There is a need for reconstituting the conceptual and imaginary world. And — how can the language of gift and hospitality be understood and brought into life to have a trajectory of engagement? This also brings us to understanding that a conceptual framework can come from other practices — free software opens up one such possibility. The challenge before us, therefore, is of building creative resources to refuse processes of instrumentalisation.
This can be done through a self regulated space which cultivates every thought — and this context has to be constantly worked on, created. What such a practice gestures towards is a peer to peer network of multiplying unlikely encounters and constituent practices which refuse dominant practices and moral economies. I will be talking about concrete practices and their relation with forms of knowledge, from our engagement in Cybermohalla. This is very significant for our reflection on being producers of knowledge. What we are trying to follow and understand are the intricate web of processes of how a group develops together — as a group, and not through becoming an aggregate of specialised selves — and how it generates within it a capacity for self recognition, for intersubjective recognition, for understanding the social biography of the neighbourhood and developing a sense of, and addressing diverse publics.
Our experience has been of working between diverse media forms. These are diaries, animations, wall magazines, conversations, interviews, recordings, readings, mailing lists. Working with these forms makes possible the articulation of, and so the production of different knowledges. The multipying dimensions of media forms, then, produce multiple forms of engagement, a practice in and between different registers.
And so they make available diverse creative resources which make thought processes more agile, receptive, and vulnerable. Let me elaborate this through sharing with you our experience of this multiplying multiplicity. What I will do is talk about them through separated categories, though these categories are, of course, fluid in practice. The first media form — the act of writing. Over the last two years at the labs, a sustained and regular practice of writing has emerged. Everyone writes in diaries — small notebooks with ruled sheets — the kind they perhaps use in school.
It is the only thing we have to remember our father by. Now our house here is permanent — that is, made of brick and mortar. But the transformer continues to be kept in the same place as before. There is no chance it will ever be moved from there. So there was very little light on her face. Each time there was a sound outside, she would turn, and the light from the door would sharply define her profile. Light was also coming in through the window. But there was a recently constructed red brick wall in front of it. So the light bounced off this wall before entering from the window, and so was red in colour.
And writings are also through an engagement with another biography — by writing about a face, whether imaginary or through conversation. Who drives an auto-ricksha and beats up his wife and kids every day. There can be other ways! What these do is open up ways in which you think — eg space can then be thought through soundscape, light, colour, and in its materiality. Narrating to each other. The texts that are written in these notebooks are shared with one another through the practice of reading ones own text to another, and the act of listening.
Questions that are asked then are incorporated into the telling.
Conversations This is another very important form. Talking through question and answers, and conversations without question-answers. In conversations without question answers, baatcheet mein suggestions pe suggestions nikalte rehte hain, aur baatcheet chaltee rehti hai. Aap dayra nahin banate aur apne aap ko kholna padta hai — the conversation proceeds through suggestions upon suggestions, where the self has to open up to the other. E-mail The Cybermohalla mailing list is another form, where postings have an improvised texture.
Mails posted on the list are often addressed to individuals, though meant for the whole group, they have references to gestures of peers, and nature of interactions with them, writings about immediate experiences that have not been made sense of yet, about encounters in the city while travelling from one lab to another, accounts of interesting incidents and conversations through the day, quick reflections and questions that everyone could think through. It has not yet developed into a full form. But it is definitely a different mode of expression, though still in its preliminary stage.
Texts are written and selected for a twelve page wall magazine designed and produced at the lab.source
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It is then photocopied and circulated in the locality by being put up on public walls. Till now, three wall magazines,named Ibarat or Inscription have been published. Translated versions of the same can be found on the Sarai website www. Now, having spent the childhood in the locality, and having grown up within the neighbourhood, the CM young practitioners are faced with an interesting problematic.
There is still a struggle to achieve a mode of addressing the locality. That is a movement from an experience of being addressed — by the world of the adults — towards being in a position to gift something to the locality, and evolving a mode of addressing their neighbourhood. The problem is which topics to discuss, which tone to adopt — it is a problem of what their vantage point ought to be. The first three wall magazines were on names of the lanes in the colony, on work, and about the trip to Bombay.
But after that, there was a pause to search topics which will find a thematic resonance in the colony. Photographs are both digital as well as bromide prints. The two, however, do not displace one another. Rather they create a different dynamics around one another. The bromide prints create an immediate sociality around them — through being arranged in photo albums and seen, individually, in groups or by being passed around.
