Artists 2013

Ane Hjort Guttu (NO) #

Freedom Requires Free People (documentary, 32 min, 2011)

The film follows an 8 year old boy at a primary school in Oslo, Norway. Through interviews and filming school hours it looks at the conflict between his strong desire for freedom and participation and the framework put forward by the school.

Freedom Requires Free People questions the conditions of critical thinking within educational institutions and, in a broader sense, within society. The film was the central piece of the extensive exhibition „Learning for Life” at Henie Onstad art centre, Norway, and has been shown at exhibitions and festivals worldwide.

Anete Vanaga (LV) #

Gourmands (installation, performance, 2013)

„Actually, the story was incredible, but it impressed everyone because substantially it was true. True was Emma Zunz’ tone, true was her shame, true was her hate. True also was the outrage she had suffered: only the circumstances were false, the time, and one or two proper names.” Jorge Luis Borges

The art form used in the installation does not create direct emotional conditions, but offers the viewer the opportunity to experience what’s happening in a way which, is possibly, only understandable to each person individually.

Pointing to the dominating vagueness in the possibilities of interpretation, the instruments of manipulation and power which are used to create one way of perceiving or thinking are highlighted. The absurd and reality of time, space and imagination.

Performance every 10 -15 minutes

September 5 20.00 – 21.00

September 6, 11, 12, 13 17.30 – 20.00

September 7, 8, 14, 15 17.30 – 19.00

Anda Lāce (LV) #

Mehdi is a Lighthouse (installation, 2013)

The enemy’s grand dancing concert. Everybody has gathered – England against Ireland, India against Pakistan, Israel against Iran, North Korea against America, Tutsi against Hutu, Shiites against Sunnis, bent against straight, wives against lovers, dogs against cats. They stood around in circles and wrestled, turning Headspins, Backspins, Handglides and Windmills, backs, heads and arms whirling, legs turning like windmills. They were contests inspired by events which began in the 1970s in the South Bronx, when the feuding street gangs replaced their bloody battles for a moment with break dance battles. The winners won respect, and the losers no longer interfered in their territory.

I met Mehdi by a lighthouse in Casablanca, Morroco in February 2012. He turned against his own nation as he wasn’t needed by it. His light trousers flashed at the base of the lighthouse. Mehdi himself is a lighthouse, circling like a lighthouse’s light, signalling far into the distance. By chance, I met his “reflection” Sandis in Latvia, at Vecpiebalga, in autumn the same year. Together they create my tireless fighter.

(A.L.)

Ernests Kļaviņš (LV) #

Ballet about a Bug (video, objects, 2013)

People infect each other with various views (religious, economic, conspiracy theories, superstitions, ideas about different values et al). The influence of theses ideas can differ widely and change over time (for example, the idea that jewels are valuable is currently agreed by most, but at the moment there’s comparatively few supporters of the theory that lizard people secretly rule the world).

The process video, which developed, influenced by casual factors, plus the objects arranged in the space, encourage contemplation, with an ironic laconicism, about countless coincidences which often form the content of people’s lives.

(E.K.)

Eva Vēvere (LV) #

Boring Revolution (installation, interventions, 2013; Poētiskais robotisms XII)

By changing colour, is it possible to make a revolution? Is an artist a worker? Who gains from a revolution? Are there permanent  consequences? Does an artist’s work influence social processes? Is revolution only a social construct? The artist-worker-revolutionary who you can meet at Survival Kit 5 will answer these questions practically and methodically over the 10 days.

Headquarters/ One Day Residence (installation, 2013; Poētiskais robotisms XII)

In the summer of 2013, 13 residents (Santa Rēmere, Platons Buravickis, Krišjānis Zeļgis, Liena Bondare, Aija Zariņa, Inga Brūvere, Valdis Jansons, Daiga Krūze, Gunta Riekstiņa, Kaspars Lielgalvis, Linda Sīle, Johanna Hästö (SE) and others) arrived one after the other at the secret headquarters at Sigulda Castle and manor complex, where they each spent one day and didn’t meet. The headquarters provide a specially configured environment for an accelerated reflection about the slow revolution.

The intention of the residences is to provide an opportunity to come up with a concrete plan for implementing change, and to recognize the steps which should be taken first, whilst sitting in a comfortable club chair drinking tea from a revolution cup.

