Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 2)

Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 2)

1. Islands

The impression, that Dala-Floda is an island was reinforced by the fact that since my arrival the internet is not working. A lightning hit. But the idea of isolated or quasi-isolated societies – although this idea is advocated by our rulers and those who want to rule – is obsolete since a long time, in Anthropology since at least Eric Wolf‘s ‘Europe And The People Without History’ was published in 1982.

Introduction : ‘We have been taught, inside the classroom and outside of it, that there exists an entity called the West, and that one can think of this West as a society and civilization independent of and in opposition to other societies and civilizations. Many of us even grew up believing that this West has a genealogy, according to which ancient Greece begat Rome, Rome begat Christian Europe, Christian Europe begat the Renaissance, the Renaissance the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment political democracy and the industrial revolution.’ (p. 5)

About sociology and the way of analyzing societies or nations, after the advent of capitalism, that gave way to the idea of societies or nation-states as ‘islands’ that follow an ‘inner clock-work’, he writes : ‘Since social relations have been severed from their economic, political, or ideological context, it is easy to conceive of the nation-state as a structure of social ties informed by moral consensus rather than as a nexus of economic, political, and ideological relationships connected to other nexuses. Contentless social relations, rather than economic, political, or ideological forces, thus become the prime movers of sociological theory.’ (p. 9)

At another place Nikolaus Dimmel comes to a similar conclusion when talking about the analysis of violence in sociology : ‘The mainstream in sociology is not capable of explaining the power relations other than through personal relation(ship)s. Violence is generally seen as physical or psychological damage and/or the threatening by others.

(‘Deshalb vermag etwa der Mainstream der Soziologie als einer sozialtechnologischen Disziplin, das Gewaltverhältnis nicht anders als über personale Beziehungen zu erschließen. Gewalt wird hier gemeinhin als körperliche (physische) und/oder seelische (psychische) Schädigung eines Anderen oder von Anderen oder/und deren Androhungen verstanden.’) Gewalt – Ein Verhältnis, Streifzüge 63.

The global economical, political and ideological violences that are governing our microcosmos are neither included in mainstream-sociological analysis nor in other mainstream media political analysis. Thus these ways of explaining the world do not have – or should not have – any significance, but it is exactly them who fuel the ideas of our rulers and those who want to rule.

Eric Wolf in his Afterword :

‘This book has asked what difference it would make to our understanding if we looked at the world as a whole, a totality, a system, instead of as a sum of self-contained societies and cultures; if we understood better how this totality developed over time: if we took seriously the admonition to think of human aggregates as “inextricably involved with other aggregates, near and far, in weblike, netlike connections” (Lesser 1961: 42). As we unraveled the chains of causes and effects at work in the lives of particular populations, we saw them extend beyond any one population to embrace the trajectories of others – all others.’ (p. 385)

In his book Wolf describes the history of and the connections between groups, societies, nations, &co in América, Asia, Africa, Australia before the Europeans discovered (for them) the new continents; then follows an account of the advent of the European explorers and their greed and hunger for natural resources which entailed the transformation of the societies through mercantilism. In the last chapter he speaks about the Industrial Revolution and the crisis of capitalism. Wolf makes it clear that everything is connected and that everything was connected already before our current phase of (digital) globalization. Reading ‘Europe And The People Without History’ I realized that we as people and societies are absolutely helpless, we have absolutely no power opposite capitalistic imperatives. The principles of the decisive decisions have nothing to do with the people, neither with the life of communities nor with states or state-unions. These decisions are not taken by a man or a woman or a group of people, they just materialize out of capitalistic imperatives. We are living in (violent) structures that are shaped by these decisions. Resistance is incorporated and sold back to us.

We can vote and even when the “good” win, we can be sure that they are going to be corrupted by these capitalistic imperatives. We cannot do anything against that. We just have to wait. So I asked myself, what else can I do than surfing through world history as decent as possible, nonchalantly unimpressed, and keep trying not to be governed to such an extent. Michel Foucault again. We have to build our own world, in spite of all the police. A Merz-world. Because [w]ithout indulging one’s delights you cannot overcome the reality which prevents us from indulging our delights.’

(‘[p]rofan gesagt: Ohne der Lust zu frönen lässt sich die Realität nicht überwinden, die uns der Lust nicht fröhnen lässt.’)
Lorenz Glatz, Meer der Lust. In: Streifzüge 51

This is what we are trying here in Dala-Floda. Our society is temporary – she has to vanish because we have no resources, and those who have resources keep them for themselves – but many ideas and feelings how everything could be better, are coming up. And they can’t exorcise these ideas and feelings.

