TALKININKAI / CONTRIBUTORS
|*U** THE BIENN(i)AL(le). **C* THE [WHITE] OCCUPATION. F*** THE ART STRIKE|
|Written by ABRACADABRA-C|
[ACTIVE PSYCHIC WORKER‘S ABC]
The text below is intended to serve as the mean for self-education and amusement. Better do not make copies, simply hide yourself at home, do art or go to work, and stay in fear!
1. What do we want?
Art world is in a process of neo-liberalization (i.e. privatization, commercialization, taxation) what makes the basic institution of art even less acceptable than it was when established in 18th century as a mean to gain privileged status for bourgeoisie and to start the total capitalist alienation and the specialization (including non specialized specialists) of the society.
We simply want to turn away from ongoing bourgeoisification of the psychic workers and data miners – many of them still call themselves being artists or in rare cases – art workers. We ask to quit with art production in support capitalist machine and to start production of meaning without giving a right for capitalists to distribute it. We demand immediate quite the exploitation of working people at the same time damaging their minds filling it with propagandized-diverted meaning just produced by themselves.
Nowadays we have reached the critical point of neo-liberalist biennalization of the art world what is nothing else but global corruption of the art system and industrialized privatization of the meaning fitting it to the customized standards and clichés. The customized forms of the culture are true forms of the colonization of mind, alienation of human beings and nature, humans and humans, humans and dead humans… etc. what lead towards further exploitation of all working people of the world.
Debiennalization – that is a newest approach – the kick into ass of seeming-to-be capitalist stability. Our task is to result the bloody convulsions of capitalist rites rooted in contemporary forms of biennialization.
2. Why we never get to it?
Everything is set up in a way nothing to happen. We have an opportunity to vote, but the authorities are always wrong. We have an opportunity to attend the meetings and to held public manifestations, but authorities do not pay attention to it. The contemporary art world pretends to be „critical“ and shows-up established forms of „right“ social and political critique in the frame of institution what in result turns into general spectacle. Conclusion is a simple one – we must change the tactics and methods.
The second reason why our critique is innefective is that all the artists are totally alienated – they have no any trace of the proletarian self-organization and even deny any possibility of it, but always trust and obey to cynic art world bourgeoisie bastards: curators, gallerists, dealers etc. Even the so called iniciatives of artist-run activities finally obtain forms of divergence into the corporational forms of art establishment and not only because of funding by various foundations, but also because of higly incorporated forms of competition, lies, self-promotion, arrogance and climbing over each other‘s heads.
The third reason is that radical artists and activists are very easily recuperated (or even specially made up to simulate spectacular „resistance“) by the system – as it recently happen with group “Voina“ from Russia or the whole “critical“ Berlin Biennial 7 curated by pro-neo-fascist behaving Artur Žmijevsky. The latest fact showed how even quite radical and very actual positions towards the social changes are falsified with the help of state, media and economical power, and also by mafia like repressions on particular artists. But the fact is that their strategies are also as outdated as their modes of carrier building.
Of course, there is always an option to turn away from the art world and to start some other activities, but the art machine takes continuously its power on naiveté of awkward squad baked by the art academies. What to be done? Sure, we can leave it to rot on it‘s own. But it‘s so surprising how long a putridity still retains its original external form before falling into dust when slightly touched.
So, why we still continue doing this “critical” production what simply turns into ineffective spectacle, and which feeds art bourgeoisie?
Why we still use eurocentric and very racist in its essence discourse to describe our dreams and expectations? It just simply alienates us not only from our Black Power comrades, but also colonizes our own dreams.
We distrust all the promises by art bourgeoisie and further deny any negotiations with them – that is hopeless waste of time!
We demand immediate occupation of art spaces, dismantle its meaningless and fill up it with our own (non)meaning – that is what an occupation is about.
Decolonization of psychic mind – that is debienalization of eurocentrist expansion – and further demolition of the „serious culture of Whites“. That is a main reason not taken into account and therefore led towards the failure of majore culture revolutions which remained racist in it‘s essence.
The art strike in 1970 New York Art Strike Against Racism, War and Repression was organised by exclusively white male artists. It was counteracted at the time by Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL), who succeeded in opening the protest action to women and people of colour.
3. Why to occupy biennials?
The occupation is an extension of the idea of strike into the sphere of non proletarian activities i.e. universities, public spaces of the s. c. 1st world countries and usually consisting of White bourgeoisie. Latest activities in the Occupy movement(s) revealed inherent racism of the approach. Officially an occupation is held to attend more attention to the inner problems of occupied institutions and practical forms of self-organization during the process which are claimed to be a real autonomy.
