// s u b j e c t i l e

New articles at “Notion” section

Posted on | January 4, 2010 | No Comments

I uploaded two articles that I recently published:

Domestic Labor, Knitting and alternative networks: Knit++ , Fe Feminist Journal, Winter 2010

We Are Not Professionals for Arthub Publication, December 2009

imam.

LAST INSTANCE: CONFINEMENT: CONTAINMENT REDUX

Posted on | October 26, 2009 | No Comments

The following text is produced for the last installation of “The Containment Contained” presented at Muzeum Sztuki. With this instance we finalized the project.

xurban_tabloid_v2_pressq_Page_small

LAST INSTANCE: CONFINEMENT: CONTAINMENT REDUX, June 2009
The object is irrelevant, the gesture is immaterial, the political is not politics, a situation is contingent, an intervention cannot be retrieved, harm is done, the bodies are under the earth and Anatolia is covered with dust…

Where does one go from here?

New border control and security measures show that the corporate/state apparatus is deploying more tools for control and restriction both in the USA and EU. Relatively open societies have been altered with a new form of penal complex, one by one—like a gigantic open-air prison—the possibility of a democratic society is being replaced by the neo-conservative instruction set which takes ‘hybridization’ as the main problem . In these controlled territories, people who do not have proper rights (immigrant workers and tourists, including cultural tourists/workers) are carefully background checked, finger printed, photographed, electronically searched and tagged prior to their approach to these ‘civilized lands’. This is the time of low intensity war justified by a phony concept of a “clash of civilizations”: software is being updated, cameras are being installed, men and women are being trained for asymmetrical engagement and intelligent bombs are genuinely waiting for their time to speak up. Neo-conservatism claims an “Israelization” of US and EU territories. However, this confinement is different than what we see on the ground in Israel and Turkey, where control and containment are exercised through military checkpoints with extreme military force. In this case, the private sector (airlines, ports, etc…) politely demand voluntary enrollment from its customers. Subjects are subjected to low intensity humiliation at embassies. Infused with nationalist prejudices and bourgeois morality, visa interviews are often exercised as interrogations, and if not, entrance is delayed without any excuses, they make sure the humiliated subject gets the message. Read more

Financial District Exhibition

Posted on | May 8, 2009 | No Comments

Works by Olivier Babin, Elena Bajo, Beth Campbell, Alexandra do Carmo, Lotte Lindner & Till Steinbrenner, Mads Lynnerup, Rä di Martino, Isola and Norzi, Marisa Olson, Anna Ostoya, Miguel Palma, Carlos Roque, Antonio Rovaldi, Andrea Schneemeier, Nedko Solakov, Marko Tadić, Brina Thurston, Alex Villar, and Zimmerfrei
Artists’ writings and books by Michael Blum, Elmgreen & Dragset, Liam Gillick, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Carlos Motta, Michael Rakowitz, Lisi Raskin, Oliver Ressler, and xurban_collective

Artists’ talks by Carlos Motta, Lisi Raskin, and Hakan Topal + Alex Villar

Curated by Miguel Amado

Friday, May 8 – Monday, May 11, 2009
Read more

Fortified Zones

Posted on | May 3, 2009 | No Comments

A Conversation by Hakan Topal/xurban_collective and Alex Villar

This presentation is part of an exhibition project called Financial District, organized by Miguel Amado, curator-in-residence in 2009. The Financial District marks the urban landscape of all major American cities. More than an architectural feature or a geographical location, the Financial District represents an ideology, that of the ‘new spirit of capitalism’, which has developed over the past decades and has been recently questioned in the wake of the current financial crisis. Financial District brings together residents at ISCP, as well as New York-based and international artists whose work enthusiasts access to cutting-edge contemporary art from around the world.

Free to the public.

Date:
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Time:
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Location:
International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)
Street:
1040 Metropolitan Avenue, 3rd Fl
City/Town:
Brooklyn, NY

