In the spirit of consolidation of this conference, this paper
attempts to summarise the discoveries of Oceania AAA in its exploration
of South London space.
We claim the Postmodern, but where does this comes from ? A few
dodgy architects, some arty theorists, but where is the postmodern
in reality. For most of the world modernity is still a dream,
and even in those countries where its full weight has been felt
it is still politically 'more of the same', and 'getting the balance
right' . There seems to be little truly progressive use of the
new powers available to governments and institutions and even
less attempts from the populace to empower itself with these tools.
The mass of the population drift into a media fed oblivion, while
those who can't or won't or maybe didn't even understand the question
become marginalised, disenfranchised, institutionalised and eventually
criminalised. The same old geopolitical and capitalist concerns
control us, and even in some of the most developed countries the
geosocial patterns or 200 years ago are still clearly evident
and in some places are getting worse. The poor areas are still
the poor areas today, there is less old growth forest than there
was last week and there will be more cars next week.
Over centuries our relationship with the spaces around us has
been devalued and our ignorance of our own surroundings, spaces
and geography has led to an acceptance of passive identities and
predetermined boundaries. We have become voyeurs who look over
fences, peer through car windscreens, gaze into TV's and Internet
connections consuming vast amounts of easy to digest diluted pap,
a pale substitution to the joy of a true communal journey or spatial
experience. In its most literal form the 'gamer' sits and stares
at a simulation of the view from a space craft whilst engaging
with others (in the only way you could imagine a frustrated perceptual
cripple would) by simulating their destruction [e.g. DOOM]. The
Homeless, Squatters, Protesters, Free Party People, Graffiti Artists,
Skaters and even Football Fans all have far deeper experiences
of the mapping and performance of space that the so called info
These problems and contradictions of modernity have caused much
speculation and there have been plenty of candidates for alternative
formulations with varying degrees of success. From the libertarian
essayists of the 18th Century to the pirate radio operators and
hackers of today the message has remained essentially the same,
reveal the truth where hidden (aletheia, honesty), and devalue
rhetoric (sophistry, argument). In postmodern theory these are
classified into the mechanisms of construction (marketing, propaganda)
and deconstruction (intervention, subversion). These mechanisms
are recognised for their intentionality and pervasiveness and
thus the theory points to a course for action in the building
and then demolishing of social systems for our own ends (profit,socialism
,fame whatever) its simply what we do as a species.
So its seems the goal of the media terrorists is to neutralise
the delivered mainstream message by tactical means without the
insertion of any constructivist message of their own. But where
does this leave us? Sounds a bit like MTV without music. Where
is the recognition of the spatial and the geometry of power relationships
in a theory that constantly tells us that technology collapses
space, eliminates distance and speeds up travel ?
In reality the little rhizomatic subversions of the media tacticians
are buried and buffered in the zines and web lists. Poetic Terrorism,
Art Sabotage, GALA Products,a pile of shit in the foyer of citybank
(however noble this idea), these are the total legacy of postmodern
Even this level of resistance has dwindled over the last decade
till in the UK It would seem the only real resistance seems to
come from groups like reclaim the streets and to less political
extent from some of the sound systems (freedom network, united
sound systems, free brighton). Most artists have disengaged and
the left has largely compromised itself into extinction.
What is missing is not more theorising, not more passive autonomous
'zones', not another pirate radio station but an truly active
autonomy, the AAA say that not only must we reclaim the streets
but more generally we must reclaim the spaces. We must (re)construct,
perform and explore these spaces
These spaces may be conceptual, emotional, physical or political.
The may be present, past or future but they are just as much yours
to simulate and explore as anyone else's. Our tools may be pyschogeographical,
physical, emotional or virtual.
This active reclamation of spaces provides the conceptual ground
plane for the exploration of new spaces as an *ongoing* project,
one that can finally achieve its full social potential. We are
not seeking a utopia but only the realisation of each individuals
full potential as autonomous astronauts.
The tools of the postmodern may save the sanity of some individuals
who are prepared to study its poetic texts, but what will change
through that ? What has changed since the first Temporary Autonomous
Zones, the Thousand Antennas...Our way out of this is not simply
to disengage as individuals from hyper reality but to actually
participate in a new simulation, one that is viral and can act
as a capsule for our dreams. This enactment, these performances,
the spontaneous generation of Autonomous Astronautics will provide
a platform for our own realisations. We may not have spaceship
parked out side primed for lift off to another blue planet but
we can be sure that when we do it will be crewed by an infected
mongrelised race of autonomous astronauts who are prepared to
The AAA goes beyond the ideal of tactical media to subvert dominant
media images but also inserts its own simple but powerful idea..
YOU ARE AN ASTRONAUT.
YOU MUST TRAVEL THROUGH SPACE.
With this simple proposition the AAA intends not only to subvert
media by its own positivism but to impact the industrial and political
machines through the irresistible force of community dreaming.
No to Reebok and Microsoft, yes to new space industries.
No to Blairism and economic rationalism, yes to weightlessness
No to nationalism, yes to autonomy.
No to detournment, yes to engagement.
Whereas the situationists piddle about trying to subvert the mundane
and everyday with one single idea we overcome the inherent contradiction
of their method.
Neither is this absurdism, if we consider the programmes of the
superpowers and their industrial military complexes the idea of
spontaneous community based space exploration seems far from absurd.
We are not utopians since we do not predict the future, all we
ask is future different from the past, a future without boundaries,
without edges, to simply fulfill our destiny in space.
The idea of autonomous space travel itself moves in many directions
at once and this is its joy and freedom and its power to capture
and infect imaginations. Autonomous space travel is viral, it
finds sites for infection across all sectors of the populace,
from utopians to spiritualists, from adolescent fantasy to a capitalists
dream come true, it confuses and deconstructs yet simultaneously
informs and motivates. Since the idea strikes right at the heart
of Euclidean logic and thus rationality itself it defies simple
explanation, it can even appear mystical. This power geometry
paradox is our potential liberation. Astronuauts our mission is
clear, to freely journey through space.
Oceania AAA : The Oceania AAA launchpad is located on one tree
hill in London, south east 23. It is the site of many previous
space programmes and resistance's, from Boudica, Leader of the
Iceni to the enclosure riots. It forms the southernmost point
of the layline complex centered around Greeenwich and is sometimes
referred to as the Honor Oak for the tree that stood at its summit.
Elizabeth I performed ancient rites to protect the power of the
monarchy as did Alistair Crowley in the graveyard on the northern
slopes. It is also believed to be the site of an iron age fort.
Throughout English history its has formed an important communications
function due to the visibility of its beacons and signals. During
the second world war it supported AA emplacements at its summit.
Oceania AAA have reclaimed the foundations of this gun emplacement
as the site for its launches and broadcasts into space. Operations
are controlled from the disused council nursery on the slopes
of the hill. Investigation has revealed that before being used
to grow plants it was a fireworks factory and the ground is contaminated
with propellants, further proof of the astronautical value of
this site. To celebrate its reclamation a three sided football
field has also been constructed on the southern slopes of the
index of texts