Johannes Grenzfurthner

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Johannes Grenzfurthner at Museumsquartier, Vienna (2011).jpg

Johannes Grenzfurthner (German: [joˈhanəs ˈgrɛntsfʊrtnə]; born 1975, Vienna) is an Austrian artist, writer, curator, and theatre and film director. He is known as the founder, conceptualist and artistic director of monochrom, an international art and theory group. Most of his artworks are labelled monochrom.

Recurring topics in Grenzfurthner's art and writing are contemporary art, activism, performance, humour, philosophy, sex, communism, postmodernism, media theory, cultural studies, popular culture studies, science fiction, and copyright.

Career overview[edit]


Johannes Grenzfurthner founded monochrom in 1993. He wanted to create an alternative magazine that dealt with art, technology and subversive cultures, and was influenced by US magazines like Mondo 2000. Grenzfurthner's motivation was to react to the emerging conservativism in cyber-cultures of the early 1990s,[1] and to combine his political background in the Austrian punk movement with discussion of new technologies and the cultures they create.[2] The magazine featured many interviews and essays, for example by Richard Kadrey, Arthur Kroker, Negativland, Kathy Acker or DJ Spooky,[3] in its specific experimental layout style.[4] In 1995 the group decided to cover new artistic practices[5][6][7] and started experimenting with different media: computer games, musical, short films, pranks, online activism, which Grenzfurthner calls 'Context hacking'[8] or 'Urban Hacking'.[9] Grenzfurthner is the group's artistic director.

Conferences and festivals[edit]

Grenzfurthner is head of Arse Elektronika[10][11][12] festival in San Francisco (2007 – ), an annual academic[13] and artistic[14] conference and anthology series that focusses on sexuality and technology. The first conference was curated by Grenzfurthner in 2007 to answer questions about the impact of sexuality on technological innovation and adoption.

Grenzfurthner is hosting Roboexotica,[15] the international Festival for Cocktail-Robotics (2002-) which invites researchers and artists to build machines that serve or mix cocktails. V. Vale calls Roboexotica "an ironic attempt to criticize techno-triumphalism and to dissect technological hypes."[16]

Grenzfurthner at Roboexotica Festival 2009 (Vienna, Austria)


Grenzfurthner wrote and directed a range of theatre plays,[17][18][19] street theatre performances[20][21] and short films. He is currently working on several feature films (e.g. Sierra Zulu,[22][23] Over Lunch) and the documentary feature Nothing To Hide.[24]

Writing, lecturing[edit]

Grenzfurthner is a professor of art theory and practice at the University of Applied Sciences, Graz, Austria and is a lecturer on culture jamming at University of Arts and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria.[25][26] He has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities in the United States as well.[27][28]

He has published numerous books, essays and articles on contemporary art, communication processes and philosophy including Mind and Matter: Comparative Approaches Towards Complexity, Do androids sleep with electric sheep?, Of Intercourse and Intracourse: Sexuality, Biomodification and the Techno-Social Sphere and Pr0nnovation?: Pornography and Technological Innovation.[29][30][31][32][33]

He is co-organizing the "Hackbus" community,[34][35][36] a platform[vague] and movement for mobile hackerspaces. it was created after publication of Grenzfurthner's much debated[who?] pamphlet "Hacking the Spaces", that dealt with exclusionist tendencies in the hackerspaces movement.[37]

He was one of the core team members in the development process of netznetz, a new kind of community-based funding system for net culture and net art together with the culture department of the city government of Vienna.

He writes for various online/print magazines and radio stations (e.g. ORF,[38] Telepolis, Boing Boing[39]) and was an honoree at the 13th Annual Webby Awards.[40] He won (as the artistic director of monochrom) the Art Award of the FWF Austrian Science Fund (2013).[41]



  • Editor of magazine/yearbook series "monochrom" (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)
  • Editor of "Stadt der Klage" (Michael Marrak, 1997)
  • Editor of "Weg der Engel" (Michael Marrak and Agus Chuadar, 1998)
  • Editor of "Who shot Immanence?" (together with Thomas Edlinger and Fritz Ostermayer, 2002)
  • Editor of "Leutezeichnungen" (together with Elffriede, 2003)
  • Editor of "Quo Vadis, Logo?!" (together with Günther Friesinger, 2006)
  • Editor of "Spektakel - Kunst - Gesellschaft" (together with Stephan Grigat and Günther Friesinger, 2006)
  • Editor of "pr0nnotivation? Arse Elektronika Anthology" (together with Günther Friesinger and Daniel Fabry, 2008)
  • Editor of "Roboexotica" (together with Günther Friesinger, Magnus Wurzer, Franz Ablinger and Chris Veigl, 2008)
  • Editor of "Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?" (together with Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry and Thomas Ballhausen, 2009)
  • Editor of "Schutzverletzungen/Legitimation of Mediatic Violence" (together with Günther Friesinger and Thomas Ballhausen, 2010)
  • Editor of "Urban Hacking" (together with Günther Friesinger and Thomas Ballhausen, 2010)
  • Editor of "Geist in der Maschine. Medien, Prozesse und Räume der Kybernetik" (together with Günther Friesinger, Thomas Ballhausen, Verena Bauer, 2010)
  • Editor of "The Wonderful World of Absence" (together with Günther Friesinger and Daniel Fabry, 2011)
  • Editor of "Of Intercourse and Intracourse – Sexuality, Biomodification and the Techno-Social Sphere" (together with Günther Friesinger and Daniel Fabry, 2011)
  • Editor of "Context Hacking: How to Mess with Art, Media, Law and the Market" (together with Günther Friesinger and Frank Apunkt Schneider, 2013)
  • Editor of "Screw The System – Explorations of Spaces, Games and Politics through Sexuality and Technology" (together with Günther Friesinger and Daniel Fabry, 2013)


