Oliver Ressler, Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies, 2007

The Typhoon Continues and So Do You
The Typhoon Continues and So Do You is borrowed from Kenneth Koch’s 2003 poem, “To World War Two.” Koch references the drive to continue life as usual during wartime, describing this phenomenon from the perspective of a soldier in a foxhole: I could write poetry Fall in love And have a daughter And think about these things From a great distance If I survived. When organizing this exhibition, we focused on the natural desire to transcend material reality (whether experienced through a newscast or on the frontlines) in selecting the four “artifacts” of war. The artifacts we chose carry great social and historical weight, and are expressions of conflicts that lack resolution, closure, or certainty. These objects exist today in contexts slightly removed from their origins; they act in a different way and allude to various shifts that demonstrate how societies understand and process conflict. The responses we received from the participating artists evoke pop culture’s ravenous appetite, which can manipulate and consume almost anything. As is the case with the recruitment video game America’s Army or the North Korean “Hell March” video posted on YouTube, eccentric evidences of modernity collide to perpetuate a kitschy militaristic culture. Alternately, many of the artworks that respond to the Slobodan Miloševic trial and balaclava facemask explore both sides of the conflicts and their historical contexts, although rarely from an impartial standpoint. In all cases, a new contextualization of these artifacts shift how a collective consciousness absorbs the trauma of conflict and attempts to move beyond—or at least with—it. The artists’ responses have an improvisational quality that questions the residues, implications, and shadows of objects or images that were intentionally made to establish and enforce a political perspective. While people are killed, property is damaged, and humanity is degraded, there is still an impulse to continue through the typhoon. - Elizabeth Larison, Douglas Paulson, Ginger Shulick, Chen Tamir, and Christina Vassallo April 2011


Vahap Avsar, Hector Canonge, Joseph DeLappe, Patrick Dintino, Nick Fevelo, Yevgeniy Fiks, Gregory Green, Harvey Loves Harvey, Pablo Helguera & Colectivo Mishima, Yael Kanarek, Kristian Kozul, Julia Kul, Elizabeth Larison, Brian Leo, Paolo Pedercini, Public Studio, Ryan Roa, Christopher Robbins, Sayeh Sarfaraz, Aida Sehovic, and Matthew Sleeth. With reader contributions by Rodney Dickson, Pauline Julier, Biko Koenig, Nick Kolakowski, Carin Kuoni, Morgan Meis, Catherine McMahon, Gregory B. Moynahan, Oliver Ressler, A.E. Souzis, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor. Reader edited by Elizabeth Larison, designed by Douglas Paulson

Sunday, May 1, 3:30pm: Knowledge Creation and Propagation: Justifying Choices in War and Reparation. Short film by Nadia Awad and presentation by Maxwell Neely-Cohen. Preparations for Existing in and Surviving through Zones of Conflict. Short film by Alana Kakoyiannis and short film by Oliver Ressler. Exhibition information: Opening: Friday, April 1, from 6 pm on Exhibition dates: Saturday, April 2 through Sunday, May 8 Hours: open weekends, 12 – 6 pm or by appointment Location: Flux Factory, 39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, Queens Special thanks to Brendan Coyle, Amanda Curtis, and Marion Arnaud. Flux Factory is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to support and promote emerging artists through exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and collaborative opportunities. Focused on generating collaborative work processes, Flux Factory is a public and community space with an open office, exhibition space, printmaking studio, woodshop, and craft-room for its collaborative Flux Artists-in-Residence (FAIR) program and the public. In addition to exhibitions of new commissions and events, it produces unique projects around the city and the world. www.fluxfactory.org

Scheduled presentations, screenings and performances: Saturday, April 9th, 6pm: Objects of War and Their Reappropriations. Performance by Pablo Helguera & Colectivo Mishima and presentation by Anya E.V. Liftig. Thursday, April 14th, 8pm: Geographical and Social Landscapes of Conflict, Both Real and Perceived. Short film by Owen Mundy and documentary by Jayce Salloum. To occur in conjunction with Flux Thursday, Flux Factory’s monthly potluck dinner and arts salon.


This Tragic Text Is A Supreme Absurdity
A.E. Souzis
We speak in metaphors, because metaphors are a way we attempt to understand. Here’s one: the transcript for The Hague’s 5-year trial against Slobodan Miloševic for crimes against humanity during the 1991-1995 Yugoslav War is 49,615 pages long. Stacked up vertically, the entire transcript measures a whopping 49.26 feet, or roughly the height of a 5-story building. In my mind, that building is decrepit, abandoned, unfit for human habitation. You enter at your own risk, scuttling past the holes in the floor, the rats, the decaying beams. You head up the creaking stairs in the darkness, pausing at each floor (or every 10,000 pages of the transcript), which, like a reverse Dante’s Inferno, leads to more horrors the higher you go. Open the doors on each landing to revisit the crimes Miloševic has been charged with: the ethnic cleansing of the Albanians in Kosovo in 1990; the bombing of historic Dubrovnik, Croatia in 1991; the massacre of nearly 9,000 Bosnians in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. By the top floor you are panting, numb, and there’s an ominous tingling shooting up your left arm. But it’s too late: as you step off the stairs, they collapse beneath you, like the trial abruptly did when Miloševic’s heart stopped on March 22, 2006. But you may prefer this metaphor: the transcript as a screenplay for a 50,000-hour epic drama. The characters leap off the pages: the stern but impartial Judge Robinson, the serious but sultry prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, her prim, upright British associate Geoffrey Nice, and, of course, Miloševic, saddled with the Kafkaesque moniker “The Accused,” arguing voraciously against the legality of the trial, the veracity of the witnesses’ statements, seeking every opportunity to attack and deny. He is a fighter, the most dangerous kind. Perhaps you want to add a personal detail for a dramatic touch: a man, sitting in the back of the courtroom day after day, who has lost his family in the conflicts. In the Hollywood version, the man is still ruggedly handsome, still hopeful. In the European art house version, he is missing teeth and visibly scarred. The films’ endings vary, based on the production, on the final day in court when Judge Robinson announces Miloševic has died. In the Hollywood film, we see the man smiling to himself -- somehow he is responsible for Miloševic’s death, cosmic justice and retribution reinforced. In the European art house film, the camera slowly pans over the man’s sunken, lost face. Aghast at the futility of it all, he stumbles out of the courtroom, shoulders hunched, into the blinding sunlight. But perhaps these metaphors can only go so far in making peace with war. For every attempt the transcript makes to restore our sense of morality and humanity, the blankness opens up behind. Ultimately, the horror of Kurtz’s heart of darkness is what 50,000 pages of words documenting one of the most brutal wars in recent history can only hint at.
- A.E. Souzis is a writer and media artist living in New York City. Through her writings, multimedia installations and site-specific tours, she creates narratives that explore the real-life networks of power that exist in politics, underground and “alternative histories” and public spaces.