It’s raining time and again, sometimes only for five minutes, sometimes for half an hour, sometimes heavily sometimes only in drops. The water from heaven hits my open notebook and it ripples the paper. Is it the primordial quality of water to ripple. The rain breathes the oceanic of the water into the paper. I asked Ella, student of literature in Glasgow, if she had read Virginia Woolf, The Waves. ‘No, just To The Lighthouse and Orlando.’ Not bad either. Also the wine, which I spill while I’m writing, ripples. There are oceanic waves in my flower-ornamented wine glass.

“We have been taught, inside the classroom and outside of it, that there exists an entity called the West, and that one can think of this West as a society and civilization independent of and in opposition to other societies and civilizations. Many of us even grew up believing that this West has a genealogy, according to which ancient Greece begat Rome, Rome begat Christian Europe, Christian Europe begat the Renaissance, the Renaissance the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment political democracy and the industrial revolution.”

2. Il Faut Faire

Un essay de Faire 2 – Thoughts about Jean-Luc Godards ‘Que faire?’

Overlapping and similarities in the methods of Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Wolf, improvisers and this text in relation to the manifesto ‘Que faire?’ (What is to be done?).

Some points from ‘Que faire?’:

• 1 – Il faut faire des films politiques. – We must make political films.

• 2 – Il faut faire politiquement des films. – We must make films politically.

• 13 – Faire 1, c’est faire des descriptions de situations. – To carry out 1 is to make descriptions of situations.

• 14 – Faire 2, c’est faire une analyse concrète d’une situation concrète. – To carry out 2 is to make a concrete analysis of a concrete situation.

• 19 – Faire 1, c’est décrire la misère du monde. – To carry out 1 is to describe the wretchedness of the world.

• 20 – Faire 2, c’est montrer le peuple en lutte. – To carry out 2 is to show the people in struggle.

• 23 – Faire 2, c’est de ne pas fabriquer des images du monde trop complètes au nom de la verité relative. – To carry out 2 is not to fabricate over-complete images of the world in the name of relative truth.

• 24 – Faire 1, c’est dire comment sont les choses vraies. (Brecht). – To carry out 1 is to say how things are real. (Brecht).

• 25 – Faire 2, c’est dire comment sont vraiment les choses. (Brecht) – To carry out 2 is to say how things really are. (Brecht).

• 30 – Faire 2, c’est savoir que l’unité est une lutte des contraires (Lénin), savoir que deux est dans un. – To carry out 2 is to know that unity is a struggle of opposites (Lenin) to know that the two are in one.

Translated by Mo Teitelbaum

What is relative truth? In my thinking the strive for relative truth is the attempt to reveal the relations between people resp. social groups and the conditions they are living in, thus FAIRE 2, defined by • 14, to make a concrete analysis of a concrete situation. As well as in terms of Eric Wolf who wrote in ‘Europe And The People Without History’ : ‘To demonstrate the global interconnections of human aggregates is one task; to explain the development and nature of these connections, however, is another‘ (p. 385). The second task that Wolf addresses here, is the explanation of the development and the characteristics of the living conditions (ie. economic, religious and ideologic constraints) of the social groups and this can be seen analogous to Godards FAIRE 2. Therefore ‘Europe And The People Without History’ is not a political book but Eric Wolf wrote this book politically (• 2) and this is the reason why it is much easier for us to draw conclusions for ourselves and the way we are governed than from usual political books, articles, news – the mainstream – which assume the island-myth and who do not concentrate on the explanation of the Connections, ie the relative truth.

This matches with the spirit of many improvising musicians in how they present the music. It is more about a search for possible ways of expressing the music and much less a demonstration of something perfect or accomplished, in other words something which is isolated from influences. If you speak to the musicians, you will very quickly realize that they let all possible influences in, from all arts from all over the world, they reflect on political, religious and economic constraints, their own momentary condition, &c. All this has its effect upon the music which is played/let through during a concert. Like Christof Kurzmann once said on the radio, ‘Yesterday I watched the news, this morning I read the newspapers and this is what I play.’

And the artists show themselves on stage in their struggle to let the music come into being (• 20 is to show the people in struggle) because this kind of concerts often have the character of a public experiment.

I found that • 30 also has a more universal aspect, like : one thought contains all thoughts. As a parallel to this, that unity not only consists of two opposites but of innumerable elements, like a society consists of all things, influences and Connections that have an effect on her.

