truth is concrete
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Sunday, 23 September 2012

White Box

Name readymade

Tactic talk by Janez Janša (SLO)

In 2007, three renowned Slovenian artists, legally, with all the papers and stamps required, assumed the name of the conservative Slovenian Prime Minister, Janez Janša. Ever since, all their work, their private and public affairs – in a word, their whole life – have been conducted under this new name. “Name Readymade” is a parcours through different stages and aspects of the act of name changing and its consequences, including public, relational and intimate ones.
White Box

Staging political action

Tactic talk by Public Movement (IL)

The actions of Public Movement are formulated through exploration of the regulations, forces, agents and policies, formations of identity and systems of ritual which govern the dynamics of public life in a particular city, in a specific year. From the initiation of the new ritual “Spring in Warsaw“, via the formulation of a new lobby for “Salons: Birthright Palestine?“ to the European public relations project “Rebranding European Muslims“, which will be celebrated at steirischer herbst 2012.
Black Cube

Witness to the ruins

Lecture performance by Mapa Teatro (CO)
With special appearance by Antanas Mockus (CO)

“Witness to the Ruins” is the result of witnessing one of the most ambitious urban development projects undertaken in Bogotá, at the threshold of the millennium. Mapa Teatro recalls the images, testimonies and stories of the ancient inhabitants of The Santa Inés-El Cartucho district in Bogotá, before, during and after its disappearance due to the construction of the Third Millennium Park. “Witness to the Ruins” gives account of the artistic option, of the testimonial role confronted within the deep paradoxes of reality.
White Box

Actions and what we learn from them

Tactic talk by Federico Geller (AR)

Strategy and tactics are key concepts that recognise the existence of conflict and the necessity of anticipation for those who take part. They have pervaded all kind of institutional discourses, including those of marketing, art and science. Federico Geller shares a few experiences of Abriendo Caminos and other collectives in grass root activities after the 2001 – 2003 neoliberal crisis in Argentina and links them to theoretical suggestions that have been found and borrowed along the way.
White Box

Hip hop as a weapon

Tactic talk by Lexxus Légal (CGO)

Traditionally, music in ex-Zaire avoided any political topic in fear of repression. The apparition of hip hop in the 1990s, with its very direct texts, disturbed the artistic scene, as well as the state and the (state-won) media. In 2004, the new regime even forbade the diffusion of hip hop through any media. Yet it still affects people’s opinions. Lexxus Légal uses hip hop as a political weapon, e.g. with the project “Tosolola Sida” (“Let‘s talk about AIDS”): a mobile discussion and medical platform, acting in suburbs and villages and mobilising people through hip hop calls.
White Box

Magic in interventional politics 

Tactic talk by Sibylle Peters / Fundus Theater (D)

Maybe borders between the dead and the living aren‘t any better than all other borders: borders of nations, borders of property, borders of gender. So, ghosts can be powerful partners, when it comes to transgression. Rise up!
White Box


Tactic talk by raumlaborberlin (D)

A laboratory situation for experiments with space, a thesis and a model try out. If it runs well it will show raumlaborberlin’s principles of operation, explaining their interest in common spaces, in public aspects of culture and in the specifics of festivals. Maybe they´ll even manage to sum it all up to essential assumptions on the production of architecture, the culture of space or the surface of reaction.
Black Cube

The Norwegian way

Performance by Amund Sjølie Sveen (N)

Norway is one of the richest countries in the world. It is also rated the most peaceful country, it has the most well-functioning state and it is probably the best place on earth to be an artist – economically speaking. It is all because of oil. When the Iraqi people starved, the United Nations launched the Oil for Food-program to make it possible for Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food. Norway has more than enough of both food and oil, but something is missing to fill lives with meaning: The Oil for ART-program.
White Box

Spoken karaoke

A participatory project by Annie Dorsen (USA)
Supported by Klumzy Tung (GB)

Spoken Karaoke invites us to perform political speeches as we would ordinarily perform songs in a karaoke bar. Some of the texts available one almost knows by heart (“I have a dream,” “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” etc); others may be less well known. Socrates’ trial speech stands next to Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” or Qaddafi in front of the United Nations … Political speeches are, after all, songs of persuasion, argument, motivation or consolidation.
White Box

VJing the revolution (a nostalgia)

By Köken Ergun (D/TR)

During the high point of the Arab Spring, shortly following the televised ousting of Mubarak live from Tahrir square, Köken Ergun conducted video art workshops with his students in Doha and Ramallah. Inspired by the momentum, he asked the participants to join him for a YouTube VJing of the revolution. The result was a collection of televised and non televised footage of the participants’ favourite moments of the revolution. For “Truth is concrete”, Köken Ergun invites all to join in and play links of their own revolutionary moments.
Black Cube

