Wednesday Night — 04.03.03 — Meeting for Operation Now, How, Wow

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Wednesday Night — 04.03.03 — Meeting for Operation Now, How, Wow

1. About Tonight
2. Introduction e-mail to hownow e-mail list

1. About Tonight
What: Meeting
When: 7pm
Where: at 16Beaver Street, 5th Floor
Who: Anyone who may be interested
This e-mail is meant as an invitation for all of those who may be
interested in organizing for, participating in, coordinating with or
finding out more about Operation Now, How, Wow (April 25-27). We really
would love to have as many people at 16Beaver as are interested.
Below a short description of what we last sent out last week to those who
subscribed to the new list.

2. Introduction e-mail to hownow e-mail list

Operation Now, How, Wow — Introduction to List

1. Introduction
2. Preliminary Project Description
3. What is to be Done?

1. Introduction

First, a hello and thanks to everyone on this list.
We were pleasantly surprised by the number of responses and people who
expressed an interest. We hope that this collective e-mail does not read
as disinterest to your particular suggestions. This is only to get us all
on the same level and to save time. Over the next few weeks we will
hopefully get a chance to communicate more directly.
Included below is a preliminary project description, we tried to summarize
it to a few paragraphs. We also included a simple to do list. Finally,
minutes from our Monday meeting. All of these can and should be improved,
added to, and developed through your suggestions.
Until this project is fully up and running, we ask you to direct e-mails,
inquiries, suggestions to info@16beavergroup.org.

2. Preliminary Project Description

Short Summary:
Operation Now is a festival of dissent.
We want to activate, coordinate with, and invite others to organize some
actions, activities and events in relation and response to the ?war on
terror?, the war in iraq, the ongoing attacks on civil liberties,
responsibilities as ?citizens?, responsibilities as cultural workers,
culture & politics, cultural politics, censorship, dissent, etc,
Taking inspiration from the recent anti-war movement and protests that
have been organized in cities throughout the world, we would like to
involve and implicate in a more precise fashion, the role, responses, and
strategies of cultural workers or others utilizing/employing
artistic/creative approaches.
We are aware that many people are already in the mindset and preparing
such actions, we just want to try to create a density of these activities
to coincide together and create a level of critical mass and hopefully
public resonance.
Although there are organizing bodies, there is no center to this festival:
it will take place in a number of different locations in cities throughout
the world. Most importantly, anyone who wishes to, can take part. The
structure of this festival is open. In other words, there is no approval
of what can and cannot fit within its framework. We only propose a title,
a date (April 25, 26, 27), an open set of ideas, themes and questions. It
is up to the individuals and groups who participate to decide and organize
the specific scope and nature of their projects.
A map of this cultural field of resistance will be generated along with a
calendar of all the related events that will take be taking place.

3. What is to be done?

a. Respond ? Please make any suggestions before we post the general
description of Operation Now on the web.
b. Outreach — Contact individuals, groups, and organizations who may be
interested in organizing an event of their own or participating in an
event that you will be organizing. You can forward the letter we sent
yesterday and add an introduction as you see fit.
c. Coordinate — Once you have decided on what you will be doing. Please
keep the list updated of your project whether it is a work or an
event/action that will take place during the said dates ? by writing to
d. Subscribe ? If you have not already done so, subscribe to the list by
writing to subscribe_hownow@16beavergroup.org

4. Minutes from Meeting

Not to state the obvious, but as the idea for this is to have a completely
horizontal structure, these were our inputs into these categories, not
only can the questions and issues and content of these categories be added
to, but also the categories themselves can be further developed. Also,
these were loose notes, in some cases, they will not make sense, apologies
in advance. Last but not least, the final section is a grab bag of
questions that came up, this is exhausting to look at, but may be a
helpful place to start for some:

Public Art works
Creative Protests
Temporary Exhibitions
Asking for video submissions with very specific format, sound, performance
Town Hall Meetings
Radio Broadcasts
Web based projects
Posters, Stickers, Billboards
Locations, Participants, Spaces
Groups & Collectives
Activists & Artists & Writers & ?
Links & Contacts
List of groups and organizations that can open this project to as many
others as possible
Link to other events
List of Artists who might do projects
Others who might be interesting panelists or discussion/workshop leaders
Press Contacts
Help from organizations? Funding?
Organizing, resources, interns, etc?. volunteers

Topics, Issues we are interested in (please add)
Culture(s) of Protest
Artists, artworks, interesting in this context, historical(e.g.,
formulate our ideas in relation to others, …) Are they alive, can they be
invited to discuss their work?
Bore or Gush
Dissent, dissent in time of war, rhetoric of patriotism in relation to war
time, etc, …
The rhetoric and language around this war, other wars, e.g., Operation
Iraqi freedom, embedded reporters, shock and awe, human shields, etc…
Language of media
Language and media
Cultural workers responding to media strategies, Pentagon’s strategies for
this war.
The issue of response in relation to responsibility but also in relation
to speed, time, cultural field, particularly within art context, slow,
how to present pertinent issues within larger institutions, but with some
immediacy, the cultural site such as the museum not as a repository for
last year’s questions, yet alone the questions of previous generations,
but as a meeting place, a site of community organization, activities,
discussions, debates, hmmm, different models,
The relation of resistance to post-resistance, visions, ideas, actions now
in relation to a future, to come or underway
What does creative protest look like?
What does democracy look like?
Are we in need of new strategies or tactics in organizing, reaching out,
staging forms of protest?
What are workable, productive, interesting strategies of resistance?
How can culture and cultural workers intervene within the current contexts
of war abroad and locally?
Artists being used for military, for war?
Back to normal, what if the war has ended in three weeks, but had not the
war already been going on before the bombing began, was it not actually
underway even before Bush ever arrived to office? So what if or when it
is over in Iraq, what then? How does , Can a peace movement open to
other headings? Has it already done so?

We also looked for questions from some recent meetings or discussions…

>From Luis Camnitzer discussion:
How would one begin to layout an ethical relation to or practice in one’s
own work as a cultural worker?
What is the relation of ethics to questions of form and content within art?
When is a work irresponsible?
What is our understanding of ethics or responsibility?

>From Journal of Aesthetics and Protest discussion:
What modes of art and political theory connect with the material
conditions of corporate and military globalization?
What are the many responses to this mis-en-scene by media makers?
What are the critical dialogues that fuel creative protest and engagement
with power?
How can critical thought prosper in repressive times?
What have been the structures which
have supported, driven, and defined the conception of historical phases,
and modes, of counter cultures? Would it be possible (or desirable) to
name as a collectivity the modes of cultural production that are in
opposition to corporate/military globalization?

>From Strategies of Resistance Meeting:

Is collective practice inherently more political than individual
What issues do you feel are most pressing today for
cultural workers concerned with politics?
What do you feel cultural workers can/should be doing
in the current atmosphere of right wing nationalisms
and unquestioned U.S. Conservatism (worldwide)?
What collectives/initiatives have been formative to your practice? Why?
How can we bridge generational/age divisions among
generally sympathetic political viewpoints?
What is civil disobedience today? How can previous
forms of civil disobedience be reformulated and
practiced now?
How can we work against the social and political
restrictions imposed by market identities, academic
institutions, museums and galleries, corporate and
state funding, media censorship, protest regulations,
What tactics/strategies of political or collective practice from past
experiences do you find useful/useless?
What problems have you had when asked to present work
outside of its intended social context/format? What strategies have
helped you overcome this problem?