Luix Saldaña and Wolfgang Sterneck
on Inner Utopias and Social Beats
The Cybertribe-Vision connects the wisdom of ancient cultures wth the understanding of todays developments, it combinates the expieriences and perceptions of witches, resistence fighters and and communards, of hackers and psychonauts... At some places it has a different name, somtimes a different music or a different style, but its possible to find the basic ideas all over the globe.
Mexican activist Luix Saldaña has written a large descrpion on visionary ideas under the title Alter-Natives Re-Evolution. Actually he organises shamanistc workshops, which unfold the healing powers of the ancient forms of the Mexican Culture. German based Wolfgang Sterneck is more focused on political and counter-cultural aspects. He also wrote about different Cybertribe-Visions, cofounded projects like the Sonics-Network and build up different cultural projects as a kind of free space.
THE HOPE FOR A CHANGE
Wolfgang: The concept of the Cybertribe-Vision comes from the underground. Its based on the idea of a network of small, decentralized groups, which replaces authoritarian structures by collective ones. Like a modern tribe, the Cybertribes refer to the knowledge of old cultures as well as to contemporary developments. Shamanistic rituals have as much place in the Cybertribes as Internet surfing. The using of psychedelic substances has as much place as resistance against repressive political structures. According to the Cybertribe concept these currents are not in conflict, rather they are a step towards a new culture...
Luix: Well this thing about the contemporary different tribes... For me it is just a matter of forms, aproach and style, because weather we are from this or that tribe, this or that movement or that culture, it all comes down to the basic fact that we all are hungry for a cleaner way of life. My dream-image of tribal life is the kaleidoscope, and when i look into that cosmic tube i see a many sided flower... Each petal equally beautiful, equally important, equally needed: none dealing with the most important world issue, none having a monopoly on truth... All holding a piece of the puzzle, a piece of the universal truth. A rolling kaleidoscope where every one is having the space to expres his or her own truth... to flower up into a more universal and bigger truth... Within the alter-natives re-evolutionary document there are many proposals, but the ultimate proposal of them all, is the dynamic and coordinated building of ceremonial eco-villages all over the world, with an emphasis in cultural diversity... Each tribe coming with its own style, issue and/or area of knowledge or expertice within the alter-native kaleidoscope: eco-villages organized into different zones according to preferences and commitments.
Wolfgang: Theres a fundamental need for a radical change to free the people, free the spirit, free the planet ... But its hard not to loose all the hope and trust... I cant see a real chance for such a fundamental change. The worlwide system of power and profit is stronger then ever before - not only because of military power, but specialy for the reason that it is inside the people ... Its a daily fight for the dreams inside... and many people lost in this fight their inner utopia and lost their ability to make this utopia real...
Luix: I think it is up to us, the biggest dreamers... The ones willing to make bigger moves to stir the thick soup of stagnation, the ones that are still resisting domestication to come together to shape a world in the form of our dreams... We need to become bolder with strenght and humility, we need that to cross cultural barriers and come to talk with different leaders of groups. I think that we really must become missionaries to build bridges of unity, organization, creativity, faith, detachment, boldness and commitment etc. All those being the most needed elements to generate the collective energy towards the completion of those higher aims. I think is truth what you say of individuals loosing their inner-utopia, but at the same time i see that we all are hungry for truth and many are willing to grab onto any that is offered, specially if it plays the right chords.
Wolfgang: In some aspects your ideas reminds me to the Yippies, the political fraction of the Hippies in the late sixties. They questioned the system in a very radical way and tried to resist not only on a abstract level, but in every little thing they do.The 68-movement as a whole has changed sexuality, education, relation to authority etc but at the end they lost, the system was stronger ... Allthough I dont believe in the possibilty of a big change in the near future I see the necessity to fight for a change with the possibilties we have ... and even we cant change fundamentaly the system at the moment we can be a sandcorn in the big machinery and maybe ... Adorno, a great german philosopher once said, There is no right life in the wrong one which means that we are a part of the system in our daily life even if we not want to. You have to buy things, you have to get money by work, everywhere you must compromise even if you try to go an completly different way. So there is realy no right life in the wrong one but my answer is that we have to get as near as possible in our daily life ... and make a smal part of the dream come to reality today not in a far away tommorrow after a kind of revolution someday ...