Artistik Patinaja Karsi

Posted on | April 20, 2009 | No Comments

xurban_collective sanat girişimi olarak son sekiz yıl içinde Türkiye’de ve dünyanın farklı kentlerinde sergilere katıldık, sanatsal ifadelere dönüşen araştırma ve belgeleme çalışmaları yürüttük ve bunlarla bağlantılı olarak yazdıklarımızı farklı mecralarda yayınlama fırsatımız oldu. Bu çalışmaların önemli bir kısmı sanat kurumlarının maddi desteği ile gerçekleşti. Ticari galeriler hariç, uluslararası bienaller, toplu sergiler, sanatçı mekanları gibi mecralarda, bazı zamanlarda oldukça düşük bütçelerle işler ürettik. Bu girişimin üyeleri olarak hayatımızı idame ettirebilmek için çalıştığımız işler ve bunların düzenekleri (genellikle akademik ortam ve müze gibi kurumlar) entellektüel üretimin hangi yollarla finanse edildiğini, desteklendiğini ve bazen de desteksiz bırakılarak sansürlendiğini anlamamız açısından faydalı oldu. Ayrıca Batı Avrupa ve ABDdeki pratikleri Türkiye(İstanbul)deki mekanizmalar ile karşılaştırma fırsatını bulabildik.

Küresel ekonomi ve neo-liberal politikaların kültür üretimine (ve yönetimine) yaklaşımı ve bunun Türkiye’de son yıllardaki yansımaları, bizim için olduğu kadar diğer bağımsız sanat girişimleri, eleştirel ve politik alanlarda sanat üretenler için de bir sorun olarak ortaya çıkıyor. Bu kısa değerlendirmenin kapsamında batıdaki pratiklerin, devlet desteği, özel şirket sponsorluğu, ve bu bağlamda ABD-Avrupa karşılaştırmasının detaylarına girmek oldukça zor. Ancak görülen o ki Türkiye’deki uygulamalar, diğer sosyal hak ve hizmetlerde (eğitim, sağlık, vb.) olduğu gibi bu alandan da  kamusal desteğin tamamen çekilmesi ve yerine özel sermayenin ikame edilmesini öngörüyor. Yani kamu yararı gözetilmesi gereken ilksel alanlardan birinde daha bir çeşit elit, ayrımcı, tepeden inme ve dahası ticari bir model yürürlüğe konuyor.

İzlendiği üzere Türkiye’de yerli-yabancı küresel sermayenin birinci önceliği masif, yoğun ve  yeni tarz tüketim alışkanlıklarını spektaküler mekanlar ve markalar aracılığı ile yürürlüğe koymak. Birbiri ardına açılan alışveriş merkezleri, had safhada ayrışmış ve sınıflaşmış bir toplumda yeni palazlanmış mobil (otomobilli) bir orta sınıfa seslenirken marka fetişizmi ana-akım medya tarafından aralıksız pompalanıyor. Son birkaç yıl içinde özellikle İstanbul’da açılan özel müzelerin de birer ‘shopping mall’ gibi parıltılı markaları (Picasso, Dali, Rodin vb.) piyasaya sürdüğünü gözlemliyoruz. Tarihsel bağlamından tamamen soyutlanmış, 21. yüzyılda ve sanat-tarihsel bir sürekliliğin içinde nereye konacağı pek belli olmayan, karşıtlarının, alternatiflerinin, öncesinin ve sonrasının izlenemediği yerli-turistik bir atraksiyon ve reklam harcamaları ile medyatik bir fenomene dönüşen bu sergileri, Hollywood prodüksiyonları ve yerli diziler ile beraber bir çeşit  göz alıcı tüketim nesnesi ve ‘seyirlik’ olarak nitelemek mümkün. Küresel/kültürel açıdan çorak kaldığı varsayılan memlekete yapılan bu aşı, iktidar tarafından Dubaileştirilmek istenen İstanbul’u küresel kentler arasına sokmaya bir türlü yetemiyor.

Özal’dan bu yana ‘zengin düşmanlığı’ olarak nitelenip es geçilen bu eleştiriler, sanat üretimi söz konusu olduğunda bize çok haklı görünüyor. Sanatsal üretimin ve sanat yapıtının otonom olması gerektiğini ve (özellikle Türkiye’de) dolaysız devlet desteğinin ve dolaylı-dolaysız sermaye sponsorluğunun problemli olduğunu  görebiliyoruz.