Artefacts and evidence from the headquarters, schemes for revolution, images and songs which the residents came up with can be seen at Survival Kit 5.

The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Sigulda County Council.

(L.P., E.V.)

Francisco Camacho (CO/NL) #

Group Marriage Initiative (research project documentation 2009-2013)

“If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil”

Baruch Spinoza, The Ethics

Gabriel Lester (NL) #

Music for Riots and Fights (video, 2012 (Egypt), performance)

In collaboration with the New York Public Library / Lincoln Public Center, the silent movie scores and compositions archive were researched. Intention was to find and record soundtracks that can be considered purely visual compositions. Compositions with such titles as “Music for Fights and Riots” indicate that the soundtrack is in fact written for certain (possible) scenes in a film and not for one single, specific film alone. As such the compositions selected can almost be considered theatrical props; elements or tools to construct a dramatic narrative.

Sixteen soundtrack compositions, written between 1899 and 1929, were recorded and compiled on a cd entitled “Music for Riots and Fights” (played and recorded by Adonis Gonzales and conducted by Gabriel Lester). Initially the recordings were made with no intention to publish or distribute. Never the less, since the selection of silent movie soundtracks – and for that matter, the whole area of musical composition for silent movies – seems to have been lost, discarded or forgotten, the CD has become a rare attempt to document some of the very rich and creative musical (and visual) compositions of the twentieth century.

Gundega Evelone (LV) #

Commie Pigs (comics, objects, 2013)

Somewhere in the deep, dark woods, there are two angry pigs living in a house made from the leftovers of a granite Lenin. The Great Global Revolution they are planning there is the biggest happening of the century! Mighty Communism must be reborn to bless the people with prosperity again!

Then the right time comes... Capitalism is sufficiently rotten and the pigs hit the dangerous road to the far East...

“Commie Pigs” is an eventful story, inspired by the popular slogans of totalitarian regimes about the ideals of communism, with a hint of the style of a modern action movie. The fearless pigs, obsessed by their idea, fail to notice that there is nobody left with a red neckcloth, and there’s only a fading grin left on people’s faces about the “workers’ victory”. Through the use of their guerilla fighting techniques and even some revolutionary occultism, the pigs are ready to give happiness to everyone, even if their audience doesn’t want to accept it.

Anybody can support the efforts of the Commie Pigs, by receiving a comic strip and mentally becoming one of the many comrades in the Great Revolution! (G.E.)

Harun Farocki (DE) #

Workers Leaving the Factory (film, 36 min, 1995)

Workers Leaving the Factory – such was the title of the first cinema film ever shown in public. For 45 seconds, this still existing sequence depicts workers at the photographic products factory in Lyon owned by the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière hurrying, closely packed, out of the shadows of the factory gates and into the afternoon sun. But where are they going? This question have preoccupied generations of documentary filmmakers. For the space before the factory gates has always been the scene of social conflicts. This 45s sequence has become an icon of the narrative medium in the history of the cinema.

Harun Farocki explores this scene through the history of film. The result is a fascinating cinematographic analysis in the medium of cinematography itself, ranging in scope from Chaplin’s Modern Times to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accattone!. Farocki’s film shows that the Lumière brothers’ sequence already carries within itself the germ of a foreseeable social development: the eventual disappearance of this form of industrial labour.

Ieva Kaula (LV) #

Road to Nowhere (video installation, 2013)

Two videos with alternating images of Latgalian landscape from the workshop of potter Evalds Vasilevskis and fragments from such films as ”Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumer” (2003) and „The Bothersome Man” (2006).

The video installation draws the viewer’s attention to the slow, tranquil or, on the contrary, – fast and modern pace of life, leaving the viewer to make his/her own decision as to how to live.

(I.K.)

Ilya Budraitskis („Learning Film Group”) (RU) #

The Grenelle Agreements (video, 22.25 min, 2009)

In 2009 art-critic, writer and anthropologist David Riff joined the team of ”Learning Film Group” – at that time constituted by Evgeny Fiks, Nikolai Oleinikov and Ilya Budraitskis to make a new video on another episode of 1968 – the so called Grenelle Agreements. After student demonstrations and massive strike actions had rocked France and the rest of Europe during May 1968, the leadership of the French Communist Party and its affiliated trade unions in the General Confederation of Labour sought out a compromise with the government. The ”Learning Film Group” have been researching this history along with a group of restaurant workers from the Shopping Center in Moscow.

