[NetBehaviour] open call: AMBIENT REVOLTS

Tom Keene tom at theanthillsocial.co.uk
Mon Apr 9 12:33:58 CEST 2018

Very much so - thanks! 

TOM KEENE: Artist/Activist/Researcher
Save Cressingham Gardens

On Mon, 9 Apr 2018, at 11:12 AM, ruth catlow wrote:
> Of interest?

> -------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: [bgcon] open call:
> AMBIENT REVOLTS Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 12:03:24 +0200 From: Krystian
> Woznicki <kw at berlinergazette.de> Reply-To: kw at berlinergazette.de
> Organisation: Berliner Gazette To: digi-yards at berlinergazette.de> 
> Hi,  What does it mean to act politically when, like in this very
> moment, we are confronting the spread of right-wing populism as an
> ambient force that polarizes all of us? What, in other words, does it
> mean to oppose the imperceptible power of an atmosphere that outrules
> a collectivity that is inclusive of all? What does it mean to counter
> the quasi-environmentalization of proto-fascist tendencies that
> further foster segregation?  Posing these questions in its 19th year,
> the Berliner Gazette continues a long-term engagement with
> contemporary forms of political agency and the common. In this open
> call for contributions, we wish to invite activists, journalists,
> researchers, cultural workers, coders and artists to join us looking
> for answers.  We want to invite you to participate! There are two
> different formats of participation: conference workshops (deadline:
> May 20, 2018 ) and online newspaper (deadline: June 20, 2018).    The
> structure of this email is as follows:  1. Development, context, goal
> 2. Conference workshops | call for contributions 3. Online-newspaper |
> call for contributions  Links, that are implemented in the email text
> as footnotes, you will find at the very bottom.  1. Development,
> context, goal  *Development*  The BG team [1] began developing the
> AMBIENT REVOLTS project in July 2017. We started right after the G20
> summit in Hamburg where some of us joined the alternative media center
> FCMC [2]  and witnessed with many other journalists the most severe
> execution of preemptive state violence in Germany’s recent history
> [3,4,5]. The ensuing recreation of the political landscape echoed the
> authoritarian approach of the G20 police force: a shift of politics to
> the right and even radical right, a restriction of demonstration
> rights and of expressions of political dissent, scaling and expanding
> security measures, etc. Against this backdrop we developed the concept
> for AMBIENT REVOLTS, including the general idea for our 2018 annual
> project consisting of a special section in our online-newspaper and a
> series of events culminating with our annual conference.   Shortly
> after the g20-summer the BG annual conference FRIENDLY FIRE [6] took
> place and provided many fruitful possibilities to reflect the politics
> of citizenship under current conditions. Then, in December 2017, the
> BG team contributed to the #LutherLenin festival at the Studio Hrdinu
> in Prague [7]. Here we were able to test some of the ideas for AMBIENT
> REVOLTS. Finally we launched the project with first contributions to
> our online newspaper [8] and with a panel at the transmediale festival
> [9] in February 2018. Documents of our transmediale event are
> available in audio [10] and video [11,12].    After that few members
> of the BG team went on a month-log tour, visiting some of the nodes of
> the BG network in Europe, including cities such as Genoa, Barcelona,
> Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Paris and Brussels. We learned a lot about how
> the people who contribute to our online-newspaper or to our annual
> conferences live and work in their respective local contexts. This
> helped substantially honing some of the key ideas of the AMBIENT
> REVOLTS project.  *Context*  When we returned to Berlin in the
> beginning of March 2018, the atmosphere was literally spooky as the
> ghosts of the G20 summit came to the fore again. Symptomatic of this
> was the career step of Olaf Scholz [13]. Instead of paying for the
> consequences of his ‘bad management’ as the mayor of Hamburg – we are,
> to reiterate, talking about the most severe execution of state
> violence in Germany’s recent history –, Scholz became finance minister
> and even vice chancellor in Angela Merkel’s fourth cabinet. This
> disturbing move echoed the later day promotion of many high ranking
> policemen and politicians who had been responsible for the excesses of
> violence during the G8 in Genoa 2001 [14].  If such things can happen
> ‘in bright daylight’ and if they are taken to be normal, rather than
> causing a public debate, then the public sphere is in peril. After
> all, Scholz’s promotion was followed by a silence that is telling
> inasmuch it expresses an implicit framework for censorship. As such
> this silence is a constitutive condition for the post-G20 public
> sphere: while (left-wing) criticism of the government and its
> interpretation of democracy is quelled, right-wing populists are
> elevated, e.g. when readily given stages, even by liberal media.  If,
> in other words, the broader spectrum of the Left is delegitimized
> while the far Right is legitimized, then the public sphere is being
> constricted through two simultaneous moves. Both moves, as different
> as they are, have in common that they contribute to closing the public
> discourse for opposition, for dissent and, above all, for the biggest
> possible plurality of contributions – the latter would also include
> marginalized, invisibilized and illegalized actors for whom discursive
> openings generally tend to be highly precarious.  Needless to say, the
> aforementioned features have always been the vital basics of any
> democracy, yet, remarkably, it is in this historic moment – in
> Germany, Europe and beyond – that the greatest collective courage
> needs to take hold to actually perform any of such basic democratic
> engagement. As it is we are challenged to explore how this courage can
> manifest itself in many different ways.  *Goal*  Against this backdrop
