Ulus Baker; "On Cyprus" (Video Interview)
Friday, July 11th, 19:00
A half hour long video interview on the political history of Cyprus, made with Ulus Baker by Aras Ozgun in August 2003.
Can Sarvan; "Island where the History is Accelerated" (Documentary Film)
Friday, July 11th, 19:30

Can Sarvan was born in Istanbul. She studied philosophy in Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, did not graduate. She decided to shoot a film when she was working in Moscow. She returned to Turkey in 2000. She was selected to the ‘Project of Young Filmmakers’ of Turkish Radio Television (TRT) and shot her first short film, titled Makyaj/Make-up. She started to publish a monthly magazine called FUQ, Frequently Unasked Questions in Istanbul, Turkey. She came to Cyprus in the beginning of 2003. She made a TV programme called FUQ for local TV channels and her articles published in Cypriot newspapers and magazines. To give more time to write a book about Cyprus and making a film, she decided to leave the media. She was selected to Manifesta 6 European Biennial of Contemporary Art organized by the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM) as one of 4 artists from North Cyprus. But Manifesta 6 is cancelled at the last minute because of political reasons related to Cyprus problem. She shot Nar Yarası/The Wound of Pomegranate, a bicommunal film in January, 2007 and completed it in March. In 2008, she made one short, Denizbozan/Sea Needler and a documentary, Tarihin Hızlandırıldığı Ada/Island where the History is Accelerated. As an independent filmmaker she makes her own business to be able to shoot more independent films without claiming any support neither from governmental institutions nor international film foundations.

Island where the History is Accelerated
Script: Gürkan Uluçhan-Can Sarvan, Director: Can Sarvan, Producer: Can Sarvan, Director of Photography: Hakan Çakmak, Editor: Hakan Çakmak, Light: Hüseyin Kamalı, Music: İlker Kaptanoğlu, Translation and Voice-over: Esra Plümer, 2D Animations: Johan Duchateau, Cast: Ahmet Ustaoğlu, Sinan Sarvan, Şefik Zağlul, Year: 2008, Cyprus, Duration: 30’, Category: Documentary

French cultural theorist Paul Virilio speaks of our generation as being the generation of ‘accelerated realities’. ‘The acceleration of reality’ is directly related to the acceleration of history. World history, the altogether invitation to war of capitalist countries against the Former Soviet Union, the year when the Cold War began, has been accelerated since 1947.

Remarkable discoveries of particle physics seem to be an inspiration for the formation of political engineering and the acceleration of history in Cold War period as well as in the New World Order epoch.

The Cold War gives the island of Cyprus ethnic conflicts, a republic, a coup, a landing of troops and division as a present. The Cold War comes to an end with the Former Soviet Union’s break down in 1991. A new world will be established and this new world will have the New World Order. This new order will quickly be adapted in Cyprus.

In the New World Order, the military coup strategy of the cold war period is dropped and with the support given to the local non-governmental organizations creating ‘colour and flower revolutions’ has become a new vehicle of accelerating histoy as it did in the divided island of Cyprus.

The documentary is dedicated in loving memory of Ulus Baker taking as a base of his opinions about Cyprus Issue and his roots in Cyprus.

Anette Baldauf; "Shopping Towns, Megamalls and the Future of the City"
Saturday, July 12th, 11:30

Anette Baldauf, sociologist and cultural critic, lives in Vienna. Her work focuses on postindustrial city formations, pop and everyday life culture, feminism, social movements and artistic practices. In her continuous cooperation with artists she is interested in intensifying a dialogue between social sciences and artistic practices. Numerous radio features, tv-documentaries, group shows and book publications, including Lips Tits. Hits. Power? Feminismus und Popkultur (with Katharina Weingartner), Der Gruen Effekt (with Dorit Margreiter) and Entertainment City. Stadtentwicklung und Unterhaltungskultur.

