What is Sabotage?
The formation “Sabotage” was founded by artist Robert Jelinek in the area of the Documenta IX in Kassel in June 1992. Sabotage” began operating in 1992 as a small project and collective, later 1994 as Sabotage Communications- an art organisation and music label, than a union of various sublabels brought together by their shared way of thinking and similar style of expression through different media. Since 1992 more than 100 international “public sabotages” have taken place in form of performances, actions, events and exhibitions. There are a number of flexible subdivisions which emerge as the needs arise and dissolve under their own inertia. Each of the sublabels primarily works within its medium, nevertheless their bonds are firm and fruitful.
The fields of activities of Sabotage defy definition of contents, theme and geographic concentration and therefor different projects and target groups are represented in different sublabels such as: art: Sabotage actions (1992-95), Alibi Service (1992-95), Sabotage projects (since 1995) or CaSH (1998). music: Sabotage Recordings (1994-99), Craft Records (since 1995), Subetage Records (since 1999).
“Sabotage” in this sense means the braking of conventions, the artistic interruption of processes of thinking and manipulational transfer. “Sabotage” is not a technic that transports meaning. Sabotage transgresses positions without presenting a new social order, provokes thinking by intervening in the official discourse. Sabotage is the experiment to brake up incrustation of an organised bourgeois society that insulates itself against all changes and tries to make thinkable new possibilities.
Sabotage Communications distinguish their range of action and their maxims in different sublabels:
SABOTAGE COMMUNICATIONS (Since 1992)
is considered to be a provider, a crossing point of ideas, projects, publicity, the planning and realisation of concepts and more. Sabotage Comm. tries to wake the consciousness for subtle processes, to initiate them between recipients and medium. Minimal and rigid means guide the consciousness of the public to an irritation and thus to an initial position that was defined before. Amongst the recipients of Sabotage Comm. are those who stand outside the ruling system and who work against the rules of it. They belong to different milieus and to different ruling conventions. Sabotage Comm. is the development laboratory of activities – the intern and the extern ones.
SABOTAGE ACTS (Since 1992)
The conception of Sabotage acts is not related to a special actor or the member of a social group, but to the participants of interacting events that are at the same time the spectators in front of which they represent themselves. The actor creates a certain opinion of him/herself by showing his/her subjectivity more or less precise. By making inventions conscious the ignorant public is guided , separated from every day life and surroundings and confronted to new experiences. “Irritation” is the ruling factor of all actions and performances. “Irritation” disturbs the conventional reception and guides the recipient back to him/herself. By little interventions, like the changing of ambient and situation, the user is removed from his/her obvious social intercourse (in perception, function and acting). Thus irritating feelings are provoked in the recipients that refer to the respective context and set in motion the interaction. The recipient of Sabotage Acts is standing alone. During the “Sabotage” the participants make use of this fact. They guide their interaction by regulating the access to their own subjectivity. The “Sabotages” distinguish four priorities according to the contexts: cultural political respect social, political and economic context manipulation and negation of communication reference phenomena in fringe groups
SABOTAGE EVENTS (Since 1994)
Bored by the conventional forms of music presentation of events, clubs and performances, Sabotage Comm. started to create new forms of performances that always stand under a special slogan.
SABOTAGE PROJECTS (Since 1992)
In 1995 the example “Free Party 95” showed that Sabotage Comm. not only interferes subtly with public systems and structures. The Free Party originated in the year 1994 out of the necessity of the Viennese musical scene (Dj`s, musicians and organisers) in a period when police raids and bureaucratic obstacles had caused the closure of nearly all clubs of Vienna and city life died at 10 p.m. The Viennese scene unionised and protested for the first time in form of a sound demonstration on the Viennese Ring. One year later, as the Viennese night-life was already reanimated by a number of clubs and events, 3 organisers of mega-raves realised ravers as a gap in the market and – together with industry and the township – they organised a second Free Party. A dozen sponsored trucks with sold demo places moved through the streets, demonstrating against the township that had shared in the financing of the event. Sabotage Comm. participated in the fun column with a truck loaded with 300 transport boxes for chicken and equipped with a sound system looping tape playing the cackling of chicken all the time. The sabotage truck was accompanied by 8 persons who distributed more than 4000 flyers. The flyers referred to the sell-out of youth culture, exploitation by cultural politics and economy and the commercialisation of subcultural strategies. The organisers tried in vain to ban the truck from the street and to take away the flyers from the Sabotage crew.
Further projects are the “Sabotage Publications” which are published biennially. In spite of links each of the sublabels according to its internal logic, its rules and principles of work and medium, whereas they are connected by a certain contextual and formal aspect, and this aspect is what forms SoS.