Representative Miloševic – The Trial Transcripts from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Gregory B. Moynahan
The forty-six thousand page transcript of Prosecutor v. Slobodan Miloševic indexes the times and places in which people, historic monuments, and villages were destroyed. Understanding the transcript as an “object of war” provides a frame in which to consider this vast database of information as an unintentional memorial to the war, to genocide and to their complex refraction through the trial itself. Even if ultimate justice seemed impossible long before Miloševic’s death brought a sudden end to the trial in 2006 – and thus appeared to make this enterprise technically of limited value – for hundreds of individuals the trial transcript was the only means to learn the circumstances in which a sister, a son, a father or mother was murdered. The transcript can thus be considered from the onset a memorial that contrasts the complexity of war and the quest for justice with the individual fates of those within it. Within the transcript, however, as a sort of living memorial, we also find an illumination of the new challenges of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention illuminated in the interplay of political, legal, and technical representation. As the political philosopher Hanna Pitkin observed, representation is one of those terms that appears simple until it is approached and recognized in its multiplicity of meanings. As a general definition, she suggested simply “presenting something again.” The various meanings of aesthetic or epistemological representation, legal representation by a lawyer, the political action of a “representative,” or the original face-to-face “representation” of vassal to lord can all be understood as distinct but often overlapping forms of representation. For Pitkin, working in the tradition of Wittgenstein, the advantage of this broad approach is to emphasize that each form of “representation” is an action of translation or transposition, and none a simple “copy” of reality. Each form of representation indexes events with different rules of evidence and engagement, even as the often-opaque manner in which these meanings occur and overlap is itself deeply political. In this context, the transcripts are not simply a direct representation or memorialization of acts of war. A fateful conjuncture of representations is at play in a figure such as Miloševic (who at different points fits nearly every form of the definition), in the trials themselves, and in attempts to ascertain events “on the ground.” This is of course clear in the transpositions that occur even in the transcript’s material form, which is the written representation of a spoken testimony (itself often translated between several languages), and often even further archived and accessed through several forms of digital representation. The military war as such is several steps removed from these triangulations. The particular character of the trial was the new claim to charge the former leader of a nation with “genocide” by representing this act through its multiple specific instances. This problem was made considerably more complex by the multiple motives and contexts of the atrocities. Even as an epistemological problem of representing a whole by its parts, then, the case is not simple. Under the 1948 Genocide Convention, the prosecution had to demonstrate that there was a targeted murder of members of a racial, national or ethnic group “as such,” and that this murder was intended to destroy in whole or in part this group – apart from military objectives of control of territory. Ultimately, the ICTY found that in international law only the massacre at Srebrenica in July 1995 fit this criteria, since the more than 8,000 murdered victims and more than 20,000 “ethnically cleansed” refugees were so clearly targeted. Linking Miloševic to such atrocities (as opposed to other Serbian leaders tried by the ICTY) hinged on his role as a political representative of the Republic of Serbia. Since Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina were not directly under the control of the national forces Miloševic institutionally represented, the ICTY used the term “joint criminal enterprise” to explain his role outside the boundaries of Serbia in the territory of Bosnia- Herzegovina. Miloševic’s argument was that he was the legitimate representative of a Serbian nation that was in his view under attack by NATO generally and, as he clarified in his introductory remarks, long-standing German national interests specifically. He claimed to only have acted as a national leader within national boundaries: “I have been indicted,” he argued, “because I defended my people legally and with legitimate means on the basis of the right to self-defense that every nation has.” In this regard, Miloševic claimed that the trial itself was illegitimate. “I consider this tribunal,” he contended, “a false tribunal and the indictment a false indictment… so I have no need to appoint counsel to (an) illegal organ.” As a trained lawyer, however, he in fact legally represented himself. Miloševic’s unusual role as his own legal representative or counsel was in this context also a means to call the trial itself into question, not only legally, but extra-legally through his personal engagement. In his often-hectoring treatment of those he was cross-examining, he appeared to step outside his role as merely a legal representative, into a theatrical role as a national and symbolic representative of Serbian grievances. Despite the challenges of this tangled web of representations within the vertiginous tedium of the trial, it can ultimately be seen as advancing the treaty on genocide. As Hegel declared, the “law is alive”: progressive instantiations of the law mark one of the few means for organizing and shaping human conduct. When the Polish-Jewish jurist Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide, he intended to create an awareness of a crime that, as he quoted Winston Churchill in declaring, was “without a name" – the planned destruction of entire nations of peoples. Just as almost all murders in a modern country are somehow “remembered” in police reports, insurance registers, newspapers, and local gossip, so even the apparently forgotten victims of genocide could hope for some commemoration within the register of this new form of crime, even if only as representative numbers. In this regard, the Miloševic transcripts have as an ethical and aesthetic representation a visceral importance in their very complexity and ambiguity. The documents suggest a sense of what should be, how humans should conduct themselves, and the efforts that should be made to mete out just punishment, even if this punishment only finds realization in a vanishingly small percentage of cases. For those who sought out their loved ones in the registers of the Miloševic trial, there is some small comfort that even if they will not have justice, there is such a thing as justice and its potential for future generations.

