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Clandestine Talk – Surplus

Online talk with

Markus Missien, Hannes Grassegger & Ludwig Engel



Lara Favaretto’s series of ‘clandestine talks’ are intended to deconstruct fifty ‘key words’ via a hidden discourse that takes place – according to the artist’s instructions – in a ‘bunker-like’ environment (an undisclosed, protected, and soundproof location within or close to the institution). These ‘key words’ are described by the artist as ‘vital and relevant to dissecting and redefining our present moment’. Each discussion involves three to seven participants, meeting behind closed doors and without a public audience for an undefined period of time during one day. The speakers are rigorously selected by the artist, connecting a variety of disciplines and areas of expertise to bring together different perspectives on the subjects. Each talk is broadcast as a live audio stream, as well as being transcribed and published on the website

Markus Miessen is an architect, writer, and Professor of Urban Regeneration at the University of Luxembourg, where he holds the chair of the City of Esch ( His work revolves around questions of critical spatial practice, institution building, and spatial politics. Amongst many other books and writings, Miessen is the author of The Nightmare of Participation and Crossbenching: Towards Participation as Critical Spatial Practice, both published by Sternberg Press and Merve Verlag, Berlin.

Hannes Grassegger is an economist and award-winning technology reporter based in Switzerland. He investigates the mechanisms and societal effects of technological disruption, tensions between liberty and digitalisation, and the impact of tools like Artificial Intelligence, blockchain or microtargeting. He is author of Das Kapital bin Ich I am Capital (2014). Hannes is a staff reporter for Switzerland’s leading weekly Das Magazin (Zürich).

Ludwig Engel is a futurologist and urbanist based in Amsterdam. Together with a dense network of collaborators, his post-disciplinary practice spans from teaching, researching, curating, writing, publishing to organising workshops, conferences, discourse platforms and advising companies and public institutions on the impact of futures and utopias for society’s capabilities to act and design a better tomorrow.

© Photo: Ela Bialkowska / Courtesy of the artist