The digital photographs create around them a mediated sociality of being seen on the computer screen, or through a limited number of print outs that can then be circulated. They, however, make for quick downloading and manipulation on the computer and find their way into the animations made. Animations, or animated drawings which you see on the screen behind me reveal an enigmatic inner world of stories and rhythms. My sense is that a play of unravelling and revealing, that is accretive, draws the group into exploring narration through animations. Interestingly, it is the practice of creating animations which pulls and propells them into narrating through drawing — something they rarely do on paper otherwise.
These are analogue recordings — self-recording readings, eg , recording ambience, interviews in the locality and the city. At present we have about forty hours of recordings ranging from a confrontationist interview with an old grandmother, to a walk through the neighbourhood, to recording a circus, to self stuttering. The question now is what creative resources these practices are building. They are constantly worked with, and also catalogued and logged. The entire work, including the animations, the textual work, the work with photographs, is done on free software platforms. We are always big advocates of free software for two reasons: An important consideration is language, because up till now a lot of the work is done in Roman alphabet-Hindi, but now we want to work towards a desktop which is in Hindi and Urdu script.
So working with free software gives us the freedom — for programmers who work with us to enter the source, transform it and recreate it for new users. Joy mentioned the making of books. Also, I was asked to make a small announcement about this book, which is a Sarai Reader that we produce every year. These are not for sale, but you can download them in their entirety. What point is there in this kind of experience? So you can only form ways of resources for memory: So it opens up many possibilities that would have otherwise closed down.
You can have a power breakdown for hours every day in the summer, which means that you have to think about how you do things when the power goes. You have to think about the fact that the house itself and the surrounding neighbourhood can one day be destroyed, or there can be violent police action that just destroys the neighbourhood. So you have to think about resources and tactics that keep alive a kind of practice in this form. So with that I will end our presentation.
Thank you very much.
Kunstunterricht, der Spaß macht
So where do the people meet and how do you get in contact with teenagers? They already have many activities in these spaces. We have a room there which becomes a self-regulated space, so the young people look after that space on their own. If there is an evacuation it will stand.
There are always attacks but it still has a certain tenuous hold. They have networks with local politicians. It occupies the land between a big public hospital and another wing of the public hospital. On the photos we saw one with posters and one with graffiti. Are there special neighbourhoods where that is possible? No, the graffiti that we saw here was inside the building, this legal structure. The posters that you saw are put up usually during election times. Specifically, the graffiti is actually the wall leading up to the door of the lab, which is inside.
If you go into Delhi, every wall inch is covered with either graffiti or with posters, but you have to be a force to be able to do that, in the sense that the posters are always of political parties or of religious organizations, or the graffiti is often of a commercial nature: The wall space is actually auctioned, so the space of the wall becomes transformed into a commodity.
There can be actually a lot of conflict over that, because somebody might have auctioned off a wall and then somebody else comes in and puts a poster. Is it part of making it visible? No, I think that particular graffiti is just a kid scrolling his name. But in the inside of this lab they actually do have a lot of material. The inside walls are actually used for writing and putting up things. So there are paintings, comic books that are made, small booklets that are put up, a lot of stickers from the writings that are done in the lab as well as translations of some words, some pictures or photographs that have been taken.
Since you were not really introduces, can you say a few words about that? About all of us? I studied filmmaking and before that anthropology. So we spent many years doing nothing and sometimes doing films for television. I have a degree in social work. I graduated about a year and a half ago now. I have an art degree, went to film school, then I worked as a designer for television and industry, and now I work in Sarai.
One thing that you discussed and Katrin asked you about was this going on the outside wall or not going on the outside wall. We yesterday had a small discussion by the fire. One of the things that touched me the most was the workshop we did with the children in St. At one point we had this question: Shveta noticed this and we discussed whether we should talk about these stories directly.
It was quite clear that it had to be done within a private, intimate and trusting relationship. I understood on the spot, and later on I realized that my own desire to have such a group was very much telling about the kind of group I would like to have or be in, where speaking about such things would be possible. I found it interesting that you went on about this in your lecture, in depth but very fast.
Yesterday the discussion was much about where this does lead politically, on the one hand. What I found very strong in your experience was the aspect of perception, and I think that cannot be found in any group or collective project in Europe. This aspect of perception has a very active function. Maybe you could comment on that. Yes, I think the whole idea of perception, which is so invisible — almost like: How do you have a politics of looking at yourself, looking at your friends? A lot of the work with the cybermohalla experience has been talking about what do you see. Who are these people?
