Productivity of Culture

Max Aufischer

Coordinator of the Network of Cities of Central Europe


presentation: Projects & Impact of Culture in Central Europe
category: Network of Networks


We are now in the situation that our technical achievements allow us to create more, bigger and faster then ever before. And these technologies are easier available for more people. So we have a tremendous output of creative products which can be immediately displayed and consumed all over the world. At the same time we can observe a feeling of degeneration and devaluation of culture –a loss of quality within culture - when that quantity is being consumed unfiltered.

That leads to the next problem: What means "culture"? How is it defined by which lobby. This term became blurred through unreflecting use for a big variety of unspecific meanings, and often mixed up with other terms like "art", "civilisation" etc. The same happened for example with "Europe" and "European Union".

We very often talk about culture in an art context. But we forget that "culture" is a collective term or melting pot for everything that a human being or mankind is able to achieve. And we forget that also war and aggression are important elements of culture. A generation that has never been affected by war might think that peace and constructive dialog is an ordinary condition.

For that reasons it will be necessary to intensify the dialog between people in general but specifically between artists, intellectuals and the like. We should bring together people from different regions and cultures and establish conditions that allow co-operations free from any predestination.

In that sense the Cultural City Network Graz is offering a scholarship-program for artists and writers, that is bringing approximately 10 international guests to Graz per year. Or we have organised exhibition projects with artists from 12 nations ore more, where dialog not only happened on a creative level but also in personal way. And we support these personal contacts beyond national and cultural borders over years.


Max Aufischer, born 1953 in Graz, studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and worked as an arts teacher in Graz. He is head of the association Kulturvermittlung Steiermark, Cultural City Network Graz and International Writer´s House Graz. He did solo/group-exhibitions and projects in public space all over Europe, published a variety of books and received several photography awards. 2005 he was awarded with the City of Graz-Human Rights Award.

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