Yeni sanat kurumlarının ithal-ikame-spektaküler sergiler yerine, risk alarak, yakın coğrafyasının koşullarını değerlendiren, yapıcı bir kültürel üretim arayışı içerisine girmesinin çok önemli olduğunu düşünüyoruz. Çalışmalarımız sırasında karşılaştığımız sanatsal/kültürel kurumların başarısının gösteri için harcanan yüzbinlerce dolar ile değil, sanatçı ve izleyici ile kurulan  yaratıcı ilişkilerden  ve yeni ve ilerici çalışmaları canla başla destekleyen bir sanat yöneticiliği anlayışından geçtiğini görüyoruz. Örnek vermek gerekirse, Londra’da ICA ve Serpentine Galerileri, Paris’de La Plateau, Frankfurt ve Almanya’nın diğer kentlerindeki Kunstwerein’lar, Amsterdam’da DeAppel, Rotterdam’da Witte De With, Eindhoven’da Van Abbe müzesi, Barcelona’da Macba, Antwerp’de ExtraCity, Beyrut’ta Ashkal Alwan, İstanbul’da ise Platform güncel sanat merkezleri dünyadaki diğer sanatsal faaliyetlere, çok yönlü iletişime ve üretime verdikleri önemle  bulunduklari şehirlere çok özel bir katkıda bulunmakta ve uluslararası arenada kentlerini temsil etmektedirler.

Bizce ASSM, Guggenheim Bilbao veya Sabancı Müzesi gibi ‘blockbuster’ sergiler düzenlemek veya bunlarin temsilciliğini üstlenerek turistik-klişe bir mekan olmanın ötesinde, kültürel üretimin çileli yolunu secerek, uzun soluklu çabaların, nitelikli  çalışmaların gösterilip paylaşıldığı bir mekan olarak İzmir’e uzun dönemde katkı sağlamalı ve kenti dünyadaki diğer kültürel üretim merkezleri arasına sokmakta kilit bir rol oynamalıdır. Ancak bunun için kent yönetiminin açık görüşlülükle merkezin küratoryal ve profesyonel ekibine  tüm politik ve materyal desteği vermesi çok önemlidir. Bizce merkezin başarısı özenle tasarlanmış olan bu yapıyı hakkıyla doldurarak hizmete açacak olan insan kaynağına yapılan yatırımda gizlidir. Nihayetinde bu binalar iyi organize edilen kültürel programlar olduğu sürece bir işleve sahip olacaktır. Umuyoruz ki, Türkiye’de diğer devlet ve özel sektör kontrolündeki sanat mekanlarının aksine, ASSM yaşayan, evrilen bir sanat merkezi olarak İzmir kültürel yaşamına hakettiği dinamizmi getirecektir. Bu çerçevede sorumlu vatandaşlar olarak hepbirlikte merakla izleyeceğiz, bakalım İzmir Büyükşehir Belediyesi böylesi önemli bir görevi nasıl tamamlayacak…

xurban_collective, aralık 2008

*ASSM Bulteni icin yazilmistir.

New School is Re-occupied, Students Are Arrested

Posted on | April 11, 2009 | No Comments

Photograph is from NY Times

We support any kind of civil, peaceful disobedience against power. We believe that the only way to constitute a true democracy, is to develop a strong sense of scepticism against governing bodies. We beleive participation, conflict, and dialogue. If there is no resistance, there is no democracy, a very simple equation.

When New School students was exercising their true democratic rights, New School’s president, who had “no-confidence vote” from faculty and students, forcefully stepped in and invited New York Police Department. Police violently arrested the protestors, our friends. Please follow the events here: http://www.newschoolinexile.com/

Ornamantasyon, 2004

Posted on | March 26, 2009 | No Comments


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This are the pictures for xurban archives. We used them for the Ornamantasyon project. It was more like an experiment, bringing various existing and non existing facades from Istanbul and New York together on the same surface.

GOD, UNLEASHED

Posted on | January 10, 2009 | No Comments

We all want to believe that deep inside, people are decent. This applies to the people of Israel, naturally. So everytime we see the Israeli cabinet on the television screen, in their casual wear and plaid shirts, almost like our neighbors next door, we sympathize. Then we begin to wonder how these ordinary looking middle-aged men (and lately a woman) turn into compulsive liars when they start uttering words like ‘security’ or ‘war against terror’ and the like, all hollowed out courtesy of the civilized world.