What are they doing? What are they wearing? In India, and perhaps over here as well, a lot of energy is spent in decoding how people appear in front of us, and that becomes the first cornerstone of prejudice. How do they dress? How do they speak? How do they stand, slouch? For us, we found that this was one of the basic things that we needed to work with a lot: This kind of relates to this private-public thing, because it immediately brings up a lot of your judgements.
How public do you want to make your judgement? One concept that I found very interesting to deal with was the idea of necessary secrets: You have to come here to see that, there is no necessity of representing ourselves beyond the point. I remember when we made the book and there was a little reading.
A lot o young people came and read from the book. This gives us a bad reputation. So they had a little meeting about the meaning of this book. Why is it there and what will it do? Then the boss realized that a lot of it was not apparent to the outside world. It was a communication between the neighbourhood that was more visible than what was visible to the outside world. This is an important thing, because there are two purposes to the communication: Very often, we have the experience of people going to the cybermohalla lab and asking them questions, and the kids never answer them.
They ask other questions. So whereas there can be a politics of making yourself visible all the time, there can also be a politics of qualified visibility or a little game with visibility. I suggested that you needed a place, computers etc. Margit argued it was just the opposite, that it was a tactical move to make it a bit unclear and maybe not accessible to the police or power. I thought it could be interesting to start with a different situation in Delhi and maybe Hamburg. Suddenly your best friend was defined as the Other. So you start to have this prejudice.
I have the feeling that here it has to be fixed. I always go in a German city and ask: The Turkish extreme right is always present in Germany. So while some things are always said, there are also some things that are not said. In India, I think we come from a political culture where everyone is saying a lot, actually all the time. They never stop talk, politics is an entertainment.
Do you have to synthesize it or what does it mean? Assuming and having a trust that this is possible, if there is something wrong with the immigration law, we ask the government to make a better immigration law, which is a very necessary thing to do.
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People should keep doing it. But on the other side of your brain you should always think that they will never do that. In fact, if you raise the question of an immigration law, that will make it worse. So what do you do? You do continue to precisely state your objectives, but I think you also continue to state what is necessary for you in order to survive with dignity.
So the kind of precise statement: This is why I came back to the idea of the reclamation of consciousness. These are seen as the great objects of desire, whereas they should be the most mundane things. Everyone should have a vaccination and a hand pump and electricity. I find that a lot of the politics in terms of empowering people with disadvantage actually limits them saying: I think that a better health care system is something that should exist, you should be able to demand something more fundamental and more important from your life.
Often those who are deprived are also deprived by many of us on the left of demanding and articulating basic, fundamental desires: The entire politics of the left in India I found anti-pleasure. So you have to be sort of in pain and say: If you ask these kids: They, on the other hand, are writers. We write and take pictures. What kind of person do I want to be? To give you an example, one of the spaces is predominantly Muslim and most of these young women are Muslim there are some others who are not Muslim. During the Ramadan many of them keep the Rosa, they will keep the fast and they will do the Namas, the prayer, five times a day, cover their heads and everything.
At the same time, the same person who does that will also say: This needs to be stated in a trusted space. So you create an atmosphere of trust where some things can be said, with the understanding that they will not go out of the room, but in their saying, the person who says that becomes somebody that they did not imagine they were. In just saying it to someone else, it changes who you are. It may be that no one else will really hear it, but having said it you become someone else.
What you just described, that was a certain power in the utterance, and when something is articulated and how it can actually change you. Just to clarify it: That can become — we were talking about perception before — a highly closed, subjective thing and the interest here is exactly this kind of blending of different subjectivities, which creates like you said this secret language, or more opaque language that is in common. These two separate languages in common that have been developed.
What happens when there is an encounter between these two different labs? The two labs are very different, as Shudda already mentioned. The interactions are almost on a weekly basis, or some of those interactions are in terms of gifts of hospitality, where eves? To also state the extremely different cultural backgrounds: The former non-legal, now legal settlement is predominantly lower cast, which is a different kind of social category altogether. However, the status of legality makes it possible for people there to have more permanent jobs, just because they have a legal status.
So you recognize that. If you put these two kinds of people together, they are the kind of people who have been accustomed to fighting each other for a very long time in this city. Secularism is a very particular word in an Indian context. Although these are the reasons why many things happen. The reason why a particular settlement will be more easily destroyed that another is to do with the fact that some of the people there are Muslim, of course, but then how do you talk about this without getting into [trouble]?
