TM 2010 >> Stuck in Horley

February 3, 2010

{FabAgit was invited by Eyebeam to be the official correspondent at Transmediale 2010 in Berlin}

Gatwick not Schönefeld
Stranded in Horley
Started a riot

Flew in Late
Personal pick-up
Ashram night
Pretty kitties
3 hrs sleep

Got dizzy trying yoga at 5.10 am
Stared at a yantra copy for 30 minutes straight
Continued staring

Transmediale 2010 begins today.

Off to TM HQ to collect press goodies and hope to catch a manifesto manifestation on utopia, Arabic Agit-Prop and more sci-fi visions on futurity, NOW!

Not going anywhere

Stranded in Horley

Own it!

Berlin Berlin!!

Warm Welcome Kitty

Post Yantra

A pearl


Spaces of Freedom

January 29, 2010

“[…] Spaces of freedom, or autonomy, must arise spontaneously in locations that present themselves in the moment, so that they cannot be predicted and undermined by the pressure of societal forces. While active, these spaces become areas of liberation, alternative economies, and social protest.”

— Peter Lamborn Wilson

Flying with the military, clans and other hybrids

December 31, 2009

Thoughts on Thoughts on Avatar {in 3D}

Avatar 3D is family holiday fun, proper: Action, romance, a hero and a heroine, the marriage of different species, problems, despair and solutions. Animals! A fairytale with a message. Slightly “left-leaning” yet not entirely PC, so we heard. With sequel potential, gotta love it!

To increase the fun, FabAgit built its own video set.

Stripped down to its core, removed of all high tech ephemera and biotech hyper-futurism we were left with the story behind the glossy 3D-shell and James’ vision of our tomorrow. 3D sure rocks!

New World = New Vocabulary

Skypeople are humans {positively foremost Military & Research people as they seem the only ones who made it to the next level} left without their territory, formerly known as Earth. With their head in the future and their feet steady on the past, always a new prey in sight. The show must go on!

Na’vi are the uncanny, yet enlightened savages of Pandora, a lush, Earth-like moon of the planet Polyphemus, in the Alpha Centauri system. {When in doubt: Wikipedia}

Avatar is a Hindi term for “decent” and refers to what we call incarnation of a deity that comes down from heaven to earth {or any given planet}. Here it is “a creation of human technology where human’s intelligence is injected into a remotely located body, a biological body,” hence a hybrid between Human and Na’vi DNA.

Got Unobtainium?
Below the tree of life, just remove the Na’vi.

Hybrids of Pandora with a bonding port
As part of becoming a full-grown and accepted member of the Na’vi community you got to win over one of the flying hybrids {a mix between a dinosaur and a butterfly}. Our avatar, upon descending, is immediately recognized by Eywa {the Na’vi deity} as the new chosen one. This manifests in his vehicle upgrade. He get’s the fierce bird, win!”

How we like our stories to be told:
Hard lined, straight forward, linear and vertical. Just add 3D for horizontal pleasure!

No non-linear absurdities, no multiple story angles nor augmented realities. A straight downward story-hierarchy with the supposedly superior on top and the inferior on the bottom will do just fine.

Since the focus is clearly on conquest and warfare, the logical and strategic build-up of the drama/adventure becomes almost a necessity. We want our stories to be told in black and white, with a Technicolor twist but not much room for a relativist worldview.

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” – Tom Clancy {American espionage and military science author and video game developer. Co-incidence?}

Why do futuristic movies always seem to point way back to a well archived and preserved past that causes no threat and lends itself for an easy adaption?

The further we reach into an uncertain and discomforting future the more we seem to long for the comfort of our own history {even though it might not be so comforting after all}. And the more our real lives get complicated, disorientating and scattered with many equally valid alternatives and constant information overload, we tend to rejoice in clear structures and predictability.

What we want is a standard adventure story package including the classic elements of Boy meets girl, {Mermaid meets Sailor, Cowboy meets Indian girl or Avatar meets Na’vi}, a big threat, a seemingly unresolvable problem and ONE simple solution, greed and other evils vs. sustainability and sheer goodness and for this particular movie they added wholesome living and bonding beyond species. Yeah!