Ingrīda Pičukāne (LV) #

Graphic Code Field Research in Latvia's Urban Environment, Using a Historical Perspective, Compositional Analysis and Gender Studies. Facts and Possible Solutions for Improving the Situation (research, 2013)

Mankind in all eras has tried to promote fertility and receive God’s mercy with the assistance of graphic and spatial signs (totems). In the matriarchal period, it was a woman with large breasts and wide hips suited to the making of children, and during the patriarchal period – phallic symbols, which portrayed an erect penis and helped in both promoting fertility among people, as well as increasing the harvest and increasing herds. A similar process is happening nowadays: grafitti or grafitti images are being created in the urban environment – signs which provide evidence of the dominating symbols of power in people’s minds. Preliminary research provides evidence that in Latvia there is a very powerfully explicit balance in the portrayals of phallic images over the female fertility symbol (the breasts or the vagina), which are hard to find and provide evidence of the dominating patriarchal state of mind in today’s Latvia.

The research was done in three parts – the field research was done first, then the collation of the results and their publication. There will be a lecture held (September 7) as part of Survival Kit 5, in which the existing situation will be analyzed and solutions provided for its improvement .

(I.P.)

Ivar Veermae (EE) #

Warm Up (video, 2.24 min, 2010)

I shot this video on the 1st of May in Berlin and it shows antifascist-minded youth who are planning to interfere in a neonazi demonstration without knowing where it is held.What I am trying to show here is that antifascist movement is mostly comprised of young people who just want to do something without having clear political agenda behind it. Alternatively, it can be seen as a temporary breakout from the individualized and normalized everyday life created by modern capitalism.

(I.V.)

Sarkanās Brālības Rīgas nodaļas biedrs Nr. 2111 (LV) #

Red Brotherhood (monumental painting, 2013)

We aren’t a group of artists and the making of artistic items isn’t included in our programme of activities. An item of art in its essence is something that doesn’t have any function. It’s a kind of intellectual game without wider consequences, but we don’t wish to waste our energy indulging in pointless play.

Using a creative opportunity to reach a greater mass of people, we wish to spread a message. Those with their eyes open will understand.

(S.B.)

Johanna Billing (SE) #

Project for a Revolution (video, 3.14 min loop, 2000)

A photocopier produces a pile of white pages while a group of students silently gather in a classroom, looking at each other, waiting for any move and avoiding eye contact.

Billing’s piece is made in reference to the introductory sequence of Antonioni’s film “Zabriskie Point” (1969) that shows revolutionary debate among students and a ‘call to arms’ in a university. Inspired by the Latin root of the word “revolution” – “revolutio”, meaning “to turn around” or “roll back”, Billing employs the format of the loop, placing the film in a historical timeline, but at the same time keeping it in a constant and ongoing present, highlighting the feeling of being stuck in a cycle, or of not being able to break out of a preconceived or nostalgic image of how revolutionary engagement should appear.

The room is full of tension and unrest and an underlying energetic – but still introverted – activity. In this way, the film could be seen as a catalyst, implying that actual discussion perhaps does no longer use already tested formats but is in the process of finding a different set up or system.

Kanslibyrån (John Huntington & Per-Arne Sträng) (SE) #

The Archive of Actions (photo documentations of performances in the public space 2008-2013)

Project initiated in November 2007, containing 310 actions performed in everyday life. In the work with the archive, Kanslibyrån produces interventions that question normal behaviour. The bureau perceives the concept of normality as a prison: holding everyone in captivity, functioning as an effective control mechanism that evaluates our abilities as productive citizens, determining if we are able to live as expected in society.

By stepping out of the boundaries of normality, denouncing rationality and obedience, Kanslibyrån is making the claim that all actions matter and all situations have a subversive and critical potential. By being irrational, illogical or act on a whim or impulse, uncertainty is created, and this uncertainty makes way for new thoughts and ideas.

With a subtle and humble approach, each action has been planned, executed and documented with the aim at building up a vast collection.