They want you to talk about your being Muslim and Indian, but can you talk about your being an year-old woman instead? One example that I can take is that of the experience of heat. This is an interaction in LNJP that I only heard about much later, but electricity as Shuddha mentioned is very important. The experience of heat for someone who lives on the second floor of a house, where there is a workshop underneath which works with iron smelting and has in the heat of summer the bright hot sun beating down from the roof, how can an experience like that speak with other experiences?
Because it is a significant experience outside of the experience of poverty and of identity, specifically. Then the question of electricity supply, the heat, the fact that you can move freely in the city, these all become secondary and the primary conversation becomes: In India, all these clothes become read immediately.
At one point you were talking about silence or the necessary secret that people own. Is there any means in the things that you show or that are open to the public that talks about the silence? So I think a lot of the strategies are like games. The distinction between what people may be communicating with each other without ever talking about it directly, through a lot of word games. In one of the contexts — again, this is a different cultural context between the two labs — within the LNJP context, within one of the labs, which is the predominantly Muslim lab, there is a long history of a very articulate, verbal culture, which always talks in puns and riddles.
So everything can become a metaphor: As you consider yourself an artist or at least the art world incorporates you e. So Raqs is like an entity, like an author that resides in a space called Sarai. The fight for medical care is to sustain the world as it is. Everyone should have the right to have a productive everyday life.
To create another world, which is also the beginning of another kind of political sensibility, is to talk about: I think that the mistake that we often make is to collapse these two as if one is more important than the other. A lot of us forget this relationship when we articulate our politics, and we create a false hierarchy or priority. We forget the important philosophical dimension of everything that we do. So thanks again, Shveta, Joy and Shuddha, and please use the chance to speak to them. All other artists, all groups are present in this room. We will have an extra long lunch break now.
I advise you to please use the restaurants in the neighbourhood for this and come back in time. Maybe we should start a bit earlier? First of all we want to introduce you to the context of free radio we work in, and how it has been constituted in Germany, especially in Hamburg. The FSK was launched in , when various groups joined efforts to produce free radio.
We only broadcast in Hamburg. When we founded the FSK, it was decisive for us to realize that the time of the left-wing movement had ended, that the Left had fragmented in various groups. Free radio was not to become a kind of vessel to contain such disintegration, but to offer a space of critical reflection instead. At the same time, the FSK carries on with the left-wing tradition that fosters self-organization as a sociopolitical practice, which means the appropriation takes place by going through the whole process on our own, from renting the space and setting up the studio to finding out how broadcasting works out.
Basically, the political structure of our radio is based on people getting together and associating in order to run free radio. Also important to us at the FSK was not to take our location in a city for granted, but to establish a connection to the local, doing grassroots work. Of course it never worked out like that. We never wanted our radio organization to remain some abstract idea, but to become concrete through a discussion process.
Communication is a very important aspect of free radio. Free radio has always seen itself as the location where suppressed information gets disseminated, based on the assumption that public information is manipulated by plainly leaving out specific facts.
Of course free radio has always referred to media theory or the history of leftist media practice. Basically, this text dwells on the transformation of radio from a distribution apparatus into a communication apparatus. It is merely an apparatus of distribution; it only shares out. And now on the positive side, that is to turn to the positive side of radio, here is a proposal to give radio a new function: A crucial aspect of this excerpt is the devaluation of distribution.
Brecht thought radio was merely a distribution apparatus. Apparently the fact that radio disseminates the voice through many radios is not satisfactory enough for him; he thinks the transformation of radio into a means of communication is more important, and that is the interpretation that other free radios have adopted. To quote Enzensberger, the means of production and radio are already in the hands of the masses.
People own them; they have them at home. The media have only one setback: Following Enzensberger, any transistor radio can be considered a radio station. The distribution of radios, its massive availability as cheap commodities is seen as a chance by Enzensberger, but this chance can only be grasped when the setback is removed. Following up on that, the appropriation of radio as means of production entails transforming the technical potential of media.
The medium must be reversed and transformed technically in order to become political; only if that process is carried out in the hands of the masses, can radio become a true revolutionary medium. The medium can only be appropriated if that process of reversal is accomplished. On the other hand, the medium of radio is already in the hands of various free radios, which means the appropriation has taken place in some way. Yet this appropriation is unbelievably conservative: Hence the alternative information provided by free radio is framed by ruling bourgeois notions of radio practice.
