7 December: H-/edging towards Europe


The Exterritory Project
Lecture by Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir

Exterritory Project is an ongoing art project dedicated to encourage practical and theoretical exploration of ideas concerning extraterritoriality in an interdisciplinary context. Extraterritoriality designates modes of relations between space, law and representation. Traditionally the subjects of extraterritoriality were either people or spaces. In the first case, and depending on the circumstances, extraterritorial arrangements could either exclude or exempt an individual or a group of people from the territorial jurisdiction in which they are physically located, in the second, they could exempt or exclude a space from the territorial jurisdiction by which it is surrounded. While offering that the concept may be extended to other objects and spheres of activity such as regimes of representation and information, Exterritory Project attempts to use extraterritoriality as an analytical tool to examine phenomena in contemporary life, while simultaneously offering it also as a conceptual and practical platform for reexamination of current political concepts, spatial-political orders and image regimes.


H-/edging towards Europe
Panel and Discussion with Jenny Kneis, Brigitta Kuster, Stefan Nowotny, Ilias Marmaras, Jamie C. Schaerer; Moderation: Sofia Bempeza

  • Jamie C. Schearer: “The relevance of European Networking and self-organized counter spaces”

The input will explore the relevance of self-organized struggles. Especially focusing on alliances and their relevance when speaking from the margins. Exemplified along the lines of the European Network Meetings for People of African Descent and Black Europeans, which is trying to highlight Black realities throughout Europe.

  • Brigitta Kuster: “Erase them!”

In Europe currently protests by refugees and transmigrants are growing. The refugees of the Vienna Protest camp in the Votiv Church formulated in conjunction to their demand for basic services, freedom of movement within Austria, permission to work, access to education, termination of displacement -as as a surprising additional postulate: „If you do not want to fulfill our demands, then at least remove our fingerprints from your databanks. We have a right to our future.“ – The right to freedom of movement is connected to the right for data sovereignty here. More than a quarter of the migrants who have arrived in Italy during the first half of 2014 have not had their finger prints taken, to be sent to Brüssels, by Italian authorities as reported by the press.

  • Jenny Kneis: “How to bear witness?”

Recent German migrant struggles can be stated to have begun with the suicide of an Iranian migrant in a detention centre in Würzburg on January 29th 2012. I will take up two statements from an interview with a fellow refugee as a starting point of my lecture. (1) “Migrants to my mind are the lowest stratum of society” he says. Does this mean to speak of class? It clearly seems to imply the idea of a whole of society. (2) The barracks where they live he says, remind him “on the Nazi-camps”. His analogy seems to be inappropriate at first sight, but what does it exactly refer to, in which ways his thoughts seem to be appropriate, up to date and as this impossible to be located in some dustbin of (post-war) history?

There can be traced prevailing and latent concepts of class and race, this is my assumption, by following the thoughts of this person within the European migration regime. This attempt can be a political intervention.

  • Ilias Marmaras: “The avatar of research. An interactive thriller on the possibilities of documentation.”

A major issue of debate in the social/political struggle field is the digitalization of the mechanisms of control and surveillance. (Border Crossing, Social Movements, Intercultural Conflict and Dialogue) And though these mechanisms are based on machines and devices, they appear –mostly- “invisible” and “immaterial” to those they are applied on. In order to find a way to visualize these mechanisms –and often their unexpected and confusing results on the involved actor – the idea of using the media form of a videogame that could simulate the different situations and disseminate them to the public, was considered promising. It was based on the idea that videogames can be either media or games, but sometimes they can be both. Because used as media, they may carry an idea from one place to another. And as games, they can establish a set of conditions within which humans play. Any meaning or message that comes out of the game is generated by the players, and was not necessarily envisaged in the game’s original design.

  • Stefan Nowotny: “Collapses of Translation”

Collapses take place when a given structure or arrangement caves in as its various components “fall together”. The structure or arrangement thus ceases to be enabling and instead turns into a ruin of itself. In times of forensic-linguistic analyses or detective agencies hired to provide interpretation services in asylum procedures, this is exactly what’s happening to translation and those who rightfully demand to be translated. Whenever rights are violated, however, the question is about how to counter the violation – or evade its very terms.


Closure: Re-enactement of Monty Python’s German vs Greek philosophers

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