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Avtonomi Akadimia unfolds into the UFO of the Kyiv International 2017

True revolutions arrive on the dove’s feet of media history
Friedrich Kittler

In occasion of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, Avtonomi Akadimia payed an extensive visit to The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017.

Kyiv_International_Kyiv_Biennial_Joulia_StraussUFO portrait by Joulia Strauss

The Winter Semester was interentangled with the public program and has enfolded at the main venue, the Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information, also known as the “UFO”.

After the documenta 14’s Parliament of Bodies that has moved learning into the center of the art discourse, UFO of the Kyiv International had offered us the next ideal environment to continue the experiment of education as a socio-cybernetic art work. UFO’s conference hall, originally planned as an experience of oneness of sound and image, syneisthesis, (σύν syn, “together”, and αἴσθησις aisthēsis, “sensation”) has not been accomplished during the Soviet times. As a force that creates chronotopologies of oneness of art, philosophy, technology and politics, Avtonomi Akadimia furtherdeveloped the uncompleted construction by modulating the aspired experience from synaisthēsis to what can be called synethosis, the unity of the movements of our First Global Revolution.

Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017 has organized a meeting with the architect of the UFO, Florian Yuriev, to discuss the renovation project which may turn the unique monument of modernist architecture into the part of the shopping and entertainment center “Ocean Mall”. UFO, according to law, can be only used for the educational purposes. Avtonomi Akadimia contributed to the discussion with the solidarity action of exemplifying its fulfillment.


November 1, Wednesday, 17:00

Presentation of “Krytyka Polityczna Athens”: Universitas by Katja Ehrhardt (AthenSYN) and The School of Everything by Joulia Strauss (Avtonomi Akadimia) (Greece/Germany).


Photos: Sasha Kovalenko








November 1, Wednesday, 19:00

Eirini Vlavianou (Greece)
In Memoriam Zygmunt Bauman



November 3, Friday, 17:00
“Deep Hanging Out” presentation by Helmut Batista (Brazil)



November 3, Friday, 19:00

“Acoustic Weapons: From the Walls of Jericho to the GitMo Playlist” performance by Sebastian Bayse Schäfer (Germany)





November 4, Saturday, 16:00

“Dread Nought! Fear Not – in the Age of Anxiety” presentation by Judith Holzer and Marcel Schobel (Germany)

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Judith Holzer enjoying the view from our UFO observation appartment

November 5, Sunday, 14:00

“Pirate Cinema and the New Forms of Action Against Politics and Art” talk and screenings by Jan Gerber and Sebastian Lütgert (Germany):

14:00 Revolution 1 (French): Chris Marker, Gaspard Glanz, Ute Holl, Peter Ott, et al.

17:00 Revolution 2 (October): Kira Muratova, Peter Cherkasky, Artavazd Peleshian, Ken Jacobs, et al.

20:00 Revolution 3 (Digital): Dzyga Vertov, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, Philippe Grandrieux, et al.

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November 10, Friday, 17:00

“Final Fantasy II – 21 Translations of Purpose in Japanese – 喜怒哀楽 Kidoairaku (Joy-Furious-Sadness-Pleasure)” presentation by Hiroshi McDonald Mori (Japan).







Hiroshi McDonald Mori’s talk took place on the day after the opening of a giant blockbuster show on Japanese culture in the Mystetski Arsenal exhibition hall. But what matters about Japan are the subversive strategies of its queer community shared by Hiroshi McDonald Mori.


November 12, Sunday, 17:00

“From Parking Space to Park” film screening and discussion by Clara Hüneke (Germany).






Does the future of the UFO and other struggles for public space depend on our ability to form a responce from the side of the community, as in the case told by Clara Stella Hüneke’s film?


November 12, Sunday, 19:00

“Ethico-aesthetic paradigm against the Fascistization of Society. The Greek Case and the Murder of Pavlos Fyssas” talk by Ioulia Mermigka (Greece).






Justyna Kravchuk, who translated Judith Butler’s “Frames of War”


Vlad Holovko, artist, initiator and organizer of Plivka Art Center, Nastya Teor, who took control of our stay in Kyiv, and founding member of Occupy Museums, Noah Fischer.


November 14, Tuesday, 19:00

“Snapshots from Future Occupations” talk by Noah Fischer (USA)








Olexiy Buistov, artist, initiator and organizer of Singulart space, speaking



Joulia Strauss emphasizes the political difference of The Kyiv International from the usual Biennials as a remark closing the program.