Kate Krolle (LV) #

Gourmands (installation, performance, 2013)

„Actually, the story was incredible, but it impressed everyone because substantially it was true. True was Emma Zunz’ tone, true was her shame, true was her hate. True also was the outrage she had suffered: only the circumstances were false, the time, and one or two proper names.” Jorge Luis Borges

The art form used in the installation does not create direct emotional conditions, but offers the viewer the opportunity to experience what’s happening in a way which, is possibly, only understandable to each person individually.

Pointing to the dominating vagueness in the possibilities of interpretation, the instruments of manipulation and power which are used to create one way of perceiving or thinking are highlighted. The absurd and reality of time, space and imagination.

Performance every 10 -15 minutes

September 5 20.00 – 21.00

September 6, 11, 12, 13 17.30 – 20.00

September 7, 8, 14, 15 17.30 – 19.00

Kārlis Vītols (LV) #

Cult (objects, 2013)

A comnentary on Latvia’s local situation, in which two radically different world views are forced to exist side by side with each other.

One – a pro-Moscow oriented group of people who would rather see Latvia as Russian territory and who still continue to maintain the mythologized view about the USSR.

The second – which despairingly “defends” its fatherland from the Occupiers. With the help of the media, both groups are subject to massive ideological manipulation.

It’s easier to blame some abstract external power for your worries, than to search for the root of the problem in oneself. The impression does arise that the ruling cliques on both sides are well aware of the old saying: “Divide and conquer!”

(K.V.)

Klāvs Upaciers (LV) #

Isolation of Experience (installation, 2013)

Mankind’s greatest joy and curse is, simultaneously, the ability to be conscious of oneself as an individual creature.

I’m happy that I’m not like those idiots over there. And at the same time I grieve because those idiots don’t understand me.

(K.U.)

Krišs Salmanis (LV) #

100 still lives (animation, 2013)

When boredom sets in and it seems that one and the same thing is constantly repeating itself, one should try to purposefully live today exactly like yesterday.

One hundred still lifes, each set up, photographed and dismantled 100 times in a row, then attempting to set up the items exactly in the same place again, at the same angle. Stringing the shots into a video, an almost unmoving animation, or an almost moving show of slides, is formed.

(K.S.)

Laura Ķeniņš (LV) #

Gentle Revolutions (Survival Kit 5 brochure)

An artist and writer living in Riga. Studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada, and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Works with comics, drawing and installation. Her work looks at mythology, culture and history. Has exhibited work and published comics in Latvia (kuš! Magazine) and Canada. Her art criticism is published in print and online journals in Europe and Canada.

Laura Prikule (LV) #

Boring Revolution (installation, interventions, 2013; Poētiskais robotisms XII)

By changing colour, is it possible to make a revolution? Is an artist a worker? Who gains from a revolution? Are there permanent  consequences? Does an artist’s work influence social processes? Is revolution only a social construct? The artist-worker-revolutionary who you can meet at Survival Kit 5 will answer these questions practically and methodically over the 10 days.

Headquarters/ One Day Residence (installation, 2013; Poētiskais robotisms XII)

In the summer of 2013, 13 residents (Santa Rēmere, Platons Buravickis, Krišjānis Zeļgis, Liena Bondare, Aija Zariņa, Inga Brūvere, Valdis Jansons, Daiga Krūze, Gunta Riekstiņa, Kaspars Lielgalvis, Linda Sīle, Johanna Hästö (SE) and others) arrived one after the other at the secret headquarters at Sigulda Castle and manor complex, where they each spent one day and didn’t meet. The headquarters provide a specially configured environment for an accelerated reflection about the slow revolution.

The intention of the residences is to provide an opportunity to come up with a concrete plan for implementing change, and to recognize the steps which should be taken first, whilst sitting in a comfortable club chair drinking tea from a revolution cup.

Artefacts and evidence from the headquarters, schemes for revolution, images and songs which the residents came up with can be seen at Survival Kit 5.

The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Sigulda County Council.

(L.P., E.V.)

Leonards Laganovskis (LV) #

Tribune (objects, 2013)

A universal collapsible rostrum. Two for each resident of Latvia. You can always give some subservient and required views, decorated according to your taste and wishes. It’s better to see a speaker once than to hear him.

Don’t judge the speaker by his speech, but by his rostrum. You should’nt just carry your love of your fatherland in your heart, but to express it from the rostrum. Buy it once, speak seven times. Chide yourself, not the rostrum. Whoever doesn’t love the rostrum, doesn’t love people. Each speech is a creation of a new you. If you reap from the rostrum with your tongue, then your back won’t tire.

