UTO: The Technology of Tears

A "bricolage" approach to research, archiving, design and performance, binding a diversity of mediums.

03 November 2001–20 November 2001 / Casco HQ & beyond

The project makes reference to both the innovations in avant-garde music by British composer Fred Frith (featuring DJ Christian Marclay) and more locally to Amsterdam’s defunct Bilwet Foundation for Illegal Knowledge. In the Mid-90’s Bilwet coined the term “Unidentified Theory Objects” (UTO) to describe a non-hierarchical internet archive which published and plundered texts, flaunting copyright laws, with a subjective and non-careerist approach to transgressive cultural production. This “bricolage” approach to research, archiving, design and performance can be seen and heard in action, binding a diversity of mediums utilized by the participants within UTO: The Technology of Tears.  

The project’s launch is on Saturday, 3 November with a performance by progressive economist FRANZ LIEBL (Dortmund). He is a professor of Business Administration and currently holds the Chair for Strategic Marketing at Witten/Herdecke University. Though Liebl’s background is in economics, his practice is more aligned with cultural studies and trend monitoring. In 1995 he introduced his concept of “theory performance” under the title “Unidentified Theory Objects of Trend Research.” His exciting lectures illustrate theory with music and film, and demonstrate a wealth of knowledge not only in economics and current affairs but equally in contemporary art and electronic music.  

INVENTORY (London) is a group of writers and artists from London, established in 1995 to produce a journal dedicated to material culture and maverick thought. They employ a delirious mix of mediums to distribute their content. Past projects have reflected this utilizing street posters (Smash this puny Existence, BookWorks, London), mass ornaments (Coagulum, London), public video and sound works (Endless Sonic Mania, London). From 7 – 11 November Inventory is producing Endless Sonic Media, a series of radio broadcasts, based on found sounds, research and interviews recorded in Utrecht. They broadcast live from their make-shift studio in Casco between 8-9pm. You can pick up the signal in Utrecht on 106 FM.  

DISKONO (Alloa) was formed in 1998 and is described as “a multi-media cabal masquerading as a Scottish record label.” The Diskono cadre continue to deprogram the “techno generation” from their collective state of cultural conditioning and de-politicization. Diskono’s physical remix poses questions about both the traditional means of reproducing, composing and displaying musical discourses and the model of the artist as a lonely genius. Their installation-concert ranges from appropriationism to terrorist-like vinyl manipulations. On 18 November Diskono performs WOW: Janek Shaeffer’s Physical Remix project in Casco. For this performance Diskono has invited two Dutch label mates, Jan Van Dobbelsteen and Danièle Lemaire. 

FELIX KUBIN (Munich) also known as Friedel Kern, Falk Klennert, Frietjof Klausner, Ferdinand Kosak, Felix Knoth. He was half of the 80’s “German New Wave” duo Die Egozentrischen Zwei, leading member of the Hamburg militant Dada-Socialist party Kommunistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (KED), member of the “Futurist” noise group Klangkrieg, founder and ambassador of the Syndicate For Counter Noise. He is currently exploring the strange world of electronic, sci-fi pop. Kubin performs live (with DJ’s from Meow Musik, Amsterdam) and screens his animations and cut-up films on 20 November in Ekko.  

JAKOB KOLDING (Copenhagen) creates collage and street posters which are inspired by the spirit of modernist architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe and are concerned with the more pragmatic problems that the buildings represent to the residents living there. Texts and graphics are drawn from sociological studies such as “How working class kids get working class jobs” and combined with DIY approaches through music, fashion, art and sports utilized by these same kids as an attempt to escape such oppressive landscapes. Kolding creates a new poster work for the project which is fly-posted around the streets of Utrecht.  

“Random Mass Photography” on the front of this poster, is by IAN TROWELL (Sheffield). Trowell is the editor of critical music and commentary publications such as Communist Headache, Autotoxicity, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete. He also reclaims psycho-geographical techniques to explore the industrial cul-de-sacs of his home town Rotherham. These papers and presentations have been presented at conferences in Austria and around the UK. In Casco he presents Welcome To Rotherham a dual slide show, with accompanying soundtrack and literature emphasizing the rise of industrial estate architecture.  

The archive with an account of all events is available on line at Radio Interference 022. 



The project was realized with the kind support of the British Council, Amsterdam.

The project consists of a series of events in Casco by composers, artists, designers and theorists from the UK, Germany and Denmark. With Diskono, Inventory, Jakob Kolding, Felix Kubin, Franz Liebl, Ian Trowell.

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