The Last Analog Revolution, a Memory Box
“The Last Analog Revolution, a Memory Box” is a project initiated by Stefan Constantinescu and Xandra Popescu. The project consists of an installation, which brings together artists from former Eastern and Western Europe, and reflects on the ideas of revolution and geo-political division.
If the changes sweeping North Africa and the Middle East have been referred to as the Digital Revolution, the events of 1989 can be grouped under the generic title of, Analog Revolution. For revolutions today, the free flow of information and media technology function as catalysts of social uprising. In the case of the 1989 revolutions, it was television that played the key role, enabling that first contact between two divided worlds. This project reflects on the relationship between technological change and revolution, and on a deeper level on the idea of political divide – through walls and barriers.
The idea of the project is rooted in our mistrust of history’s grand narratives. In school we were taught national history as a succession of great events performed by great men, leading to the emergence of the nation state. However, the workings of ideology are not limited to the so called Eastern Block. Memory Box seeks to complicate the binary opposition of “West” versus “East” claiming that there is no neutral territory but that the personal is always political.
The pre-89 period was marked by collective images of an intangible “other side”. Against the backdrop of propaganda and isolation, these representations combined elements such as fear, fiction and seduction. In the East, blue jeans and rock n’ roll music constructed the mirage of the West. At the same time, KGB espionage or the performances of Eastern gymnasts would capture the imagination of the Western World. The Wall was perceived as a filter of human representation separating two spaces which can only be represented one in relationship to the other. It is the very condition of representation, the distance between two subjects which require mediation, it is the Godardian “and”.
By reconsidering the past the initiators of the project open the door to consider the politics of walls and borders in a wider sense. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, other walls and barriers are still standing or emerging around the world.
The artists involved in the project are: Stefan Constantinescu who lives and works in Sweden and Romania, Péter Forgács from Hungary, Zuzanna Janin from Poland, Via Lewandowski from Germany, Deimantas Narkevicius from Lituania, Liliana Moro from Italy, Yvez Netzhammer from Switzerland, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler from United Kingdom.