Carson Chan’s comment of the venice architecture biennial dwells lengthily on the albanian pavilion. Seatings, songs and texts in specific language to remind of the long and never finished path migrants engage in. The pictures on design boom look great – and immediately remind me of the work done with Gilles Aubry in the Kunsthaus Langenthal in 2010, Das Dorf ist Teil der Stadt – The Village is Part of the City.
view of the albanian pavilion at venice biennale
view of the installation in the Kunsthaus Langenthal
It’s not about who did it first but rather to see parallel lines. We were invited to work on the notion of village. Rather than collection datas of the rural exodus and the desire of nature of city dwellers, we went through swiss folk song archive, looking for the motive. Leaving & coming back, the prospect of the new and the sadness of the left formed the main thematics. We edited a booklet of these songs, accompanied by pictures of cloudy skies and bits of roofs, and picked one to work out with a local choir. We recomposed it in order to make the text appear more clearer and estrange it also from its folkloric context. The viewer could dwell in the space as a singer or listener, listening to the composition and or browsing through the booklet.
While the pavilion provides texts by famous people made un-understandable for all non-albanian speakers performed by “the last” (like a disappearing species), we provided a re-reading of popular culture through and with its makers and performers, feeding it backing to the very people it comes from, thus having to confront both our resistances. I won’t be able to deploy the whole process here. You can listen to the audio composition here.
Air time is “is an audio work and collective action that was performed synchronously in public space in 10 cities across Europe as the opening of TRANSEUROPA festival 2013.”
See details below – but for now i’m thinking first to the performance I set up in 2013 in Lausanne, allowing to audio travel to Bobigny or Berlin from Lausanne: PortailEuropTransLocal, based on the sci-fi genre of teletransportation.
So we enjoy the (public) space we have in cities. And we definitely should celebrate it, every time we’re out on the street, walking with confidence among all these other people, frictioning with thousands of habits and ways of being, deciding at each street corner what is the best, shortest, most exciting, preferable path to wherever. The question though I want to quickly raise is how to qualify the kind of freedom cities offer (or not) to their inhabitants. Freedom of movement, at least in Europe, is taken for granted. Yet it is not so long ago, there were doors (barricades, customs, racketing, etc… long story I know) around and in the city. It sounds naive, but in the context of these kind of audio works, it would be relevant to think about the fact that they are possible at all, and how they test, extend, confirm, confront rulings that are not, or hardly, explicit. Moreover in the context of hardening fronts when it comes to demonstrations.
For the finish, this very good historical up working of “Bewegungschöre” and their possible function in the city by Ligna:
Still from Tanz Alle, Ligna
“This performance happened on 6th of June 2013 in Düsseldorf. Questioning the relation of dance and politics, LIGNA invites radio listeners to remember bodily the nearly forgotten heritage of the movement choirs that were part of the workers movement in the Weimar Republic.”
details for Air Time
5th October 2013 at
PARLIAMENT SQUARE, London
DAM SQUARE, Amsterdam
FORAT DE LA VERGONYA, Barcelona
PLACE DU TROCADERO, Paris
VACLAVSKE NAMESTI, Prague
STAZIONE TIBURTINA, Rome
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS MONUMENT SQUARE, Warsaw
PIATA UNIRII, Cluj-Napoca
IVAN VAZOV NATIONAL THEATRE SQUARE, Sofia
AIR TIME is the result of the collaboration between 12 artists under
the direction of the artist collective LIGNA (Ole Frahm and Torsten
Michaelsen): Anna Hoetjes, Jordi Ferreiro, Joanna Von Mayer Trindade, Flaviu Rogojan, Kerri Meehan and Alex Ressel, Alexandre Poisson and Alice Lahana, Roman Štetina, Elisa Abela, Nataliya Todorova, Wojciech Tymicki
The project received funding from the Culture program of the European Commission and Allianz Kulturstiftung
heap of sand for my installation
Piazzale Europa (MA*GA), Gallarate
In his book ‘Sand: The Never-Ending Story’ British geologist and sand expert Michael Welland
The construction of a house costs on average two hundred tons of sand.
watchdog Global Witness sounded the alarm in 2010 with its report ‘Shifting Sand’
Earlier this year, we looked at the idea of forensic geology, whereby even a single piece of sand can be tracked back to its terrestrial origins. As that link explains, the source of electronics-grade silicon is often deliberately occluded from public documents, treated as an industrial trade secret. Here, though, it is not microchips but internationally recognized political territory that is being mined, traded, and assembled—a black economy without audit or receipts.
