Gomma@decoderbbs.csmtbo.mi.cnr.it (Gomma) (by way of Pit Schultz ) on Sun, 17 Dec 95 02:36 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]


If you don't know the history of the most active cyberpunk group
in Italy, here is:

The Decoder and ShaKe history: seizing the times.

ladies and gentlemen, goodmorning. Todays program opens with...
bzzz... bzzz... Decoder signifies decodifier...
Were like many Frankensteins, composed of human members and
artificial elements created by technology. I've seen one whose
hand had three fingers, with the thumb and index finger,
substituted by a pair of pliers and functioning like a crooked
beak. A small antennae came out of his mouth and he spoke in
megahertz to a woman who had no ears, but instead two parabolic
dishes to capture television messages. Not being able to
comprehend each other, the two made love, in such a way that it
excited my pity, now with clogged movement from the wheels on his
feet, now facilitated by her tongue, magnetic-tape-made, sixty
minutes long, while following the rythym of the electronic drum
that beat in their chests. From this incest, DECODER was born, the
son of communication, of diversity, and of provocation. It has no
more mutations like man, it's completely technological. A small
automaton, self composed by many means of communication assembled
anthropomorphically with the greatest esteem of speaking a
universal language. I hope that you can meet it and speak to it,
if you can, wish yourself a good future, and I remind you that the
transmissions are taken tomorrow morning, with DECODER it means...

With these words we opened the first number of the "DECODER"
magazine in 1987. The group founders are formed of diverse
cultural and political experience: anarchists, punks, communists,
liberals and autonomists, all working in the field of
communication - music, video, radio, graphics, literature,
computers, photocopying and mail art. In reality, the project was
born two years earlier from inside a bookstore in Milano.

Over there, the memory.
(nearly a scene from a science fiction novel)

At this point it's necessary to tell a little of the history of
the situation of the "movement", or what's called the underground
scene in Italy. Here, whether you believe it or not, at the end of
the seventies we were almost at the point of revolution. Illegal
behaviour had taken a mass dimension and was diffused to an
enourmous level that was called the "counter-power". In a few
words: demonstrations, occupations of schools, self reduction on
ticket prices at concerts, expropriations - or massive theft at
supermarkets, and violent attacks on the police, became everyday
events. The authority had no degree of control over the situation,
and the air that was breathed was very particular. Clearly, all of
this influenced the behaviour and culture of thousands of youth.
There was the sensation of having power and being able to change
the course of history. Unfortunately a series of armed groups
mixed up "the sensation of having power" with the "flight of
power", and they radicalized the attack to prime a violent
response from the state, which reacted by arresting 12,000 people
in two years and proclaimed a special legislation, that was one of
the hardest in the world. Improvisationally the air of freedom
changed to an atmosphere of lead, that made a black hole, aspacial and temporal
gap between the seventies and the growing
eighties. The chaotic streets became deserted, post-atomic, where
junkie zombies strolled, destined to die a short time after; they
were the survivors of the atomic bombardment at the end of a
dream. The party was over.

>From the unscarred wounds of the social body monsters are born

In this atmosphere of grand suffering a strange link was created
with the past, and it's political action. There were people who
tried at all costs to avoid the cultural force of the state to
reconquest the ground floor, to cancel the human data-base and the
memory of the years of the big dream, and who, on the contrary,
were absolutely deprived of memory for generational reasons, they
tried to open new streets of subversion. Like this, by a
proceeding of social genetics that could be defined as monstrous,
the birth of a counterculture that saved the skin of many people:
the punk. In a monstruos manner, copying the english experience,
but with the originality of an incredible cultural and political
collage. The devastating force of a few hundred kids had renewed a
categorie of radical political action in Italy. In only five
years, they counted tens of punk collectives, they occupied houses
and abandoned factories, transforming them into workshops of
communication to make music, punkzines, or just to stay together.
This way of radical transformation of urban spaces with strong
countercultural connotations that was to be spread and called a
few years later from the journals of the power of "the movement of
the self managed social centers" ("movimento dei centri sociali
autogestiti"). Between the absence of memory and no future, the
punx created a temporal dimension, essentially that of the

The City Lights

In 1985 five young people, who in diverse ways passed through the
experiences mentioned above, met inside the bookstore "Calusca
City Lights" in Milano. The bookstore was born in 1972, and
modeled on the "City Lights" of San Francisco, for who has not
been to S.F., you could say that it's very similar to the
"Compendium" of London. Here in Milano, in the mid eighties, the
battle between the diverse conceptions of memory, of which it
spoke strongly over, was really hard, and the diverse present
experience could not create interaction. At this point the manager
of the bookstore proposed us the creation of a newsletter that
would try to make transversal communication, and more profound
relationships with all of the identities of the bookstore. The
project failed, but our group of people, excited by the idea of
creating human networks, decided to continue the research anyway,
by founding a magazine and beginning to study a series of
problems. The first objective layed down was the examination of
linguistics, meaning, how to curb the principles of communication
between different subjects. When we chose the temporal dimension
on which to work we had no doubts: the "future".


--- GoldED 2.42.G1121
|Cybernet: Gomma 65:1200/1.2
|Internet: Gomma@decoderbbs.csmtbo.mi.cnr.it
| Standard disclaimer: >>>> Information wants to be free <<<<
| From DecoderBBS Italy +39-2-29527597 (open 14:00-08:00).