Shopping Towns, Megamalls and the Future of the City: Victor Gruen might have been one of the most influential urban planners of the twentieth century. He is generally considered the father of the shopping mall. His ideas, both influential and abused, have led to cities which serve the new gods of consumption. In the fifties, the Jewish Austrian emigrant to the USA created the concept of Shopping Towns, which were meant to strengthen the social life and structure urban sprawl. Within ten years, the civic spaces within these complexes had been transformed into commercial spaces and the shopping mall had become a gigantic consumerist machine. In the sixties, as downtowns suffered from the loss of capital and white flight, Gruen proposed to believe in the integrative power of the old market square as a place that integrates commerce, social interaction and communication. Subsequently his projects initiated a process now known as the malling of inner city. Finally, in the early seventies, Gruen moved back to Vienna to realize his last vision of a livable city. He proposed to turn the city center into an environmental oasis and finally had to confront the irony of his life: While he had tried to recreate the old European market square in US-American cities, the shopping mall was conquering European cities, and destroying his ideal of urban living.

Since Gruen died in 1980, the shopping mall has undergone a series of adaptations: In the eighties in the context of a saturated US mall market, malls had become leisure ruins that threatened to litter the American landscape; many were either de-mallized or hyper-mallized and transformed into Urban Entertainment Centers. In the nineties, two variations on the mall prevailed: the ostentatious, gigantic Megamall and or the more upscale, inconspicuous Lifestyle Center, which presented itself as just another urban streetscape. Regardless of their appearances, all of these post-Gruen projects share one common challenge: the question of public space. Where is the public space in these privately owned complexes? What kind of public is enacted here, and what kind of public culture is introduced? If Lifestyle Centers are basically the corporate replacement of previously existing public streets, can the “public” only be consumed if it is privatized? How can an investigation into mall culture help us envision the future of the city?

Click to watch the video recording of Anette Baldauf's presentation.

Aras Ozgun; "Post-Fordism, Neo-Liberalism, and Cultural Production"
Saturday, July 12th, 13:30

Aras Ozgun is a media scholar/artist living in New York. He was born at the Black Sea coast of Anatolia, he studied political sciences and sociology in Ankara and media studies in New York. He is now teaching graduate courses related with media theory and digital media practices at Media Studies Department of The New School. He produces experimental video and digital media works through various collectives such as korotonomedya in Ankara and pyromedia in New York. He cofounded korotonomedya with Ulus Baker in 1995, and besides their collaborative works within this collective, they produced Art and Desire seminar (ODTU-GISAM, Ankara, 1997-1998) and What is Opinion? video (Pyromedia, New York, 2003) together. He is currently working on his Ph.D dissertation on the political-economy of contemporary cultural production at The New School for Social Research.

Post-Fordism, Neo-Liberalism, and Cultural Production; One of the definitive features of post-fordism is that it incorporates certain forms of labor and value (which we have thought of as belonging to the sphere of cultural production so far) as dominant forms of economic productivity. Such conditions force us to reconsider the basic terminology of political-economy on the one hand, which had provided us with a basis for political criticism and action until now, and on the other, the cultural production practices that we participate in and contribute to as artists and cultural producers.

By looking at certain sites of cultural production --such as New York, Berlin, Vienna, this presentation aims to discuss certain modes and moments of contemporary artistic and cultural production, such as the ways in which cultural production articulates to capitalist production cycles, neoliberal cultural policies (such as the "creative industries" programs/discourses), and the subjectivities, social relations and resistance potentials shaped within such practices.

Yahya Madra/Fikret Adaman; "Forms of neoliberalism: The political logics of the neoclassical tradition"
Saturday, July 12th, 15:00

Yahya M. Madra teaches political economy and history of economics at Gettysburg College. He has published in Journal of Economic Issues, Rethinking Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society in English and Birikim, Toplum ve Bilim, and Doxa in Turkish, and in a number of edited volumes published by Kluwer Press, Routledge, Cambridge Scholarly Press, and Black Rose Books. His research fields are methodology and philosophy of economics, the intersection between Marxian political economy and Lacanian psychoanalysis, and the political economy of cultural production. He has completed his doctoral dissertation, "Late neoclassical economics: The persistence of theoretical humanism in contemporary economic theory" at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007.