Special thanks: Elena Dietrich, Eirini Vlavianou, Nastya Teor

Beyond the official program, informal exchange between the participants and the community in Kyiv took place. Nowadays, again, politics is made in the kitchen! We are very grateful for the warm reception to Oksana Briukhovetska, Nataliia Neshevets, Yustyna Kravchuk, Ruslana Koziienko, Anna Kravets, Anna Tsyba, Vlad Holovko, Olexiy Buistov, Nikita Kadan, Valeriia Didenko, Maria Pashkova, Dana Kosmina, and – for his kind invitation – to Vasyl Cherepanyn.


All photos above by Sasha Kovalenko



Nataliia Neshevets, David Chichkan, Anna Tsyba and Noah Fischer at the exhibition just closed by the curators due to censorship from the side of the Pavlo Tychyna Literary-Memorial Museum which became complicit with the right wing groups.

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Clara Stella Hüneke and Ioulia Mermigka demonstrating the feminist art works by Oxana Briukhovetska (who joined the photo on the right)


Legendary Fridge Dance by Dana Kosmina at the UFO appartment. Lady with a cup: Marta Madej, Krytyka Polityczna Berlin


Elena Dietrich, Alexandra Streshna, Clara Stella Hüneke, Ioulia Mermigka, Hiroshi McDonald Mori, Nastya Teor, Anna Kravets at the “creepy bar”




Welcome speech by Joulia Strauss

This junta space, overwritten by so many minoritarian stories, seduces you into telling your personal one: to tell the story of the Mari tribe, claustrophobically imprisoned in the Russian “federation“. To tell you how the land of the whole population that has a deep knowledge about the equilibrium with the environment, is drowned under water by the illegal but profitable construction of a hydroelectric station. Yet we use our indigenous knowlegde in the middle of THIS political situation to create spaces of

No Border! No Nation!


So we salute our sociopolitical ancestors who fought for freedom of knowledge throughout the empire: Jean-Jaques Rousseau for connecting utopia of society with pedagogical concept, Robert Owen for the gender neutral community. We thank “nihilist“ Vera Figner for founding schools in villages of the deep Russia, Hamburger Torschule for having no plan and no goal, Dennison Street School for school deniers, Ivan Illich for the de-schooling discourse, Janusz Korczak, the founder of Children’s Parliament, for walking into a gas chamber in solidarity with his “young adults”. We thank the open source activist Jesus Christ and his colleague Aaron Swartz.

Personally, I’m grateful to my teachers: Timur Novikov, founder of New Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg; Bernd Willim, founder of the first Berlin high-end Film School, for letting me teach by turning the 3D sculpture seminar space into a club; and I’m grateful to Friedrich Kittler, the founder of the School of Berlin Media Theory.

We are grateful to the school called Parliament of Bodies for hosting the School of Everything.

I salute all our precious participants who see education as decisive for social change, who instigate politically motivated and artistic initiatives for sharing knowledge. Thank you for taking up our invitation to share your practices, manifestos, and paradigmatic proposals.

We are here not to discuss the problems of education, but to address political issues through the prism of the central theme of documenta14, which is learning. With “Learning from Athens” for the first time learning is set in a central relation to art.

Art emancipates itself from the peripheral status of educational or public programs by declaring them, or this learning, as the very heart of the process called art. Art-as-education is the next step after “activist art”. Marginalized for rejecting commodification, we are disturbed by the hyper-capitalist system that violently smashes art that resists the extracting logic of the investment markets. Many of us are part of the global movement for the horizontalisation of art institutions.

We grew up with documenta. It was our school. As tax payers, or just as community members that are a part of the economy of attention, we do have expectations. We, in defense of the honor of the art and the freedom of knowledge, have experimented in not giving away the documenta.

We are here while the curator of Public Programs, Paul B. Preciado, beams the “periferric and minoritarian“ issues of race, gender and disability into the center: into the Rotunda of the Museum Fridericianum.

Banks are tanks. Peripheral European countries, subjected to colonial aggression, are the centers of imagining alternatives. With us, the secession war between art and market, the knowledge of OXI, the SPLIT, and the constitutive work of sharing oneness of art and philosophy, moves into the center.

Among the many things we have done during the School of Everything in Kassel, we abducted Paul B. Preciado, and under the thread of loss of street credibility forced him to tell us his uncensored thoughts. I quote some of them:

In a big exhibition everything prevents you from doing what you have to do”.

There is a point when we have to say: Stop”.

Because of the conditions of work… which have to do with mechanism of this mega exhibition, we are fucked”.

