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Protest Supplies Store (PSS): is an online web shop where you can buy anything you will need for protest. The store has a growing range of products which respond and correspond to different forms of protest, either as a method/support, a parody or as a criticism. It's aim is to unlock new domains for protest; to emancipate the discourse into the contemporary - adapting to new issues and new ways of engagement.
Protest, one of the most important means of political engagement, stems from the linguistic expression of "witnessing, declaring publicly" and almost always takes place in the public space. "The public space is designed, organised and maintained by the government, and that government and its policy is precisely against which most protests are organized." This makes the public domain very problematic; it neutralizes protest. It "never exceeds the status quo, and is therefore always responsive to the system against which it resists." In order to open up new spaces in which political engagement can take place, this counter-system, the Protest Supplies Store, "had to take shape where protest in its current form would never work": a commercial store. "people are very comfortable with buying - and identify themselves with products. If we succeed in making political commitment saleable, we make a significant step towards the re-development of political agency." The PSS offers a wide ranges of products, workshops and texts subverting and investigating protest.
Protest Supplies Store
Union for Transgression (VvT): Transgression is a philosophical theme that offers a counterforce to the 'life drive'. The life drive and its counterpart, according to Freud, both have a cultural constitution. The life drive strives to maintain (and reproduce) life in our cultural constitution. It not only makes us eat and reproduce, but it also makes us conform to that which has mandate and hegemony on the means to support our live: for example how we acquire food and when we can and cannot reproduce. The death drive on the other hand tries to 'transcend' the factors sustaining live - its actor is transgression. "Transgression enables man to transcend all that is ephemeral and contingent into its decline and thus brings us to bring about something beyond - a next step in the cycle of life". Within the cultural constitution of life, everything that tries to break with the systems and structures of life (such as the law, ethics or governmental politics) has to be seen as 'forbidden' - dangerous, destructive. "Transgression is thus the act towards the forbidden" at least when it is measured according to our society.
The Union for Transgression tries to reinstitute the position of transgression in our lives: for it is also the only power that allows us to step beyond the status quo and introduce something deviant such as radical different forms of living-together. As a union it supports transgressive ideas and practices that work towards to-be societies of radical difference. Through different public programs, such as walks, competitions and a magazine the Union dares people to think and act beyond everything that is familiar to them.
Union for Transgression
Eerste Hulp bij Politiek (EHBP): or in English 'First Aid with Politics', is a free hotline that is active during election periods for politicians, which they can call for all their political questions. Civilians will be answering the phone and correspondingly their questions. Accidentally the EHBP also organise other projects, as the Political First Aid Kit.
For civilians there are a lot of means to get into politics; from help with voting and choosing; to party programmes; public campaigns; broadcasted debates. On the other hand, for politicians, there are barely any handles to get into contact with civilians; to know their issues; to properly represent them. The EHBP helps resolving this infamous 'gap' between politics and 'the people' by bringing them into direct contact with civilians.
In this manner through the hotline service EHBP hopes to support politicians, who, in the end should support and represent the people. We believe politics is not a practise of just a few elected, it's a practise of us all - and we've silently enveloped in it in everything we do. We're all involved and therefore an accessory. Moreover politicians are people as well, so they also tend to make mistakes, that's okay, for everyone makes mistakes - but it's important that we help each other in solving mistakes.
First Aid with Politics (EHBP)
Bureau for Artspeak: is a project still in development that investigates discourse in the arts. Through different practices; workshops in artspeak; a toilet booklet with funny art; a help-line for museum visitors; or a museum-photobooth the Bureau for Artspeak extrapolates discourse in the arts into its true form. Blockbusters become amusement parks with the museum-photobooth and post-modern avant-gardism becomes toilet-amusement.
Do you want to support the realisation of the Bureau for Artspeak, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bureau for Artspeak