Dictionary of War

2006 - 2007
Städelschule Frankfurt, steirischer herbst/Graz, Muffathalle München, Sophiensaele Berlin & online

A project by Multitude e.V. & Unfriendly Takeover

Developed and curated by Annett Busch, Jan Gerber, Susanne Lang, Tom Lamberty, Sebastian Lütgert, Florian Malzacher, Anke & Heike Schleper, Florian Schneider, Bernhard Schreiner

At least, when we create concepts, we are doing something.

Dictionary of War is a collaborative platform for 100 concepts on the subject of war, formed and presented at four two-day events in Frankfurt, Munich, Graz and Berlin, each featuring twenty-five contributions of scientists, artists, theorists and practitioners. As lectures, performances, films, slide shows, readings, concerts in strict alphabetical order as a marathon discourse. From ABC weapons to civilian population, from parachute invasion to facts on the ground, from potato to collateral damage, from infowar to radar surveillance, from homesickness to resistance.
The aim was to (re)create key concepts that already play a significant role in current discussions of war, had so far been neglected, or had yet to be created. Dictionary of War served to scrutinise a reality that characteristically obfuscates existing power relations the more people talk about war and peace.

War as an armed confrontation between sovereign (nation) states seemed to be a thing of the past. Today it is rather: new war, post-modern war, global war, immanent war… War becomes a “constitutive form of a new order” (Alliez/Negri) that no longer knows inside or outside, that not only destroys, but also produces life. In this new world order, there is no difference between war and non-war: war is perpetual and everywhere.

Dictionary of War set out to intervene in this war and, at the same time, to appeal for desertion from a war of words in which facts are created and asserted with such a tremendous deployment of communication and propaganda that they can no longer be challenged. The concept formation of Dictionary of War, in contrast, remained transparent and took the form of open process in which people can and should intervene.

The idea of Dictionary of War refered to a theory of concept formation proposed by the philosophers Deleuze and Guattari: concepts must be invented, created, produced; concepts refer to problems, without which they would be meaningless. It is not about definitions, anecdotes, original opinions or entertainment, but rather about developing the tools with which to attain new ideas.

Editions of Dictionary of War took place in Frankfurt (2-3 June, 2006), Munich (22-23 June, 2006), Graz (13-14 June, 2006) & Berlin (23-25 February, 2007). Parallel to the performative implementation of Dictionary of War, the concepts were available for discussion on the Internet as video recordings, supplemented with additional material under a creative commons licence. Additonally some contributions were published in a book at Merve-Verlag.

Video Archive

With contributions by Azra Aksamija, Jonathan Allen, Julieta Aranda, andcompany&Co., Apsolutno, Battery Operated, Konrad Becker, Franco Bifo Berardi, Ulrich Bröckling, Shu Lea Cheang, Celine Condorelli, Jordan Crandall, Hans-Christian Dany, Dietmar Dath, Willem de Rooij, deufert + plischke, Diedrich Diederichsen, Katja Diefenbach, Stefan Doernberg, Thomas Draschan, Heinrich Dubel, Azza El-Hassan, Felix Ensslin, Charles Esche, Peter Fend, Anselm Franke, Christine Frisinghelli, DeeDee Halleck, Stefan Heidenreich, Manuel Herz, Andreas Hiepko, Michael Hirsch, Brian Holmes, Emil Hrvatin, International Festival, Ivana Ivković, Mansur Jacobi, Mansur Jacoubi, Peter Jahn, Quio & Darius James, Stefan Kaufmann, Tom Keenan, Oleg Kireev, Ivan Kucina, kuda.org, Christof Kurzmann, Nathalie Landenberger, Tina Leisch, Lawrence Liang, Sylvére Lotringer, Brian Massumi, Khalo Matabane, Angela Melitopolous, Markus Mertz, Avi Mograbi, Naeem Mohaiemen, Andrea Moll, Ariane Müller, Vanessa Joan Müller, Simon Naveh, Warren Neidich, Martin Neumeier, Hans Nieswandt, Thomas Nordanstad, John Palmesino, Marko Peljhan, Dan Perjovschi, Armin Petras, Michalis Pichler, Sergej Goran Pristaš, Raqs Media, Rimini Protokoll, Jan Ritsema, Irit Rogoff, Stefan Römer, Saskia Sassen, Edgar Schmitz, Susan Schuppli, Georg Seeßlen, Erzen Shkololli, Nicolas Siepen, Armin Smailovic, Simon Starling, Marcus Steinweg, Nora Sternfeld, Ingrid Strobl, Rob Stone, The Errorists, Stephan Trüby, Ultra Red / Dont Rhine, Klaus Viehmann, Peter Weibel, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Eyal Weizman, Ines Weizman, Meir Wigoder, Christian von Borries, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Tris Vonna-Michell, Soenke Zehle, Raul Zelik, Gesa Ziemer

A project by Multitude e.V. & Unfriendly Takeover
A Co-Production with the festival steirischen herbst 2006
Supported by Kulturstiftung des Bundes