loosing.ctrl is a joint project processing actions and reactions of "control mechanisms" throughout multiple phases, developed by DAL, Holon and NOMAD, Istanbul. Both Turkey and Israel have had similar social, political and economical experiences. In both societies, specific social phenomena such a: "paranoia", "surveillance"' "authority", "power nodes" are linked to "to control /to be controlled" and therefore to "control mechanisms". In many cases, especially in terms of production mode, there were many similarities between these two countries. However, there were also explicit differences. In the Israeli case, the emphasis was more on "paranoia", "searching", and "acceptance for being controlled", whereas in the Turkish case, it was more about "malfunctioning", "corruption of authority", "unbalanced or disordered hierarchical order of power nodes". The project has operated through artistic productions and curatorial practices in order to expand the investigation of these issues.
The first stage took place in Istanbul , simultaneously at 4 different locations in June 2004. It included a talk and a screening of videos at Platform Contemporary Art Center as well as sound-art performances and video art series together with side activities. During two nights, a different performance took place on stage every 10 minutes. Between 22:00 and 00:00, as the digital countdown projected on the wall completed the 10 minute period, the real time DJ performance or video art performance was immediately cut, and the 10 minute time frame for the next performance began. So, the program proposed a break and even an intrusion within the system by losing control in a most controllable manner.
The second stage took place in Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin on 5th of February 2005 as part of Transmediale .05, International Media Art Festival. Basak Senova presented the project showing a documentary featuring the Istanbul stage along with a Film and Video Screening Program by Israeli and Turkish artists.
For the third stage, on 3rd of May 2005 in DAL, Holon , some documentation of the programme together with extracts from the screening programme were presented. A discussion by the curators, some of the Israeli artists of the project and the audience regarding the highlighted issues followed this presentation.
As the fourth stage, on 21st of June 2005, presentation of the research phase of the project, featuring some artists works took place at Press to Exit Gallery, Pro Helvetia, Skopje , Swiss Cultural Program South East Europe and Ukraine.
The fifth stage is in Graz , Austria. Extracts from the screening programme and the documentary of the project will be presented during the NOMAD project "under.ctrl" in collaboration with Forum Stadtpark.
The sixth stage is a research period that will be conducted by NOMAD and Sala-Manca throughout a year. Then, it will be resulted as an event in Tel- Aviv at the end of 2007. The event will gather the results of the research phase and will include new sound performances by Turkish and Israeli Artists, Video Screening of Turkish Artists, a panel and discussion.
extracts from the screening programme
Bartana's video and sound works address socialization and nationalization ceremonies as well as social symbols and rituals. She deals with variables existing within the social mold whereby the characters filmed in her works appear to be programmed within a monotonous set of actions which empties the ceremony/ritual of its cultural and social context. The work Tuning, features a young woman dressed in a suit saluting while in the background, the music of a national anthem is playing. The screened image is reflected twice and the young, saluting woman salutes to herself as a confirmation or self-salute or she is saluting us who are taking part in the rituals and ceremonial games.
Rahat/Dur (Stay/Put) aims to pull the viewer into an illusory moment, where sudden switching to interactive computer interface interrupts the passive activity of watching video. Two stylized human silhouettes fight with each other in kung fu, wherein a dynamic electronic beat builds up audible flow in time. The representation of a choreographed fight runs in accordance with the soundtrack until interference occurs: a mouse cursor enters the scene without warning, catches the figure attacking the other, drags and drops it to the place where it has been standing. It breaks the flow both in video and audio, where the constructed time and relative space is distracted. However, this is not an actual user interaction with the document, on the contrary, it is just an illusion which is revealed immediately. Soon after audio resumes. Yet the recurrences of the mouse will no longer affect the audial flow. While "Rahat/Dur" (Stay/Put) re-samples the "uncontrollable" action of the push technology experienced by the viewer, it also sparkles some awareness in the viewers' mind to consider the reality perceived through the screen.
Round up the usual suspects
Guleryuz's films orbit around the mental states of the suppressing social situations. She associates and reflects on these mental states with hard-hitting physical conditions. " Round up the Usual Suspects", is filming a Turkish police parade. As one of the ultimate forces in the society, Turkish Police has a very tough and dominating image. The police can even be considered as one of the suppressing powers in the society who constantly controls and suspects. Yet, with this film this image crashes with the unusual carnivaleque scenes. The athletic exercises on motorcycle, the show, the close-ups, and the aesthetically driven semi-parody through re-framing of the police. The whole sequence is shown in slow motion accompanied by two music pieces, the first being a typical military bras band and the other one is a sentimental Turkish song that has been recorded with a lot of technical disturbances.
Can Turkinan and Özlem Sulak
"March on" focuses on how Turkish people adapts to the conditions by changing the format of their distress to entertainment. The work is built on binary oppositions and similar suppressing elements in "opposing extremes". In the work, we see that the rave culture opposes but at he same time perfectly fits to the behavioral codes of strict military pressure. The video is accompanied by the re-mix of a Military March together with ambient sound mixtures and modified sound effects.
Ruti Sela and Maayan Amir
Beyond guilt, Atonement
The film is about upsetting balances of power that exist between the photographer and the photographed object, male and female, multiple and singular, object and subject. Sela and Amir, as the film's directors, actively participate in the scene. They seduce the interviewees, on the other hand they turn over their camera to them, thus upsetting the balance of power between the photographer and the photographed. The film uses the restrooms as a kind of claustrophobic laboratory used to achieve confession and exposure. The resulting picture reveals the impact of the communications media, the emergence of behavioral stereotypes in front of the camera and the craving for exposure and publicity reminiscent of Reality TV. But more than anything else, it reveals the effects of occupation, terror and militarism as factors delineating the Israeli identity, even in the most private of moments. The documentation of the restroom experiences discloses disturbing contents that reveal the blurring of borders. Sexual and political-military identities seem to intermingle to an extent in which distinction is no longer possible.