Straining our international forces into the latest version of the Expanded Cirkulacija 2: World Improvement Machine! After an introductory event in Ljubljana the complete event will take place on thursday, 15th July 2021 at 19.00 in Špitalska kapela in Celje.
Subtitle: Fragments of Machine
Participants: Ryuzo Fukuhara (movement, voice), Elvin Brandhi (voice, sound), Iva Tratnik (voice, sound, movement), Stefan Doepner (mechanisms, sound, voice), Borut Savski (projection, sound, voice).
The planned form of “Machine” transportation to Celje will be a comprehensive interdisciplinary multimedia event – a full-length evening situation that mixes the stage and the audience, seemingly acts as an installation in space – and as a performative environment where movement, sound, projections, cybernetic mechanisms (mechanical and computer generated) – mix together into an intense contemporary art mess. Narrative forms are abstract, but they capture directly from parables relating to the meaning of the World Improvement Machine.
With regard to the (possible) ideological solutions for the future of Machine’s drive – when humanity is seemingly balancing at the edge of “the end of time”, Ecology is emerging as a candidate. Primarily as Political Ecology. The same with her catastrophic scenarios on climate change, which is imposed as the only imperative – everything else is a joke. Also humanism and democracy.
Ecology occurs around 1970 in post-hippie California. An intellectual movement that grew on ideas that sees the individual within the environment. Only a little later, in parallel with the other disappointed remnants of the American new left, the movement resorted to more radical actions. The most high-profile were Greenpeace‘s actions: pointing to ecological disasters due to oil spills of stranded tankers, nuclear tests in the Pacific, warning about increasing size of ozone holes, deforestation, campaigns to close nuclear power plants, rejection of genetically modified food & organisms, etc. All of this took place throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s (of the last century) – and into the present. The organization has grown into a worldwide network.
At the moment, two imperatives are emerging as the most important: the fight for the environment and the fight against the virus. They may not even be very separate. They both warn of a global disaster. Such diction means that they put themselves before any other historical improvements of the Machine, such as the already mentioned humanism and democracy. Critical reflection is therefore primarily concerned with the possibility of Ecology taking a religious or overtly ideological position – which would be a regression of the Machine.
The umbrella concept of “World Improvement Machine” is a four-year series of Cirkulacija 2, entering in its second year. It is basically a mechanistic representation of the modern state as it was born all over Europe in the 16th Century and afterwards. Later, the idea of the Enlightenment is added to this – bringing in Humanism – the human individual as the basic building block of society. This also means the beginning of the ideological end of the influence of religions. Afterwards comes the time of industrialization, the bourgeoisie, nation states and democracies. All these – in perspective – seem positives, despite the constant delusions and deviations in Machine development, but nevertheless prove to be an imperative of progress – development from worse to better. The desire for a smooth-running mechanism is supposed to drag the world forward.
The sudden global crisis due to the covid-19 virus in early 2020, which at the moment so decisively determines the global pulse, is directly related to the idea of society / state as a “Machine”. Measures and restrictions, infantilization by protecting the population at all costs, the economic and health system from collapse, pose a great danger of regressing the operation of World Improvement Machine to the time before humanism and democracies.
The internationality of societies is under attack by black&white visions: national and other sorts of mono(chrome)cultures. The role of all thinking individuals – and especially artists – at such a time is to oppose such regressions and attempts to reduce the diversity of societies solely to functionally identified / “necessary” segments of societies. We do not have any illusion that the realization of such scenario is impossible.
In 2020, the following set of Machine fragments was created under restrictive conditions:
Razširjena Cirkulacija 2: Stroj za izboljšanje sveta
Visit to the Špitalska kapela v Celju is a co-production of Cirkulacija 2 and KROG, a society for community art and space.
Event is part of Green Sounds | Zeleni zvoki II project, co-financed by City of Celje and JSKD. Program Cirkulacije 2 is co-financed by City of Ljubljana.