“The problem movements like these have is stickability. The challenge is for them to build structures that are ongoing; to sustain these new voices.”
That art is produced under such conditions regardless – that the resistance that art forms may well be continually destroyed, that the heads will continue to be shot off as they have been throughout the capitalist epoch – does not, for Adorno, justify such resignation to the course of the world, and the jettisoning of artistic expression into a whirlpool of blind contingency. Steyerl certainly disagreed: her theoretically most forthright contribution to the evening was a claim that a distance from the artwork, its separation from the subject as object was problematic. In her defence of engagement she claimed that dialectics doesn’t work, and probably never did. But for Adorno such a position would amount to a misrecognition of what it means for art to be social: sociality is not just the immediacy of violence, but instead precisely the mediacy of a violence that conditions an alienation from and within society, a social separation of the things of the world. For Adorno art can become critical only in taking up its separation from society which is itself part of society.
But Adorno at least would resist a claim to a practical immediate truth found in partisanship, which despite being part of society would hope to discover deep within itself some power that has escaped society’s total system of production and value. For Adorno the part and the whole are already fully mediated in one another – indeed this is society’s dialectical form.
Finally instead of imagining a great online commons it would note that the systems of value and valorisation that drive this vast machine are only partially encompassed by it, and while offering a practical use within it do not give a full representation of circulation itself, and therefore offer no capacity for the system to become self-conscious.
It is not the case that semblance itself is not capable of critique in the way that concepts are. But rather that the semblance made universal fails to recognise its own political limitations.
To this class of entrepreneurs there is no means of action that would transform history, and works of art disavow their responsibility to history through claiming pure semblance as pure content while renouncing questions of form.
Aside from the defense of privacy and the regulation of the algorithmic panopticon, other political strategies must be explored. We need maybe to invent new institutions to intervene at the same scale of computation of governments, to reclaim massive computing power as a basic right of ‘civil society’ and its autonomy.
Humankind has been always about the alliance with alien form of agency: from old microbes to new medicines, from old materials to new technologies. A progressive political agenda for the present would be then about moving at the same level of abstraction of the algorithm: in order to make the patterns of new social compositions emerge.
I hated it when a simple live stream from a university documenting for noone the fall of a pitch drop got transformed into a disneyland gathering watchers: so no link for that and feeling much sorry for the loyal and last year deceased custodian of the experiment, Prof. J. Mainstone. Now reports of burning archives from Canada and Libanon.
Well. It goes faster and nowhere a halt to think about it. Liked for that Ray Brassier diagnosis opening the accelerationist symposium in Berlin, december 2013. Wants to make love abstraction again. Next Year.
Why do things differently when they are the same: like the good old chili con carne. It’s the same but not. It’s it and not a fake and yet not the what it was. Like every Europe square. It’s all the same, but not the same. Like Auto, Libertine and Déja Vu.
How to get on with this? I start with a basic statement by Gene Ray talking in Greece about how modernity is questioned by the coming biospheric meltdown (and nearly continued on josh fox’s Gasland. but didn’t have time for the whole now) I step back and try to get some definitions: Are we now in the anthropocene?
This gives a kind of horizon. Well it seems to at least. But then there is the twist. The thing that comes back in very unsettling way. There is no safe point of view. It’s bound to be collective at some point. I got interested in traumas, especially of war. Since Benjamin talking about the non-experience of war. I just watched this now (in german or french, but you can hear the o-voices in english in the background): Suicidistan – The war coming home. Bringing peace and meaning in an army …
The question of the trauma, the way our minds and bodies integrate the damage appears to be a central loci to explicit and adress as far as art is concerned with experience. How do we relate to these traumas and give them way out as much as ourselves. It’s a global concern in the most material and tangible way.