Above: entrance to the main venue for the 5th Alytus Biennial.

A video posted to YouTube of the Psychic Workers Monstration probably gives a better idea of what the 2013 Alytus Biennial was about than mere words. Starting out as a live art festival in 2005, the world’s best but most obscure biennial rapidly evolved into a cultural politics jam session dedicated to destroying serious culture and simultaneously speeding up the process of decolonisation (not just in Lithuania – which was until recently under that state capitalist yoke of the Soviet ‘communist’ party bourgeoisie – but also outside the overdeveloped world). And, of course, most of those present were very interested in decolonising their own minds as a part of the process of decolonising the world.

Above: a day time monstration. There was also a night time monstration. This year the discussion focused on the struggles of women and black comrades, but there were also improvised music jams, three-sided football games, and even a tomato tasting session! Not to mention workshops on gender and dreams (and many other things). The dream workshop came replete with guided visual meditations to help us liberate ourselves! A programme of events for the most recent Alytus Biennial can be found [publicized below].

Above: musical jam session using improvised instruments. I was less involved in the music this time than in previous years, partly because the main jam session had to be abandoned before I’d fully immersed myself in it after arriving late because the mixing desk and one of the speakers had caught fire. One thing I did do was give a presentation about the collective identity Chus Martinez, linking the name back to the activities of the Berlin dadaists. Two other comrades also gave talks about the name Chus Martinez and their use of it as a collective identity.

Above: hypergraphy workshop outside the main venue. Chus Martínez is a name that refers to an individual human being who can be anyone. The name is fixed, the people using it aren’t. The name Chus Martínez can be strategically adopted for a series of actions, interventions, exhibitions, texts, etc. You can use the name Chus Martínez when involved in making art, making music, or just making trouble as an activist. The purpose of many different people using the same name is to create a situation for which no one in particular is responsible and to practically examine western philosophical notions of identity, individuality, originality, value and truth.

Above hypergraphy workshop inside the main venue. Anyone can become Chus Martínez simply by adopting the name. When one becomes Chus Martínez one’s previous existence consists of the acts other people have undertaken using the name. When one becomes Chus Martínez one has no family, no parents, no birth. Chus Martínez was not born, s/he was materialised from social forces, constructed as a means of entering the shifting terrain that circumscribes the ‘individual’ and society. Chus Martínez is a transsexual collective phantom. The Chus Martínez moniker has the advantage of being one that might be male or female since Chus as a first name is not gender specific. In this way it is superior to any previous multiple identity we are aware of.

Above: tomato tasting at the Alytus Biennial!

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