Hack the jellyfish: How to mess with reality

Normality and reality are created within the structure of society. In a media-based society it is the signs and significants, the meanings and habits and conventions of speaking and thinking, the images and stereotypes which control everything. It is important to analyse how it is represented and of course what is not represented. It‘s not so much people like Rupert Murdoch that one should attack, but rather something one would call the cultural grammar of the public space (which consists of the media space as well as of streets, places and baseball stadiums). Power is formed within such a grammar. Access and non-access to each and every thing is regulated in its realm. Meanings are negotiated there. Good and evil are determined. Society is an ongoing process of rediscussing and remodelling its power structures. Power is more like a fluid, or a jellyfish, than a solid brick wall and you can play with it.
monochrom thinks that hackers, artists, technologists, activists, developers, players and other fellow nerds should leave their cosy peer groups and comfy in-scenes and exit their spaces of cultural incest and patting-each-others-shoulder and talk about what one can do to hack the jellyfish.
Meeting Point: Laila’s Bar

Daybreak into the city II: Meet and greet at squatters’ breakfast

Just before the crack of dawn, Theater im Bahnhof invites us to excursions in the urban space. These daily get-togethers for breakfast and a walk in the city of Graz make room for encounters off the beaten track of the busy times during daytime. Every destination has its own main focus and no two excursions are alike.

This morning: Launching assistance for occupying houses – for requisitions, as they call it – for a city still unfamiliar with this term.
White Box

Renunciation & revolution

Yoga for the masses by Sri Louise (USA)

To start the day, Sri Louise invites us to Yoga for the masses: these open level sessions are geared to awaken one‘s political body by exploring what the renunciation of capitalism means for the global “revolution“.
White Box

Guerilla gardening

Tactic talk by Richard Reynolds (GB)

Guerrilla gardening is gardening without boundaries, more specifically it‘s gardening someone else‘s land without asking. Typically guerrilla gardeners strike neglected public land, but their motivations are as diverse as the people. Activists, artists, environmentalists, gardeners, pranksters, protestors, thrill seekers – guerrilla gardeners come in many shades of green.
White Box

The pansy project

Tactic talk by Paul Harfleet (GB)

Pansies as memories at the site of homophobic abuse: "The pansy project" has many incarnations; small scale unmarked individual plantings, free pansy “Hand Outs” where the artist speaks to passers-by about the project, installations of thousands of plants at the site of homophobia and exhibitions of the photographs Paul Harfleet has made over the last seven years. He also plans to plant a series of pansies around Graz at the site of homophobic hate crime throughout his stay.
White Box

The garden of biological disobedience

Tactic talk by Katherine Ball (USA)

"The garden of biological disobedience" created for “Truth is concrete” is a dreamscape for how activists could form a symbiotic relationship with nature‘s ability to strike back against human hegemony. The trace goes back to the tactics of Fuzzy Biological Sabotage outlined by the Critical Art Ensemble, to the antidotes of inertia, pluriversality, the yes and the no, and re-establishing an emotional reaction to the wild world.
Black Cube

History of art, according to the resistance

Lecture by Jonas Staal (NL)

The New World Summit is an alternative parliament for political and juridical representatives of organisations currently placed on international terrorist lists. It attempts through the use of art to create a space for radical diplomacy, a democratic supplement on a political system that shows itself unable to act upon the democratic promise. The promise in which democracy manifests itself as a universal movement that struggles for a non-exclusive political space where every voice can make itself heard, seen and felt.
Black Cube

Infiltrate and intercept

Art as altercation and alteration

To infiltrate and intercept political spaces implies a break in the normative order, a movement and even a redirection of energy, information, or social values. It is often a covert action, sometimes illegal and usually deployed to gain advantage in power relations. Can artists intervene as activists to disrupt one course and empower another? Looking at documentary evidence on activist art practices that are focused on specific situations, the targets, questions and implications of local contexts will be discussed. How can artists conceive their work, cognisant of both the frictions against and the possibilities for direct engagement? Can the representation of these practices serve again as an interception within the art/conference space?
White Box
open marathon

Syrian Voices

A lecture by Shadi Alshhadeh (SYR) presented by Roza El-Hassan (H/SYR)