The interesting thing about this inconsequence is the fact that free radio ethics are firmly entrenched in the dissemination of alternative information, which presumes that radio somehow manages to transform the conscience of listeners. We assume that these practices can only be brought about in specific situations, and we will introduce you to some of them. Our next point argues that the specific structures of radio impede thorough appropriation. Here comes the part that deals with radio and our radio practice.
First, we address the question of broadcaster and listener. The idea of the program is simple. We knew other radio stations do music request programs, boasting of their huge archives and sorting out the requests before going on air. Music request programs are a typical radio format and we wanted to adapt it to free radio. The program has diverse implications for media theory. The first and most obvious one means the listeners become broadcasters for the duration of their song.
Precisely this hierarchy can be sensed by the listeners who call in. We favor men with record collections as well as people with a certain need to show off, therefore the program mirrors a music and group socialization. In this case, a living-room broadcasts to other living-rooms, so that the most diverse reception situations become audible.
The listeners react to each other, but not directly, always mediated through radio. Incoming calls react on former ones. For us, direct communication is not as significant as the distribution of music through all radios, which makes it possible to refer to earlier calls. A decisive aspect is the uncontrollability of it. We take each caller on air. There is no pre-selection, as in other radios. As this program was aired every two weeks, it enabled us to rethink our practice in new ways.
Another subject in our work on which we have based various radio shows is the uncanniness of the diffused voice. Anders introduces an interesting music concept: He talks about the origins of music being nowhere and everywhere it is listened to. Radio destroys precisely this neutrality of space. To Anders, music is in any place a radio broadcasts the voice. One is in the music. Ten steps away, the same music resonates from the neighboring house.
Since music is here as well, music is localized both here and there, planted in space as two poles. Each loudspeaker claims to be a separate voice. So radio always exists in plural form. What marks the uncanniness of radio is the diffusion of the here and now, of the immediate presence that we associate normally with the voice.
They have a certain life of their own, and that means the materiality of this detached voice is uncanny in itself. So the appropriation of the medium is limited by its very alienation and ghostliness. This uncanniness has lead to radio being deemed a medium of control. Actually, the ideas that hold radio as a medium of control are quite prevalent. Earlier on we introduced you to a leftist discourse that sees the manipulation of public information as a byproduct of the mass media.
The idea that listeners are spellbound by radio plays an important role in a left-wing practice of appropriation. Because both deny that the actual listening to radio, which transforms space, can bring about other radio practices. If we realize that it hinders appropriation, then we can conclude that it is this very ghostliness that must be challenged. It must be challenged, and it may be embedded in a practice. Here we have an interesting contrast: In Hamburg, everyday life is increasingly controlled; in other words, everyday life is placed along other controllable and predictable situations.
Surveillance cameras have become common place, affecting everyday behavior: Behavior that deviates from the norm is ruled out. Increasingly, the city gets partitioned by zones in which each behavior pattern can be predicted. Zones of consumption stand out in that only certain things are possible there.
Each zone regulates behavior patterns: The most extreme case is the central train station, where sitting on the ground is already prohibited behavior. Public space is being privatized. The central train station is a prototype of this development, which will take over the downtown area and its shopping quarters. It will be impossible to have a political public space in these areas. These models are based on the prospect of scattering listeners with transistor radios all over the city space, making radio site-specific and adapting radio to the situation of its reception.
These models make up the framework for diverse modes of radio operation and they are still a work in progress. The first model is about making radio-listening public. Our action in December last year involved broadcasting an open invitation to radio-listening in public space. It lasted for ten years, and it was defended victoriously already in FSK covered the development almost in its entirety and participated in the accompanying demonstrations.
Kalkman argued the problem was the quantity of people a demonstration would involve. First, they were concerned about a potential loss in sales volume, which would be detrimental during the Christmas period. Second, the downtown area would be already too full by that time to allow for demonstrations and larger crowds could cause conflicts. He suggested timing adjustments that would allow people to shop during the day and demonstrate in the evening. The point is that during this period, every time a large group of people tried to make its way into the city center, it was blocked off by a three or four-ring security cordon and plenty of water cannons.
It was like a medieval city: In our opinion, one of the conceptual downfalls of the Bambule movement was the fact that it focused only on the eviction of the trailer community. That theme was pinned down and no real discussion regarding the political context of such eviction developed. In such a situation free radio can give its own input, suggesting topics of discussion, broadcasting informative programs.