Piercing the White Noise of Transparency
Carin Kuoni
“Bringing war criminals to justice. Bringing justice to victims.” (http://www.icty.org/) Before the conclusion of the trial for crimes against humanity of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Miloševic, the accused died in his cell in The Hague in 2006. It was five years after his arrest, and four after the beginnings of the proceedings of his case, part of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. What remains from the most prominent trial of the most violent war in Europe after World War II – apart from insurmountable trauma and suffering – are the video files and 50,000 pages of transcripts of approximately four hundred days of the Miloševic trial on the website of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. In recent years, there have been famous incidents of public accountability, where different parties opened archives in response to calls for transparency. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ proceedings are entirely online http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/. The Guantánamo Bay Combatant Status Review Tribunals are at http://www.defense.gov/news/ combatant_tribunalsarchive.html. The 500-page Tower Commission Report, ordered in response to the Iran Contra Scandal and holding Reagan “accountable for a lax managerial style and aloofness from policy details” can be bought on Amazon. And significant details of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, as analyzed in the independent commission’s “Summary Report for Fate and Effects of Remnant Oil in the Beach Environment” can be found here: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/release/2011/02/11/federalscience-report-analyzes-environmental-risks-and-benefits-additional-clean. The vastness of such archives is both exhilarating and forbidding. To visit www.icty.org, and to hear and see the victims, the accused, and judges of a war two decades back is jarring. How do we digest such an immense amount of data? How do we bring the archives to the present? WikiLeaks (“Keeping You Informed! All Released Leaks Archive! Afghan or Iraq War Documents! Secret UFO Information! Classified US Army Videos!” at www. wikileaks.org) has opted to make approximately 20,000 of 500,000 cables available, to great effect. In 2009, a group of artists mined the Guantánamo Tribunals and produced a multipart video installation that implicates every gallery visitor: “9 Scripts from a Nation at War” by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne consists in part of reenacted tribunal scenes (http://www.9scripts.info/). The aborted trial of Miloševic did not yield a pronouncement of guilt, and therefore not “justice” in a conventional sense. However, perhaps just as important as final closure – in itself an illusion – are the proceedings of trying to get there. Aren’t we witnesses to such developments now, one month after the uprising in Egypt has begun, when information swamps the Web, and Wisconsin attempts to emulate Cairo?
- Carin Kuoni is an independent curator and director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

- Gregory B. Moynahan is Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of the Science, Technology and Society Program at Bard College.


Morgan Meis
In the mid to late 1990s, somewhere between one million and four million North Koreans died of starvation. There was famine in a closed, totalitarian society. Generally, putting those two things together equals mass suffering. And that is exactly what happened. It is a terrible and terrifying story. I say this to acknowledge the obvious—something horribly wrong is going on in North Korea, and it has been going on for a long time. And yet, there is something fascinating about this closed society. In a global and interconnected age, the North Koreans are living in an alternate reality. Not just an alternate reality, a radically alternate reality. The whole society is like a finely tuned instrument for singing praises to the Supreme Leader. What it means to be a human being is vastly different in North Korea than it is everywhere else on the planet. That is downright interesting. Troubling, unsettling, and interesting. The very fact that North Korea exists makes a person wonder what is possible. Can it be the case that some people thrive in North Korean society? These are dangerous questions to ask. We are supposed to believe in human freedom as something fundamental, inalienable. The North Koreans do,

we believe, yearn to breathe free. But we should also have the strength to ask ourselves, what if they don't? What if human beings can accept almost any reality, attune themselves to almost any set of conditions? What if we have no real basis upon which to claim that the people of, say, Belgium are happier than the people of North Korea? What if North Korean society does, in its own ways, serve human needs? I'm joking, of course. I must be joking. We shouldn't take these questions seriously. It would be a mockery of everything we hold sacred, of our deepest convictions. On the other hand, how deep is the conviction? How real is a truth if you cannot bear, even for a moment, to imagine it to be otherwise? Isn't that where truth bleeds over into desire? It is, anyway, in the rigor of ritual and public display that the North Korean state achieves its highest level of synchronized beauty. The military displays in North Korea are the most beautiful of all, the military being the place of extreme discipline. I call this beauty because, like all displays of organized and synchronized human activity, it is deeply pleasing to behold, whatever our revulsion at its cause and purpose. I am, thus, not at all surprised that people outside of North Korea are fascinated with its military displays and have created all sorts of mash-ups on YouTube and in other places. "Hell March" takes an industrial music track from a video game (Command and Conquer: Red Alert) and uses it as the theme music for a military march in Pyongyang. The hardness of the music, the driving

