The Culture & Technology podcast 004 | March 19, 2021

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Aino Laberenz & Mavie Hörbiger: Theatre in a Pandemic

When we’re unable to gather in person, unable to experience the magic of encounters and exchange in physical proximity, what is lost?

For the bonus Episode 4 of the Culture and Technology Podcast – recorded in German – two friends and doyennes of theatre, actor Mavie Hörbiger and costume designer Aino Laberenz pick up the phone to consider how the pandemic’s restrictions have cast new light on their metier. By calling into question the relevance of art in times of crisis, they find its role to be of existential importance.


Mavie Hörbiger is an actor and a member of Vienna’s Burgtheater ensemble.

Aino Laberenz is a costume designer, author, co-founder of Operndorf Afrika and the estate executor for her late husband and collaborator Christoph Schlingensief, whose work she continues today.


Severin Matusek is a writer, producer and editor who has spent the last decade researching how technology transforms culture, communities and society.


  • Christoph Schlingensief (1960–2010) was a German theatre director, filmmaker, performance artist and activist whose legacy was characterised by experimental and provocative works. In 2009, he initiated the art and education project Operndorf Afrika, an ‘opera village’ near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Developed together with Burkina Faso architect and activist Diébédo Francis Kéré, the space intended as a meeting place for education, cultural encounters and exchange. Schlingensief died of lung cancer in 2010 at the age of 49. His estate is held and archived by the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
  • Kein Falsches Wort Jetzt is a 2020-published book of selected conversations with Christoph Schlingensief, compiled by his wife and collaborator Aino Laberenz to offer an insight into his beliefs, work, and life. In German.
  • Die Letzten Zeugen was a contemporary witness theatre project by Doron Rabinovici and Matthias Harmann performed at Vienna’s Burgtheater on the 75th anniversary of the 1938 November Pogrom, in which actors shared the stories of six Holocaust survivors seated behind a transparent partition, before they each stepped forward to share a few personal words. The work is available to watch in full:


The Culture & Technology Podcast is a long-form interview podcast produced by the Vienna Business Agency @wirtschaftsagentur_wien that aims to establish a long-term perspective on the ways emerging technologies impact cultural production.Editorial Team: Paul Feigelfeld, Anna Dorothea Ker, Severin Matusek, Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör, Elisa Stockinger, Heinz Wolf.

Theme Music by Zanshin.

S1E4 is now out and available wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Last updated: May 14, 2024 ■ 17:35pm