Günther Friesinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Frank Apunkt Schneider – Context Hacking: How To Mess With Art, Media, Law And The Market


edition mono/monochrom, Vienna, ISBN-13: 978-3902796134, 304 pages, 2013, German, English

In 1993 Johannes Grenzfurthner posted on Fidonet about his intention to start a fanzine on politics, network and pop culture, and Franz Ablinger answered almost immediately. That was how the Viennese “monochrom” collective started. This thick hardcover publication seems to be the perfect container for twenty years of activity, restating their history in a different form. But although the publications have been constant over time, they have confronted and engaged with a large number of different cultural and artistic contexts. This reflects the heterogeneity of the founding members, who share what used to be called a “communication guerrilla” background, but who embody different attitudes towards communication in unexpected, sometimes quite extreme fields. They have been and are dystopic but maintain an ironic and cyberpunk attitude, talking about the future through performances, festivals, installations, sitcoms, theatre, video games, among other media. The text makes clears their roots in their home country and their awareness of the academic discourse in which they are situated. But the book also includes a catalogue of very symbolic exhibitions, which represents their main projects in a very playful and unifying way. They effectively generate aesthetic consistency over diverse projects, preserving and reinforcing with striking representational contrast the pure subversiveness of their work.