In the year 2154 {The world according to James C.}…

>>Some of us will still be alive!

>>Those who are, will still be territorial if not terrestrial as sea lions!

>>3D will be law.

>>We will still be the same old greedy folks with all our evolutionary flaws but we are able to create someone else’s god, nice!

>>We still like our stories to be told black and white and delivered in Technicolor.

>>We shall still rejoice in the wonders of association. As long as we can reference to and compare with we can also accept anything labeled “new” and “uncommon”. Just add a filter!

>>We will still need heroes! And a female alone won’t do.

>>We will still talk pep and act down. Hypocrisy will not be contradictory!

>>The military will not change its attitude, only add new gadgets to the repertoire.

>>We will still need religion and rituals to explain the unexplainable and to guide us through our intricate lives.

>>There will still be love. Win!

More Pics

Why do we need covers—we have the ORIGINALS!

December 29, 2009

FabAgit in conversation with Sascha Pohflepp

Now that we’ve *covered* [hehe] that Nouvelle Vague is *weichgespült* and competes rather with Nouvelle Vache than with its own ancestors…I DID wake up with a few second thoughts on COVERS….

Maybe it’s a GUIDE back to the starting point… Maybe the toe-tapping Neo-Bourgeois needs Bossa to get into the mood and doesn’t want to be affiliated with piss stains on a Friday Night…

HAHAHA, das ist wahr

Then it seems that cover artist have the role of an ambassador to reconnect the past/pop culture [in whatever way] with the presence and to preserve its survival for the future.
These examples came into my Monday Morning Mind:
Johnny Cash. Dude, it worked. I sat there with him on Death Row as a Solitary Man and I shook with him and Fiona standing on the bridge spanning over the Troubled Waters…

Naja, stimmt. Aber mit Cash ist es ja auch so, das der eine unheimliche Authorität hat, aus der er schöpfen kann. Das schwingen Vorurteile mit (der alte weise Mann vs die jungen Schnecken) und auch seine Persona (the man in black), aber er hat natuerlich auch viele leute gepraegt und dadurch andere leverage. Man fuehlte sind ja geehrt. Und -importante- er hat sich auch sachen ausgesucht, die zu ihm passen. Nouvelle Vache nehm ich kuenstlerisch nix ab (die machen jedoch gute solo sachen), wobei er singt sachen die ihm ja auch persoenlich wahrscheinlich recht nahe sind, I see a Darkness, etc. Oder zumindest kann man da die authentizitaet reinprojizieren als audience.

He tried to approach it from a different angle. Pointing forward. Covering songs by younger artists, maybe even more popular ones and he filtered
them back through his own genre.

Genau. Und alle wussten das er eh nix anderes mehr machen wird. Passing on the torch.

How about RAP?! Samples that loop through the tunes go straight back to the fifties, sixties or even eighties and almost make them instantly popular. Whithers’ Grandma’s Hands gave our generation some new Diggity, Dr. Dre!

Sampling ist ein guter Punkt, respect. ESG, the most sampled band on the planet.

Or maybe it’s just what Taryn Simon pointed out – a strategy using old and somehow familiar tunes to overwrite a memory that never was and at the same time create a familiarity that’ll sell it to you…
What would some bands do if covering songs was prosecuted? They wouldn’t exist. Bob Dylan as career provider!

Na die muessen ganz schoen zahlen. Wenn du was coverst bekommt der eigentliche Author (der composer in dem fall) mehr kohle als du selber.

Some people just don’t care and that’s fine too – Ignorance can be blissful, ist doch meine Lieblingsentschuldigung.
But for people who do care and simply don’t know yet, covers can be a subtle way to teach history and lead the fresh audience to its core through the back door, SMOOTH OPERATION.

Whitney Houston!

Cat Power on the other hand doesn’t use an extract of the exact tunes as the base of a new song nor does she merely cover it with a slightly more contemporary twist. She dissects. Takes the original apart, strips it down to it’s essence – sometimes past it – rearranges, slows down, recomposes, montages and puts together a new song in it’s own right; and usually in a very heartbreakingly beautiful way. Chan, the torch holder of post-modernism! Tori Amos tried that too a couple times but stripped so much that there was only a pale resemblance of the old and that screwed it up.