In the art world the situation is slightly different. The art world is represented by the stolen work of art slaves – i.e. artists (or non specialized specialists) which is located in the specialized spaces (galleries, museums, art halls, museums etc) with the task to ridicule their ideas and meaning created. In that way the organized spaces are turned into a capitalist entertainment. The physical occupation of the space with the artworks (biennial) means straight appropriation of the meaning created by those who are the real proletarians in that field. The occupation of the biennial means a cessation of meaning of the art as institution. It is an abolishment not only of the art system but also of the role of artist as specialized non specialist because erasure of the institutionalized meaning becomes more valuable and meaningful then privileged participation and “skills”. We prefer Black Power braveness against White Power adaptability.
We are told that the better case is to show all our envy when creating a new “critical” art works for the new biennials. Are you sure you want to precede this hopeless direction? That leads nowhere and all you know it well! It’s time to start changing the system which sucks. The passivity of the obeying of the colonized psychic workers must be overcome only by concrete action. But there is not necessary to physically destroy the furniture and break the windows – leave better the role of the vandals to the policemen and housekeepers who will eventually try to dismantle the barricades. The occupation must be arranged in solidarity and to be peaceful. That is what the pamphlet is about – we aim at successful occupation of the biennial exhibition buildings.
We do not aim in interruption of the process of the location of the meaning – in opposite – we aim in direct process of meaning production, distribution and realization by psychic workers right in a place were it was intended to be manipulated as a commodity. We demand art to be revolved back to its origin – the meaning.
We do not demand to close the exhibition spaces – inviting to occupy the spaces we aim in gathering of the open community what quits with the rotten past and steps beyond. We aim in open discussion and self-organization. There is no necessity to be or not to be a participant of particular show, even there is no need to be nominally an artist – there is enough to be confident that corporation forms of art and it’s distribution are true means of alienation. Might be we decide to be noisy and to march through the territory so inviting the workers to join, or might be we will turn on building barricades all around – the means of expression are not so important – it must be effective. We aim not in symbolic protest or occupation – the new spectacle – not at all! We aim in doing! We hope to involve as many people as we would be able. Art and “white” culture customers are those whose mind is colonized – we demand decolonization!
LETS TURN ART SPACES TO THE PSYCHIC SPACES!
4. The theory of the occupation
Preplanning is needed in whatever case of organization done either by tiny clandestine adventurer‘s group or by ungovernable crowd. Get familiarized with the building. How many doors must be closed? What could be used for the barricades indoors and what outdoors if needed? How to escape, if needed? Is here a need for food recourses and/or other implements?
Enlisting the crowd
The crowd of gapers appears immediately when the confrontation with police starts. We need the crowd as close to the building as possible before the arrival of the police. If police will build up the barriers the crowd will appear in-between you and police, but not in the reverse of police. Attract the public by arranging the meeting. During the meeting invite the people to join the occupation. Very important note: keep in mind that everything you are going to arrange in the context of biennial would look like part of the art process – so audience could be very easily attracted to participate as it is essential in a kind of events. We also highly recommend arranging occupations during the official openings of the monster-shows.
Controlling the doors
While exploring the building in advance decide which door to be used for entrance/exit during the occupation. Choose one door or window. Do not barricade the exit chosen but lock it differently – so would be openable in the case of emergency. If there are build some barricades outdoors – check out it does not block the exit.
Leaving the quarters open
Occupants usually argue whom to let go in. But the best solution – to let go in as many people as fits. If you take control of the entrance the risk to get to the resolution of the initiate group or passing-in of casual people is not a big one. Let people to get into the building as fast as possible until cops do not dissipated the crowd. People would feel better inside, because between them and police there will be walls of the building.
Change the quarter‘s destination
Do not follow the real destination of the quarters. Use the spaces so you can transform them. Occupy other quarters and expand the movement in the territory. Do not forget to have a lark – arrange a sexy dancing party!
Choose the building in the center, preferably with some balconies, better – several stories building. The ideal building for occupation is that one with few entrances and heavy furniture or [art] things inside. Not necessarily it must be occupied in one might – there is enough one storey, or even one bigger quarter for the beginning. Do not be afraid to occupy the headquarters of your “curators” and biennial’s co-ordination staff. But keep in mind that bigger spaces are easier to retain then smaller administrational quarters. Any way the main task is to cease activity of the biennial management turning away from art bureaucracy the control over spectacle and slightly fading it down. So, it would definitely being more effective to occupy the exhibition spaces then administrational HQ’s.
