Tactics Against Antiquity: the Contemporary Ancient Messene
The project probes the making and unmaking of intra-personal and extra-personal place-hood, history, and memory by means of techno-scientifically mediated ‘soundwalk’ through the ancient Messene ruins.
Portable loudspeaker, bespoke VLF receiver, RF analyser, hydrophone, field mixer, Geiger counter, text, audio synthesis, ultra-sonic recording system, ‘tactical’ silence
700m (length) / 100ha (area)
Tuned City, Berlin DE
Onassis Cultural Center, Athens GR
Solaris mobile studio, Ancient Messene GR
Stelios Pantazopoulos, Helen Kavouki, Alexandros Drymonitis
Inspired by the ancient practice of ‘peripatos’ – both as a political act and as a strategy for epistemic inquiry – the artist leads a walk through the ruins of ancient Messene, presenting the audience with audio documents of, and with creative responses to, his own personal (un)makings at play. ‘Tactics against Antiquity’ draw on found audio, folk traditions, abstract sound synthesis, dark ecology, politicised narratives, transgressive audioscape juxtapositions, tactical silence, speculative ethnography, and real time exploration of various acoustic, electromagnetic, and geophysical phenomena in-situ. In this manner, it intends to bring forth a post-historical and meta-phenomenological perspective of the ‘contemporary’ ancient Messene.
Special T-shirts and hoodies have been produced for the artist to wear throughout the performance as well as while scouting and conducting field work in the area. The outfits have been designed by G. Axiotis of Bend; hoodie design is shown below:
Inspired by punk approaches to archaeology, the outfit has been designed with reference to Greek far-right nationalist signs/aesthetics (white text in black background, font inspired by ancient Greek scripts) still with rather contradicting semiotics; announcing in both Greek and English that we should adhere to “tactics against antiquity”. The imprinted logo bears semblance to both the symbol for anarchy, as well as to ancient Greek symbols that are often used by ultra-nationalists to promote their ideas. According to its designer, it stands for archaeology, but also demonstrating a dynamic movement against it and out of its confining circle/context.