concepts

Darnell »Stephen« Summers & Dave Blalock

Darnell »Stephen« Summers was born on July 9, 1947 in Detroit Michigan, USA. He volunteered for the US Army and served from 1966 to 1970. While home on leave before going to Vietnam in 1968 he became involved in the struggle to found the »Malcolm X Cultural Center« (MXCC) in Inkster Michigan, a suburb of Detroit and was one of the spokespersons for the »MXCC«. His political affiliations included membership in the Black Workers Congress, Viet Nam Veterans Against The War / Viet Nam Veterans Against The War (Anti-Imperialist), chartermember of the Malcolm X Cultural Center(Inkster Michigan). As a Black man inside the Army he was confronted by not only by racism but also the fact that he was in a military organization that was murdering people across the globe. Since then Summers has been active in the struggles against racism and U.S. instigated aggression. He was instrumental in organizing the STOP THE WAR BRIGADE in Germany during the Gulf war to build support for anti-war GIs. Darnell has professional experience as a Musician, Film Director, Actor, Media Editor, Composer, Cameraman, Producer and Sound Technician. He presently lives in Germany and has 4 children.

Dave Blalock (born 1950 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania) volunteered for the US Army and served from 1968 to 1971. After being AWOL for nine days in basic training he was court-martialed and spent one month out of a possible six-month prison term doing »Hard Labor« time in the Fort Jackson stockade. He then spent one year in Vietnam (1969-1970) where he became politicized by his experiences there. After returning, he spent his last 15 months in the army by joining the large anti war movement that had existed within the US military and actively worked inside one of the many underground GI organizations. In 1989 Blalock, along with three other people burned American flags on the steps of the US Capital building in protest against the new Flag Protection Act of 1989. They were arrested for this and their case ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled the law un-constitutional. From Vietnam, to the 1980’s counter-insurgency wars in Central America, to the ‘91 Gulf War, to the ’99 Kosovar war, to 2001 bombing of Afghanistan, to the present war on Iraq he has been active in the fight to expose and oppose all US war moves around the world. He puts special emphasis on building support for the GI anti war resisters inside the armed forces.

Blalock and Summers are also playing themselves in the Rimini-Protokoll theatrical production of Schiller’s »Wallenstein« where they among a cast of ten people out of real life take this opportunity to tell their story in the midst of Intrigue, War & Death.

Faith or futility?

by Khalo Matabane, 17 April 2003 in Mail&Guardian Online

Does the possibility exist for filmmaking to effect change? (AP)
We are sitting in my flat watching the war on Iraq on BBC World. The coalition forces continue to talk about “precision bombs” despite the heavy civilian casualties. A friend of mine, a fellow filmmaker, looks at me with a sense of resentment and resignation. He then remarks that it is events like this war that make him question the significance of cinema. I am silent for a while because even though I have felt a sense of futility in making films, I can’t accept the thought. I have lived my life for cinema and the potential it has to effect change. My decision to become a filmmaker was inspired by the great storytelling tradition of my grandmother and the daily struggles of the people in the rural village where I grew up. In the evenings my grandmother would tell stories of political and social struggle; during the day I would see the village women walking barefoot for long distances in search of wood, hear about the spreading plague of infant deaths, and feel the immeasurable hopelessness staring out from the sunken eyes of so many. I always wanted to intervene, but was never able to. Then, soon after I turned 17, I watched Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and the films of Costa-Gavras. They inspired me immensely; I felt they had the power to change society for the better.

History Begins at Home

Photography and Memory in the Writings of
Siegfried Kracauer and Roland Barthes

An Essay by Meir Wigoder...

Confrontation, a spectacle of life.

"confrontation", a web work leads to an incapacity to define war and hope as opponents, but lets them seem more as striving forces that appear on every level of our lives.

http://bram.org/confront/

"This work is a cycling, multilingual, taxonomy of human intention at war. Visual and textual language, harvested from the web and input by visitors to the site are fodder for an algorithm which intertwines corporate, promotional and news content with the interior world of the viewer/contributor.

"Surveillant Architectures"

“Surveillant Architectures” began with a desire to bring to light the theoretical, social, individual, and political implications of surveillance and security terror management issues today. "Surveillant Architectures" is being developed as a platform from which to view and critique watchfulness in everyday life.

Our research fosters projects on control languages, electronic mapping, media, tours, interventions, persuasions, "surveillance theatre", outer space, reconnaissance, agency, mimesis, judicial etiquette, and network architecture.

Further Editions of the Dictionary of War in 2007

On the basis of the first 100 concepts of the Dictionary of War, local editions will translate and transform the dense collection of theory and practice collected in the first four editions into a local or regional context, adding another layer of depth to it. The first local edition of the Dictionary of War is planned for autumn 2007 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Siegecraft

The Siege:

containment

The Containment as Catastrophe
// the project website: www.xurban.net > "the containment contained" //

WAR PAST, WAR PRESENT

Child Soldiers

Kilid:
(exhibit 2004 at: Entfernte Nähe. Neue Positionen Iranischer Kunst, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin)
“Kilid" is related to the practice of the mobilization of young people during Iran/Iraq war when the adolescents were used for the clearance of mine fields. In this connection they received a small plastic key, which symbolically promised them the admission to paradise after martyr death.

