Between Dreams is a series of works that was conceived in 2002 and first expressed in the form of two videos produced in 2004. Its original declaration of intentions has continued to guide the project over the years: “a series dedicated to portraying the rise of the global movement and the new metropolitan social movements, against the background of today’s urban transformations and archetypal and historical representations of the modern city”. The objective that was taking shape below the surface at the start was actually rather more pragmatic: the idea was to generate representations of the events, processes, forms of action, etc., that were characteristic of the experience that we were then calling the global movement or movement of movements.
Between Dreams originally set out to find the precise, appropriate distance and point of view that would be required in order to bring about representations of the new forms of politicisation that characterised the current protest cycle. It began with the hypothesis that it could be possible to create representations of the current forms of political action from a position other than a merely descriptive distance. It was about considering the representation of political action at the same time as the politics of its representation; the public dimension of the politics of the event at the same time as its internal processes of subjectivation; the nature of its innovations at the same time as its historic roots; the politics of its forms of expressivity at the same time as its forms of action. A “participant point of view”, where representation is no longer seen as a descriptive mirroring, but rather as another way of contributing to the political and subjective processes that shape the movements, to multiplying its tools and modes of expression.
When work on the series began, the temporal décalage seemed appropriate: barely four years had passed since the events at Seattle (protests against the World Trade Organisation), three since Prague (against the annual conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) and two since Barcelona (cancellation of the World Bank meeting that was to be held in the city). The series made it possible to think about this political cycle at a point somewhere between real time and distance in time; the idea was to analyse the complexity of the new processes of politicisation, without being subject to the urgency of direct action, on one hand; but also, on the other hand, without approaching them as events projected backwards in history.
The passing of time and the new realities we have come up against have forced us to readjust our initial intentions. At present, it would be complex –and probably already impossible– to talk about something as stable as “a” movement of movements without adding a whole lot of nuances. At the end of 2009 it will have been ten years since the events at Seattle; the brief and extremely intense arc of counter-summits that started in Seattle and ended with the drama in Genoa in 2001 (when protests against the G-8 world summit were settled through an experiment in the controlled, small-scale production of a social war by the authorities and security forces), which coincided that same year with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York and the social upheaval in Argentina on December 19 and 20, when the neoliberal formulas that had been applied to the letter for years allowed the whole planet to witness the collapse of a nation’s economy and the virtual disappearance of the control exercised by its economic and political power structures.
With the completion of the fourth episode in the series, a subtitle has been added to the series title: Essays on the New Political Imagination, to reflect the broader nature of its current hypotheses and formulations.
Marcelo Expósito, May 2009
(English translation: Nuria Rodríguez)
Texts on Between Dreams series:
Gerald Raunig, “Heterogenesis of fleeing“.