That still seemed too little to us, because we wanted radio to intervene. Pauli and Schanzenviertel neighborhoods and reduced to a minimum there. There were declarations as in a rally, with slogans, music and live coverage from the demonstration which is something that could be done more often.
We invited the listeners to take their radios into the city and to build a diffused demonstration — not an assembly, but a diffusion. About people participated. It was a very heterogeneous situation, which meant people could appropriate this situation any way they liked. It was clear that having all these radio carriers on a Saturday in the city center could make more things happen.
So a lot of different people joined this thing and made other interventions, because it was clear to them that there were enough people around to cover them in case they did something that would normally cause trouble. Of course plenty of people were ordered out by the police, but we also engaged in lots of discussions about the current situation of the city with the passers-by who would hear the radios, so that the radios in our hands effectively transported political ideas into the city.
A radio that also conveys matters of political interest. Be aware of the noise level regulations. Nobody can prohibit radio-listening in public. A lot of people were ordered out by the police, even people who were listening to radio very quietly, which was ridiculous because the whole Christmas business going on was way louder.
However, diffusion proved to be an advantage since it would involve only few people at a time,who could therefore remain flexible. The idea was to confront the exchange of commodities in the city center, in order to make clear that public space has to be more than a space of consumption. We realized it was more sensible to extend the time allowed for demonstrations than to ask for longer opening hours for retail sales.
We wanted to review the question of which kind of public sphere this space of the city center allows for. We saw the city center as a mundane space — with people running around, a space where one can only go shopping, very functional. During our evening walks through the city center we perceived it as a deserted planet, a strange space. We thought we were making an expedition: We proposed five ways to deal with this double sense of alienation. We wanted to examine the idea of the city center by night as a space where a utopian public sphere can be apprehended. Only then does it become a great space to rethink the public.
An exercise in utopian public space. You listen to radio. The radio voices come from far away. Many voices speak simultaneously The radio voices ask you to: Go there and stand closely in front of it. Behind the store windows, a desert planet opens up. You face this abandoned planet as aliens from a distant star. The commodities rest within window displays and houses. Check your outward appearance. Smooth out your eyebrows. Check your posture and correct it. Observe the range of commodities. Verify the range of commodities.
5. Kunstunterricht: Grundschule
Go against the grain by using the commodities against its purpose. Knock on the windowpane. Touch the store window. Press hard against the windowpane. Take your face very close to the windowpane. Press your ear against the windowpane. Take out the barricade tape from your bags and fasten the tape to the store window. About 80 — people participated in the action. The third model takes us back to the train station — the train station as the prototype of urban development in which the city space is under increasing control and space that used to be public gets privatized. We did some brainstorming on the use of radio.
We concluded that we could create a diffused public space that functions differently from the ordered one. The Hamburg Art Gallery is closely located to the central train station. Unnecessary lounging refers to any behavior that diverts from travel or consumption, for train stations have been turned into shopping malls with tracks attached. These regulations were enforced by a committee of security people and German federal border police, as well as by video surveillance monitoring every corner of the main station. For example, there are video cameras at the Leipzig central train station, in which we just performed our radio ballet as well.
Anything that could point to a potential neglect of the space must be eliminated. According to the Deutsche Bahn, a space that gives the impression of being neglected affects the sense of security of travelers and consumers. They are constantly looking for crystallization points of disorder — they must be removed in order to keep the space under control, which generates a completely paranoid system of control that sees a potential germ of disorder in every corner.
Of course they can be privatized, but they must maintain this public character, which means no people can be banned from the train station, because the people refused will eventually have to use the trains and come back. We set off at this legal gray area and asked our listeners to come to the train station with their radios.
We aired a choreography there. It was about specific gestures that were banned from the train station, and were to strike back at this space. It was important to transmit these gestures to people through headphones, so it was different from the radio demonstration, which was about making as much noise as possible. The choreography was a quiet event. The following radio ballet examines the gray zone between permitted, obscure and forbidden gestures. The first voice gives the title of the gesture.
The second voice describes the related movements to follow. The third and fourth voices will read out statements on radio ballet, gesture and public space during calm breaks. See to it that you get enough space around yourselves. Refrain from focusing your eyes on anything. Concentrate on your movements. Stretch your hands out. Turn your palms to look forward. Look straight ahead of you. Bring your arms down.
Video surveillance is a prosthesis protecting against stimulation, making travelers and passersby immune to the public realm of space. The unexpected makes its way in through radio ballet. It had three parts. There were lots of moments in which gestures could be exercised. The radio ballet is something like a counter practice. The staging of an abstract constellation of listeners at the main station becomes the premise for political action. The constellation turns into a cooperation and therefore becomes organized. Many people made the interesting observation that another kind of normality prevailed during the ballet.