> the AMBIENT REVOLTS project takes an international approach,
> foregrounding cross-border exchange and cooperation. More
> specifically, the project aims at accompanying and advocating an
> engagement with the public sphere at the molecular level. There are
> two reasons for that.  Firstly, we wish to understand better how
> ambient forces operate today, meaning: how they colonize the micro-
> textures of the everyday, how they enable the contagion of bodies and
> the modulation affect, and, more concretely, how they foster right-
> wing populism. Secondly, we wish to explore possibilities for
> interventions upon the ambient forces at their operational level.
> Hence the AMBIENT REVOLTS project focuses on micro-politics in the
> expanded micro-worlds of the networked public spheres: small acts and
> minor gestures in the everyday – be it when engaging in the class room
> or chat room, on the street or online, with friends or colleagues.
> 2. Conference workshops | call for contributions  Who:  activists,
> journalists, researchers, cultural workers, coders and artists What:
> responses, ideas, commentary, material, links Deadline: May 20, 2018
> Email: info(at)berlinergazette.de  The AMBIENT REVOLTS conference will
> take place November 8-10, 2018 at the Center for Arts and Urbanistics
> (ZK/U) in Berlin. There will be five workshop tracks bringing together
> civil society actors from more than 20 countries. We are now inviting
> activists, journalists, researchers, cultural workers, coders and
> artists to submit ideas, questions, material, links. All of this will
> contribute to the shaping of the respective five workshop tracks.
> Please respond to the questions below by May 20, 2018.  Workshop
> Track: Rebooting Populism? Keywords: Populism, Authoritarianism,
> Social Media, Liquid Democracy Questions: If right-wing populism (and
> populism in general) today hinges upon social media, are then the top-
> down logics of demagogy reversed? Is populism nowadays a bottom-up
> affair? If so, can this reversed logic be deployed for emancipatory
> and, ultimately, democratic ends?     Workshop Track: Hacking the
> Urban Backend Keywords: Smart City, Programmed Environments,
> Appropriation, Hacking Questions: If in today’s smart city the
> urbanite is becoming one element of the programmed environment, then
> how are the boundaries for political action being redefined in the
> course of this? What happens to public space as a realm in which
> political actors voice their concerns? Is the arena of political
> intervention being relocated to the invisiblized backend of the city?
> Workshop Track: Involuntary Community  Keywords: Interconnectedness,
> Disruption, Social Networks, Community Questions: If under today’s
> conditions of all-encompassing interconnectedness right-wing populist
> moods can spread in a viral, quasi-contagious fashion, then what role
> do system errors, glitches and other (planned or unplanned)
> disruptions play? Can the surprise element of involuntary
> connectedness or disconnectedness gain a political valence? What forms
> of community can emerge, when technologies such as "Near Sensing" are
> deployed for unexpected social ends?  Workshop Track: Challenging the
> Capitalocene Keywords: Capitalocene, Automation, Dehumanization,
> Racism Questions: If capitalism in the current stage is a quasi-
> automated matter, then what role can human actors play? If algorithms
> operate according to racialized categories, then how does racism play
> out in quasi-automated capitalism? What are possible strategies
> against dehumanization?  Workshop Track: Unlearning Learning Keywords:
> Artificial Intelligence, Self-Learning, Politics of Learning If self-
> learning systems define our age, if, at the same time, AI-driven
> social media come to provide pseudo-classrooms while traditional media
> lose their authority as ‘educational institutions’, then what is the
> present and future of pedagogy? What kind of unlearning needs to be
> done? What, if at all, do we need to learn from self-learning systems?
> In what kind of networked public spheres (and atmo-spheres) do we want
> to be learning tomorrow?     3. Online-newspaper | call for
> contributions  Who: activists, journalists, researchers, cultural
> workers, coders and artists What: essays, interviews and reports
> (9.500 chars) Deadline: June 20, 2018  Email:
> info(at)berlinergazette.de  At the beginning of this year we have
> started publishing essays, interviews and reports in a special section
> of the Berliner Gazette dedicated to AMBIENT REVOLTS [15]. We are
> planning to publish approximately 50 contributions by the end of the
> year. Assembling this material we would like also to elaborate a
> concept for a book with a selection of texts on our annual theme –
> expanding the BG series of by now eight books (5 of them
> anthologies/readers).   If you have not heard about the BG annual
> projects before, please have a look at our most recent projects
> UN|COMMONS [16], TACIT FUTURES [17] and FRIENDLY FIRE [18].    Please
> spread the word about this open call for contributions. And please let
> us know if you have any questions regarding the call.  Stay tuned,
> Krystian (for the BG team)  Links  1. https://bit.ly/2GK2LQb 2.
> https://fcmc.tv/ 3. https://bit.ly/2IEJH6i 4.
> http://berlinergazette.de/g-20-gewalt-aus-der-zukunft 5.
> https://g20-doku.org 6. https://berlinergazette.de/friendly-fire 7.
> https://studiohrdinu.cz/en/predstaveni/lutherlenin 8.
> https://bit.ly/2HiFdTu 9. https://bit.ly/2uZV6M8 10.
> https://voicerepublic.com/talks/ambient-revolts 11.
> https://vimeo.com/262355303 12. https://vimeo.com/262354951 13.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaf_Scholz 14.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27th_G8_summit 15.
> https://bit.ly/2HiFdTu 16. https://berlinergazette.de/uncommons 17.
> https://berlinergazette.de/tacit-futures 18.
> https://berlinergazette.de/friendly-fire  -- --------------------------------------------------------------
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