|forth year: 2001/2002||series of lectures: lectures / conversations with lecturers / lecturers|
With the lecture based on the presentation and commentaries of the vast video documents on projects from the last fifteen years (adopted from my own archive) I wish to take a critical stance to that intermediate space, which binds artists into groups or larger formations. I wish to show that the idea and practice of socialising around a joint presentation changed in relation to technological, political and cultural frames. I distance myself from the wing that has, since the 1980's emerged into social movements and later on activism (which some artistic movements recently celebrated also in the form of net-activism) in order to enlighten the fact which is maybe of great importance to the Slovene social space, the fact that also the rare artists leaning towards structuralist approaches, abstract art and formalism had to turn to activism.
I place the time frame and qualitative boarder into the mid 1980's, when the first attempts of creative platforms (conceived and executed by the artists themselves) emerged. In opposition to the classical theatre and ambience projects (at which the performers are hired from the existing professional lines and the execution is based in a subscription manner within the frame of the existing social exchange) we had to invent the mutual relations, means and ways of work in the early multi-media projects as we went along. Even if we were dealing with guest appearances in already existing spaces, rented equipment and the use of existing media channels, the inter-disciplinary form of work demanded new ways of self-organisation, self-education and constant dealing with the intermediate space (the space of translation), which would supposedly enable agreements between collaborators that originally came from otherwise delimitted fields. This held true for the early Laibach as well as later on for the groups Cavis Negra and Most.
In order to understand the
development of consciousness as regards self-organisation one has to understand
also the difference between the orientation into symbolic enterprises,
manipulation of the image and presentation of a certain artistic project
in the political-media environment as well as the efforts which try to
touch those structures which actually define the flow of information and
the gathering of knowledge. At this we are not necessarily dealing with
the polarity or opposing activities, however, we can certainly (especially
as regards the Slovene space) talk about a certain disproportion. The
effort and means invested into the representation of the existence incredibly
surpass the movements of the other wing, where we miss the deepened and
constant research and changes - especially of those relations which enable
access to data and knowledge and which truly define the quality of existence.
At first the group medium was invented by the artists as a way of confrontation between the generations. This was followed by stylistic formations, which were reminiscent of the necessary grouping into guilds, oriented mainly at the opposition on their own territory. The appearance of the group as an authorised entity can be noticed only after the Great War. The historical avant-garde took advantage of the group forms of operation also in order to breakthrough to the political level, to the intervention into life outside the prescribed operation of the art field. Regardless of the great variations and new inventions of the group presentations it is typical for the period between WWII and today that the artists have not spoken in their own organisational language but they could only act it, summarise it and pretend with behind it. In short, the history of groups in art is mainly a history of presenting ideas and tricks, and not a useful agreement or invention of the new, operating social forms.
Regardless of the fact that also the contemporary artistic trends are still trying to force the self-organisation into the field of utopia (an utopia condemned merely to the dreams, to the non-fulfilment) I stand hand in hand with the ones who understand utopia as a development step on the way to the realisation of the artistic visions all the way to actual existence, and at this I do not mean merely the artefact but also the life process itself.
Throughout the last fifteen
years the Institute Egon March projects have moved through a broad spectre
of forms of operation. From the very beginning the limit of experience
in these projects is placed on the individual. This means that the operation
of the Institute was already from the sole beginning limited to synthesis,
which can be reached by individuals in their intimate experience, and
strengthened by the medium of the group comprised of individuals with
the same interests. The final goal remains the same from the very beginning:
invention of knowledge which enables the individual to freely synchronise
into group projects. However, these are projects which are not submitted
to the growth outside reach of the experience of the individual.
Today, the conspiracy of individuals for individuals is a complex operation in the shade of large corporations. It talks through their media and uses their means, everything takes place within the rules of the game (but with additional rules and goals, which can not be anticipated or reached anymore through the corporate forms). The conspiracy of the individuals for the individuals does not have a leader, centre, parliament, patrons, freemasonry lodge or a hidden political godfather.
It always takes place in between, between active individuals and is translated through the language called synchronisation.
In this sense, the intercession
for the understanding of structures which define the contemporary, is
a call back to abstraction which will be able to establish the action
on a more basic level, where the events are planned and not only in places
where the symptoms break out in the midst of media outbursts or after
the demonstrations against them.
In order to establish the environment which could motivate me to future creation and research I have to constantly exchange ideas through the self-organised parallel systems, between individuals, who slowly but persistently weave the hardly noticed threads throughout the tired, with white castles covered, evening mist of the old world.
I dedicate this lecture to the memory of Bojan Štokelj.