riff of the electric guitar, would seem to emphasize the brutality and inhumanity of the North Korean militarism we are observing. It does. But there is a catch. The North Korean army has developed an incredible marching style. There is a little kick in the march, a hop that happens just as the other leg comes down from being extended straight out in front. North Korean soldiers don't just march, they bounce. You could almost call it jaunty. Here, politics and ethics hit a brick wall. It doesn’t matter what I think about North Korean society, how I judge it. Aesthetically, I am mesmerized. The hop-march is amazing, powerful, satisfying and strange. The women soldiers with their yellow tights make a particular impression as they march, machine guns held close to their hearts. It evokes the troubling fascination most of us have for Schutzstaffel uniforms. Watching this video, we feel the attraction of these kinds of displays. The music, which might at first have served as critical commentary on the military display, actually serves to heighten the power of the march. The fact that the music comes from a video game about combat and war furthers this point. Here in North Korea something human is being satisfied, some human need for the pageantry of war is being taken to its highest aesthetic expression. Shake your head all you like, you can't look away.

- Morgan Meis is the critic-at-large at The Smart Set and an editor of 3 Quarks Daily. He has a PhD in philosophy and is the founder of Flux Factory.

Daily Dialogue (an excerpt)
Pauline Julier
SCENE 9 – GAS STATION – EXT. DAY – THE CASHIER Birds flock in the cloudy sky. A car horn honks outside a gas station in the middle of nowhere. From inside the station’s convenience store, THE CASHIER (ECCENTRIST) looks up through the window. A driver stands next to his car, with his arm resting on the open door. A man sits inside the car, tapping on his smartphone. It begins to rain. THE CASHIER exits the convenience store to approach the vehicle. SCENE 10 – STATION – INT. DAY – THE CASHIER Inside the empty store, the music of “Hell March” plays. The computer browser is opened to a page on YouTube. com, showing video of a military march in North Korea. JPRESCOTTI: This video is soooo fucking coool!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEXASWHATITDO: NORTHKOREA IS BEST KOREA THE CASHIER comes back inside the convenience store and settles himself at the counter. His fingers type on the old keyboard. On YouTube.com text responses aggregate rapidly. ECCENTRIST: This is absolutely terrifying. DANSEB1337: It’s star wars attack of the clones, no offense.. LAZOMANIAC: what a waste of women XSTONYMAHONYX: why do these fucking communist monsters got russian weapons?! THE CASHIER looks out the window. It's raining heavily now. Car headlights pass by on the road outside. SCENE 11 – METRO – INT. NIGHT – THE OLD MAN On an iPhone screen, THE OLD MAN (ZUNBANDEE) types a response on YouTube.com. ZUNDANBEE: To @xStonyMahonyx maybe because russia and china sold them??????????? The blue light of the iPhone illuminates THE OLD MAN's face. He is on a metro train. Some passengers are sleeping. A beautiful woman naps, her head on his shoulder. He writes on YouTube.com. ZUNDANBEE: It doesn't matter that north Korea has 3times the amount of troops as us. They force people to join their army, we don't. They have no navy while we have 11 air craft carriers. we could completely blockade that country and win without even invading them. SCENE 12 – BAR – INT. DAY – THE WOMAN AND THE YOUNG MAN THE WOMAN (THEULTRABODY) sits at a bar, which is filled with summer light. The street outside is crowded. Close up to her blue eyes wide open. “Hell March” blares in her earphones, coming from her smartphone. Colored fingernails begin to tap the screen. THEULTRABODY: this video is awesome, but unfortunately it is racist. why do they have no black soldiers? is all of north korea racist?? Nearby, THE YOUNG MAN (NUCLEARLION73) is standing at a counter that looks outside the bar’s window. His eyes are carefully fixed on something outside: the sea and the accompanying horizon. There is a fake palm tree on the beach. All of a sudden, the window reflection of a passing metro is seen. It rumbles by, fast and noisily on the tracks which lay on the other side of the street. SCENE 13 – THE OFFICE – INT. DAY – THE MAN IN SUIT 99% of their country is starving. People think they have nuclear weapons and could nuke us, The fact is they don't even have a missile that could hit us. any planes, boats, tanks that they have would just be demolished in the first week of the war. MRSLONOED: to @Zunbandee win like in Vietnam? ZUNDANBEE: to @MrSLonoed: different type of army. we lost mainly due to guerrilla tactics used by the Vietcong. THE OLD MAN reads one comment after another. He sighs loudly. The woman barely moves. USAMERICANPATRIOTCA: ... good idea I prefer a hamburger rather than talking with an imbecile. I guess you do have the army since it is obliged hahahhaahha. you make me laugh with your bullshit. go in the breakaway Caucasus waiting for you, shred LAZOIZATION: to @USAmericanPatriotCA hope 1 day usa gonna feel war on their territory. then u will kno how it feels to run into bunkers to save ur head while bombs r fallin from the sky.and i have to say,i was really disappointed with the americans in 1999 instead of sending nato ground troops,u bombed Serbia for 3 months and sent albanians as cannon fodder..at least u could train them better cause they fought like shit. but ive seen how brave usa soldiers r in iraq.killin civilians and tapeing it.good job usa! USAMERICANPATRIOTCA: to @lazoization sorry but I'm tired I have not read your story but I'm sure it's bullshit good for you bye ;)

