[NetBehaviour] open call: AMBIENT REVOLTS

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 17:22:39 CEST 2018

This is also relevant here I think -

Thanks, Alan

On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 6:12 AM, ruth catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>

> 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> <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
> 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
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> BG – Berliner Gazette | since 1999 | http://berlinergazette.de
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> FUGITIVE BELONGINGhttps://diamondpaper.net/title_27
> A FIELD GUIDE TO THE SNOWDEN FILES  http://diamondpaper.net/title_26
> AFTER THE PLANEShttp://diamondpaper.net/title_25
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> FRIENDLY FIRE – BG Annual Conference 2017 https://berlinergazette.de/friendly-fire
> SIGNALS – Exhibition of the Snowden Files  http://berlinergazette.de/signals
> --------------------------------------------------------------
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