When reconnoitering you be cautious and coherent. How many doors must be guarded (also check out for secret exits and fire-doors)? How doors look like and which way it opens? Look for structural bearings (columns, pipes etc.) close to the doors and useful for blocking the entrances. What is useful for barricade’s arrangement? Look for toilets’ locations. The drinking water supply. Possibilities to accept the food without opening the doors. Decide which the entrance to use for letting people to come in and to go out during the occupation. How to defend it? Do some photos or make notes about all the details. Make photos of the ways of retreat. Keep in mind – details are the subject to be forgotten even faster then it seems!
Prior to action obtain mobile phone cards without treaty. The connection is important for internal use, also to contact supporters outside the building, and to continuously inform the media. Put in the list of each others phone numbers.
Obtain any necessary locks for door locking. Take few more. Sometimes happens that people decide to go further for more occupation.
6. Door block
Doors open either inside or outside. Doors to open inside could be barricaded only from inside. Outside-to-open doors could be blocked depending on door handles.
Doors with push handles
Swirl the rope around the handle and other side to be fixed to structural bearing or other handle.
Doors with round handles
Creative usage of cramps is applicable to fix the rope – other side to be fixed to structural bearing or heavy table.
Doors without handles
Almost impossible to block without destroying of the door itself – avoid that type of doors unless it opening inside.
The “bold new” method (all cool kids are doing it this year)
In the auto accessories store obtain truck tie-down belts. Pass the belt through the latch, then girth the table (or whatsoever other massive furniture or an artwork – bigger then the door frame) round with the belt, and tie-down hard. When policemen will try to open the door – table does not fit through the door frame and door will remain blocked unless somebody would break the door window. Use few belts for one door. Nylon is used to give – time after time the belts must be re-tie-downed. If the door would happen to be open at least few centimeters – policemen could cut the belts. This method is very useful for quick opening and quick lock of the doors. Be inventive – use unique characteristics of various types of the handles!
7. Building the barricades
If applicable – build-up the barricades as outside as indoors.
Use heaviest things attainable. Allocate it all gradually in between all doors. Ensure that all the barricades are functioning. Avoid complicated and labor-consuming barricades. If police is pushing the barricade from outside – then push back it from inside. So far contemporary art is unimaginable without dozens of projectors – point them towards the blocked entrances so to dazzle forcing police. Never destroy artworks arranged as installations, but involve it to look like part of the barricade. When police will start jostle things aside make photos – later would be easier to prove who destroyed the expensive artworks of celebrities. The TV sets, monitors and computers are also useful for the barricades – especially it must be well apparent from the outside. Do not build up light-weight furniture (unless can not find any), because it would be too easy for policemen to hustle it away. Do not use safes and do not chain yourselves to some heavyweight things or pipes. Creative use of dustbins filled with liquids and placed on a top of barricade is welcome.
It appears suddenly, builds-up barricade and disappears. To block the entrances use dustbins filled with stones, trash containers, trees, parts of the fences, lattice-works, outdoor furniture and fancy cars. Outside team must know the emergency exits and do not block it.
There is always a wish to count on the human barricades – especially when organizers of the occupations and other protest forms lack with imagination, are not organized enough, have no clear plan prepared and in general this is very essential feature of all bourgeoisie lead protest forms – to manipulate people. People are usually gathered to support some “general idea” and to show their “unity”. They are used to take each others hands so trying to protect the building. After some negotiations police usually leaves the place, because administration tries to avoid confrontation. When police leaves people are used to disband. In a best case very few could stay for a night. Always better to let people to go into the building and to use the barricades inside instead of pushing people for the meaningless immolation. Remember – symbolic sacrifice is an essential feature of any bourgeois based action! The best solution in that situation would be to gather people around the building during the first confrontation with the police and then to invite them in.
8. Outside support: juridical team
Look for the lawyer
Some lawyers will provide with juridical information for free. Majority of the lawyers would meet with occupants in advance to the occupation. Always good to have a lawyer experienced in the protests’ participants defending.
The team for juridical maintenance
Somebody must stay outside and to record violations done by police. Somebody must hang around to record reactions of people – they might be need for the juridical support later. All the occupants must to write down on their arms the phone number(s) of the lawyer(s) and must have personal ID, but nothing else, because other things will be taken away during the arrest.