  1. ^ "CRE062 Monochrom"
  2. ^ Marc Da Costa, "Interview with Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom, Part 3", Furtherfield.
  3. ^ monochrom back issues 1993-2010
  4. ^ "monochrom #26-34 Ye Olde Self-Referentiality", Neural, 15 June 2010.
  5. ^ [" Simulacrum Fisticuffs]" (interview with Johannes Grenzfurthner), Rhysophocles, March 16, 2011
  6. ^ Erin Kobayashi, "How to be buried alive", Toronto Star, February 6, 2007
  7. ^ Marie Lechner, "[1]", Libération, March 4, 2008.
  8. ^ Context Hacking: Some Examples of How to Mess with Art, the Media System, Law and the Market, at O'Reilly ETech 2008, San Diego
  9. ^ Urban Hacking: Culture Jamming in the Risky Spaces of Modernity, book review by Molly Hankwitz in OtherCinema, September 24, 2011
  10. ^ Silverberg, David (4 October 2007). "Sex Meets Tech at Kinky Conference in San Francisco" Digital Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  11. ^ Arse Elektronika 2007: Porn and Tech Conference, In: San Francisco Gate
  12. ^ Interview with Arse Elektronika curator Johannes Grenzfurthner in Kill Screen Magazine: "Stories about orcs and rape: the man behind Arse Elektronika"
  13. ^ Prosthetic Fetishes and Fan Erotica: Sci-Fi Predicts Future of Sex, In: Wired Online
  14. ^ 'Dirty Deeds Done Six Feet Deep', in Rue Morgue, January 2011
  15. ^ Bot Bartenders Sling Drinks at Roboexotica USA, In: Wired Online
  16. ^ 'Counter Cultural Hour by RE/Search Publications', September 2008
  17. ^ 'Die Außerirdischen in Dir wollen nur Deinen Körper!' by Norbert Mayer in "Die Presse", 04/24/2006
  18. ^ 'Improv Reality Sitcom Gets Spacy', on
  19. ^ Kotze, Sperma und Inventur im Weltraum, Telepolis Magazine, Peter Mühlbauer, June 24, 2011
  20. ^ "Protestors" call games industry a "temple of sin," demand repentance in: Ars Technika, 03/09/2012
  21. ^ Nazi Petting Zoo: on Boing Boing TV, July 2008
  22. ^ 'Sierra Zulu' project page
  23. ^ 'Earthmoving', A Sierra Zulu prequel, in, February 2012
  24. ^ 'Nothing To Hide', IMDb entry
  25. ^ Faculty page at University of Applied Science, Graz
  26. ^ Faculty Page at University of Arts and Industrial Design
  27. ^ 'Carnegie Mellon Event Calendar - Johannes Grenzfurthner'
  28. ^ 'Webster University Visiting Artists'
  29. ^ Guerrilla Comm, In: ORF Online
  30. ^ 'We're only Markenwert. Die Übernahme der Lord Jim Loge durch monochrom', in: "Geistiges Eigentum und Originalität", published by Verlag Turia+Kant, 2011
  31. ^ A Short History Of A Collaborative Conspiracy, In: AC:Collaborative
  32. ^ Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere, In: Kino unter Sternen
  33. ^ 'Google Books - Author Johannes Grenzfurthner'
  34. ^ Hackbus: migratory learning and teaching units
  35. ^ Sur la route des hackers évangélistes, Sabine Blanc, OWNI, September 1, 2011
  36. ^ Jeder ist ein Lehrer, in: Brand Eins Magazine (by Oliver Helbig), 2011
  37. ^ Hacking the Spaces by Grenzfurthner/Schneider, 2009; in
  38. ^ Johannes Grenzfurthner's column on the website of Austrian National Broadcast ORF
  39. ^ Various works for Boing Boing
  40. ^ monochrom: Category: Blog - Culture/Personal at The 13th Annual Webby Awards
  41. ^ Press release: Art Award of the FWF Austrian Science Fund (2013)

External links[edit]