Behind a rostrum, people’s deeds look a lot more respectable. Only the dead don’t talk. You shouldn’t just talk, but stand on the tribune. I have never relaxed so well as when I’ve been talking. God gave us the rostrum, Satan, the speakers. He who talks sows, he who listens, gathers the harvest. (E.K.). To travel to Latvia with a rostrum is the same as to travel to Paris with your wife. Life would be a lot shorter, if there weren’t speakers. The more one talks, the more chance there is of doubt. The rostrum tolerates lies. Do you like Stalin? ...fuck his tribune.

(L.L.)

Liene Mackus (LV) #

Everything will be just right, just right, just right... (installation, 2013)

The essence of every revolution is the change-over of the old order by a new one – in order for something new to be created, the old must be destroyed. “Everything will be just right, just right, just right...” aims in the direction of the kind of revolution that operates in a similar way to an incantation, and is just as substantial as cosmogonic myths, like a binary opposition, like the creation of the world from primaeval chaos.

The exposition introduces a specific method of how to arrange things and how to impart form to chaos. In the work, influences can be noticed from such recognizable bodily and spiritually cleansing procedures as visiting a pirts [Latvian sauna], as well as from the carrying out of much more marginal rituals like, for example, travelling in the spirit world, exorcisms, or activating sacral time.

(M.M., L. M.)

Mārtiņš Zutis (LV) #

Initiative (drawings, 2013)

Decision-making is becoming more bearable, dividing responsibility for the consequences with like-minded people. Perhaps that’s why referendums exist... The internet is a rich source for like-minded people, where you can find many other people who are prepared to support ideas, about which there’s possibly less responsibility. The confirmation of a majority tends to serve as a mechanism for implementing an idea, for example, lists of supporters and “twitter walls”. Exactly like a class, which agrees to play truant for a lesson together, hoping not to receive a joint punishment, a global movement which describes itself as a majority is possible.

(M.Z.)

Maija Mackus (LV) #

Everything will be just right, just right, just right... (installation, 2013)

The essence of every revolution is the change-over of the old order by a new one – in order for something new to be created, the old must be destroyed. “Everything will be just right, just right, just right...” aims in the direction of the kind of revolution that operates in a similar way to an incantation, and is just as substantial as cosmogonic myths, like a binary opposition, like the creation of the world from primaeval chaos.

The exposition introduces a specific method of how to arrange things and how to impart form to chaos. In the work, influences can be noticed from such recognizable bodily and spiritually cleansing procedures as visiting a pirts [Latvian sauna], as well as from the carrying out of much more marginal rituals like, for example, travelling in the spirit world, exorcisms, or activating sacral time.

(M.M., L. M.)

Minna L. Henriksson (FI) #

Lenin of Riga (installation, 2013)

Specifically made for the Survival Kit 5 exhibition, and is a result of a brief research into issues surrounding the statue of V.I. Lenin that was located on the Brivibas Bulvaris in the center of Riga from 1950 to 1991.

The iconic images of the toppling of the monument on the 25th of August 1991 were spread all around the world as symbolic moment of victory of democracy and freedom. The democracy and freedom that was gained could now perhaps be questioned in the context of the economic crisis, and Latvian participation in NATO and in EU.

Less examined is what happened to the notorious symbol itself. My work is a search for the Lenin-statue that many believe has been cut into pieces for bronze-mongers, some others think it has got lost in the whirl of privatization (M.H.)

Nicoline van Harskamp (NL) #

Yours in Solidarity (video installation, 2013)

The story of a global network of anarchists in the 1990’s that investigates the contemporary history of their movement and creates a complex and resounding portrait of anarchism’s supporters through analyses of the correspondence archive of the late Dutch anarchist Karl Max Kreuger, now housed in the International Institute for Social History (IISG) in Amsterdam.

1988 to 1999 Kreuger corresponded by post with hundreds of like-minded people worldwide. He inquired about how their experience of life – in a certain culture, economy or age – contributed to an understanding and practice of freedom which would ultimately lead to ideas of anarchism. He then reported many of these findings in anarchist publications.

As one of the letter writers herself, van Harskamp studied the thousands of unsorted letters in the archive for more than one year. She copied letter extracts by hand, identified over 400 individual writers and mapped the networks between them.