Fikret Adaman (PhD, 1993, Manchester University) is Professor of Economics at Bogazici University, Istanbul, and has been lecturing at undergraduate and graduate levels on history of economic thought, methodology of economics, environmental economics, and micro economics. His research areas cover philosophy of economics, Calculation Debate, Karl Polanyi, political economy of Turkey, and environmental conflicts. He was one of the delegate members representing the civil society of Turkey on environmental issues at the Johannesburg Earth Summit of 2002 (WSSD). His articles on appeared in, among others, Cambridge Journal of Economics, New Left Review, Studies in Political Economy, International Review of Sociology, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Environment and Behavior, Economy and Society, Journal of Economic Issues, and Review of Political Economy. He has recently co-edited with Murat Arsel the Environmentalism in Turkey (Ashgate) book.

Forms of neoliberalism: The political logics of the neoclassical tradition: The exuberant and dogmatically market fundamentalist writings of Milton Friedman (of the Chicago School) and Friedrich von Hayek (of the Austrian School) are typically seen as the definitive intellectual sources of neoliberalism. But does it make sense to reduce the neoliberal project to the writings of a subset of the neoclassical tradition—a tradition that has come to dominate the discipline of economics for more than a half a century now? Is neoliberalism nothing more than the newest name we give to the pro-market Toryisms of the yester year? Or, is it a broad intellectual field that inhabits more than just the neoclassical proponents of private capitalism? In this paper, we argue that neoliberalism should be understood as an intellectual horizon which gives a mother-tongue, a common language to a wide but ultimately delimited spectrum of political positions (ranging from left-wing, market corrective, late neoclassical economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman to deficit spending, corporate tax cutting neo conservative neoclassicals) for enacting a kind of “public” debate. The neoliberal project of governing the social through economic incentives (or governing the social through the “rational” and “autonomous” self-governing of the individual subject) constitutes the unquestionable common ground shared by all those who inhabit this intellectual horizon. Even those left-liberal economists who are keen to identify the various failures of the idealized market of the traditional neoclassical economic theory (e.g., the so-called principal-agent problems, markets for “lemons”, environmental externalities) and hence, to open the door for some dose of “corrective” intervention should also be seen as a part of this public debate. But perhaps more insidiously is the way in which the very semblance of “choice” that comes along with this co-existence of a plurality of policy orientations within the field helps to further entrench the hold of the hegemonic core of neoliberalism. A true alternative to the neoliberal project should begin by questioning the very foundations of the project, by trying to understand how the neoclassical tradition in economic theory has been instrumental in instituting a world that encroaches upon the individual subjects with “economic incentives” (whether they be embodied in actual markets or non-market but market-like institutions) and thereby, in training them in the “economic way of thinking”.

Click to watch the video recording of Yahya Madra and Fikret Adaman's presentation.

Arianna Bove; "Intellectual property as the privatisation of the general intellect"
Saturday, July 12th, 16:30
Arianna Bove is an independent researcher in philosophy, involved in the making of www.generation-online.org, where her research, articles and translations can be found. She has translated many works from Italian and French, including texts by Althusser, Foucault, Negri, Bifo, Virno, and others.
Paolo Carpignano; "Mediating Skills"
Saturday, July 12th, 18:00

Paolo Carpignano is Associate Professor of Sociology and Media Studies at The New School in New York, where he is the coordinator of the Master /Ph.D. program in the Sociology of Media. Writer, consultant and producer for production companies in the United States, Brazil, and Italy. Author of several articles in Sociology, Social History and Media Theory, and co-author of Crisis and Workers' Organization and The Formation of the Mass Worker in the USA. He is the author of the online project Televisuality. and he is currently working on a book on the relationship between work and media.