Another thought : two is in one, like the body is the mind is the body.

• 37 – Faire 2, c’est se servi[r] des images et des sons comme les dents et les lèvres pour mordre. – To carry out 2 is to use images and sounds as teeth and lips to bite with.

• 38 – Faire 1, c’est seulement ouvrir les yeux et les oreilles. – To carry out 1 is only to open the eyes and the ears.

Who is it that carries out 1 and uses images and sounds – and I would add words – not as teeth and lips to bite? Godard calls it the Bourgeoisie (• 11 – To carry out 1 is to remain a being of the bourgeois class.) And FAIRE 1 also means to stay within the realm of description (• 13) and to not search for relative truth, thus the relation between the phenomenons – the truth of the relations. The true description of the relations mirrors the power relations we are living in. And only when we understand the power relations we can try to not let us govern to such an extent.

3. Third day - first day of the festival, August 4

First concert, church. Pat Thomas, piano; Daichi Yoshikawa, feedback; Seymour Wright, saxophone; Joel Grip, double-bass; Paul Abbott, drums; Antonin Gerbal, drums; Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, saxophone. Before everything began, Lena, Joels mother and the heart of the kitchen, said two things to the audience : ‘We are doing this for the fun.’ And : ‘Food is also music.’

The concert once again reminded me that the music has no beginning and no end. The music, as ever existing current, is always there, or here, she just has to be made heard through the musicians, through their concentration, and pulled to the surface or brought inside these old walls of the church, leaks are torn into the atmosphere. The music flows through the musicians, through the room where she becomes audible, into our bodies. Sometimes she descends like a flash of lightning. She moves inside us and produces waves with the water of our bodies. Some players try to control this flow, others let it move as free as possible through their bodies and lend it their vocabulary, concentrated and détaché en même temps.

I thought : such a festival is an audibilisation of music, a joint effort – because the concentration of the listeners is necessary – to experience music as a connection between humans, and each one does it in his or her own way. There is no conductor, no so called creator who tells the individuals what to do. The music is not abused.

I kept on thinking : I try to open as many ports as possible, socially and artistically.

Second concert, church. It was a big surprise, totally unexpected, to see Jens Linnel (tambourine, amplifier, cymbals) on stage, the guy who took so much care of the volunteers and the assembling of the festival (and my tent). He had changed, wore a bright shirt and his long blond hair was falling on his shoulders and not covered by a cap. The people went quiet and contented baby-noises were filling the cold air of the church. Could I see them breathing? Jens started slowly to play his tambourine and soon found the concentration to bring Swedish folk music to a more abstract level. At the end of the concert it stopped raining outside and the sun shone through the church windows. The madonna was crying tears of blood, somewhere in Italy.

In the afternoon we all came back to the Hagen. At four I had to choose between movies and a concert. I was so keen on music that I went to the Härbre where Susana Santos Silva, trumpet; Paul Abbott, drums; Wilhelm Bromander, double-bass played a short set. Ten, fifteen minutes I sat at their feet, then it was over and I threw myself into the river.

In the evening, before it went dark, but the light bulbs were already on, Aimi La Friseuse – une coiffeuse qui bosse dans la mode à Paris, like she said – opened her hairdressing salon, pay as you wish. I was her first client (and paid two glasses of vin naturel).

My fourth concert took place in the Ladan with John Holmström, piano; Anna Lund, drums; Emil Skogh, double-bass; swing in supernice, not in an antiquated way, more in a half-antiquated way. But, what is old and what is new? It is about bringing the music to the surface, bringing her in or bringing her out, bringing her up or bringing her down. And this in itself is an honorable activity. Only the question about the HOW remains, but the answer to this is up to yourself. I, for myself, try to avoid judging. Which is sometimes impossible because some things are just – I don’t want to say bad, because bad can be good as well – but hypocrite.

After that Evie Scarlett Ward, voice and cassette recorder played in the Stallet. Poetry. I found space in her words, only when she turned off the recorder that was broadcasting a babble of her voice : concrete unconcrete Londonian metro; I found concentration when as spoke her poetry into the silence.


Other articles

Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 3)

Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 3)

Part three of Philipp Schmickl's writing of Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda, Sweden.

Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 1)

Focus Inexpectatus in Dala-Floda (part 1)

This is not a review. Philipp Schmickl of The Oral magazine writes about Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda.

Jonáš Gruska in the Attic

Jonáš Gruska in the Attic

Easy talk with “field recordist” Jonáš Gruska.