In the Europool

The announcement of this sunday’s Europool event by Creamcake provides insights into culture politics and funding terminology related to the cultural sector of Berlin today.

Creamcake is a popular party series that has taken place in Südblock and later Ohm, featuring musicians connected to the digital sphere, which also has organised an art festival last year and recently a party at Berghain. They have secured some funding from the capital culture fonds (Haupstadtkulturfonds) to hold a pool party and panel discussion this Sunday in the municipal swimming pool in Humboldthain, under the title Europool (Europol being the european police forces).

Discussing will be the feminist musician AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti), tech-artist Riccardo Benassi, and filmmaker/anthropologist Sungeun Kim.

“Creamcake and friends are campaigning for a united, democratic, people-orientated, and peaceful Europe”. How?! Let’s read the announcement. It mentions as inspiration the “new modes of ideas, tools, and work across so many countries and cultures, which is not possible of anywhere else in the world” The free movement of workers inside the European Union is celebrated here, the name for this is the single market.

The work of the artists and musicians associated with the event is given as an example:”collaborated with many different people across Europe and have transformed free movement into their practice and everyday lives”. These are the emancipated cultural workers of today: thankful for their multi-state civil setting. So why do we bother dissecting this announcement? Because it gives insight into the current identity of European mobile cultural workers. It is not seperate anymore from the single market program of the EU. Which is interesting if you care for the splits and tensions between art and economy, like we do.

Again, what is the “free movement” that is refered here to? Obviously not the current urgent demand for a change in the situation of the refugees in the detention centers all over Europe and at its borders? Europool brings up in passing the terms “Nationalism, migration, climate change, politics of fear, and the economy” and then provides the most shallow definition of the EU: a bigger thus better nation, with internal migration of its workforce, as a politics of hope against the small-minded right wingers who are against immigration and for fear and for their own nation. The use of the term “free movement” is irritating in the current loaded situation where refugees are pushed back at the borders of the EU and drown in the sea due to blocked land routes. The event is mentioning “migration” but only as a problem next to climate change and fear. The migration that it is celebrating instead is that of EU (cultural) workers.

If it weren’t so structurally antisemitic one could point to the DJ as a protagonist of finance, by Ian Svenonius: ” A preposterous poseur, once an adjunct to wedding parties, he is now exalted, featured in advertisements and lavished with wealth and fame. Like the rulers on Wall Street, he has no actual talent except to play with other people’s labor. His talent is his impeccable taste and his ability to turn junk into gold, like his stockbroking masters” (Ian Svenonius, The Psychic Soviet, 2006) What we would say instead is: The work of the DJ is the remix, and as we can see here a DJ can easily mix visuals and terminology for whatever ideological cause. This is a pro-single market event, an anti-Brexit event. From the announcement, this is its whole “progressiveness”. Also on the level of VJing: the visuals of the event are a gold chain in the style of the EU flag. It formerly accompanied a project about the aesthetics of housing in gangster rap videos across Europe. Void of this context it only underlines the political goals of this party: to celebrate the EU single market. A gold washing of the EU.

Self-declared European progressives should aim at being more creative when it comes to imagining a european identity that holds up against the attacks of the nationalists. Maybe refer to your art instead? Is it european contemporary art? Tell us how?

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