Konrad Becker's "Dictionary of Operations," Austrian Cultural Forum, Dec. 13, 2012

"Dictionary of Operations"
Konrad Becker

A Performance by Konrad Becker and Discussion
with Ayreen Anastas, Stephen Duncombe and Fran Ilich
Moderated by Jim Fleming

Thursday, December13, 06:30 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
(212) 319-5300

The Austrian Cultural Forum is pleased to present this event featuring Austrian electronic media pioneer Konrad Becker, in conjunction with the exhibition Against The Specialist: Contemporary References to Arnold Schoenberg in Image and Sound.

WITH: Ayreen Anastas (16beaver), Stephen Duncombe (NYU), and Fran Ilich (author/artist)
Moderator: Jim Fleming

Konrad Becker's "Operations" highlights the subtext of the politics of information and the underlying framework of media reality in digital networks. If every communication is an oracle, who owns meaning which authorizes legitimate knowledge? Dictionary of Operations reflects illusory mirror worlds and excavates media-archaeological ghost stories that continue to haunt the world. Tracing the omnipresent trails of monsters, zombies and ghosts in the infosphere it declares "To be human is to be haunted, bound in chains to a past dominating the present."

"Operations" is a performance series based on a series of books published by Autonomedia. Dictionary of Operations, is the third in a series of new lexica. After defining the field of Tactical Reality (2002) and Strategic Reality (2009), this manual to the contemporary cognitive environment analyzes 72 terms to access the operative logics of social and anti-social media.

Konrad Becker will perform excerpts from "Operations": a spoken word electro-poetry show of psycho-acoustic beats that explores mimetic communication machines. "Operations" evokes the phantasmagoric qualities of digital media environments. The performance unveils media history to be haunted by reoccurring themes of ghosts, mirror worlds and dangerous trans-communications.

Dictionary of Operations, Autonomedia 2012 ISBN: 978-1-57027-261-5


Konrad Becker is an interdisciplinary communication researcher, director of the Institute for New Culture Technologies/ t0, and World-Information Institute (World-Information.Org), a cultural intelligence provider. Co-founder and chairman of Public Netbase (1994 - 2006), he has been active in electronic media as an artist, author, composer as well as curator, producer and organizer. Since 1979, numerous electronic intermedia productions, exhibitions, conferences and event designs for international festivals and cultural institutions as well as a range of interventions in public space. Publication of media works, electronic audiovisuals, theoretical texts and books, lectures at various universities and participation in numerous conferences and symposia. in September 2009 he participated in a roundtable conference at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

His work has been acknowledged with several awards and has been characterized by extensive cooperation with many protagonists of a new artistic practice. The field of work and artistic production includes all areas of electronic art and culture, from audio, video, TV and radio, multimedia productions and installations, software and VR to social interventions. The author and writer of texts on the politics of the infosphere investigates the cultural and social implications of technology in information societies. A particular emphasis is placed on the investigation of interrelations of the symbolic and the real, immaterial information regimes and tangible reality. Publikations include more than thirty film and video productions from experimental art videos to documentaries screened in galleries, museums, festivals and media installations as well as TV broadcast. An actor in various TV and cinema productions he has lectured and performed in more than 25 countries. His work was featured in several hundred publications including major international newspapers and magazines with more than 3500 print articles, reviews and interviews. A founding member of "European Cultural Backbone" (ECB) and various cultural networks he contributed to local and international cooperation of artists and cultural workers in the field of information and communication technologies. He was member of various boards on information technologies and culture and consultant for public administration.

Konrad Becker also created Monoton in 1979, the crucial Austrian electronic music act, providers of distinguished electronic soundscapes and psycho-acoustics. The Wire magazine ranked Monoton’s 1982 record Monotonprodukt07 among the 100 most important records of the 20th century. Tracks from the album can be heard in the Main Gallery of the Austrian Cultural Forum, where they serve as a soundtrack for Gerald Moser's installation, a question of space - a time to question.

Ayreen Anastas is an organizer of 16 Beaver space in New York CIty.

Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media. He is the author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Underground Culture, and co-author of The Bobbed Haired Bandit: Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York; the editor of the Cultural Resistance Reader and co-editor of White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race. He is the creator of the Open Utopia, an open-access, open-source, web-based edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, and writes on the intersection of culture and politics. Duncombe is a life-long political activist, co-founding a community based advocacy group in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and working as an organizer for the NYC chapter of the international direct action group, Reclaim the Streets. In 2009 he was a Research Associate at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York City where he helped organize The College of Tactical Culture. With funding from the Open Societies Foundations he co-created the School for Creative Activism in 2011, and is presently co-director of the Center for Artistic Activism. Duncombe is currently a Senior Research Fellow of Theatrum Mundi, an international consortium of artists, designers and scholars, and is working on a book on the art of propaganda during the New Deal.

Jim Fleming is the editor/publisher at autonomedia, lecturer at Hunter College, CUNY

Fran Ilich is a writer and media-artist working on creative practices of experimental economies and finance, hacktivism and narrative media. He is author of the novels Metro-pop (1997), Tekno Guerrilla (2007), and Circa 94 (2010), as well as of the book length essay Another Narrative is Possible: Political Imagination in the Age of the Internet. He was a fellow at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York, editor at large of Sputnik Cultura Digital magazine, screenwriter of the show Interacción (Discovery Channel Latin America), researcher at Centro Multimedia México, and manager of the literature department at Centro Cultural Tijuana. His work has been presented at Berlinale Talent Campus, Documenta 12, Transmediale, MIT Media In Transition, Walker Art Center, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NYU, Cornell University, The World Bank, The Economist Mexico Summit 2011, Antidoto, Electronic Literature Organization Symposium, Quartier 2, Dox Centre for Contemporary Art Prague, and the Festival Mundial de la Digna Rabia del EZLN. He also directed the festivals Cinemátik 1.0, (MOCA - CalArts), and Borderhack, and directed narrative media seminars at Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, in Sevilla. He won the 2010 Leonardo Foundation scholarship to study at the M.A. program in Media Art Histories at Donau-Krems Universität, Austria. His current project is the Diego de la Vega cooperative media conglomerate, and the Donau Festival just commissioned him to develop an Alternate Reality Game for its 2013 edition.