THE IDEA OF RADICAL MEDIA Conference, Zagreb - within the project "Aesthetic Education Expanded"

Zagreb, MaMa, June 7-8 Multimedia Institute

The conference revisits the radical media-related practices in art, communication and politics that have emerged over the last two decades, and looks at the idea of radical media both from a broader historic perspective and from the predicament of our current situation. It is organized in the context of two exhibitions on Arkzin - a Zagreb-based collective that emerged out of the anti-war campaign in the early 1990s and gave a theoretical and polemical voice to the anti-nationalist positions.

The publishing and activist practices of Arkzin anticipated and reflected the practices of tactical media that were crystallizing from a particular confluence of a political moment marked by the post-Yugoslav conflicts and alter-globalist contestations, and a technological moment of the rise of early Net. By mid-1990s the Internet was making its way into everybody's lives, beckoning with a prospect of a radically democratic form of public communication. Technological innovations in mass communication in the 20th century have always stirred the hopes that we would finally see a two-way medium where everybody would be able to speak to the broader-most public. However, these hopes were always curtailed by their technological and social implementation, resulting in ever-growing commercial and political domination over the media. This time it would be different. The technologically distributed and socially collective character of the Internet gave reasons to believe that finally we would stop hating the media, and start becoming the media. And so - in many ways - it did happen. The Internet democratized public speech and catalyzed capacities for political assembly in radical ways. As it enabled the exchange and coordination on a global scale, it also helped new forms of social organization and contestation emerge on very local levels. In fact, the cutting edge of Internet practices was more frequently related to physical space and paper than one would have thought. However, much has changed since the 1990s. As the technological transformation that birthed these new media-related practices and was pushing them into the mainstream started to shake at the foundations of old media, the technological development of the Internet was reoriented so as to transform the promise of a multitude of independent media producers into the promise of massively commodifiable audience behavior. This technology would turn out not to be people's technology after all, as technology never tends to be without the effort of repurposing or socialization. And this prefigures the predicament of our present situation when we look soberer than ever over the last two decades toward the transformative potential of radical media - at a moment when a critical articulation and a radical practice seem to be as urgently called upon as they were twenty years ago.

It is this historic trajectory and it is this present predicament that the conference wants to elucidate and to do so it brings together the media theorists, artists and practitioners, both individuals and collectives, that have been part of the critical debate on these processes over the last twenty years:

Clemens Apprich, Vuk Ćosić, Branka Ćurćić, Luka Frelih, Anthony Iles, Eric Kluitenberg, Dejan Kršić, Zoran Pantelić, Matteo Pasquinelli, Katarina Peović Vuković, Ana Peraica, Joanne Richardson, Gerald Raunig, János Sugár and Vera Tollmann.

The conference will also include a concert by Jan Jelinek and Lukatoyboy, as well as a guided tour through the exhibition Prospects of Arkzin by Dejan Kršić.

Schedule: Friday, June 7th

11.00-12.45, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Katarina Peović Vuković: Leftist critique of democracy with/without Karl Marx. Open-source as third communist hypothesis

Matteo Pasquinelli: The number of the collective beast. The substance of value in the age of the institutions of machinic ranking.

13.00-14.45, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Luka Frelih (Ljudmila) - Tomislav Medak (MaMa) - Zoran Pantelić ( Networks Unearthed - Eearly Medialabs as Forms of Critical Engagement

18.00-19.45, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Joanne Richardson: On Making Film Politically

Gerald Raunig: eventum et medium

21:30 concert, Teatar &TD, Studentski centar (Savska 25) Jan Jelinek + Lukatoyboy*

Saturday, June 8th, 11.00-12.45, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Vuk Ćosić: Radical art vs Longue durée

Ana Peraica: Massive Spamming

13.00-15.00, Galerija Nova (Teslina 7)

Branka Ćurćić: What is Radical in 'Radical Media'?

Dejan Kršić: a guided tour through the Prospects of Arkzin exhibition

17.00-19.00, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Clemens Apprich: The Truth Games of Tactical Media

Vera Tollmann: Behind the great firewall: Shanzhai, video tweets and word pictures

19:00 - 21:00, MaMa (Preradovićeva 18)

Anthony Iles: Media, Secession and Recession

Eric Kluitenberg: Charting Hybridised Realities

János Sugár: Theseus’ Ship

*** * concert is organized jointly by the Multimedia Institute and Culture of Change (Kultura promjene) of the Student Center in Zagreb

*** The Idea of Radical Media is organized within the project Aesthetic Education Expanded, a collaborative project by Berliner Gazette, Kontrapunkt,, Multimedia Institute and Mute and is supported by programme Culture 2007-2013 of the European Commission. [ //] SUPPORTED ALSO BY: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City Office for Education, Culture and Sport of the City of Zagreb, and Europan Cultural Foundation.