But hey, Sinead O’Connor did a nice job once, didn’t she?

Mit was?

Or maybe cover artists are just doing what they are SUPPOSED to…
What if there is an undefined pop song canon that manifests what the ‘Jazz Standards’ manifest for the Jazz world? They are meant to be reinterpreted and be performed over and over and over and over….

Das find ich ja am allerlangweiligsten. Deshalb find ich auch Klassik so soul-crushing weil es die eigentliche kreativitaet unter so einem sonderbaren gedanken des channelns von vergangener Genialitaet begraebt.
Und fast alle sachen die kooperationen von klassik und pop sind, gleich mit.

And obviously I am NOT talking about Beatles Cover Bands that is just pathetic…

Haha. Oder Stones cover bands wie unlaengst in Dublin gesehen.

We listened to Nouvelle Vague, a dialogue with Sascha Pohflepp

Where we started from…

December 28, 2009

…where we’re heading next!

What we want is free. We found the book while dog-sitting in Mexico City in January this year. It set the scene and led to inspiring works of fascinating artists… If you dig through our blog you’ll get an idea what influenced us.

We then embarked on a journey through Mexico, passing through villages, fields of strawberries and forests of butterflies. Fruit exchange carts on the side of the roads. Portable vending vehicles everywhere. Blissful inspiration overload and the newly outlined interest in our artistic practice led us from Wheels in her Eyes, a personal road trip experience to Fabulous Agitation {FabAgit}, Temporary Platforms of Liberation. In March we answered to the calling of Columbia University, sent out the proposal and waited patiently dangling from hammocks with our arms in the sun and our toes in the sand.

So portable art spaces… that would allow us to be non-committal to one specific location, yet dedicated to sharing art and exchanging ideas in odd places, great!

In May we moved from Mexico to NYC, the hub of our future operations, where we had to formulate and reformulate our questions to find our way through the shrubbery: What would the portable art spaces look like? How many would we need? What purposes would they have to serve? What was our budget? How far could we take mobility? How temporary could we afford to be? What kind of art, what kind of exchange? Who would be a good one-day resident? Audience? Etc.

We oscillated between investing in a *proper* trailer and finding portable devices out in the streets. During our summer Pop-Up Lab, hosted at Eyebeam, we discovered using dumpster footage to build portable platforms wouldn’t prevent us from generating trash. In fact, it helped circulating it before it would end up back in the dumpster along with more trash. It also turned out to be a somewhat immobile or inflexible approach for our interventions. The physical objects seemed to weigh heavy on our instantaneous take-overs and carrying stuff around is just not that sophisticated after all.

So we moved on to finding places that would lend themselves for our interventions using whatever was on-site, incorporating and allowing it to shape the aesthetics and dynamics of our interventions. A new literal approach to site-specific actions evolved.

In August, we moved into the EdLab, roamed the campus, co-opted a cart, collected physical research, got in touch with our one-day artists in residence, participated at Conflux Festival, defined and redefined our force fields, talked at Salt Space as experts on {spatial} reality shifts, wrote a manifesto, wrote another one, decided that manifestos should stay as flexible as the nature of our work and then events, events and more events. This was our summer and our fall!

By the end of November FabAgit had established its own language and philosophy. We packaged our projects and interventions and brought them together on our new homepage. And lastly we installed a visual and physical documentation within the library at Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy {See post below}.

Currently, FabAgit is agitating the virtual sphere: Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, … yep, nothing’s gonna stop us now.

Next on the agenda is to depart on active and physical research to turn our strategies into manuals for future interventionistas. We plan to discuss with our former and future residents to share gained insight and research outcomes. And we do plan to publish our revelations, yeah!

Be a part, stay tuned. Happy New Year!

FabAgit Installed!

December 28, 2009

FabAgit was asked to install a documention of their first Intervention Cycle at the EdLab of Teachers College, Columbia University. We marked our “territory” {appropriatly} with Xmas lights and displayed an assortment of images and a cart from the past 7{!} interventions.

