Beat a Situationist. At his own game.

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Event details

25 Sep, 2021 · All day
Tickets Free - 10 euros
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Online conference URL (day 2)
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Cona and walk · listen · create present Sound Walk City · prelude, a festival of sound walks, performances and sound works, coinciding with Sound Walk September 2021.

In May and June 1968, over half a century ago, France was struck by continued civil unrest. At its height, the country’s economy came to a halt, president Charles de Gaulle secretly fled France for Germany, and a friend of prime minister Georges Pompidou offered him a gun, with the words “You will need it”.

The French, with the Situationists as major players, revolted against the control of society from above by powers not in control of the people. This included the French state, but was much more so borne of the ever-growing control major capitalist players had on society as a whole, driven by ideas mostly sourced form the USA, where the Situationists recognised that public space was turning into a Spectacle, telling its inhabitants where to eat, where to look, what to do, and what to buy.

The May 1968 events mostly petered out, but capitalist control of society has only increased, with the more recent identification of Surveillance Capitalism, as well as the much stronger capacity of the state, any state, to monitor all activity both within, and outside, their borders, making resistance against corporate control perhaps more relevant than ever before.

To subvert the Spectacle’s influence on the inhabitant of public space, the Situationists identified psychogeography as a concept and the dérive as a tool, with the objective of putting some control of the navigation of public space, back in the hands of the individual.

Psychogeography, in a way, can be described as ‘the way a place makes you feel’. The dérive, a drift through public space, is a way to uncover these impressions on the individual, you, to engender the realisation of how public space can influence you, and how you can take control of these experiences.
Typically, a dérive consists of a series of small tasks which nudge you into thinking, observing, or taking action in a particular way.

Participate!

On Saturday September 25, as part of Sound Walk September and Sound Walk City · prelude, walk · listen · create, together with Cona, ProArts, and Dérive app, is hosting a full day hybrid workshop. This workshop will be online and offline, local and remote, with hands-on activities and fascinating lectures.

You probably should sign up right now, while early-bird tickets are still available.

This full-day workshop will both be hosted by partnering organisations, and will be facilitated online. This means that, if you are close to one of our partnering organisations, you can attend this workshop for free, in-person. If you can’t, or prefer not to (COVID?), you can participate online.

This full day workshop will consist of three main elements:

  • A series of talks will see experts discuss concepts related to the history of Situationists and the present day applicability and context. Speakers include:
    • John Wild, the London based artist who works across performance, sound, text, code, electronics and machine learning to carry out speculative research into the utopian and dystopian futures imminent within digital technology.
    • Cecilia Quiles of graffitimundo, the organisation dedicated to increasing awareness of the rich heritage and dynamic culture of Argentine urban art.
    • Michael Kwet, visiting Fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project, and host of the podcast Tech Empire, who’s areas of research include education technology, the global digital economy, tech startups, safe and smart city initiatives, big data, and Free and Open Source Software.
    • Anja Podreka, the Slovenian spatial artist interested and inspired by nature and its connection with the human. 
    • Natalia Ivanova Mount and Chris Byrnes, in Oakland (California), have been laying the groundwork for Performing Pro Arts COMMONS for the past 2 years and recently launched a seed fund to support its development. Over the past year, they have conducted numerous trainings with local artists on intellectual property, commoning, and morals clauses.
  • A hands-on exploration of your own urban environment, using the mobile app Dérive app, the award-winning app that helps to get you lost.
    For the best experience, you should go out exploring in a small group, of 2 to 4 people, including yourself.
  • A hands-on creative exercise where you, together with all other participants, and based on the lectures, as well as your own experience, will create a new deck of ‘task cards’, to be included in Dérive app, and available to the rest of the world, which then can be used for everyone and anyone to ‘get lost’ in their own urban environment.

Excited? We sure are!
Grab your ticket now, or head over to your local participating organisation, and join us on the 25th of September.

Do you represent an organisation and you’re keen to participate, wherever you are in the world? It’s not too late to join us.

Detailed program and information

This workshop relies on Dérive app (iOS, Android) for participants to explore their environment. Download it and register. Workshop participants will be sent an invite code to join the “Beat a Situationist…” group in Dérive app. Members of this group will have access to the curated dérive, and the walking score, which workshop participants will use to explore their environment.

What is a curated dérive? What is a walking score?

A curated dérive is a timed set of ‘tasks’ which you nudge you to explore your environment. Each task starts at a particular time and is available for a particular limited timeframe.
Participants in a curated dérive will be presented with the same tasks, at the same time, wherever in the world they are.

A walking score is a fixed set of ‘tasks’, which can be ‘run’ at any time, anywhere.

For this workshop, the tasks in the curated dérive and walking score will be the same. We will schedule a few curated dérives at specific set times, for participants to explore together, remotely. In addition, the walking score will be available at all times, for participants to explore their environment at a time of their choosing.

A dérive is best experienced in a small group, of 2 to 4 people.

Program

Keep track of the timezone of each program item.

21 September: 6pm – 7:30pm (PDT, UTC-7)

A curated dérive, at a time convenient for participants in Oakland.
All workshop participants can join in this curated dérive, wherever they are.

24 September: Start of the day (CEST, UTC+2)

Collaborative creation of a new deck of task cards opens. This is done through the Dérive app admin interface, online, available within the group to workshop participants.

24 September: 2pm – 4pm (PDT, UTC-7)

What happens when we turn a part of the law that has become sacrosanct across the world – the economic right of IP producers – against its intended purpose? What if IP producers reclaim the legal and economic scaffolding surrounding their individual creative works to protect social actions, be in solidarity with workers in supply chains, or highlight the absurdity of maximalist intangible property? 