What makes these people function with apparent conviction that they are doing the right thing when they unleash hell on a totally helpless people—mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren? What do they think when they watch the bodies of children piling up in front of the Gaza hospital, on the same television screen? How do they compare to the Muslim fanatic taking an oath for revenge, swearing to god that he will blow himself up in the middle of crowds? How do they justify their decisions every time, when it is obvious that it will lead to a thousand more deaths? What type of a nation have they evolved into, in an extreme paranoia of security and survival? And in turn, once more, how do they compare to other vicious regimes of the Middle East, totally irrational in the pains they inflict? Is this the promised land for the peoples of the region, drenched in blood throughout history? Which of their gods approve of such carnage? Even Romans were more restrained when they set up spectacles of bloodbath, two thousand years ago, the same place; their gods more modest in want of blood spilled…

We are familiar because we are accustomed to hearing many lies from the various fractions of the Turkish state, we are used to see the police or the military unleash their unrestraint power on the people, and we are used to seeing the baseless justification of horrific acts in the name of protection, security, unity, etc… However we know that something is more horrifying when the majority shares the same sentiments with the repressive apparatus, when people subsumed by the all-encompassing war machine, when absolute violence is infused to somewhere more deep than surfaces, in a way proven with the Israeli government’s ‘approval rates’. How are we going to get rid of the cruelty penetrated to the very fabric of society, exercised by men and women who were militarized in very early ages. It seems now that it will be hard to dislocate, like cancer, spread out to every cell, killing inside out, the whole society permanently lost, the community unrecoverable.

History tells us that we have to be aware when a violence is covered with the ‘civilized’ packaging, when it is portrayed with proper American accents, when it looks somewhat familiar like uncle Sam, or aunt Samantha, when it is rationalized at every stage, justified with accurate law terminology, engaged with the tactics so that untrained, underpowered destined to play the never ending war game. A society forced to lose and they want to play again…

It is obvious that the repressive Islamist Palestinian authority’s priority is not to provide civic infrastructure, schools, universities, hospitals to its people who are left dependent on never sufficient foreign humanitarian aid. Palestinians without a salient strategy for future, with no way out, totally encircled with brutal war machine, have to endlessly deal with the corruption inside out… constantly yelling, without any hope, unable to develop any tactics, totally subsumed to the discourses and agendas set by the Islamist and Jewish radicalisms. The Jewish state together with their Islamist counterparts enjoy the bloodshed most as they justify their existence through the continuous war, keeping high alert conditions intact. That is why those Islamist Arabs never lose the war even though they are constantly killed in their own land! That is why Israel never wins even though it can control the whole territory!

We require a deeper ethical understanding of human condition, we need to help our comrades in Israel and in Palestine to strategize a future, developing salient tactics against the horrifying enemies living next door dressed like, talk like family…

xurban_collective
january 2009

Hampstead Heath Tree Typology

Posted on | January 1, 2009 | No Comments

Boundary Signal

Posted on | December 26, 2008 | No Comments

boundarysignal-boundarysignal.jpg

Opening: 15 January 2009 | 16 January – 7 February 2009

Project curator: Fatih Aydoğdu

Participant artist:

2/5 BZ aka Serhat Köksal [Istanbul]
Ricarda Denzer [Vienna]
Martin Ebner [Berlin]
Mathias Fuchs [Manchester]
Bernhard Loibner [Vienna]
Bob Ostertag [Los Angeles]
Florian Schmeisser [Vienna]
xUrban Collective [Istanbul, Izmir, New York]
Arye Wachsmuth [Vienna]
Florian Zeyfang [Berlin]

In linguistics the notion “boundary signal / Grenzsignal” refers to the appearance of a sound which identifies the boundaries of sentences, words, syllables, or morphemes that have delimiting or detaching functions. The character of an entity which represents a morpheme’s boundary, indicated as /+/, consists of the fact, that the coincidence of position-based modification does not cause the expected transformations.

If we would derive this concept from the language to the Sound, we could describe a unit, that has a special tone signifying its communicative function of smallest elements of sounds and sound modification exists marking of a sound tact within communicative function.

Sampling is used becomes the concept, that as a programmatic imperative, on electronic music, architecture, biotechnology up to the collage-technics in the film and the politics, or even on socio psychological identity models. As an universal metaphor and contradictory model or as a technically mediated identical replication, Sampling sets an archive concept out, that evokes an idea of the historic originality. The reduction of Sampling on strategies and models of the archives as technological blindness, that appropriates itself apparatuses primarily on the plain subcultural codes, and the technical materialism, that treats logic of the apparatuses and the particularistic semantics of aesthetic codes with regard to the strategic utilization of archives, must be reconsidered and challenged and these create as a mutual revision instances.

The “Boundary signal / Grenz Signal” brings up for discussion not only the Sound as a possible communicative plain of artistic strategy and experimental field, that goes over the act of the speaking and the music, where rather sets also out a moment (time cut) with selected historically political situations seeing that the artists as a source material around attitude in regard to content and commentary the time events.

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