Know your rights
Tell to police just your name and surname. Afterwards announce that you’ll talk only in the presence of your lawyer.
Resistance during detention
When stopped by police you first ask if you are arrested. If not – you can freely go away. In the case you’re arrested do not resist – that would significantly complicate your defense. Do not agree to be searched. Do not answer questions. Escape if will get possibility. If you’ve got a mask – write a slogan on it – it will cease being a mask and will become a banner.
Remember – you don’t know who is an organizer of the protest and who is participating in it. You remember just facts that policemen were using swearwords, breaking furniture, and beating occasional passersby and so expressed their inherent sadistic instincts.
9. Outside support: medical team
Medics must be located outside and inside as well. They must be informed about particular requirements (medicine, allergies) of those participating in the action and must be prepared to provide first-aid. Inside located people must wear comfortable long-hand vesture; sport foot-wear would be preferred. Leave at home contact lenses, oil based cosmetics and easily graspable accessories (airings, jewelry). If arrest is expected better do not use tampons. When getting some pepper-gas eyes must be cleaned by the mixture of milk, magnesia and water. When attacked with teargas – clean with moistened handkerchief and swimming glasses.
10. Outside support: mass media team
Press release must be prepared in advance of occupation. Besides giving freedom to your feelings logically explain what is you are planning to be done, what are the aims, because people would like to know what is going on. But there is no need for the official announcement. Do not block people’s free self-expression in their own way.
Look after somebody to distribute the leaflets. One or few people outside appoint to be responsible to talk to media. Important to note that they are not representatives but delegated. Alternative media will publish your announcements. Establish a new website for the occupation and special e-mail address. Do not use your personal e-mails. No one of the occupants must be distinguished because could be later treated as leader. No one of the occupants must let be filmed for TV or interviewed. Do not provide more information then necessary.
11. What to thought about
Collect the telephone numbers
That is necessary in the case of police attack to send immediately a message to everybody. Very reliable that you will be pushed out in a few hours – so do not overburden with recourses. Take some medicine, snacks, water. If occupation is planned in France or Germany – there they have a good tradition of durational occupations – that could be an issue. Take some additional locks, ropes and/or belts. Have some extra computers in the case police will confiscate facilities. If you succeed people will brink more food, blankets, cigarettes etc.
Go shares with everybody
There is no private property during the occupation. Common food, drinks, cigarettes.
Break down social barriers
Social status and positions during the occupation are meaningless. If you have some time – write about everything you do, feel and see around to happen. Write a diary. Make a photo of the spaces in the building before leaving – would be easier at suit.
Use the building as the place for self-organization
When the building is under your control you can use it as base for further occupations and actions. It could become the gathering place to dissatisfied and cast-offs. Invite your community fellows to join resistance. Our job has no end. Every occupation has an aim to develop, expand and to become irreversible process. Lets occupy everything!
12. Conclusion: worth to try!
In many cases the long term occupation is hardly doable, but worth to try. If succeeded – that is important to keep in mind that it‘s meaning is in continuity not in some particular results. Do not stop – lets move forward! The ever lasting requirement – permanent (self)critique and learning from previous failures and mistakes.
LETS MAKE MISTAKES, BUT EVERY TIME THE NEW ONES!
We are not a group
We are not an organization. Groups are used to describe themselves in very vague and ambivalent terms, but not in the action. Groups are used to define the ideal of “how everything must be done” and then point to follow towards the will of the leader.
We are friends
We are joined in common action. That is because we want to reclaim our physic space and time and to revert it to the common property for the all people to share. We are here to spread the solidarity between atomized units. We are not spectators, we are really living personages. We do not need models to self identify with. We do not need bourgeois mystification – art – anymore. We had fears for too long. We wear afraid of police. We were afraid of authorities. We were afraid to loose job, careers, and colleagues. We respect the fear, but want to encourage everybody to step beyond their own limits. Somebody may join us not only when their consciousness will rise enough, but rather when they will realize that the participation in resistance is worth of all the risks. Some people will join immediately, because they have nothing to loose. Some will join in a last minute, because their possible losses shackle them. We are confident in people’s choices and trust they know what they do.
13. Post Scriptum
It must be clear to everyone who read the text that there never will be any organizational committee which is going to send directives what to be done. To fight for your autonomy you must organize YOURSELF!
HERE AND NOW!