It has been more than 500 days since the Syrian people started to fight for freedom and democracy. Thirty thousand  people have lost their lives because of the regime so far. But still there is a dense and on-going image production.  This lecture shows parts of a huge archive: demonstration plates from Syria, wall-drawings and drawn eye-witness reports by children, collected by Shadi Alshhadeh, a Syrian human right's activist who  worked  on the ground in Syria, and in neighbouring countries. He collected and documented images, videos and texts, and recently founded the Center for Education of Syrian Youth in Cairo.  Syrian Intellectuals, artist and filmmakers are one of the main target groups for the Al Assad Regime Forces to be killed or detained. Still they are at the same time refused visa to enter Europe and raise their voice. This is the fourth lecture by Shadi Alshhadeh, that will be read by someone else in Europe, since he is refused visa for cultural events.  
Black Cube

The dirty discount revival

A service by Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping (USA)

Please join us for a rousing Earthalujah! worship service. Reverend Billy will preach in the great American style known as Fire and Brimstone while the Choir sings riotous, gorgeous gospel songs from the Stop Shopping hymnal. Here we are mid-shopocalypse, so unable to control our shopping, whether for bikinis or war toys or for fossil fuels. We will celebrate life while we have some left, but we know what life we do have left must be radically expanded to save life to come. Earthalujah!
White Box
open marathon


Presentation by Khaled Jarrar (PS)

Khaled Jarrar is an artist and photographer from Palestine, focussing on the Israeli occupation and the struggle for an independent Palestinian state. In this session he will present excerpts of his latest works.
Black Cube

Random acts: Reverend Billy & The Church of Earthalujah

Short film by Leah Borromeo (GB)

Commissioned by the British Channel 4, “Random acts” are shot in collaboration with their subjects as they play in that space and truth between journalism and art. No. 78 shows what you get when you cross an Elvis impersonator with an evangelical preacher and throw in a protest against corporate sponsorship of the arts: Reverend Billy, his choir and an almighty oil-covered flashmob at the Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall.
Black Cube

General Assembly

Facilitated by Federico Geller (AR)

Every day the camp comes together to reflect, discuss whatever is leftover, whatever is boiling, whatever has to be said. The General Assembly is facilitated every day by a different moderator – offering each time different ways of thinking and discussing, of exchanging and criticising.
Federico Geller proposes a non-linear assembly, based in previous experiences with social organisations in Argentina: the dynamic is an oscillation between the General Assembly and smaller circles so the discussion splits and remerges, collecting more questions and ideas. The use of simple graphic tools helps to open the situation and to share the results of the exchanges.
open marathon

The Pansy Project - Plantings

Paul Harfleet (GB)

Paul Harfleet will plant pansies at historically significant locations of homophobia. Chat along the way with the artist and share stories of your experience.
Meeting point: Outdoor at the blog house
Black Cube

The politics of artistic practices

How do different theories envisage the relation between art and politics and the possibility for artistic practices to play a critical role in society? Several divergences currently exist among artistic and cultural workers who are interested in making a political intervention. It is important to bring them to the fore. To clarify what is at stake in those disagreements, the symposium will scrutinise the different interpretations of the evolution of the work process brought about by the Post-fordist stage of capitalism and its consequences for visualising aesthetic modes of resistance. What form could those resistances take and where should they take place? Is an effective critique still possible inside the art world or are all critical interventions in that field bound to be neutralised and recuperated?

Pressures towards pure entertainment exerted by corporations’ drive for profit are difficult to resist. With cuts in public subsidies for the arts, the situation in several European countries looks really bleak. One argument is that the loss of public support offers the opportunity to break away from the institutions. To be sure the proliferation of various modalities of artistic activism testifies to the possibility of different ways of exercising creativity. But, while acknowledging the significance of those new ways of using artistic means to make political interventions, one might also be reluctant to follow those who claim that “artivism” is the only manner for artists to intervene politically.

The session is interrupted by a lecture performance by common spring collective, revisiting Walter Benjamin’s dialectical approach on the aestheticisation of politics and the politicisation of aesthetics.
White Box
open marathon

Binibining Promised Land

Video screening by Köken Ergun (TR/D) followed by a conversation with Carlos Celdran (RP)

Köken Ergun’s film addresses the situation of Filipino guest workers in Israel and shows the bonding force of a transnational society. Using the example of the most famous Filipinas beauty contest in Tel Aviv it talks about the realities and dreams of its protagonists, about the living circumstances of the Filipinos, their traditions and how they rewrite them.

Open marathon

The Open marathon is based on self-organisation and is entirely proposed by the participants of “Truth is concrete”. [email protected] or at the guest office in the camp.


Projects on show throughout the whole camp week.


7 workshops accompany the marathon - focusing on practical knowledge and useful artistic stretegies in politics.