The resulting video installation suggests what might happen if the international correspondents were to meet today.

Nina Kurtela (DE/HR) #

Leftovers of Endurance (installation, 2011)

Work that activates and documents a five-month durational performance. Over this period of time, Nina Kurtela establishes a daily practice of visiting and witnessing the changes at the building site of the Uferstudios, Wedding, Berlin – the warehouse for the repair of public trams and buses becomes a dance institution.

She is a spectator to the making of an institution, an art institution, the making of the theatre stage. The camera acts as a witness to her performing/witnessing. The piece emerges as a case study of an individual subject’s encounter with the radical transformations of social structures and operative models within the performing society.

The artist is present at the birth of Berlin’s new contemporary dance centre, an institution that will certainly come to play a part in shaping and organizing the dynamic of the city’s dance community. The work emerges in the force field of a commitment to the daily execution of present-ness in relation to the specific context where this act takes place: the building site of the theatre. What unfolds is a 8-minute work with multi-faceted implications. The body is rendered a statue through the changes of time. The screen becomes the performing skin.

Oliver Ressler (AT) #

Take The Square (video-installation, 88 min, 2012)

The installation is based on discussions conducted with activists from 15M in Madrid, the Syntagma Square movement in Athens and Occupy Wall Street in New York. Re-enacting the format of the working groups of the protest movements, four to six activists discuss with each other as a group in front of a camera. The discussions cover issues of organization, horizontal decision-making processes, the importance and function of occupying public spaces and how social change can occur. The films were shot in the spring of 2012 in those places used by the movements of the squares for meetings and working groups.

Installation brings together activists from three cities central to the movement, tries to contribute to spreading the organizational knowledge of the movements and translate the processes between these places in transition.

Creative group “Orbīta” (LV) #

Marx FM (radio station, 2013)

The slow propaganda machine – radio, where poetry is like a motor.

Transmitting poems over the air takes great courage. Creating poetry on the radio means doing what poetry can’t afford to do, due to licencing, copyright, and its unprofitable nature, difficult to perceive form or individual expression.

Th era of capitalism makes us accelerate and live fast, overcoming time and competitors, and achieving success, to get up the ladder as quickly as possible. Consequently, everything which needs more time and depth, for example, the genre of poetry, gets excluded from the process of movement.

Influenced by the recent crisis, a re-evaluation has taken place in the community, which can be applied not just to personal, but also to social values, often moving social welfare, the growth and development of society, and people’s personal qualities rather than just material well-being to the forefront. The goal of the project is to bring about an opportunity to slow down time and have a discussion on the influence of the subculture on the life of ideas in the community, as well as to examine the boundaries of freedom that the authorities, business and the individual have, and to examine at which moment they come into conflict.

(“Orbīta”)

Ramona Buša-Virtmane & Vladislavs Saveļjevs (LV) #

Absurd Episode from Reevolution (game, 2013)

Dear comrades! We have to be careful! We have been bugged! The revolution will start any moment now, and we have to hurry so it doesn’t start without us.....

“Absurd Episode from Reevolution” is a role game especially created for the fifth Survival Kit with the aim of enabling any visitor to the festival to feel the exotic flavour of the revolution on their own skin, by becoming a significant revolution creating element.

Viewing sessions of “Absurd Episode from

Reevolution” will be advertised.

Ten comrades will be taking part in one episode of the game.

(R.B-V., V.S.)

Sasha Kurmaz (UA) #

Resistance Colour (installation, 2012)

”Each political group consciousness has its own colour.”

— K. Malevich

Throughout the world, political parties associate themselves with certain colours: blue, white, red, yellow, orange, purple, green, black… All of them are not random.

In this work, pictures from the protests and campaigns of political demonstrations have been cleaned – slogans, logos and any other political symbols are removed.

Resistance Colour explores the psychological visual markers of political advertising and tracks how the colour environment influences the formation of the emotional state of the audience in the process of mass political communication.

Sebastian Mugge (SE) #

Das Leben der Anderen (installation, 2011-2012)

The piece consists of 100 sheets of copy paper. Each paper comprises closely spaced handwritten text fragments in English, German, French and Swedish and is carried out with ordinary office ball pens.