Since not every stage is for every performance… FabAgit can’t wait to hit the streets again!

More Exhibition Details.

All FabAgit sets:

This is FabAgit!

December 7, 2009

After our first Intervention Cycle 1.o we packaged the most successful projects and moved them to our brand new project site. Come over and get to know another agitational side of FabAgit!

This blog however won’t be put to rest! From now on it will dedicate its energy to Research and Testing. We’ll publish and share our latest outcomes of our labs and look out for glimpses from the outside world that thrives to fabulously agitate its people.

Read our mind! Follow us! Look at us! Watch us!

Follow Us!

December 7, 2009

Fabagit is now on twitter agitating its followers with cryptic spark for blissful confusion

Knowledge Shots

November 17, 2009

An Evening of Experimental and Collaborative Research, Lovely!

Hosted by Fabulous Agitation and Teachers College, Columbia University

Fabulous Agitation* invites you to experience Knowledge Shots, performed during the 10th anniversary of the International Education Week at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Knowledge Shots
is a platform for instant knowledge sharing, micro lecturing, experimental story telling, ad-hoc consultancy and brainstorming. We’ve gathered a group of experts in various fields to help participants approach research and projects from a new, another angle + cookies.

We’ll take over rooms 303 and 304 of the Gottesman Libraries on Wednesday, Nov. 18 between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. All are welcome to walk in and share your current research and projects with our experts. We’ll embark on a collective brainstorm, experiencing new ways of understanding and rejoicing in the wonders of instant association.

Get your knowledge kicks at

Rooms 303 & 304, Gottesman Libraries (Russell Hall)
Wednesday, November 18th
7.30 – 9.30pm

*We at Fabulous Agitation firmly believe a shift in your reality is a shift in perception, another kind of experience and the opportunity for a glimpse of revelation. Hence, Fabulous Agitation!


Rachel Barnard
Architecture, Phenomenology, Immersion 

Rachel Barnard is an architect and artist who has practiced in Brisbane, New Delhi, Budapest and over the last two years, New York City.  She also writes for a number of Australian architectural journals including Indesign and DQ.

Emily Gallagher
New, York, City

The Xenophile NYC is the personal mission of Emily Gallagher, a New York City resident and historian.  As a lover of European cities,  Emily moved to New York as her American urban alternative. She possesses a true passion for New York City history and life and wants to share it with you.

Sascha Pohflepp
Future, Present, Past

Sascha Pohflepp specializes in speculation. In his work and writing he interacts with technology, the past and the future. Recently he has been working with The Golden Institute in an alternate history United States and looked into plants as being the robots of the future. He was born in Germany in 1978 and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London.

Liz Slagus
Community Sourcing, Participatory Practice, Sex Ed

From 1999-2009, Liz Slagus developed and managed Eyebeam’s Education programs, from youth & family-related courses and workshops to issues of new and digital literacies, learning, and teaching practices. As Director of Education and Public Programming for Eyebeam, Liz co-curated several large-scale exhibitions and developed and oversaw the public events and professional development series offered by the organization. Liz has organized and spoken on several panels regarding art and technology education. She has co-produced numerous short-format video, sound, public intervention, web and interactive media projects with her students, developed programs for national film festivals, and taught new media art courses for the University of Connecticut and the University of Rochester via Eyebeam. During 2008 she produced the youth participation component of the 01SJ 2008 festival in San Jose, CA and co-curated 1800 Frames with Norene Leddy for City Without Walls in Newark, NJ. Most recently, Liz was honored with the position of Creative Fellow for Art & Technology with the State Library of Queensland, where she is focused on the development of public programming for a new digital culture centre in Brisbane. Liz continues to consult for many organizations and schools within the US regarding art and technology education and programming. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Anthropology from Bucknell University and a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University.

Molly Riordan
Design & Documentation

Molly Riordan is a writer and designer of unexpected learning experiences. She is an exhibit, application, and event designer at EdLab at Teachers College, Columbia University and a writer/editor for Not For Tourists New York.

IPH – Publications

November 16, 2009

are online and flippin’!