DANCE OF URGENCY
Self-Organisation vs. Overregulation: Free Space Values as a Catalyst for Urban Change
Rapid urban development has made looking back into the history of free spaces increasingly urgent. Today, more than ever, it seems we have to remind ourselves of what a free space means. In the discussion, we will explore examples of self-organized bodies from London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Our panellists will share their memories and perspectives of these spaces; how their actions shaped cities, but also got them pushed away.
What knowledge can we extract from self-organized rave and festival culture? How have past movements contributed to the core identity of free spaces in cities around the world? How could models based on such practices influence future urban planning developments worldwide?
Detroit-Berlin: Tapping into the night
Detroit and dance culture are synonymous. Motown songs and techno tracks bring positive energy to the mind and move the body, regardless of time and place. Yet in Detroit itself dancing is prohibited after 2 a.m. This discussion now being led by the Detroit-Berlin Connection aims to shed light on how local laws must be changed to allow 24 hour expression of what the city does best: innovate, produce raw music power, change the world.
The Detroit-Berlin Connection is leading efforts to end a decades-long dance curfew from 2 to 7:30 a.m. in the city. The laws stretch back to a time when auto industry and political leaders in Detroit, along with the state's Liquor Control Commission, aimed to limit hours of entertainment as a way to protect business interests - as well as reduce late night options for people of color in neighborhoods like Black Bottom-Paradise Valley, which flourished with jazz and blues clubs in the 1930s and 1940s. But those neighborhoods were demolished to make way for interstate highways and other urban renewal projects in the 1950s. Sadly, they no longer exist.
Detroit is considered an innovator and influencer in creative industries worldwide, yet its leading artists - most of them African American - must make their living in cities with less restrictive, more open night economies in Europe and elsewhere.
The 'Tapping into the Detroit-Berlin night' discussion will dig into Detroit’s past, present and potential future. The panel includes Dimitri Hegemann, Berlin techno entrepreneur and worldwide advocate for the 24 economy; Walter Wasacz, Detroit journalist and co-founder of the Detroit-Berlin Connection; John Collins of Detroit's legendary Underground Resistance collective and board member of the Detroit-Berlin Connection; and Mark Reeder, filmmaker and music producer originally from Manchester UK now living in Berlin. Wasacz will moderate the discussion.
Space of Urgency - The Strategy
The second panel will further develop this topic, focusing on the role of free space development now and in the future. What’s next? After countless anti-gentrification protests, political lobbying and free space movements, some European cities are starting to recognize a loss of cultural identity and an urgent demand for the return of free spaces.
As a result, various research projects are taking place, with the aim of developing effective strategies for implementing new urban policies. The panellists will discuss the current plan of action for the creation of “spaces of urgency” which could be implemented
Space of Urgency – The Strategy: What's next?
We continue with a panel that will focus on the topic and role of free space development now and in the future. What is next? After countless anti-gentrification protests, political lobbyist and free space movements, some of European Cities are starting to recognize the loss of cultural identity and the urgent demands for the return of free spaces. To do so, various projects and researches are taking place. They all look for strategies and how urban policies can be formed. The panellists highlight the current plan for the creation of spaces of urgency for future implementation worldwide.
Dance of Urgency
Dance of urgency is a dance that rises in the time of personal and collective crises and that aim to empower individuals and groups. The term has been defined by Bogomir Doringer one of the curators of the event Freitraume. Drawing from his memories of dancing during NATO bombing in Belgrade in 1999, he started research into club culture, and it’s transformative potential. How it transforms one, collective, space, cities, countries etc. Through Freitraume meetings and network created, he has been following a rise of dances with political urgency. In this part of the evening, we will look into how the dance of urgency creates a space of urgency. But also how so that dance can happen space is needed. The role of art plays an essential part in Doringer's research and in this part of the program.