Normally very little is permitted — e. It changed the whole picture of the space. Our hope would be for such practices to continue. With this we get to the second point of this action: The radio ballet reintroduces forbidden gestures into the space of panoptic control, and at every corner the predictably unexpected becomes concrete. We had this vision of somebody who sits in the control room, and suddenly all the surveillance cameras show people violating regulations, and therefore all security people must be sent to all these areas simultaneously.
An overload… Radio ballet brings the censored back into the space. Precisely this alienation is the materiality of the forbidden that interests us. It was to be left in its state of alienation and fearfulness in this space. We left it to the participants of the radio ballet to explain what they were doing if they were asked about it. The people changed the situation at the main station and it was up to them to decide how they wanted to discuss that there. In our opinion, that sets radio ballet apart from the techniques of control that reign in this space.
We want to encourage non-conformist acts and it is not our wish to control them, but to make a practice possible.
- What To Do In San Diego.
- 5. Kunstunterricht: 5.1 Grundschule.
- The Hellions.
- Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age (Basic Bioethics).
I have some questions myself, before others come up with their own; then we can start with the discussion. Too bad, because their website and information were pretty good; they had good material but the related action was extremely bad. I also wanted to discuss a contradiction. In other words, they prefer either to stay within the stores or be looted. The whole question revolves around how we practice a behavior that is consistent with a certain control. The interesting thing is that city inhabitants can also be seen as mannequins that shatter the windowpanes from the inside.
It was meant as a very indirect call.
Why are you walking around with radios? In a way, radio created another kind of direct communication. Is that what you were thinking of before you organized the intervention, is that what you found interesting after all happened? The other aspect we had learned from radio ballet. Already during that action, the people who participated had been asked what they were doing there. So it was predictable that such discussions would also develop during the radio demonstration.
Zeitlich haben wir das Ganze von der Chronologie her ein bisschen umgedreht; das Radioballett am Hamburger Hauptbahnhof war von all den Sachen, die wir vorgestellt hatten, das erste. Schon da war es so, dass die Leute, die daran teilgenommen hatten, angesprochen wurden, und gefragt wurden, was sie eigentlich da machen. Dass sie den Hauptteil ausgemacht hatten, das hatte sich so entwickelt, aber war dann eine sehr positive Feststellung, die wir getroffen hatten, dass so was einfach funktioniert. Die Bahn hat darauf versucht, es zu verbieten.
Stattdessen hat die Bahn versucht, es zu verbieten. Es gab ein Prozess. Die machen eine Zerstreuung, wo ist das Problem? In Leipzig war es umgekehrt. Es gab jetzt nicht eine Gerichtsentscheidung vorher da, die uns sagte: Sie wussten, sie hatten es verboten. Zumal das Interessante war, dass auch viele Passanten mitgemacht haben. Das war im Rahmen der Hamburger Kunsthalle.
Es hat insofern ein Unterschied gemacht, dass in Hamburg fast keine Rolle spielte, dass wir von der Kunsthalle eingeladen wurden; das hat keiner so richtig mitbekommen. Ich kann mich an keine Diskussion hier mit anderen Linksradikalen erinnern, die gesagt haben: Gerade die Leute untereinander von BGR sagten: Da ist der Ansatz auch, dass Leute sich nicht versammeln sollen, sondern sich gerade auch zerstreuen sollen, beispielsweise mit Hilfe von Musik.
Wenn der Bahnhof Leute zerstreut, sind sie nicht organisiert. Was die Leipziger auch vorgeworfen haben, war, dass eine konfrontative Strategie besser ist. Dazu kann man sagen: Wir hatten [welche], die dabei standen und nicht wussten, ob sie anfangen, einzelne herauszugreifen, aber bevor sie die raushaben, ist das Ballett schon wieder um.
Die Gefahr ist, dass sie dann einfach abwarten, bis es vorbei ist. Es muss schon eine bestimmte Verteilung in einem Raum geben. Bei dieser Radiodemo ging es auch um das Hineintragen von Protest, sehr viel mehr um Inhalte, aber auch um die Praxis, also darum, sie mit in der Praxis zu verbinden, die dann die Aneignung des Raumes bedeutet.
