János Sugár
MC of subdepartment:
International department of present humiliation and future nostalgia

click here to see proposal for: ICOLS Evacuation Plan - Janos Sugar - FEB 2004 - Budapest

four saved ideas by János Sugár:

1. Public Phones

My work is a public telephone located centrally in a city, or in the lobby of a public building. There is a board above the telephone on which is written: "This is a free phone, but the conversations are being recorded and published later word by word."

There could be special phones in museum lobbies, where there is a chance to decide either to pay and have privacy or not paying but being published later. The published conversations could be for sale there. It could develop to a chain: the published conversations of Sydney could be on sale in Auckland and vice versa. On one hand it could be a kind of an illustration of the famous slogan: There is no such a thing as a free dinner, on the other hand I would like to demonstrate the significance of the ad hoc documentations, what will be important for the future could be the noise of the present.


2. context party

I would like to organize a big open air dance party with the best music, but the music could be heard only through tiny headphones like the translation devices at conferences, theater performances etc. This requires a simple sender, (the dj is high on a crane-truck) which sends out the signals of the music; and a lot of receivers which are the headphones themselves. I would like to emphasize: it is an already existing and quite common technology.

This means if someone steps into the space of this Context Party faces a serious decision: either to take such a headgear and (hearing the music) being a part of the dancing crowd or without such a headgear (not hearing the dance music) walking among the raving people who are hearing the music and dancing hardly but in a total silence. One could hear only the "secondary noise" of dancing, the noise of shoes, etc.

Without a headgear anyone can realize the well known position of an ethnographer, or which is also very actual: anyone can experience the being out of context. I think the phenomenon of popular techno parties is worth to make an experiment, to observe it without being totally involved. Further, such a situation raises the questions of: political correctness; the newtech solutions for peaceful coexistence; the multicultural horror vacui of our social, visual and acoustic spaces; etc.


3. Graffiti saving

Writing texts on the wall has a tremendous tradition in the folklore of big cities. It is one of the simplest ways to demonstrate freedom; the creators communicate with every citizen of the city in principle. They make an intrinsically illegible town legible. Just think of the confessions, names preserved on the walls and other signs having lost their significance: The majority of them are occasional inscriptions defended by nothing, neither physically nor morally; to the contrary, people seek to remove them.

One of the important aspects of the inscriptions is that they are born in spite of a serious prohibition, even the most ordinary graffiti is an illegal damage in principle; haste, shortness and incompleteness are consequences of this. Its physical frame is determined by the features of human body: every graffiti is also he movement-notation of its realization.

I would like to record one or more inscriptions of this kind, that is, to lengthen its natural lifetime by placing it into the medium of art. So I would like to preserve this inscription by casting it into bronze; I would cast the original typography into bronze about 2 cms high and by putting it into the wall I would cover the original painted characters.

I would hope to call attention to the graffiti by this particular art, by raising the monument to the memory of an old fleeting thought, of an unknown person who applied unconsciously the instrument of art in order to break out his/her restrictions.

At the same time this procedure demonstrates the good-act character of art: it transfigures a deformed wall into a work of art.

I would not be sorry if it would initiate a movement with the objective to preserve some graffiti in the bigger cities.


4. The Fate of Secularized Decisions

Since the Age of Enlightenment the number of secularized decisions has increased in overwhelming proportions, and this has to led to the dramatic growth of mistaken decisions. The situation is especially problematic because the decision-makers on various levels do not necessarily have the appropriate intellectual background; with regard to specialization, it's not compulsory to possess a philosophical, religious world concept which would allow them to think over certain questions from a wider, global perspective.

It's not by chance that in the last century there existed a concept, according to which society could be modeled on the image of a machine, in which the various participants would be competent as components, taking full responsibility exclusively in their profession, and if everyone were to satisfactorily fulfill his duty, then the whole society would work in a perfect order. This conception has not been realized in the Twentieth Century.

The secularized efficiency led to communicational disturbances, that were solved by the specialized problem-handling class efficiently again, which means with the statistically build in possibilities of mistakes. The increased amounts of decisions caused wrong decisions as well, which could be followed by right or again wrong reactions.

According to George F. Kennan, who is also known as the promoter of the Marshall Plan, the Twentieth Century became fucked up particularly in 1894 when from a diplomatic viewpoint, the Russian-French Treaty provided for totally unreasonable and meaningless obligations. According to his reasoning this led directly to the First World War, and then to the outbreak of the Second World War, then to the Cold War, and to all those perspectives that are described by the theory of clash of cultures as well.

illustration: A primitive computer animation based on the most simple life-game system, the number of decisions double in every generation: 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. To every hundredth right decision, which is marked let's say by a white dot, comes one mistaken decision. This is the first parameter. The wrong decisions, red dot, can be followed, lets say by a 60% probability by another wrong decision. This is the second parameter. Through some hundreds of generations we could follow the fate of wrong decisions, if the mistakes deriving from narrow-mindedness could be isolated, remaining inclusions or not, or maybe corrected, or what are those parameters when the territories of mistaken decisions can meet and strengthen each other.

5. Public SMS

Instead of using expensive spray paint to graffiti your opinions on walls, you can now use your cell phone to send an SMS directly and anonymously to the Mayor of Heidenheim. Your message will run un-filtered - day and night - displayed in the Mayor's window at town hall square.
starting from July 20th 2001, phone # (+49)1603722504
An LED display will be visible in a fourth floor window of the Mayor's office in the Heidenheimer town hall. Everyone is invited to send an SMS message there without cost, filters or censorship. The SMS messages can be sent only by mobile phone (not from PC), locally from Heidenheim, from Germany, and from all over the world. A public telescope has been installed at the town hall square that will allow messages to be read from the 4th floor window. In parallel, smaller LED indicators displaying the names of Heidenheim's 50,000 citizens will be placed in city shop windows throughout Heidenheim.