descriptions of some of our projects
text assemblage and rmx
a library is a place to be
wr, december 2001 deutsch


"my name is legion, for w r many"

wr is a base for explorations und undertakings in the area between art and politics. We work in different fields and media; the variety of topics, the activities' spread in time and persons is meant as an escape from individual isolation and specialization.
The experiment wr is undertaken by a group of artists and activists that form a heterogenous collective of immaterial workers.
A major aim is the eliminiation of representative individual authorship: this not only refers to a theoretical discussion but first of all to a struggle against the central instrument of power we see in the construction of the (in)dividual.
wr as name stands for: nothing. wr as a groups stands for our unwillingness to become VIP, appeased gallery artists or trained culture prize monkeys. On the contrary, the new project thrives on the same features which made great other projects of collective authorship: radical forms and contents, heteronyms and shifting identities, communication guerrilla tactics...
Our conduct towards anonymity will be: “show up but don’t appear; transparent in the discourse, carried away from the spectacles, be accessible to recipients and opaque in the media”. Such behavior is not to be mistaken for Netochka Nezvanova-like (or Pynchon-like) pathological anonymy-mania that in the end is mystifying the author even more. wr will participate in the products’ promotion without degenerating into the worn-out camera-propelled VIP-spotting game. wr will turn down every such request for individual persons to represent. Instead of publishing individual names and faces we will demand that the two letters of w and r are to be inserted as a representation in the blank space of the "author".
wr’s approach to cultural production implies the constant derision of any idealistic/romantic prejudice about “the genius”, individual “inspiration” and all that shit. wr foster the crisis of the copyright logic. We do not believe in the private property of ideas. As happens with other projects of collective identities, every product of wr - no matter the medium - will be free from copyright, each time with the specifications and limitations that wr will deem necessary against corporate takeovers.
The fact that an enterprise of mental labor - i.e. the most typical subject of post-fordist capital - wants to supercede the myths, rituals and remnants of intellectual property is a fruitful paradox which leaves neoliberalist pillow fights like "open source" far behind.


we could call wr an autonomous political enterprise.
But as an "undertaking" we are not quite happy with fooling around with economic vocabulary, we do not believe in such a form of subversion of the pancapitalist imperative. Of course being free-lance is not enough, we have to acquire more strength, get collective control on the production process and the results of our creative labor.
As well we don't pretend to have a level of organization that might be fascinating with coporate monsters. We don't want to hide our conflicts and permanent defeats. wr is not to exist until the end of time, but our continuity will. Just like that, we are no military unit, and the hue and cry of the multitude will be our battle song.
We would like to see our acting as “autonomous”, but we don't want to keep it a secret that we are entangled in all forms of power structures and from which practices our own actions derive from time to time. Generally, we are rocked by the permanent despair between determination and self-determination, but we believe in the possibility of emancipative acting in the determination of a social context.
You bet we are “political", for culture is long past the existence of “the Intellectual” as a figure separated from the whole of production (and from politics, which has never had any autonomous status). Nowadays information is the most important productive force. The machine we used to call “cultural industry” has a symbiotic relationship with the entire galaxy of commodities and services. Everything is multimedia, and there is no longer any distinction between “humanistic” and “technical” knowledge. What kind of privileged status can an “artist” claim, now that art production is just one of the many aspects of mental labour, of a greater social co-operation integrating software programming, industrial design, journalism, intelligence activities, social services, gender politics etc.?
As a consequence, we are past “engagement” as a choice which “artists” and “writers” might make. Mental labor is completely within the production networks, indeed, it is their main driving force. “Creative workers” are left with no choice, they simply cannot avoid intervention. To produce art is part of production, to write is politics. Now the distinction is between those who are aware and the masses of reactionaries, whether the latter are self-conscious or not.


What kind of narratives and media are wr interested in?
We get lost in kinds of technologies, cameras, brushes, atomes, keyboards, DNA... Our odysseys are escorted by swarms of theorems. We cant't agree which of our fascinations to give priority to: direct action, databases, landscape, sound, etc. Our fire blazes in varying intensities, an oscillating spectrum, depicting social fabrics in real time.
wr, as our machine, processes this blaze and feeds the flames.
The important thing is keeping light-years of distance between us and bourgeois culture: the real protagonist of history is neither the Great Man nor the monadic individual; quite on the contrary, it is the nameless crowd of second and third leads and, behind them (or through them) the nameless and swarming multitude of events, destinies, movements and vicissitudes: “In the fresco, we are all sorts of figures in the background. At the centre the Pope, the Emperor, the cardinals and the princes of Europe stand out. At the margins, the discreet and invisible agents, who peep out from behind the tiaras and crowns but actually sustain the whole geometry of the picture, fill it and, keeping themselves undetected, let all those heads occupy the centre.”
The multitude has nothing to do with the mass, which is a homogeneous block to be mobilized or, alternatively, a “black hole” to be sounded by opinion polls. The multitude is “a horizon of overt corporeality and savage multiplicity. A world of interlacements and physical combinations, associations and dissociations, fluctuations and materializations which, according to a perfectly horizontal logic, actualizes the paradoxical cross between causality and fortuitousness, between tendency and possibility. This is the original dimension of the multitude.”

To sum up, wr intend to praise social cooperation both in the form and the substance of immaterial production: the power of the multitude is simultaneously the content and the expression of our narratives.