Ihr habt den Begriff der Selbstorganisation auch im Zusammenhang mit Radio benutzt. Wahrscheinlich ist zu lernen, dass es um die performative Umsetzung im Raum geht. Es war euch ja wichtig, diesen Inhalt und die verbotenen Gesten in dem Raum zu transportieren, durch dieses Hinsetzten und dieses Handaufhalten, eigentlich im Einklang zu bringen an Dinge, die jetzt gar nicht mehr erlaubt sind.
Zu dem Handaufhalten — in Hamburg wurde die Hand nicht lange gehalten. In Leipzig haben wir sogar 50 Cent auf diese Weise bekommen. Es sind ja nun viele Themen, die am Bahnhof kumulieren, die nicht thematisiert sind: Die Idee war zu erproben, ob es funktioniert, wenn man eine Situation vor Ort schildert, z. Nur genau so lange wie diese Aktion lief, das ist klar, nach dem Radioballett war alles wie zuvor. Um etwas richtig zu stellen: I have two questions.
We tried to lobby a lot of people, because the situation with radio was that the possession of a transmitter was a non-bailable offence, which would put you up for five years in prison, and that was the law. So we tried to create a situation where we could say that — because we had a Supreme Court judgement that said that the airwaves are public property. We tried to lobby a lot of the Left in India, saying: I was wondering if at the beginnings of free radio movement, was there any discussion of this kind over here? What do you have? The other question was, taking the sender-receiver model, turning it around — which I found very interesting — supposing instead of radios in the station, people carried microphones and recording equipment and were trying to send back transmissions on to the radio station: Do you think that would create a real problem?
Because then it would be like you are interrogating something that exists, and then going back to the source. What is this for? Are you a terrorist? What we do is record sounds at night. The idea is that there can be only one kind of person who makes this documentation of everyday life. Only the police should be listening. Auf das zweite bezogen, sind die Regelungen hier nicht so streng. Es ist auch hier eine sehr ungewohnte Praktik, es ist selten, dass Leute mit Mikrophonen rumrennen.
Offenbar funktioniert Klang ganz anders als Fotografie. Eine Bildaufnahme hat immer eine Berechtigung, aber eine Klangaufnahme, das scheint etwas Unheimliches zu sein. The facts and then the theory and then the legal demand. Es ist sehr schwierig. Freies Radio ist nicht so eine Sache, die einem geschenkt wird, es war hier ein sehr langer Kampf.
Was wir gerade versucht haben darzustellen ist, dass es nicht reicht, sondern dass es anderer Praktiken bedarf, um dann erst Freies Radio zu machen. Das Spannende ist, das Handy zu verwenden, um Sound aufzunehmen, direkt zu senden. Das hat der Vorteil, dass es nicht erst aufzeichnet, sondern direkt auf dem Sender gehen kann und direkt auch wieder ausgestrahlt wird. Das ist ganz nett, besonders wenn man Leute trifft, die eben aus dem Bahnhof ausgeschlossen wurden — wie es auch in Leipzig der Fall war — und direkt gleich sagen, was sie ankotzt.
Nach dem Ballett in Leipzig gab es eine Situation, da sollte jemand verhaftet werden, weil er ein Dachschutz T-Shirt anhatte, und er hat das T-Shirt dann ausgezogen zu dem Zeitpunkt, als unsere Reporterin dahinkam. Have you ever thought about changing the medium? Are you theory or radio fetishists? Ich glaube, dass eine bestimmte Auseinandersetzung auch eines bestimmten Kontextes bedarf. Da gehe ich mit Medienwechsel vorsichtig um. Wir haben neulich eine Arbeit gemacht, die in die Musikrichtung ging, und es war sehr anstrengend festzustellen, wie es funktioniert.
Because I think that all of us have grown up with the kind of politics of demonstrations where you are all together in a mass. In , when India exploded once again its nuclear weapons, there was the beginning of a completely undirected anti-nuclear movement for the first time in Delhi. This was very confusing to people, because although there were many people standing together, no one was giving a speech, no one was addressing the crowd, no one was giving slogans together.
So when the police would come, we could say: Can you stop me from standing with a piece of paper? So we would say: Of course people there might have known each other, but there was something about it that was a bit sad. As far as I saw it, it was an extension of that discourse in the gestures, and that becomes an exercise in powerlessness. I have a question for you. What do you mean by powerlessness in the radio ballet? You said it was an experiment, a form of research, and when I say powerlessness I mean it in the sense that we have to move from a stage where we are reflecting on a normative space and maybe begin to try to inhabit them.
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