art, culture, networks

How to do counter networking, or: It all starts with rumors

Saturday, 26 April 2008 · by admin

A conversation to be continued

The Palindromes are: Bettina Wind, Freja Bäckman, Daniel Barocca, Alexandra Ferreira, Carla Cruz (in order of appearance).

Bettina: I found a palindrome that is about networks, more or less…
“Do nine men interpret nine men?” I nod.
See, if you have nine men having opinions about each other, that’s the starting point for a network! But: how do networks usually start?
Our group started with Italian pasta at “Clärchens Ballhaus” Restaurant by accident, no?

Freja: Us being the only ones without carnival suit.

Bettina: Carnival is a big network machine, too!

Daniel: But that does not mean having opinions about each other!

Bettina: Only that afterwards you do not know with whom you were connected…

Daniel: You just connect!

Bettina: Yeah, there must be more than just connecting.

Alexandra: One day we’ll get a press card because of our magazine and we will be connected with all the journalists.

Carla: Exactly, I completely forgot the reason why we started.

Freja: Things you read in the others (interpret), a common interest or idea.

Bettina: Maybe networks are about qualities in connections.

Alexandra: A network starts when we have communication and common ideas.

Freja: So maybe not opinions about others, but opinions you can share.

Bettina: Also networks start like black holes, but inverted ones: you forget how it started but then something got moved.

Bettina: Maybe networks are about “branding” too? Or are they more about rumors?

Daniel: A rumor is something very interesting to think about…

Alexandra: To create rumors means to create imagination, too.

Daniel: ..and a context.

Bettina: I read a text about “Komplizen” (companions in the same situation) that has a lot to do with closed networks.

Daniel: A rumor creates an atmosphere among people.

Bettina: Take the Berlin Biennale for example. Who is part of the network, how are they connected with other important people etc. is all part of the rumors.

Carla: There is also a possibility, to believe or not.

Daniel: For example, Portugal is a place of rumors.

Carla: How to get somewhere, in professional terms, it comes as a rumor as well here.

Alexandra: But not only in Portugal.

Bettina: Portugal is a great place for starting networks. The question is, if they succeed.

Daniel: Rumor is about things that are not being discussed openly.

Freja: Rumor can become the common thing, a common knowledge.

Bettina: Rumor is the only space that cannot be “caught”, I heard once. Concerning knowledge, it is usually possible to catch it.

Daniel: Because when it becomes clear it’s not a rumor anymore

Bettina: If we publish for example this conversation it turns into knowledge about networking.

Carla: That’s right… that’s liberty as well, as long it is still a rumor.

Freja: When does rumor turn in to “real” knowledge?

Bettina: I just talked with Alexandra about the “traitor “again, because betrayal also happens in a hidden sphere, it cannot appear openly, otherwise it would not work anymore.

Daniel: When it becomes an open discussion and gets clarified…

Bettina: Collaboration-Komplizen-Traitor-Network, these terms might be linked much more than we would like them to.

Alexandra: But networks can also mean open source, something open, transparent!

Freja: The term networking is often connected with negative connotation, like rumors.

Alexandra: And about trust in the others, a relation of trust, that’s positive, isn’t it?

Daniel: Yes, like we are doing now!

Freja: The own network should be trusted.

Bettina: It has two sides in a way what we do now: conspiracy vs. sharing thoughts openly.

Carla: Networks are about communities, are rumors also about that?

Daniel: Maybe a rumor is more about intrigue than conspiracy.

Alexandra: Rumors can also be good for creating a sense of a community.

Freja: Isn’t a community the base for the rumor to be of a common interest?

Alexandra: Like yesterday, we were in a complaints choir about rumors.

Bettina: It is a project by Oliver and Tellervo Kalleinen ( Daniel, Alexandra and me participated yesterday spontaneously.

Freja: I think complaints are a good example of an expression that connects people.

Bettina: Yeah, complaints create a temporary sense of community.

Carla: That’s absolutely true.

Bettina: When people still hum the song in the street afterwards.

Carla: Normally complaints are a conversation starter.

Bettina: We even created a sentence about networks.

Alexandra: “I won’t get a job if I don’t have the right friends”.

Bettina: Its’ in the official complaint song for Berlin
So we are networking ourselves but at the same time we are suspicious of the power of networks we do not have access to.

Carla: Access, the right word, even for rumors, they exist when we can’t get full access to the real facts.

Freja: Probably a lot of groups (networks) start from a shared dissatisfaction, like political groups for example.

Daniel: Yes totally, take groups of resistance…

Bettina: So we can say that there are organically growing networks of friends who then might give you the right job, but also active steps to create networks (of resistance).

Daniel: Like the “Carbonaria” in Italy in, or the communists in Portugal going ‘underground’.

Carla: Counter networking.

Alexandra: The active step of creating a counter network can be positive: you have a program other people with common interests might share, even if they are not your friends.

Carla: Yes, in a positive and accessible way, if you share the same issues, agenda, problems, complaints, as Alexandra said.

Bettina: “Counter networking” includes both sides: a step against (closed) networks and creating an alternative network…. It could be our first topic to start with.

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