Mediating Skills is an exploration of the relationship between forms of mediation and labor processes. In particular, the historical permutations of mediated environments will be examined from the point of view of the changing nature of skill, from craftsmanship to de-skilling and to multitasking.

Click to watch the video recording of Paolo Carpignano's presentation.

Can Gunduz/Bilge Demirtas; "Enduring Andrei Rublev"
Sunday, July 12th, 10:00

Bilge Demirtas: As part of an extended METU experience, following a degree in philosophy major, began working at GİSAM (Audio-Visual Systems Research and Production Center). Besides the routine professional work at the facilities, attended and assisted courses of Ulus Baker, worked on various collaborative film projects and organized workshops. In the meantime, she completed the Media and Cultural Studies graduate program, co-made the short-film A Waxed Movie and video-documentary Here is Ankara, has been an active member of Korotonomedya and Videa collectives and collaborated in Kozavisual project. Very recently, she has moved to New York to attend another graduate program at Integrated Digital Media Institute at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn where she is working on the various multi-media projects of the faculty members at the moment.

Can Gunduz: Likes to forget and then remember that he is an architect graduated from METU, attended a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and practiced in New York, Ankara and Kabul. Living in Ankara since 2002, he attended and assisted various seminar-events of Ulus Baker in Ankara, İzmir and İstanbul. Co-made short experimental video-documentaries passing in New York, Berlin, Ankara, Isfahan and Kabul. Member of Korotonomedya and Videa collectives. Collaborated in Kozavisual project in Ankara. He is recently doing a PhD in Sociology at METU.Enduring Andrei Rublev

Enduring Andrei Rublev: “If asked, for the records, Andrei Rublev is my favorite film of all times” – Ulus Baker. Our presentation will be based on a collection of individual and collective experiences of watching and re-watching Andrei Rublev in Ulus Baker’s presence, as part of an ascetic exercise for the improvement of the “faculty of seeing”.

Mehmet Ratip; "The Constitution of the Political Space: From Baker to Schmitt and Agamben"
Sunday, July 13th, 11:30

Mehmet Ratip was born in 1984 in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. He is currently a PhD student at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at METU. He completed his MA degree at the Department of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and wrote a dissertation on ‘the political potential of 9/11 conspiracy thinking’. He writes a weekly column for the ‘KIBRIS’ daily newspaper on popular philosophical topics and current political affairs. He has written critical essays on how the concept of “sovereignty” is employed in the works of Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Žižek, Carl Schmitt, and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. He is currently writing a book on the notion of “politics in Cyprus as the continuation of war by other means”.

The Constitution of the Political Space: From Baker to Schmitt and Agamben: Ulus Baker’s (1960-2007) ‘An Essay on the Consitution of the Political Space’ is silent about Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) and Giorgio Agamben (1942- ) who are both known for their controversial studies on “the constitution of the political space”. These two thinkers are not included in Baker’s bibliography. Nevertheless this silence or absence is only on the surface. A deeper reading reveals that in-between the lines both Schmitt, the crown jurist of the Nazi government and Agamben, the Italian philosopher are engaged in a theoretical and political dialogue with Baker’s text. The meaning of political action today can be inferred from what Baker, Agamben and Schmitt share and how they diverge with respect to their common areas of interest, that is to say, the constitution of the political space and the potentiality of politics.

In his essay, Baker mentions both Schmitt and Agamben just once and only in passing. Baker portrays Schmitt as a thinker ‘who was not able to enrich our conceptions regarding fascism and Nazism’ and then goes on to explain how ‘the world of the Third Reich seems to offer an “ideal” medium of communication’. In this way, Baker seems to revive Schmitt’s critique of liberal democracy in his own analysis. Additionally, in the section titled ‘Epilogue after ten years’, Baker hints at the attempt to identify the idea of “the innocence of the people” with the notion of “bare life” which is the subject and object of the logic of “sovereign power” investigated by Agamben. The reader is expected to remember how this theoretical attempt of identification is bound to fail due to Agamben’s attempt to construct a theory of “anti-sovereign political action”.

