New[B]Order tries to pursue an integrative approach to science and art. With scientific reflection on social conditions, constituting the starting point, a permeable framework, in which artistic action and aesthetic reflection will take place, will be delineated.
This approach is realized by the establishment of different indicators (resembling method and result), which have been extrapolated by an initial theoretical analysis. Nevertheless, they already include scientific as well as artistic methods. In a first step different indicators will be developed, which deal with the ambivalent consequences of the symbolic and material exchange between centre and periphery.
- Privatization of “socially owned” companies, workers struggle and the “Coordinating Committee for Workers Protests in Serbia”
With the plans of the Serbian government to cut back public sector spending as a condition for receiving further funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and thus, among others, to sell-off all formerly self-managed companies, a determined workers movement that refuses to bear the burden of economic restructuring after years of corruption has hit the scene. There are over 30 strike actions throughout Serbia, including factory occupations, railway blockades, city-hall and police station takeovers, sleep-ins, hunger strikes or self-mutilation.
In 2009, a number of Strike Committees came together to form a Coordinating Committee for Workers Protests in Serbia. On 31 August, 2009 the strike committees of Zastava Elektro, Srbolek, Šinvoz and BEK established a joint Coordinating Committee for workers Protests in Serbia, with the aim of struggling in solidarity with one another against the closure of their factories and the preservation of their jobs.
In collaboration with the Freedom Fight Movement (http://freedomfight.net) the Serbian workers struggle, the socio-political context and history as well as the most important strikes (e.g. Jugoremedija, Zastava Elektro, Raška, Srbolek, Šinvoz, Ravanica, Trudbenik Gradnja, BEK, etc) and locations of the movement will be mapped. In addition, capital flows and investments as well as corruption, which has bound together key Serbian business and political interests in the squandering of public funds, will be explored in full detail.
- Graffiti- Subversive signs of the periphery?
Graffiti will firstly be seen as a subversive symbol, a spontaneous intervention or release directed against the generalizing tendency of capitalist levelling. Thus, a content analysis should provide information on the themes of the Graffitis. In a second step, the strategies used in product sales and marketing instruments of corporations will be investigated. Deeper lying levels of meaning will be correlated in a factor analysis in order to verify whether consumer symbols adapt subversive content.
- Symbolic penetration vs. symbols of the previous systems
The location of the financially strongest corporation symbolizes the apparently “absolute“ centre. This indicator covers the frequency and distribution density of the symbolic representation of this corporation. The penetration of public space by corporate identities will be entered into the map as symbol clusters. Therefore, it measures and renders visible the length and degree of subjective capitalism in the sense of competition. On the contrary, former insignia and monuments of the socialist narrative will also be recorded on the map. How were the old symbols of power replaced, where did they end up and in what functions are they now being used? By layering of a-parallel snapshots, this change will be rendered visible and shall thwart corporate symbols of contemporary investments in Serbia.
- Black market
Plagiarism and the black market are the central factors of this indicator. The black market exists in a dependent relationship with the interpretative predominance of the centre and simultaneously develops an emancipative movement through parasitic product reproduction. The production level is separated from the interpretative predominance of the centre. The aim is to find the “point of no return“, when the centre loses control over illegal reproduction. Where does one meet the first black marketer? What are the routes of the mobile salesmen offering their reproductions for sale? What is the distance between advertisements for current cinema films and the points of sale of their illegal copies?
- The power of music – Turbo Folk Politics
Serbian politics is saturated with folklore and from the late 1980s, every political leader, without exception, every political programme and every political battle made reference to folkloric texts that resorted to a raft of traditional clichés. In the 1990s the stimulation of nationalism by popular and traditional Serbian songs involved a process of ethnification in which popular music contributed to the estrangement, alienation and distancing of the Other (see Hudson, R.).
So called “turbo-folk” and “dance” music developed in the Milošević era as a fascinating musical hyper-productive industry, which promoted the glamorous life-style of the new Serbian elite, which consisted of politicians in power, war-profiteers, businessmen and criminals who supported the Milošević regime, together with female singers in ‘pin-up style’, the erotic queens of folk (see Kronja, I.). The indicator will explore the impact of music on Serbian politics and investigates the links between popular musical forms and nationalism in Serbia. The indicator shall also reflect on sexuality and gender relations in post-socialist Serbia.