Open Form: Space, Interaction, and the Tradition of Oskar Hansen


Axel Wieder and Florian Zeyfang


Sternberg Press (Berlin: 2014)



This publication centres around the concept of Open Form, introduced by Oskar Hansen in the context of late-modern architecture in the 1950s, and further developed in the 1970s by a group of artists and filmmakers from Poland. The theory of Open Form assumed that no artistic expression is complete until it has been appropriated by its users or beholders. The concept became a key principle of performance and film-art, and led to process-oriented and interdisciplinary artistic techniques. Open Form revolutionised the traditional means of interaction and communication.

The book contains interviews with – or documents/projects by – practitioners whose work emerges out of Hansen’s ideas, and essays by writers who are thinking around Open Form. My contribution is a short text called Proposal for an Opening Ceremony, a thought experiment based on the Commonwealth Games organising committee’s plan to blow up a residential tower-block in Glasgow as part of the 2014 event’s opening ceremony.