USSMEAC: Humane Torture -- http://pfarm.org/ussmeac.pdf

USSMEAC Report:

American Sexuality, Torture Aesthetics and Sadomasochistic Ethos

Training U.S. Military Personnel
for Safe, Sane and Consensual
Sadistic Information Gathering

The United States Sadomasochistic Ethical Advisory Commission (USSMEAC) catalogues herein our ethical suggestions to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. In particular, this report pertains to the training of future soldiers and intelligence gatherers in morally upstanding and yet effective interrogation methods. USSMEAC is an Advisory Commission made up of representatives selected from the United States Sadomasochistic Community. It is important that the gifted fetishists, the psychodramatists, the pain sluts and the sissyboys of our proud nation advise our Military Intelligence Industry on ethical power exchange. The AltSex Community wants our Homeland to be conscientious while hedonistically attaining our democratic goals… Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We are patriots, we are proud and we know better than your average citizen how to torture humanely, here and abroad. We give this advice freely and the sincere hope that civil liberties and human rights will be respected further due to our advisement in Training U.S. Military Personnel for Safe, Sane and Consensual Sadistic Information Gathering

Naming wars

A war needs a name to be a war.

Who provides the name? Is it a contest?

Is war about the name of the war?

Does the winner get to decide the name of the war?

What if only one side has a name for it?

Does every war need at least two names to get started?
Can there be too many names, or is that the "fog of war?"
Would warriors war in a nameless war?

Can we change all war to contests over the name of the war, to be decided peacefully, like the winner of American Idol?

Can we generate so many names for a war that the fighters no longer know which war they are fighting? Co

Dictionary of War

A project by Multitude e.V. and Unfriendly Takeover
June 2006 – February 2007

“At least, when we create concepts, we are doing something.” (Deleuze/Guattari)

DICTIONARY OF WAR is a collaborative platform for creating 100 concepts on the issue of war, to be invented, arranged and presented by scientists, artists, theorists and activists at four public, two-day events in Frankfurt, Munich, Graz and Berlin. The aim is to create key concepts that either play a significant role in current discussions of war, have so far been neglected, or have yet to be created.

DICTIONARY OF WAR is about polemics in various respects: It seeks confrontation with a reality that is characterised by the concealment of power relations the more that one talks about war and peace. But it is also about finding out to what extent war may function as an “analyzer of power relations” (Foucault) that constitutes current changes.

Wörterbuch des Krieges

Ein Projekt von multitude e.V. und Unfriendly Takeover
Juni 2006 - Februar 2007

"Begriffe erschaffen heißt zumindest, etwas tun."
(Deleuze/Guattari)

Das WÖRTERBUCH DES KRIEGES ist eine kollaborative Plattform zur Herstellung von 100 Begriffen zum Thema Krieg, die in vier zweitätigen Ausgaben in Frankfurt, München, Graz und Berlin mit jeweils 25 Beiträgen von Wissenschaftlern, Künstlern, Theoretikern und Praktikern gebildet und präsentiert werden. Als Vorträge, Performances, Filme, Slideshows, Lesungen, Konzerte in streng alphabetischer Reihenfolge als Marathon-Diskurs.

Media Wars and the Humanitarian (non-)Interventions: Interview with Tom Keenan from 1997

Found in the nettime archives: At Hybrid Workspace, Documenta X, in 1997 Geert Lovink made an interview with Tom Keenan on "Media Wars and the Humanitarian (non-)Interventions". Back then, Tom Keenan was one of the organizers of the Data Conflicts conference on (new) media and politics in Eastern Europe which took place in Potsdam in December 1996. Tom's 100 days lecture was entitled: "Publicity and Indifference: Live from Sarajevo"

These Guys Are Artists, And Who Gives A Shit

by Naeem Mohaiemen

http://shobakorg.blogspot.com/2007/01/these-guys.html

Scenes From A Looking Glass War
################################
"Play some more Bach. We won't shoot."[i]

Scene 1: Mufathalle, Munich
The weekend event is part of a series called Dictionary of War. Twenty five artists and academics, presenting themes based on a word they had chosen about warfare. Camouflage, Declaration of War, Desertion, Heroes, Liberation, Mobilization, National Anthem, Negotiation, Resistance, the list was exhaustive (my word: Prisoner of War). As we present our concepts, the Lebanon war is in its second week. There are accommodations made to reflect this rude insertion into our mannered program. Mansur Jacoubi joins us from Beirut for some clunky IRC chat (somebody asks him "can you describe the situation there?", I wince). Akram Zaatari flies in from Paris to present some earlier work??stranded outside the country, he's available to us. E-flux brings in all their Lebanese videos.

I feel the cramp of anxiety. Will all these well-sculpted words have an impact outside this room? Somehow I'm missing the codec to transmit all this theoretical, creative energy into real world action. I've been scolded for seeking use-value in art, but I can't restrain this tourette-like impulse. Back in Dhaka, friends are organizing rallies to protest the war. But they are worried because the main organizers are Islamist groups. I send them the announcement for Dictionary and get a withering response by e-mail "Sitting in a room discussing war, while the Middle East burns down?? a luxury indulgence."

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