is evolving here

“What’s next? Art after the crisis” (2013 Kadmos Berlin) is the first volume in a series of readers about contemporary art. The reader consists of 177 essays and interviews, as well as 154 theses, manifestos and quotations from a total of 304 authors regarding the next big thing in art. The altered conditions pertaining to the production, distribution and reception of art today in a global context will be discussed, as well as the latest developments of the „Betriebssystem Kunst“ (operating system of art) the premonitory paradigm change, possible future art models, their distribution and placement in the “next society” (Baecker).

What is the next art and what’s the impact of these crises? How does the future (re-)establish itself in the arts, in design, in new media, the creative industries? Which topics will become important? What formats, methods, techniques and practices will prevail? Will creativity become entirely collective and participative, or will art begin to totter amidst all these changes?

The reader discusses the possibilities of art in future societies in theory and practice, and on a broad phenomenal and literary foundation, merges diverse thought-provoking impulses of relevant opinions from Dirk Baecker, Hans Belting, Nicolas Bourriaud, Luc Boltanski, Bazon Brock, Judith Butler, Ève Chiapello, Carolyn Christov-Barkargiev, Andrea Fraser, David Graeber, Boris Groys, Jörg Heiser, Thomas Hirschhorn, Naomi Klein, Maurizio Lazaratto, Ben Lewis, Jonathan Meese, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jacques Rancière, Milo Rau, Gerald Raunig, Andreas Reckwitz, Irit Rogoff, Tino Sehgal, Peter Sloterdijk, The Yes Men, Wolfgang Ullrich, Jan Verwoert, Beat Wyss, Slavoj Žižek or Artur Żmijewski and many more.

The publication originated at two conferences and lectures of the same name at the University of Cologne (Institute for Art and Art Theory) and the University of the Arts in Zurich (Department of Cultural Analysis). The questions and debates launched there were taken up again and expanded to include additional, global perspectives. The reader will serve lectures, as well as address a broad, transdisciplinary audience from the arts and cultural sciences, artistic practices and design, communication and new media, sociology, education and philosophy sectors.

What’s next? This question can be asked ad infinitum. It is always relevant, and is thereby never completely finalized. Consequently, a series of foci on diversified and widespread topics is being introduced by means of this first publication under the heading of “What’s next Volume 2 of “What’s next? Art and Education” will appear at the end of 2014.

In 2014 the curator, author and artist Li Zhenhua came up with the idea, to publish a Chinese edition of the “What’s next?” reader and make this predominantly western sight on contemporary art available to a Chinese audience, followed later by a second edition with Asian writers and more eastern perspective.

Whereas the text books are published individually, the accompanying website,, will combine all texts and materials (photos, videos, audio, and web links) from the accumulated publications in a continually growing archive. The website can be directly accessed from the book via a QR-code and visa versa. Over the course of 2015, also the Chinese texts will be made available online.

Download the Museum Futures: Distributed script (pdf)

Read the Preface

Related project include Museum Futures and Truth is Concrete


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