Maybe one of the possibilities would be the PoB to exist and continue to work beyond d14 itself … growing independent from the institution that kind of hosted it at the beginning and being taken by other people, hopefully not by me, I’m exhausted. That other people might take Parliament of Bodies as a methodology, as a structure, and continue doing things … in Athens, cause I think this is the only meaningful thing: if we in the documenta14, all the project, if we are able to remain after d14. …This will be the beginning of the project”.

If we are able to do something, if the institution is gone and when the money is gone. That’s the moment when another institution is possible. This is the beginning of something”.

I would add that our documenta is not only too big, but regressively drags all the art and not art towards the conservative format of an exhibition, opportunistically intertangled with the financial dictatorship we live in.

The institution itself states that the only solution is the institution of a different kind. And that this would be the beginning.

Today we change the perspective from which history is written. According to our version, this something, another institution that Paul hopes could exist after documenta14 is gone, already existed before it arrived. Of course this institution had and has a different epistemological shape than the Parliament of Bodies, but it is driven by the same impulse as the one documenta14 has now learned from Athens. It is about losing faith in neo-liberal institutions. Making self-organized infrastructures. Knowledge always depends on the platforms of its emergence. To have been hosted by an institution and then to have grown free is not an option. What is different is the irreducible “how”. The body as the working ground of the change cannot be passed down to anyone else. This project has to be run by Paul, and we very warmly welcome him to do so as part of our polymorphous struggles in Athens.

Avtonomi Akadimia, a free access intercultural university, active since June 2015 in Athens, practices the free sharing of knowledge by inviting artists, philosophers, scientists and activists to be involved long term in deep exchanges with a world-wide community of participants. Avtonomi Akadimia operates on/in the topos of origin of the patriarchal concept of the western pedagogy, that is, in the original garden of Plato’s Academy, Akadimia Platonos, an archaeological site in Athens.This is the place the word Academy is derrived from. Avtonomi Akadimia sees the root of the empire with its principles of building wealth through exterminationalist extraction in the classical Greece, in the Politeia. Avtonomi Akadimia is a community of people who have lived here for a long time, of those who are based in Berlin but frequently visit Athens; as well as of those who have recently moved to Athens from the Middle East. Together, we are a de-elitized and de-colonized remix of knowledge formed by a geopolitical reality which has always pulsated in Athens despite the invention of European empire. We have lived in the militarized state for 2200 years, and it is not enough to remember its symptoms in different forms. Greece, Chile, Biafra, Ukraine, Dakota Pipeline, Balochistan, Mari El. Junta has never been over. Our European democracy with its educational institutions is a military infrastructure of the US. Education is an extension of punishment and of the military industrial complex. Less and less poetry, less drawing lessons, less cultural studies. The Polis divided alphabetization into writing and rythmic-metric musical terminology. No rhythm, no dance, no melody. No pleasure. Sufferance and debt! Segregation of art from the social domain, leading to what Greeks themselves called lyraless time, time of war. Junta.

But art as technê has now liberated itself from the linear strains of modernity and takes its role in the society anew. It is coming to de-logocentralize the junta Polis. And this is the music lesson from Athens.

(anarchia song, played on the lyre and sung by all participants and guests)

Tonight, we celebrate the end of documenta. documenta as a format of modernity no longer accommodates the needs of art. It may continue as a zombie. This is the truth Kassel is so afraid of, and this truth comes from Athens. Herewith the spiritual body of art abandons the body of a blockbuster institution of documenta. documenta, born in Kassel in July 1955, died in Athens in July 2017.

And we will see how this split into a multipolar structure of incommensurable but collaborative communities which most of all remind of Parliament of Bodies, or the School of Everything, fractally replicates itself in the breakdown of the global empire.



The School of Everything at the documenta14


During the opening days of documenta 14 in Kassel and during its closing days in Athens, a meeting of initiatives which aimed to transform the European educational system took place. We were building an educational system consisting of politically motivated and artistic initiatives for sharing knowledge, and of proposals by thinkers who see education as decisive for social change. Texts, documentation, manifestos, and sketches of educational models were presented during the School of Everything in Kassel and in Athens. The participants of this gathering embody a novel curriculum, our gift to all educational institutions of the world.

Education as an art form has moved, as the public and educational programs of the d14, from the periphery to the center. Moreover, during the School of Everything at the Parliament of Bodies, the end of documenta was officially proclaimed. Documenta as an institution incapable of liberating itself from the zombifying strictures of modernity, no longer accommodates the process called art.


Concept: Joulia Strauss
Curator of the symposion: Sotirios Bahtsetzis
Organized by AthenSYN. In collaboration with Allianz Kulturstiftung.