Natalia Mount and Chris Byrnes will lead a conversation about their collaborative project Performing Pro Arts COMMONS and what it means to occupy intellectual property through a sound walk or an open source application, such as the Dérive app. Performing Pro Arts COMMONS: The Sound Walk will occur in downtown Oakland a week prior to this conversation, highlighting some tangible representations of the ideas of this project, embodied by the direct experience of its participants.

Natalia and Chris have been laying the groundwork for Performing Pro Arts COMMONS for the past 2 years and recently launched a seed fund to support its development. Over the past year, they have conducted numerous trainings with local artists on intellectual property, commoning, and morals clauses.

24 September: Time to be announced (PDT, UTC-7)

A curated dérive, at a time convenient for participants in Oakland.
All workshop participants can join in this curated dérive, wherever they are.

24 September: Time to be announced (CEST, UTC+2)

A curated dérive, at a time convenient for participants in Europe.
All workshop participants can join in this curated dérive, wherever they are.

25 September: 11am (CEST, UTC+2)

Formal opening, by Babak Fakhamzadeh.

25 September: 11:15am (CEST, UTC+2)

John Wild

John Wild

United Kingdom

John will discuss whether the Situationist International’s psychogeographic walking practices can be modified to research the specificity of the digital city. Through the practices of CODED GEOMETRY, a walking collective based in East London that uses performative strategies to develop a digitally expanded psychogeography, the talk will consider the following questions: How does it feel to walk the streets of East London when the city has been expanded by technologies that blur the boundary between the physical world and the digital realm, between physical objects and their representations in the digital field as data?

25 September: 12:15pm – 1:45pm (CEST, UTC+2)

A curated dérive.
All workshop participants can join in this curated dérive, wherever they are.

25 September: 2pm (CEST, UTC+2)

Anja Podreka

Anja Podreka

Slovenia

Anja will present problematics of the rivers and the usage of waters. The leading question will of the talk will be focused to the title; ‘To create a space for the river’.  The river gives, forms, shapes and designs life. This fact created our habitats; towns, cities, villages etc. Water is a living body, an intelligence, a mater which brings and takes away goods therefore, it is a body which travels through space and time. Exploring rivers through stories of people, they reveal problems, challenges and give possible solutions for living with the river and along with it. Coexisting with water is a gift. Over time, responsibilities and roles have changed; manipulation and transformation of rivers beds and its characters, exploitation of its resources, is leading us into a destruction of our own habitat.

25 September: 2:45pm (CEST, UTC+2)

Cecilia Quiles

Join Cecilia on a journey around Buenos Aires’ unique visual language of protest and resistance, as the capital city’s streets have become a vital channel for public expression.

Throughout Argentina’s troubled history its people have found themselves subjected to a traumatic cycle of democracy, military dictatorship, and economic catastrophe. This cycle of repression has ultimately nurtured the desire for expression within the Argentine public. Through repressing the public’s right to express themselves, military regimes contributed to the public’s understanding and appreciation of the value of freedom of expression. Explosions of demonstration, protest, and action in the public space have always been widespread. The streets being filled with posters, stencils, paintings, and graffiti of all kinds, for as long as anyone in Argentina can remember. In the last 20 years, the newest generations have taken art and activism to another level, creating the current, and very unique, urban art scene.
Cecilia works at graffitimondo, which started working with local artists in 2009. The project was borne out of a passionate desire to connect more people with this fascinating scene and document the cultural and historical context of this unique movement. Now, they’ve spent more than a decade sharing the stories of the walls of Buenos Aires, running art tours, producing a documentary called White Walls Say Nothing (trailer), and running an urban art & project space called Galería UNION, which represents more than 30 artists of the city’s main urban art scene.

25 September: 3:30pm (CEST, UTC+2)

Time set aside for collaborative creation of a custom deck, based on participants’ experiences in exploring their own environment, and the learnings from our presenters.

25 September: 5:30pm (CEST, UTC+2)

Mike’s presentation will discuss the core tenets of digital colonialism, with a focus on how it is manifesting itself in physical spaces. In particular, Mike will unpack how corporations have spread “safe” and “smart” city initiatives to South Africa and elsewhere in the so-called Global South. Safe and smart cities are but one means to drive control and consumption in public space, with ominous ramifications for civil rights, liberties, and social justice movements attempting to build a more equal and sustainable world.

A talk will be formed as a discussion with a kayak expert Gregor Zadravec, whose knowledge and experiences, living at the river, will show a unique view to the rivers life. 

25 September: 6:15pm (CEST, UTC+2)

Closing remarks.

26 September: End of the day (PDT, UTC-7)

Collaborative creation closes.

Supported by

If you happen to be close to one of the physical locations (gasp!) participating in this event, you can join your fellow psychogeographers and participate for free while rubbing elbows (at a suitable distance).

Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Cona creates and promotes contemporary art works in relation to society, technology, environment, space and sound.

Cona is also the host of Sound Walk City · prelude.

Pro Arts Gallery & COMMONS is a collectively held space in Oakland, California, that blurs the line between art, debate, experimentation, and collaboration. Through the sharing of material and immaterial resources, we reflect Oakland’s existing artistic and cultural fabric, while creating future landscape of commons-centric art spaces that ultimately proliferate the economic and cultural power of the community above all.

Dérive app gets you lost in your city and lets you share that experience with others. Build your own task cards and invite others to play with you.

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