Nightcomers (10th İstanbul Biennial)

Those who are Out of Sight and Out of Mind,
those for whom the Nights Blend into Days


I look at the short list I have formed for my video program. The selection in front of me comprises messages I have received from eighteen countries. Germany, the United States of America, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Holland, England, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey and Greece. This may seem like a comprehensive selection with wide participation to you at first. But there are a few things which occupy my mind. What about the points we have not reached, and those left outside the boundaries?

Especially South America, Asia, Africa, where do they stand on this list? Really, why aren’t they here?

Looking at the participation and the selection, I did witness Iranian, Korean and Chinese names. But almost all of them have residential addresses in Germany, France and the United States of America. Alright, we come across people from different countries and different social classes, but when we look at where they live, most of those who sent in videos live in European centres. Somehow the message does not reach us from Malaysia or Venezuela. The fact that the majority of videos came from outside Turkey is another issue we have to contemplate.

The surface of the water we can see is not that muddled, participation is rather high, videos of various discourses, but once we delve in... The utopia of optimism holds out only up to a point...

We had departed from the logic of Dazibao’s wall-mounted posters, and targeted a platform to include amateur labour and no social class difference. But when we look at the result, the word has again come from a certain region, is again about a certain geography. It still gives us hope that alternative videos that break this mould have been included on this long list.

A night broadcast as wide, collective, polyphonic as possible, seeking justice, with a coverage area along a certain meridian.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

What is my aim?
I wanted to design a collective TV broadcast for the insomniac. To rethink midnight TV in a format which would illuminate the streets at night and search for its viewers.
After prime time, not at the usual addresses, a broadcast that can wander.
Going back to the nostalgia of the years when there was only a single TV channel, searching for its respondent within the summertime atmosphere of open air cinemas which brought people together.
I will range from ad aesthetics to documentaries, from sentimental narrative sequences to sports images, to music videos, to credits. All the memorized codes and references provided to us by contemporary Internet TVs are here. All works to be shown are lined up without regard to any class, language, race or country distinction. (Up to a point, naturally)

Each contributor who has taken part in the formation of the program faces various social situations, belongs to a different social class and suffers different problems. From professional artists to music video directors, art students and entirely amateur labour, the program is open to all.

Two broadcast flows of half an hour each comprise all this.

The polyphony emanating from this totality will transmit messages ranging from intervals of 15 seconds to 5 minutes to the viewer and spread out on to the street.

It is exciting to know that the messages are not part of a whole and have no fixed abode. That they will reverberate on a different street another day.

However this entire global framework, the main event formed around institutional logos does not prevent the equation, “the field where crime and the law will be fought=street.” One must be aware that the sheltered dream of the gallery where an elite spell is pumped upon us, packaged and secured artist politicizations will not function in the public space. To the extent that this world of spectacle protects the right of its artists to speak their mind, to enter their remarks into circulation rapidly, and is a place based on money as the source of its power, then this field is so different and so real it hurts. We cannot provide you with insurance or security; we cannot support you for your (faulty) expression. The rules operate in a different manner here. Let me make that clear from the outset.

This is in a sense similar to a figure that cannot run comfortably because s/he has been dressed up in a trendy suit. Within this system, we unfortunately have to be first-class and cool and not interfere with the order of the street as we want to. And this has a lot to do with how much we can force the possibilities of realizing what we believe in, how much we can force the limits. Action and reaction, they function so realistically here. The more we dress up and put on these smart suits, the more interest we attract on the street and the more we fall into the public eye. The chance to escape the lights, you said?
I think, as the curators of this event, this has been the common struggle of the five of us.
We think we have initially managed to loosen the tie, with your encouragement and excitement we will be able to take off the jacket, throw it away and plunge into the streets in freedom...
We either have to multiply, or if we are alone, be strong.

The dazibao project is an independent electronic-image: The thing to do does not seem that difficult technically, save your visual message, collect the ones of others and hit the street. Share. It could be the projector of a bar, or the 55 cm. television screen the neighbour has carried out on to the doorstep in the night because of the summer heat. You must do it, too!
What could be more provocative than communicating your own word?

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