THE MAN IN SUIT (NEVERHOODYN) sits in front of a computer, the same page is open on YouTube.com. ARSHAVIN2007: Big respect to North Korea and KimYoung-Il from Russia ! The last place in the world where Mac Donalds, Hollywood and Coca cola will never get to poison the people. North Korea stand! THE MAN IN SUIT is looking out his window, down to the park below. One little girl in a red anorak stands out against the green background. She acts paranoid, looking over her shoulder repeatedly, as if somebody is following her. THE MAN IN SUIT's eyes wander back to the office. Big white desks are full of activity. NEVERHOODYN: to @arshavin2007, You would not be able to watch this video and comment on it if it was not for "Americanization" you dumb piece of trash. GWINDAK: to @neverhoodyn--And one huge finger for you americans, british and bla bla bla. FUCK YOU. A viva comunismus, a viva komumunizm from Polska! FROGBLASTTHEVENTCORE: INTERNET FIGHT THE MAN IN SUIT smiles. ARTISTICENTREPRENEUR: Firstly… FANTASTIC JOB! Camera angles were perfect and all clips timed well to the cinematically-rich visuals! Hats go off to the precision of the DPRK Military for such a flawless and synchronous effort! Secondly - WHO IS THAT SMOKING HOT NORTH KOREAN GIRL, WHO GIGGLES AT 1:51 INTO THE CLIP? I want to show her MY Juche ;) SCENE 14 – PARK – EXT. DAY – THE YOUNG GUY In the park, THE YOUNG GUY (NUCLEARCLION73) sits on a bench. The wind displaces some white pollen in the air. It looks like snow. He writes on his laptop. NUCLEARLION73: I just turned 18 a couple weeks ago. I'm more than likely about to be drafted. i have no words to describe the shear amounts of anger I have.

- Born in 1981, Pauline Julier has presented her films mostly in European collective exhibitions and film festivals, and received the 2010 Swiss Art Award in Art-Basel for her last film installation: Noah (http://mubi.com/films/37007). She is interested in several complementary mediums of the cinema, and works with PHP a crossover group associated , with 104 in Paris (www.104.fr).

Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor. Soldiers Resting, 2011


Detrás de Nosotros Estamos Ustedes : Behind Us, We Are You
Biko Koenig
(Italicized words are from the Remarks of the General Command of the EZLN in the opening ceremony of the First Intercontinental Meeting For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, July 27, 1996.) This is what we are. The Zapatista National Liberation Army. The voice that arms itself to be heard. The face that hides itself to be seen. The name that hides itself to be named. The red star that calls out to humanity and the world to be heard, to be seen, to be named. The tomorrow that is harvested in the past. Behind our black mask. Behind our armed voice. Behind our unnamable name. Behind what you see of us. Behind us, we are you. Behind us, we are the same simple and ordinary men and women that are repeated in all races, painted in all colors, speak in all languages and live in all places. The same forgotten men and women. The same excluded. The same untolerated. The same persecuted. The same as you. Behind us, we are you. Esto somos nosotros. El Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional. La voz que se arma para hacerse oír. El rostro que se esconde para mostrarse. El nombre que se calla para ser nombrado. La roja estrella que llama al hombre y al mundo para

que escuchen, para que vean, para que nombren. El mañana que se cosecha en el ayer. Detrás de nuestro rostro negro. Detrás de nuestra voz armada. Detrás de nuestro innombrable nombre. Detrás de los nosotros que ustedes ven. Detrás estamos ustedes. Detrás estamos los mismos hombres y mujeres simples y ordinarios que se repiten en todas las razas, se pintan de todos los colores, se hablan en todas las lenguas y se viven en todos los lugares. Los mismos hombres y mujeres olvidados. Los mismos excluidos. Los mismos intolerados. Los mismos perseguidos. Somos los mismos ustedes. Detrás de nosotros estamos ustedes “Behind us, We are You”: the Zapatista mask hides and reveals the essence of Zapatismo. Known as “pasamontañas” (literally “mountain paths”), these masks, at first take, act to conceal. In flouting a corrupt Mexico, the Zapatistas take pains to hide their identity from a state that would crush their rebellion, with the hope that it inspires others to do the same. But behind this straightforward understanding lies something deeper and far more complex. “Behind us, We are You”: in wearing the mask, the Insurgent hides his or her personal identity while simultaneously taking on a larger role. Insurgents hide themselves to be seen, while striving for the day when masks are no longer necessary. They arm themselves to be heard, while yearning for the day when their weapons are no longer needed; they are an armed force that fights to make arms obsolete. “Behind us, We are You”: embodying the universal, the Zapatistas see in their own oppression the violence against all indigenous people, but also the subjugation of women, the fictional borders of migrancy and immigration, the exploitation of

workers, and the social violence against GLBTQ communities. They know that while they only speak for themselves as indigenous people in the mountainous jungles of Chiapas, they have deep connections to oppressed people throughout the world. “Behind us, We are You”: it is a grammatical oddity that rings of that other Zapatista slogan: Para Todos, Todo. Para Nosotros, Nada. “For Everyone, Everything. For Us, Nothing.” This is the product of the moral outrage of oppression, the violence of the capitalist machine, the hegemony of the State. We are Us, and yet, We are You. Brothers and Sisters of the entire world: Welcome to the mountains of Southeastern Mexico. Welcome to this corner of the world where we are all the same because we are different. Welcome to the search for life and the struggle against death. Welcome to this First Intercontinental Meeting For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism. Democracy! Freedom! Justice! Hermanos y hermanas de todo el mundo: Bienvenidos a las montañas del sureste Mexicano. Bienvenidos a este rincón del mundo donde todos somos inguales porque somos diferentes. Bienvenidos a la búsqueda de la vida y la lucha contra la muerte. Bienvenidos a este primper encuentro intercontinental por la humanidad y contra el neoliberalismo. ¡Democracia! ¡Libertad! ¡Justicia!

