The title and theme of this eleventh edition of Artefact is The Social Contract. This term has been used in political and philosophical theories since the 17th century, but still emerges regularly today, in interviews with politicians, political party programs, debates, … Even the early adopters of the social contract theory, such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, used and interpreted the concept in different ways. The classical interpretation concerns the relation between the individual as a citizen and a political entity, in which the individual sacrifices part of his freedom and power in order for the state to offer for instance safety and social and economic security. But what is the position of the social contract in our current times of crisis in a globalized world?
One of the festival’s main questions is whether we can renegotiate or reform those ‘contracts’. Can we cancel them, rewrite them? The programme focuses on different forms of resistance and imagination. With exhibitions, performances, debates and meetings with international artists, we look for the position and alternatives for The Social Contract in our contemporary information and network society.