On Thursday, 20. Oct. 2011,  the 14th »Blackmarket for Knowledge and Non-Knowledge« took place in Turku’s wonderful Volunteer Fire Brigade Bulding. Blackmarket is a project by Berlin artist Hannah Hurtzig and its main idea is, that people can meet experts on a certain topic and talk to them. Experts and »clients« are sitting face to face to each other in a rather dark room, only with a light bulb above them. Some of the conversations are also »broadcasted« to a Black Radio, so that even people who were not able to book an expert are able to listen to conversations via headphones. The concept of Blackmarket sees »the transfer of knowledge as a communicative and performative act«, as the Turku2011 programme page tells us. With this theoretical background, we can discuss the question about what knowledge is and what makes it to knowledge (negotiation?)  from a more philosophical point of view.

However, the motto for this fourteenth episode of this project was »100 Conversations about being Silent in 4.33 hours« which appears paradox at first. But when you have a look at the list of the 50 experts taking part in this event, you quickly see that »being Silent« can have lot of different aspects and the perspective changes a lot, depending on the discipline that deals with that »being Silent«. For example, this time, there were sociologists invited as well as sound artists, musicians, literature and culture researchers, but also physicists, mathematicians and astronomers. Together with a sign language rap artist, translators and writers, they created a wide field of expertise. According to the event information, it took about three months to coordinate that and to create a timeline that puts the experts in a specific order.

Thus I did not book an expert (1 Euro per 30 minutes), I tried to listen to some conversation via Black Radio, but all the broadcasted conversations were … of course in Finnish. Anyway, I was proud that I could at least understand some words, haha! We played a game and tried to find out which conversation is broadcasted on which channel, so we tried to find the right pair for each.

Back home, I found out that there is a Blackmarket Archive online with more than 700 conversations! Amazing! I listened to some about language, see here:




Die spinnen, die Finnen

Am Mittwoch war der aus dem Rheinland stammende, aber seit einigen Jahren in Finnland lebende (und lehrende) Autor Dieter Hermann Schmitz zu Gast in einem Seminar der Turun Kauppakorkeakoulu über Interkulturelle Kommunikation, um aus seinem Roman Die spinnen, die Finnen zu lesen und sich der Diskussion mit dem Publikum zu stellen. Der Seminarraum 07 der School of Economics war bis auf den letzten Platz gefüllt einige Interessierte mussten gar Stühle aus dem Cafeteriabereich entführen und im Publikum gab es eine gute Mischung von Finnen und Deutschen. (mehr …)