Omsk Social Club
Rave a place that credits pure emotion is the hardest and safest space Omsk Social Club ever found ourselves to be inside. The Rave structure has continually informed our immersive role-playing practice with its collective narratives, chimaera illusion and off-world structures. Looking at living bodies, systematic codes of mutual care and the human strike Omsk Social Club continually creates works that encompass disconnection concepts and pathways for this life and the next. It forks traditional methods of Live Action Role Play (Larp) through immersive installations and into Real Game Play (RGP) to induce states that could potentially be a fiction or a yet, unlived reality.
We often hear about Choreomania as almost a bizarre and unexplained phenomenon. "Dancing mania (also known as dancing plague, choreomania) was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people dancing erratically sometimes thousands at a time." To ravers, such an image sounds very familiar.
Drawing from Dr Kelina's Gotman work in the book Choreomania: Dance and Disorder, this talk will think through the notion of 'wild' dancing – dancing that transcends or disrupts habitual cultures of collective corporeal life. What it means to dance in a way that is natural, unbridled, 'wild' or untamed – as well as disorderly – this talk will aim to reclaim 'choreomania'. To think another order of 'epidemic dancing', dancing that refuses to heed no trespassing zones and refuses to submit to diurnal rules of productive labour.
MOMENTUM (Dancing a Space)
Our international guests will introduce spaces and values that they have been creating the last years through dance. Dancing together created a force that gained visibility for regions and cities where they are based and reminded us of the original values of rave culture/togetherness and synchronicity. These values are disturbed World Wide. We will hear from panellists how they use dance as a way of uniting people, creating a powerful collective body and creative art and music scene. The dance of urgency is temporary, it is momentum. How to maintain values within the community and spaces for new generations and within changing social-political circumstances?
THE POLITICS OF ECSTASY
When analysing contemporary and ancient political motives behind the repression of the collective altered states of consciousness, we can see the repetition of a dynamic of polarisation between those who support the need for these spaces vs those who oppose them. In this interactive conversation with the public, we will reflect on the current systems of raving repression, concerning the latest anti rave laws in France. But also to the American "Rave Act" ( Reducing American vulnerability to Ecstasy Act 2003) the British "Repetitive Beats Act" (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) and invite a debate on how we can become aware of the motives behind both perspectives and how to transcend the need for polarization, in order to reach a less repressive, yet safer and more conscious and mature approach to raving.
We will start with a screening of video essay "The Politics of Ecstasy" by Chiara Baldini and Rafael Kozdron that is narrating the history of the "Bacchanalia Affair", the name given to the repression of the Bacchanalia in 186 BCE in ancient Rome. The work outlines the striking similarities between ancient Dionysian practices and certain modern-day electronic music events, which often share similar values (like inclusivity, LGBTQ+ community, female empowerment, safe spaces, etc.) and "techniques of ecstasy" (dancing to repetitive beats and ingesting psychotropic substances). Such features lead to the posing of similar challenges to mainstream society, triggering either enthusiastic support or ferocious repression. The film has been commissioned by Q21 Vienna and Bogomir Doringer, for the exhibition “Dance of Urgency” that took place in Spring-Summer 2019.
Red Light Radio
All Artists that are highlighted during their Red Light Radio live-stream have their own unique way of creating `Spaces of urgency`for minorities, LGBT+ communities and safe spaces for radical self-expression in general. Every performance start with a 15 minute visual and moderated presentation, where the artist/collective gives us a glimp into their local environments and how their concepts/events contribute and offer empowerment to the values of inclusive club & rave culture. All interviews are conducted and curated by Pedro Marum from mina collective (Lissbon).
The Awareness Workshop aims to provide you with basic information on the subject of discrimination and violence in the event and party context. There will be space for examination of one's own experiences (from both personal and professional context) intended to sensitize you to the topic of potential problems and designate one's own field of power and motivation to change structures towards a more attentive celebration culture. We will work on example situations to discuss solutions together, to strengthen the capability to handle them and to open a space for ideas and opportunities for change.
Extincition Rebellion & Reclaim Club Culture