Monday, October 25, 2010

After the Congress

On Saturday evening there was a tense, dramatic, fascinating and finally celebratory closing ceremony at which the delegates' conclusions were announced. These are the main points. There is a supporting document and third opposing document was also read. Following the debate delegates and facilitators were presented with a commemorative object and were congratulated by members of Laibach, IRWIN, Novi Kolektivizem and Noordung.

Active discussions continue amongst the delegates and individual responses will appear on There were some really interesting ideas and discussions and as one delegate said for such a varied group of people to produce a defined result in three days was impressive. Many of the delegates were extremely conscientious, motivated and perceptive and it was a pleasure to meet them. I am still assessing the results and will comment in more detail shortly, for now here is the final statement agreed to by a majority of delegates:

The NSK State is a universal state in time, not a state of territory. Whether it
remains in potential form or manifests itself in actual form depends on the
actions and beliefs of those who are or wish to be its citizens.
The NSK State in Time is consistent with and evolves from the founding
principles and strategies of Neue Slowenische Kunst.
The NSK State in Time becomes manifest when the following exist:

I. The Immanent Consistent Spirit is the all-embracing intangible
essence of the NSK State in Time. In it there is everything and even
nothing. Citizens of the NSK State in Time express the Immanent
Consistent Spirit through artistic, political, philosophical and
intellectual actions in both abstract and concrete form.

II. The NSK State in Time is ever-inspired by the infinite moment of
grace of its own becoming. It is the master of all its probabilities.

III. The NSK State is manifested in time yet at the same time transcends

IV. Manifestations of the NSK State are temporal; they are based on
initiatives and actions of its citizens and affiliates.

V. The NSK State in Time materializes through artistic, political,
philosophical and intellectual actions in accordance with the basic
principles and internal laws of the NSK State in Time.

VI. The individual is irrelevant. Therefore the NSK State in Time compels
its citizens to work as a collective body.

VII. The role of the citizens of the NSK State in Time is to fulfill the State`s
goals with fanatical and artistic devotion.

VIII. The citizens´ commitment to the State machine that organizes their
activities is unwavering.

IX. Freedom of choice creates trauma; lack of freedom of choice creates
trauma. The NSK State acknowledges the right not to choose.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Berlin Opening Address

Congress delegates,
Photo c. A. Monroe

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 18.10.2010,
Photo c. A. Monroe

Full text of my speech at the exhibition opening last night...

Firstly, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Herr Scherer and the team at Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt for agreeing to host this unique and complex event. This has been a very intensive process and the venue have made a sincere effort to help us realise our vision. I am also very grateful to my colleague Haris Hararis for his tireless and visionary work. I must also mention the entire team at the buro fur kulturelle angelegenheiten, without whom none of this would have been possible. There are many others who have played some role in realising the project and I am grateful to all of them.

The NSK Folk Art display that you see presented here represents a crystallisation of a process we have been aware of for some years now. The Citizens and followers of NSK have begun to create their own spontaneous and organic folk culture around the founding iconographies of the NSK State and the NSK groups. Working without authorisation they are continuing the process of cultural reprocessing of which the NSK State is one result.

Both Folk Art and the NSK State are the result of improbability – this is one of the most important principles underlying what you see here. NSK's emergence as a state was already improbable, if not unimaginable before it took place. My own involvement with NSK is an improbable story and the same is true of many of the artists, delegates and citizens here tonight. The founder members of NSK themselves cannot have imagined what would emerge from their creation.

This exhibition and this Congress mark a point of maximum improbability and the start of a new chain of improbabilities whose consequences we cannot yet foresee. We can already see how the selected artists have begun to respond to NSK's body of work but we can also anticipate that there will be future responses to these responses. We also cannot anticipate the outcome of this Congress but it is certain that the fascinating improbability that the original NSK artists first unleashed in the 1980s will be present at its heart. You are witnessing a new phase in the history of the NSK State, which is also the history of a nascent culture and identity. We cannot yet define its significance and perhaps this will not become clear for several years. This, after all is one of the beauties of truly inspiring art and ideas and we should savour this uncertainty. Only time will tell in which directions we are being led and what our destinations may be, but until that time please join with us and create your own meanings and associations.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interrogating Tech-Nostalgia

Over the summer I had a long and interesting discussion with Thomas Bey William Bailey about Tech-Nostalgia, covering issues such as the fetishisation of analogue technology, the romance of Cold War Poetics and the current fashionability of EBM and other 1980s electronic and industrial variants. These exchanges can now be read on Vague Terrain.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Approaching the Congress

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, September 2010.
Photo c. A. Monroe

The Congress is approaching rapidly and final preparations are being made. The website has been updated and now features full information on the public programme.