Broadcasting Project- dedicated to Nikola Tesla, is organized in Zagreb, Croatia, in cooperation of visual arts NGO "What, How and for Whom", publishing house Arkzin and net-cultural club MAMA. The project has started as series of monthly lectures in June 2001 (Brian Holmes, Hans Ulrich Obrist), and will culminate in November/December 2001 in the sequence of artistic projects by international contemporary artists at various locations throughout the city and series of performances, public forums, broadcast media interventions and urban actions.
[TESLA MUSEUM, Belgrade]
The project deals with issues of broadcasting in reference to Nikola Tesla's biography and inventions, and the basic concept is close to Brecht's writing on radio "as two-sided apparatus of communication", so the whole project has strong "educational" emphasis, with lots of documentation, presentations, workshops, live demonstrations etc.... The list of participants, as well as the concept, is open and constantly under (re)construction.
The project aims to negotiate the intersection between the realm of broadcast understood as a medium that disseminates via telecommunications, and the metaphorical surpluses spreading from visions of universal energy transmission, left over when broadcast is translated into Croatian. Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943) is a Serb from Croatia who died as American citizen, eccentric, ascetic with visions, claimed and disowned by Croats, Serbs, Yugoslavs and Americans; who invented more than 800 patents and laid theoretical grounds for development of radio, radar, satellites, electronic microscope, microwave, fluorescent bulb etc. Today, the cultural image of Nicola Tesla, the Man Who Invented Future, is permeated with stories ranging from conspiracy theory involving FBI and American government to mystical worshipping of his exploration of energy and origin of life. Exploration of his life and inventions leads into broader questioning of issues of broadcasting media, copyrights, intellectual property, science and art funding, distribution and utilization, politics of science and descriptions of artistic and scientific working process and outcomes. At the same time, Tesla's explorations in the realm of telecommunications and defense systems seem ever more relevant in relation to recent developments ranging from digital media utilization to reactivation of Cold War discourse by new American administration.
Main "visual" segment of the project is planned as a series of dislocated out-of-gallery ambiance/installations/actions, at the locations such as Technical Museum (exemplary /and beautiful/ socialist modernistic architecture from the 50's, whose museum set-up probably also dates from that period...), New Zagreb (part of the city built during 60's and 70's as product of progressive misconceptions about happy socialist workers' lives, also much disputed site of the future Contemporary Art Museum), universities (clustered at the remote location due to the political fears in the aftermath of '68), but also in broadcast media.