Partners: ASFA Athens School of Fine Arts (GR); Kunsthochschule Kassel (D); LUCA School of Arts, Leuven, Brussels, Gent (B); HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design; FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Basel (CH); Avtonomi Akadimia (GR); with the support of the Schwarz Foundation, Eye Square GmbH, and HAECCCC, 0+865
Special thanks to Eirini Vlavianou and Yorgos Maraziotis


Parliament of Bodies, Parko Eleftherias, Athens Municipality Arts Center and Museum of Anti-dictatorial and Democratic Resistance, Athens









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photos by Marco Claussen


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KMMN Kulturbahnhof of Kassel School of Fine Arts

photos by Eirini Vlavianou

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photos by Alexander Wahrlich

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photos by Joulia Strauss

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photos by Ahmad Alkhatieb

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Photos by Léa Busnel

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Avtonomi Akadimia at the Athens Biennale, April 2016


Panel On Education: by Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Paul B. Preciado, Joulia Strauss (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Panel On Education: by Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Paul B. Preciado, Joulia Strauss (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Panel On Education: by Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Paul B. Preciado, Joulia Strauss (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Panel On Education: Vasyl Cherepanyn


Meeting Large European Networks by European Alternatives (Daphne Büllesbach) and Krytyka Polityczna (Jakub Dymek and Igor Stokfiszewski)


Meeting Large European Networks by European Alternatives (Daphne Büllesbach) and Krytyka Polityczna (Jakub Dymek and Igor Stokfiszewski)

Avtonomi Akadimia at the Athens Biennale, April 2016

Daniel Mützel: Border Security In The Robotic Age (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Joulia Strauss: Introducing participants of Avtonomi Akadimia (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Discussion after the world premiere of the film documentary by Rafał Żwirek: „Forget Fear – Story of Occupy Biennale” (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Sebastian Schäfer: Acoustic weapons: from the walls of Jericho to the GitMo playlist


Sebastian Schäfer: Acoustic weapons: from the walls of Jericho to the GitMo playlist


Sebastian Schäfer: Acoustic weapons: from the walls of Jericho to the GitMo playlist


Marta Madej: Introduction of Krytyka Polityczna Center (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)


Marta Madej: Introduction of Krytyka Polityczna Center. Screening of „Brave New World / Nowy wspaniały świat“, a documentary by Maria Smarz-Koczanowicz


Marta Madej: Introduction of Krytyka Polityczna Center. Screening of „Brave New World / Nowy wspaniały świat“, a documentary by Maria Smarz-Koczanowicz



Raimar Stange: Forget Institutional Critique


Raimar Stange: Forget Institutional Critique


Raimar Stange: Forget Institutional Critique


Marievi Mastoraki (center), a new and precious collaborator of Avtonomi Akadimia


Ioulia Mermigka: Incorporeal materialities: Politics of the body, gender, language and rythm


Ioulia Mermigka: Incorporeal materialities: Politics of the body, gender, language and rythm


Hiroshi McDonald Mori: Final Fantasy


Hiroshi McDonald Mori: Final Fantasy


Hiroshi McDonald Mori: Final Fantasy


Hiroshi McDonald Mori: Final Fantasy


Hiroshi McDonald Mori: Final Fantasy (Photo: Marievi Mastoraki)

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Joulia Strauss introduces Avtonomi Akadimia to the minister of culture Aristidis Baltas (Syriza): education as a weapon


Joulia Strauss: Avtonomi Akadimia at the Athens Biennale, Bagkeion Hotel, Omonoia Square, April 2016. (Photo and collaboration on space: Ermina Apostolaki)


Joulia Strauss: Avtonomi Akadimia at the Athens Biennale, Bagkeion Hotel, Omonoia Square, April 2016. (Photo and collaboration on space: Ermina Apostolaki)


Bank of No with Avtonomi Akadimia at the Athens Biennale, Bagkeion Hotel, Omonoia Square, April 2016.
(Photo: Ermina Apostolaki)
The starting point of the no-currency of the BANK OF NO is a collective “rebranding initiative” where art meets the banking crisis. At the core lies an international working group with roots in the 2011 political movements, including main organizers of Occupy Museums, Gulf Labor, Free Artists Hungary, and Living Memorial. By “rebranding“ the dead “Laiki“ bank, the working group which included its initiator Noah Fischer, as well as Raúl Hott, Nurtane Karagil, Csaba Nemes, Joulia Strauss and “twenty three”, opened a window onto the global financial situation from the specific political and economic conditions experienced on Cyprus.



























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