In the light of these two passing remarks, Baker’s essay appears to propose a critical approach to the works of Schmitt and Agamben, whereas both Schmitt and Agamben present new opportunities for a critique of Baker’s perspective. Moreover, ‘An Essay on the Constitution of the Political Space’ seems to employ both the Schmittian critique of Agamben and the Agambenian critique of Schmitt. Therefore, the joint effort of the Baker-Agamben-Schmitt triad helps us develop a critical analysis of the constitution of modern political space and the concept of politics and leaves us with striking questions: Are the people politically innocent or an accomplice in the political crime? Is sovereign power really omnipresent or simply hypothetical? Is the connection between democracy and fascism historically concrete or highly conjectural?

Click to watch the video recording of Mehmet Ratip's presentation. (in Turkish)

Tansu Açık; "Few Remarks upon The Emergence of Political Space in Ancient Greek"
Sunday, July 13th, 13:30

Tansu Açık is one of the editors of Virgul journal. He teaches at Ankara University Literature, History and Geography Faculty. He wrote "The Birth of the Throey of Rhetorics in Ancient Greece" (1989) and "Chorus and its functions in Tragedy" (1997). He teaches on the literary forms of antiquity, hermeneutics, historiography, Greco-Roman cultural history, and history of western literature.

Few Remarks upon The Emergence of Political Space in Ancient Greek: This presentation first of all surveys in broad terms the peculiarities of Greek city-states. By the way it engages to mention the impact of it upon the some eminent 20th century political thinkers. After having surveyed the main researchers of Greek political thinking in Turkey, two vast ongoing research project concerning the structures of Greek political space are being compared, namely one by Copenhagen Polis Center of M. H. Hansen , the other one is the comparative anthropological approach of M. Detienne. In order to locate the features of M. Detienne’s approach properly, the contribution of “Paris school” of J. P. Vernant in classical studies is treated in general way.

Click to watch the video recording of Tansu Açık's presentation. (in Turkish)

Alber Nahum; "Evil is Nothing: The Problem of Good and Evil in Spinoza"
Sunday, July 13th, 15:00

Alber Nahum was born in Izmir (Smyrna) in 1979. He works as a research assistant at the Philosophy Department of Galatasaray University. He had the chance to work with Ulus Baker in a series of seminars on Spinoza, titled "Ethica Readings", organized by Norgunk Publishers. He finished his MA thesis on Spinoza in 2006.

Evil is Nothing: The Problem of Good and Evil in Spinoza The problem of evil, which is discussed extensively in Spinoza's correspondence with Blijenbergh, directly references to Ethica's ontology of immanence and anthropology of desire. In this presentation, departing from certain questioningstaking place in this correspondence, we will analyze what means good and evil for Spinoza.

Levent Kavas; The [in-]between, the co[], the shar[], the with[out], and the no[t/n-]
Sunday, July 13th, 16:30

 

The [in-]between, the co[], the shar[], the with[out], and the no[t/n-] On the face of Jean-Luc Nancy's The Inoperative Community, Maurice Blanchot's The Unavowable Community, Giorgio Agamben's The Comming Community, and Alphonso Lingis' The community of those who have nothing in common, I will argue for the possibility of keeping an eye on an horizon (Sartre).

Karolin Meunier/Tanja Widmann; "The Gradual Distraction of Thoughts: A Monologue Dialogue"
Sunday, July 13th, 18:00

Karolin Meunier is an artist and writer, based in Berlin. Currently she is joining the Fine Art Department at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, Netherlands. Mainly working with video, her artistic and theoretical practice attempts to reflect on the performing self as well as the technological means, on aspects of time and the construction of subjectivity in language. Recent exhibitions/performances: Soziale Diagramme. Planning Reconsidered (2008), When Doing Things and Words (2008), Reading Video as Reading (2008). Neue Konzepte (2007); Publications: Der Entwurf des Adressaten (2006), Liebe Freunde 1968, Marcel Broodthaers’ Offene Briefe in: Wiederholung wiederholen (2005).