- Born naked, blond and unable to cook for himself, Biko eventually grew up to be a brown-haired PhD student. He lives off your surplus labor but makes a mean tempeh burrito.

A Wee Fuckin’ Hood Job
Rodney Dickson
I was born in Northern Ireland in 1956, and as a teenager experienced the worst time of violent political strife in that country. It was a time known as The Troubles, when civil disorder brought that society close to collapse. During this time, the balaclava was a well-known and much used object of war. It was, in fact, so much associated with violence that it was rarely worn as a regular item of clothing. Anyone seen wearing one would be liable to instill fear in others, and run the risk of being arrested by the police or the British Army, or else shot by one of the numerous paramilitary gangs. The balaclava had multiple uses; for example, assassins would wear one to conceal their identity. It could also be turned around backwards or slightly modified in order to render a victim unable to see the assassins or where they were taken to be killed. The balaclava was almost compulsory headwear for rioters, as it concealed their identity from police cameras, and from the enemy who might remember a face and target that person at a later date. “Hood” was the name commonly used for the balaclava in Northern Ireland in those days, and it is likely that many of those who wore them did not know its correct name. The hood was a thing to be feared and a “hood job” was the phrase used for a hit or an assassination. “We got a fuckin’ wee job on tonight; bring some hoods,” would signify the aim of the evening was to kill someone. Since the hood was almost exclusively used in violent

activity, it was problematic to purchase one, so they were often homemade in a variety of ways. One of the most comical ways to make a hood was to rip some holes in a big brown paper bag from the liquor store. The hood or balaclava was a symbol for The Troubles in those days, and was often depicted in both Loyalist and Republican propaganda paintings, such as the famous murals that were spread throughout the country. Artists have also used it in their commentary on The Troubles, as seen in the work of well-known Northern Irish artist Jack Packenham. The Troubles are more or less over and the society is going though the aftermath of 25 years of conflict. Deep divisions still exist and the scars will take a long time to heal. Certainly this generation will have to pass on before genuine reconciliation has a chance. The hood will long be remembered and feared, and I wonder how long it will be before a balaclava could be worn as a regular item of clothing in Northern Ireland.

- Rodney Dickson was born in 1956 in Northern Ireland, Having drawn and painted since a child, he reacts to his early experiences by considering the futility and hypocrisy of war through art.


No Resets
Nick Kolakowski
The other night I made it across fifty yards of enemy territory before a burst of automatic-weapons fire cut me in half. Hit reset. Three minutes later, a sniper crouching atop a building shot me in the head. Hit reset. A grenade riddled my torso with shrapnel. Hit reset. I stood on that moonlit road, again, with four working limbs and a full clip of ammo, again, ready to kill or be killed, again. Over the past twenty years, first-person shooter (FPS) games have evolved to a state of near-realism. America’s Army—“The Official U.S. Army Game”—is no different. According to the game’s website, its creators “crawled through obstacle courses, fired weapons, observed paratrooper instruction, and participated in a variety of training exercises” in order to develop a feel for soldiering. The end result imposes a game’s heroic narrative onto the ambiguities of modern warfare. Exhaustion and boredom and uncertainty and fear have no place in that narrative. Neither does permanence: When you “die” in America’s Army, the world resets. When you choose to quit, the "war" disappears into a hard drive. In real war, there are no resets. The dead stay dead. A few button-taps will not reverse time, stitch skin and bones, remove shrapnel from brain tissue, exorcise ghosts, make hearts beat again. Back in college, I played first-person shooters with a friend who later joined the Army. When I picked up a game controller the other night, for the first time in years, my fingers assumed their old twitchy grace: I dodged through the crumbling ruins of a virtual city, firing clips left and right, feeling all the adrenaline and none of the pain. I thought back to a few months ago, sitting across from my old friend in a Harlem restaurant. He had survived his tours of duty with few scars, but the look in his eyes said all the things a game can never convey.

