The clarification of the meaning and significance of an act like preformance must, unavoidably, take note of the complexity and pluralism of its respective social and political elements. That is, we must direct our gaze to the inextricable bond which forms between a notion and its practical actualization. In this sense, the performance – starting with the title, “(In)Finite Assembly, an errorist representation”, in all its refined uncertainty – lays the foundation for reflection. We pose “(In)Finite Assembly” not as a discrete and complete process, but as the opening words for a script yet to be written.
A script that formulates a description which is antithetical to the social and political biases that characterize the city of Bologna, because in doing so it reveals the ambiguities, weaknesses, and flimsy logic marking the disintegration of the dominant political body and the fragility of the opposing political body forming a response to this process of destabilization. The genesis of the Etcetera collective was born from a real moment; a moment that its members lived in first person, like spectators, with the enthusiasm and anguish of an unexpected show. Its conception took
shape in a specific time and place:
May 27th, 2013, Piazza Verdi, Bologna. Students and scholars, precariously
employed temporary and contract workers; those against the impossibility to hold a public assembly in the piazza – physically blocked by police and carabinieri in riot gear – found themselves united and in solidarity in a way primarily material (which is the piazza as a physical place, wherein lies the freedom and privacy to pass through the space of their everyday lives). The answer is realized in rejecting the law enforcement together with their political commanders. In this way, an assembly, of all the subjectivity the piazza contains and releases, is established: A creative dimension of the resistence – the immediate consequence of that crack which is now visible, now undeniable, inside the logic of comodified normalization, the abandonment of knowledge and livelihood both individual and collective. In “liberation” comes a new place and shape of conscious participation, which the institutional system naturally tends to eliminate, to recycle. It is this context that represents the starting point and, at the same time, preparation for workshop “(In)Finite Assembly”; a survey which chooses to feature the real subjects of this story, where the “liberated” piazza is the touchstone for the production of a new environment that connects to
personal behaviors in a dynamic way.
After exactly one month, the presentation – after coming into being in a context which has generated and propelled it – has absorbed student struggle, along with Bologna in general, and taken on a life of its own. The structure of the Etcetera collective’s Errorism incorporates the unexpected – the same unexpected that suggests a precarious existence – forming a magnetic skeleton that attracts the uncertain and undefined of every social practice and phenomenon. All of the factors which have shaped the identity of Piazza Verdi over the years, all of the questions and tensions, redefine themselves in a “brain storming session.” Icons and symbols, blown-up photographs, forms and representations of figures in the political imagination (from small-scale academic Ivano Dionigi to the scale of Gezi Park’s woman in red).
Concentrated entirely around a symbolic black hole, “(In)Finite Assembly, an errorist presentation”
transcends the boundary between reality and fiction. The actors (called from various italian movements), students and scholars, contracted and temporary laborers, activists, public and bystanders – participate in and construct a moment that, between the absurd and the grotesque, reveals and structures the complexity, the fragility, the meaning (which must be continually re-appropriated), intensity and creativity of a real and communal assembly. A readymade social where the subjects represent their objectivity, detach from a fetishized affection for their identities and push to eradicate the social and economic roles prey to subservience of dominant powers.
HOBO – COMMON KNOWLEDGE LABORATORY