Tanja Widmann works as an artist, writer and curator, teaches at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Her practice bears on the theory of Foucault, Butler and Derrida, focussing ambivalent moments of subjectivation, fissures that run through the enactment of language, of the self. In her performance this enactment of the subject returns as double, in between writing and speaking, presence delayed, contaminated by the other/the audience/the camera, enacting paradoxical moves, corny jokes. Recent exhibitions: Shandyism. Authorship as Genre (2007), the film as a page of victor hugo rewritten in the style of nerval (2007). Curated exhibitions: Nichts ist aufregend. Nichts ist sexy. Nichts ist nicht peinlich. (2008), Blick A, Blick B (2005/6), Dass die Körper sprechen, auch das wissen wir seit langem.* (2004). Regular contributions for art catalogues, Texte zur Kunst and springerin.

The Gradual Distraction of Thoughts: A Monologue Dialogue
Our encounter started with the introduction of the question of translation while organizing a workshop on Performance at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht in 2007. A workshop that triggered both the issue of how to perform a translation and wether the act of translation could be a starting point for questions on the performative as such. Translation at that moment meant an interrogation of language, as both concrete and contingent, of the presumed presence of the self in self-presentation, and of the part of the camera within the given set.

With now bringing our seperated but related practices next to each other again, by presenting them in one timeframe, under one title, we aim to open up a gesture of commenting as well as dissociating. While entangling and juxtaposing our speeches the distinction between a pure monologue and an impure one, one that is already infected by a dialogue, becomes immediately obvious: Even if one of us makes a start, trusting a vague idea, the act or thought might be corrupted, as they are continuously distracted and challenged by the others speech/act. The monologue thus appearing as dialogue, as translation or reflection of the other. Dependency but also contamination. By this experimental move we enter an ambivalent zone: in one way we will perform what the subject under postfordist conditions is appealed to do (affective/immaterial labour, managing, transforming, performing the self), yet at the same time we might fool the set, by taking the risk of getting lost, commiting to the other in a seriousness that evades the economics of pure exchange or surplus value. An experimental move that is infected by affect, the irritating invocation of the self by the other.

Ulus Baker; "What is Opinion?" (Video Interview/Lecture)
Monday, July 14th, 18:00

A video interview/lecture by Ulus Baker, recorded and produced by Aras Ozgun in 2003. English, 55 mins.

"We have lived at least one century within the idea of opinion which determined some of the major themes in social sciences... In short, social sciences were designed in terms of opinion; asking people what they think about themselves, their lives, their stories, their issues, their problems. And I believe that social sciences have been transformed into a kind of doxology, but I'm tending rather to oppose this status of sociological research. My problem here is that; sociology is epistemologically -or logically- tending rather to become a general opinion about opinions; of what people are supposed to think about themselves and others. And this a clear distinction from the early emergence of social sciences and social research in general...And, through this, in social sciences, we have lost the ability to create (what we may call) the "life of affects" -an affective life..."

Toplum ve Bilim Journal Panel Discussion; "Society of Opinions and the Political Utterance In the Age of Media"
Monday, July 14th, 18:00
A panel organized by Toplum ve Bilim journal, panelists include Tanıl Bora, Nilgün Toker, Mithat Sancar, Ahmet Çiğdem and Necmi Erdoğan.

Anette Baldauf Workshop
Friday July 11th, 13:00 / Monday July 14th, 10:00

A three day workshop organized by Anette Baldauf on the shopping malls/towns, and the recent urban developments in Ankara in this context. Workshop will take place at Orta Dünya Cafe Kı́zı́lı́rmak Sokak No: 35/3-9 Kı́zı́lay