Playing War
Catherine McMahon
In 1913 an instructional text titled “Little Wars,” was published in London, and written by the futurist, H. G. Wells. Wells had invented something he called "modern little warfare," or a game for "Boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books."1 Gender essentialism aside, what is striking is the appeal to "intelligence" made in relation to the subject of game playing. In general, games have long occupied a contested ground between the idea that they help the players develop certain skills and hone the mind's ability to think strategically, and the thought that they are (at best) a waste of time or silly amusement and (at worst) responsible for the propagation of perverse values. So the question remains, Can games teach us anything? And if so, what type of intelligence is gained by playing them? As the condition of enmity is a primary characteristic of most games, they often have their most successful real world corollary in warfare. Historically, there has been a longstanding relationship between games and the military whereby the former is seen as a way to both train and plan for conflict. Nineteenth century Prussian Kriegspiel is perhaps one of the earliest examples of modern “wargaming” played both for sport as well as for the development of military strategy. In a large part, using a game as a substitute for actual warfare is an abstraction that parallels the desire to scientifically control and predict all aspects of combat. In the twentieth century, the convergence of the computer and conflict simulation (no longer called “games” as their cost and complexity rise) has developed in tandem with the attempt to fully automate the battlefield through advanced weaponry, vehicles, and robotics. Intelligence in this respect is now considered to be a quality that resides within games, simulations, and machines, as well as humans. It almost goes without saying that notions of warfare from the American perspective changed dramatically in post-nuclear context of the Cold War and in the ongoing age of American economic imperialism. Beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, conflict simulation, operations research, and systems analysis became a way to rationalize both the cost and ethical implications of military involvement in a global theatre of operations. This managerial way of thinking was epitomized at this time by figures such as defense secretary Robert McNamara, who was responsible for overseeing the conflict in Vietnam and its neighbors. Yet, as long as wargaming has been in use, it has also had many detractors both from inside and outside the military. Unlike a game of strategy such as chess, wargaming implies the desire to closely mimic the terrain conditions, munitions capabilities, and man-power possessed by both sides in order to ascertain potential advantages and disadvantages held by each adversary. The component of “reality” is labor intensive to produce, a high-level military simulation takes many months to prepare and weeks to play; as time is stretched out, a half an hour of combat can take days to “simulate.” In 1968 one author critical of gaming, Andrew Wilson, recounts an anecdote in his text, “The Bomb and the Computer,” in which a high ranking general constantly kept interrupting the planning of the very real conflict in Vietnam in order to call and check on his players in a simulation so that he could see how well he was doing in next year's (imagined) conflict in Bolivia. At a deeper level, many questioned what was gained through gaming when, in the closed circuit of the game and the mind of the player, there are no true external surprises. Rather, what is produced is a rational maze that may bear little resemblance to “reality.” Furthermore, the closed logical systems represented in games are reflected in other realms of warfare. For example, how should we think about the drones in Pakistan being operated remotely via video councils in Langley, Virginia? Or the disembodied voices recorded in the now infamous video footage released on Wikileaks? Here, Iraqi civilians and journalists are massacred by American soldiers from the alienated distance and relative safety of a helicopter and remote command base. Wargaming is not a new phenomena, but through technology, speculative games, and actual tactics, it is converging in a new era of command and control. The America's Army video game, initially developed in 2002 as a part of a larger recruitment strategy to entertain and “inform” potential recruits, has cost taxpayers approximately $32.8 million dollars and is now being hailed as a success because it has also been utilized to train enlisted soldiers. When “Little Wars,” was reprinted in the US in 1970, the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov offered a short foreword to the text. He claimed that playing war games would allow the “emotions” that find an outlet in conflict, “to be displaced from the realm of violence to the realm of the mind.” In other words, wargaming would, by his estimation, work to prevent wars. He writes that, “In the absence of reality, there is the driving desire to find a substitute."2 Yet, it seems important to ask, How have games come to shape our everyday sense of “reality”?

- Nick Kolakowski is a journalist and editor based in NYC. His writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Lost Magazine, and eWeek.com, amongst other venues. He also shot a short film in 2010 for the Rubin Museum's "Talk About Nothing" lecture series.

- Catherine McMahon is a graduate student at MIT studying the history, theory, and criticism of art and architecture. Her research focuses on the history of computers as they have been used in the field of design, as well as urban simulation, conflict simulation, and computer mapping.

Wells, H. G. Little Wars. London and New York: Arms and Armour Press and The MacMillan Company, 1970.

Asimov, Isaac. “Foreword” in Little Wars. London and New York: Arms and Armour Press and The MacMillan Company, 1970.

From the curators:

One After Another
In 2009 I curated One After Another at the ironically named and now defunct National Gallery of Saskatchewan in Canora, a small town nestled in the Canadian Prairies. I wanted to link the daily lives of the few people in Canora with the banality of war and oppression, and to consider the consumption of photographs of war in North American culture. I invited nine artists to contemplate war and oppression by using one photograph as a shared source of inspiration. The artists were Dean Baldwin, Mirelle Borra, Kerry Downey, Kristan Horton, Douglas Paulson, Jory Rabinovitz, Gabriella Vainsencher, and Amy Westpfahl. Image 0451 was chosen from thousands of photographs that were just as inadequate in describing the conditions of war, and just as banal as living under war actually is. It is a fairly ordinary picture of “normal” things people do to each other in times of war and oppression. The image was taken a few months prior to the show by an Israeli photojournalist named Albert Sadikov. It shows Palestinian prisoners being led to an Israeli military base near the Gaza Strip, against the backdrop of the Separation Barrier still being built. In image 0451, the prisoners are handcuffed with zip-ties and blindfolded with flannel strips used to clean rifles—common materials that I, too, used when I was a soldier in the Israeli Army. Image 0451 is typical not just of the Israeli occupation, but of war and military oppression around the world. It is not much different from the goings-on in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Libya, in North Korea, and in so many other places. With wars still raging and the world still turning, I wanted to expand the scope of how conflict was considered or “consumed,” and thus was born the collaboration of The Typhoon Continues and So Do You. - Chen Tamir

Special thanks to Albert Sadikov and to Ami Steinitz of the Frames of Reality photography forum.

Other Peoples’ Wars
I understand war only through other people’s stories as a drama that unfolds without my direct involvement. September 11th wasn’t real to me until I watched it on the news. That morning in Brooklyn I saw sheets of paper rain from a tremendous brown cloud that floated across the East River, but it was the round-the-clock repetition of Flight 77 crashing through the South Tower that had the biggest impact on me. Days later it was the heroic photos of rescue workers emerging from rubble that shaped my interpretation of the attack. This fascination with mediated war—war at a distance—began with my grandparents’ stories of living in air raid shelters for weeks at a time. Underground mazes protected them during some of the harshest spit-fire battles of the second World War, and their descriptions of the cramped quarters have become family legend. Most notably, the experience resulted in my grandfather’s dislike of minestrone soup (the air raid shelter special) and the first award of a collective St. George’s Cross to an entire country. In 2004 I visited the shelter that my grandparents shared with hundreds of others in Mgarr, a tiny isolated village in the northwest of mainland Malta. The protective structure was dug into layers of soft limestone rock by hand during the feverish anticipation of self-preservation. Today it is maintained by the owner of Il-Barri, the restaurant that sits above the shelter and is known for its rabbit stew. Curious diners receive an admission ticket that lists statistics of the Second Siege of Malta in April 1942, the most desperate period of bombardment and starvation in the British colony’s history. The ticket states that Malta had been on alert for twelve days, ten hours, and twenty minutes, and that over 60,000 tons of bombs were dropped in that month alone. Part of my tour included a film that opened with a predictable scene of a Luftwaffe plane gliding over the