The work was an attempt to assume the role of a rational Stasi officer, referring to the movie The Lives of Others (orginal title – Das Leben der Anderen). Mügge systematically collected traces that various people leave in the WWW, mainly on Facebook- the community which plays a key role in modern revolutions.

This document of time functions as a mirror of different societies, deals with delicate topics like surveillance and the lack of freedom, enlightens the absurd contrast between the digital revolution and manual traditions, investigates the power of the written word and explores the subversive and revolutionary potential that internet offers to both powerful and powerless people worldwide. The spectator gets the chance to be a kind of voyeur, following both complex and contradictory thoughts through the eyes of an amount of carefully selected individuals. The four chosen languages reflect artists own family background, but also represent the contemporary globalized melting pot where cultural borders are more undefined than ever before.

The Yes Men (US) #

Dow Does the Right Thing (video-installation, 2004)

One day Andy, purporting to be a Dow Chemical spokesperson, gets on the biggest TV news program in the world (BBC) and announces that Dow will finally take responsibility for the largest industrial accident in history, the Bhopal catastrophe, in which hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to toxic chemicals. The result: as people worldwide celebrate, Dow’s stock value loses two billion dollars. People want Dow to do the right thing, but the market decides that it can’t.

The reality hits Andy and Mike like a ton of bricks: we have created a market system that makes doing the right thing impossible, and the people who appear to be leading are actually following its pathological dictates. If we keep putting the market in the driver’s seat, it could happily drive the whole planet off a cliff.

“It takes a rare bird to even think up the stunts these guys manage, and an amazing, determined courage to pull them off. These are two of the most creative activists ever!” — Humor Times

Vilnis Putrāms & Genādijs Filipenko (LV) #

How To Become An Millionaire Anarchist In An Hour And A Half (the length of the drive from Rīga to Tukums) + Don’t Miss The Train (installations at Survival Kit 5, as well as in the “Rīga-Tukums” train, 2013)

In late autumn 1905, the first large-scale revolutionary battles in Latvia took place in Tukums. Such a large battle between revolutionaries and regiments of the Tsar’s army had never taken place anywhere in the Russian Empire up until then, of which Latvia was then a part. Some of the fighters arrived in Tukums on the train from Rīga and after their defeat, also abandoned the city by train. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this event. The beginning – a revolution in a small town, but later these Latvian anarchists were already organizing a revolution on a world-wide scale (the bank robberies in Helsinki, the street battles in London (the Sidney Street Siege), activities in Paris etc.). What motivated these relatively well situated and educated young people at that time not to get off the train at the decadent Rīga Jūrmala to go for an idle stroll along the promenade or beach, but rather to head for Tukums to take part in armed street battles? Were they socio-economic conditions? Perhaps the story is about the excesses of youth and exciting searches for justice and equality? Survival Kit 5 provides an opportunity for a casual, unprepared citizen to get on the revolutionary train, to find out about the legendary event’s courageous participants and to become an anarchist too and to choose – from which station the next revolution should be organized.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/TrainForAnarchists/205423826288903

(V.P.)

Vladimirs Jakušonoks (LV) #

P’s History or Plasticine War (objects, 2013)

P is a hero whose story was “dug up” from stacks of paper, private letters, photographs and other items which were found in cardboard boxes and in countless 1950’s suitcases which were stuffed to the maximum… He created and battled in – his world of documents. He believed in the state and didn’t doubt its integrity.

He was charged with large scale theft of socialist property. The punishment for this was execution by shooting or at best, a prison camp. He challenged this. Mountains of paper and evidence, promises to cooperate and denunciations ensured that he saved himself – a two and a half year suspended sentence.

He researched the battles of the Red Army and the partisans in the Civil war, rewrote the evidence, collected proof, informed about untrue articles in magazines and books, and asked for the correction of documents. He rewrote history, rehabilitated heroes, and received their posthumous medals. He’d never actually gone to war.

He went on the pension and created himself an army. A plasticine army. Two full television boxes with war equipment and soldiers. He was his army’s military leader. He won…

T was an artist who received P’s legacy. T understood that P’s story was worthy of art, but a certain crisis had befallen T’s private and creative life. The boxes stood out in the courtyard. It was a hot summer. The plasticine army was melting. It was flattening out under its own weight, got stuck together and ended up in a formless, colourless mass.