Luix: My personal hope feeds from the power of the spirit and in the relization that comes from my involvement, work and conviviance with different tribal cultures; urban, alter and native. Alter-native knowledge that is not to be found in official institutions. Also in the fact that some of those tribes are having acces to money, technology, knowledge and all kinds of resources... Deep in my soul i believe that truth, love and spirit are stronger than any thing else... We just need to be united with commitment, organization and good will... You are very right: we must act in good faith at every moment... and as you sketch it, we are swiming in the slime; but there are some of us that are trying hard not to indulge too much in it... So to live the right life and try my best within the beauty walk... I do what i can to practice but sometimes when i fail to live up to those higer standars (which it happens quite often), i have also learned not to be too hard on myself... and i guess it all comes down to a state of mind where you try your best to conect on a daily basis with the positive side of the whole expectrum of existence... and even if the whole thing seams hopless, persitance in resistance is in itself an act of hope.
GATHERINGS OF THE TRIBES
Wolfgang: You wrote about the Techno-Underground as a movement that changes social structures in a positive way ... Well, in western Europe 1992 a process began, which increased in intensity, that is characteristic for almost all youth movements of the last decades and the connected music styles like rocknroll or punk. After the commercial potential of a new cultural development becomes clear, a phase of sellout and integration by the music buisness and large companies of the cigarettes- and clothes-industrie begins. This development led to a degeneration of the mainstream culture into a market-oriented and largely meaningless style. Techno is an example for this... But side by side with the commercialization of the Techno-culture there still exist different underground scenes, which in some cases still have an important role in breaking ground both musically and in content. However, here also the spectrum of projects is very broad. Some projects orientate their work primarily on the goal of commercial breakthrough, some others are basically interested in good music and intense parties... But there are also groups which represent a clearly counter-cultural point of view. They understand for example their parties and events as social free spaces in the sense of a temporary autonomous zone, which is based on collective and non-commercial values. So there is still an idealistic Underground, but its small...
Luix: I guess i am a terminal optimist, and what i really see in the techno/rave underground scene (as in many other scenes), is the potential for collective change and the endless posibilities that can come out of a real tribal commitment... Because really what i have observed in most tribal situations is a great majority having a good time in their own terms, and a small core of true committed individuals working for the change... So for me it all comes down to the creation of a net-work with those few that are really commited; establish communication channels and together come up with a few creative and bold schemes to harnness all the good intentions of the tribal beast... channel that energy, focuse those philosophies and act on it.
Wolfgang: There are some examples for networks like the north-american The Gathering of the Tribes or the german-based Sonics - Cybertribe-Network for Rhythm and Change. Some groups of this network have their focal point in the organization of imaginative parties, some others experiment with forms of musical expression, some projects have a counter-cultural point of view, some provide information mostly about psycho-active substances. They have a great variety, but they are all idealistic communities, they are little cybertribes. One of the main activities was the Join the Cybertribe festival as a connection between party and conference, which included workshops, performances, rituals, live-acts, films, exhibitions, sessions and experiments about subjects like culture, consciousness, politics and cybertribes ...
Luix: In Mexico there is a week long, yearly gathering which is called the Council of Visions. It has been held eight times. The organization which exist since 1989 is done by a group of activists, i will say that we are a family coming from different walks of life. The structure of the gathering is nothing new, it takes from here and there: but what makes it unique is the experience, the contacts, the cultural diversity and the commitment of the organizers, each one of them is a leader in his/her own right. See we are commited to the use of informed consensus as a tool for working groups and communities and that really makes life easier when you are dealing with a bunch of radicals. At the event the individual comes to registration and right there he or she is offered such a wide variety of options for participation, that the person ends up totally involved and being an active part in the whole thing; the working structure of the event offers you the choices of kitchen, security, manteinance, office, letrines, supplies, support etc. ... The teaching/learning themes are covered by seven sub-councils: Ecology, Traditions and Ceremonies, Healing Arts, Sacred Calendars and Magic, Arts and Culture, Youth Council and Children's Council. Each of this councils is lead or focalized by a experienced brother or sister, and is charged with the task of organizing activities for the whole week; workshops, on site samples and demostrations and entertainment. An emphasis on cultural diversity is promoted, so you have punks, ecologists, rainbows, anarquists, bioregionalists, ravers, indians, square-heads, healers, shamans, NGO's and all types of creatures working side by side for a whole week... At our last gathering which was held in chiapas, we were visited by a couple of zapatista delegations and liasions and commitment were reinforced, and strategies for a peaceful change were shared...
Luix Saldaña : www.xocotzin.org
Wolfgang Sterneck : www.sterneck.net
mit Wolfgang Sterneck: Party, Politik und die Rhythmen der Veränderung