Mediterranean Sea—a standard beginning to many WWII documentaries. The English accented voiceover explained that free Europe owes a debt to the Maltese people, who prepared against attacks they would suffer for being a strategically important base of the British Armed Forces. Clips of soldiers and aerial combat were interspersed between shots of families stuffed into tessellated chambers. After the film my tour guide pointed to burn marks on the stone walls that came from torches used to navigate the labyrinth. Closer to the center, cabinets were dug inside the walls and high off the floor, lined with stacked empty bottles. Inside the small rooms altars with religious statuettes were recreated to illustrate the pervasive Catholic legacy during a time of distress. Near the exit a sign read, “This shelter is dedicated to the children who have suffered due to the conflicts of others.” The sign gave me an entirely different perspective of my grandparents’ time there. Somehow it made their ordeal less personal and a little more distant, even though the intention was to memorialize my ancestors. My visit to the Mgarr air raid shelter made me very aware of the myth of war and how it changes depending on the nuances of its recitation. War correspondent Chris Hedges vividly recounts his adrenalinepumping experiences on numerous battlefields in the book War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. For him and the many soldiers, journalists, and civilians he profiles, there exists a self-perpetuating machine in which “the myth of war sells and legitimizes the drug of war.” It is through this mindset that my own knowledge of war is transmitted. Much like with my grandparents’ stories, Hedges guided me through other peoples’ versions of war, sometimes with telling inconsistencies. Distortion, exaggeration, and perhaps even a fondness for living under incredible circumstances have informed my experience of this epic thing that I hope to never truly understand. - Christina Vassallo

I’m not sure how to begin talking about war. What do I know about war outside of what’s been sung to me by my teenage idols D. Boon and Jello Biafra? This exhibition was the perfect way for me to explore my complete ignorance of the topic. While the teenage me came to learn about war through punk rock records, teenagers all over the world today are able to immediately gain access to a wealth of information through Twitter and Facebook, if they aren't already caught in the throes of conflict as an everyday event. Just over a year ago, the Department of Defense issued its policy on social networking media in the military. This was the first time America’s military allowed the use of social networking sites by its soldiers. Today, Facebook is actively used in the military’s recruitment tactics, as the government is now able to put a real face on “real time” American heroes. Since issuing its policy on social networking media, the U.S. Army itself has nearly 630,000 followers on Facebook, not to mention one of the most technologically advanced pages I’ve ever seen. There are now hundreds of Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to the armed services, including a Facebook page specifically for the America’s Army recruitment game which itself has over 39,000 fans. This game has proven to be an efficient strategy in disseminating the army’s tactical agenda, as demonstrated by several pieces in this show. The military’s use of Facebook can’t all be bad though. Those with the misfortune of being called for active duty are able to have a virtual link between themselves and the rest of the world. At least soldiers’ families and closest friends can now measure their loved one’s activities by the number of times they use Facebook each day, just like the rest of us. - Ginger Shulick
* title taken from 1985 song by Dead Kennedys

you @in the driver's seat (@GilScottheron)
You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on & cop out. You will already be @home, brother. You will already be plugged in, turned on & copped out. You will control an image of you and Willie Mae hacking that shopping cart down the block on the dead run and trying to load that stolen image into a mini SD. You will push a button in #DC and destroy a house in #pakistan You will skip out @beer and commercial breaks be home in time for dinner & catch the instant replay RT & catch the instant replay RT @msnbc & catch the instant replay RT @maddow & catch the instant replay RT @cnnbrk & catch the instant replay RT @GlobalSoulTruck & catch the instant replay RT @libya & catch the instant replay RT @libya & catch the instant replay #Egy RT @libya & catch the instant replay #jihad There will be no highlights @the 11 o'clock news The theme song will be written by private generals, El Generale, Mohamed Ali Ben Jemaa, your ringtone, those studios in LA, and your sister lipsynching into the mirror while holding her phone not @Francis Scott Key, nor sung by @Glen Campbell, @Tom Jones, @Johnny Cash, @Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare whtvr. Green Parties, The Beverly Hillbillies, & @hooters are no longer so damned relevant, and we're who's plugged in logged in and not who's plugged out. Our #conflict has new fonts new fronts and no faces because our #conflict puts you @in the driver's seat. This #conflict will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised. This #conflict is no re-run brothers; This #conflict is recorded and updated LIVE. - Douglas Paulson

About the Curators: - Elizabeth Larison is an interdisciplinary artist and a Flux Factory collaborator. - Douglas Paulson is an artist whose work is focused on creating the space within which culture happens. He’s a longtime member of both Flux Factory and Parfyme, as well as other enduring and impromptu collaborations. - Ginger Shulick is the Managing Director of Flux Factory, and holds an M.A. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Art History from DePaul University. - Chen Tamir is Flux Factory’s Executive Director and Program Manager at Artis. She holds an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and recently organized exhibitions at the Israeli Center for Digital Art, Art in General, the Museums of Bat Yam, White Box, TPW, and the University of Toronto. - Christina Vassallo is the Adjunct Curator at Flux Factory and also organizes projects independently through her curatorial platform Random Number.

This program is supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Materials for the Arts; and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.