Opening: The Curse of Smooth Operations

With Todd McGowan, Pär Thörn and Rosa Menkman

2 November 2022
20:00 — 21:00

Location: Het Huis Main Stage

The Curse of Smooth Operations opens with three individual responses to the question that lies at the core of the festival: What if the most dissatisfying technology of all is the one that works?’

In his short lecture titled Useless Capitalism, Todd McGowan focuses our attention on how the endless production that underlies capitalism is ultimately geared towards something non-productive. Only through the production and consumption of a useless excessan excess that goes beyond what either society or individuals might productively usecan capitalist society sustain itself.

Pär Thörn presents a performative reading of his poem We’re like in a boat with water up to the gunwales and there are waves breaking over the sides the whole time. The poem is stitched together from comments found at, a web forum used by Swedish CEOs to discuss the task of being a leader. In Thörn’s animated reading of these text fragments, what comes increasingly to the fore is the paranoia and outright fear that executives feel about their employees.

Rosa Menkman‘s performative lecture The Shredded Hologram Rose (or how broken media can resolve new insights) peeks into a shredded hologram to seek out information about its origin, structure and metadata information that the unscathed hologram would never disclose. Menkman tears into a future made up of holograms, machine learning images and super resolutions to reveal what they continue to obscure.

After these responses, as part of the opening programme we will screen Real Performance, by Grace Phillips & Laurie Robins


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* All festival tickets (festival passes, day passes and single event tickets) also give you access to the entire online festival programme. For more information on the festival tickets please see here.

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