Public Lecture

Politics, Play, and Media Ecologies: The Mao-Hope March and the Artistic Practice of Öyvind Fahlström

Politics, Play, and Media Ecologies: The Mao-Hope March and the Artistic Practice of Öyvind Fahlström
© Cecil Mariani

Tue, 14.12.2021 7:00 PM (GMT+07:00) Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta


Professor Jesper Olsson delivers an online public lecture on Swedish artist, poet, and writer Öyvind Fahlström, specifically his video work Mao-Hope March (1966).

  • Berlin & Stockholm: 1pm, 14 December
  • Jakarta & Bangkok: 7pm, 14 December
  • Singapore: 8pm, 14 December

In 1966, the Swedish artist, poet, and writer Öyvind Fahlström organized a street march in New York City—six people carrying placards of American comedian Bob Hope and one displaying the face of Mao Tse Tung. The march was filmed and planned to become part of the famous Nine Evenings arranged by E. A. T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) at the Armory in New York that fall. In many ways, this event goes to the heart of Fahlström’s aesthetics as it took shape from the early 1950s until his death in 1976.

Exploring questions of media and materiality, politics and play, performance and relationality as components in postwar artistic practice, the multifaceted work of Fahlström, from painting to installation and film, from happening to essay and concrete poetry—which he himself once described as an “orchestration of data”—has a specific resonance in the early 2000s. In this lecture, the productive intersections in Fahlström’s work and the importance of rereading and reconsidering them today are discussed, with a special focus on Mao-Hope March.

This event is part of the public program within Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories, a dialogue between the collections of Galeri Nasional Indonesia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Nationalgalerie—Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and Singapore Art Museum, initiated by the Goethe-Institut.


is a professor at the Department of Culture and Society, Linköping University, where he leads the research group “Literature, Media History, and Information Cultures”. He is also former program director of The Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory.
He co-edited A Cultural History of the Nordic Avant-Garde 1950–1975 (2016) with Tania Ørum, and his latest books are (ed.), Archive Book Conference: Representations and Reconfigurations of the Digital in Swedish Literature 1950–2010 and Spaceship, Time Machine. Öyvind Fahlström’s Ade-Ledic-Nander (2017). He is also a literary critic and editor-in-chief of Culture Unbound.

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Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Galeri Nasional Indonesia MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Nationalgalerie Berlin Singapore Art Museum