It has been a special honour and a pleasure for me to act as opponent for Franco Berardi’s PhD defence at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki on October 23, 2014. You can read more about the event on the Future Art Base website. A video of the two hour ceremony, which included an introduction to the thesis by Franco Berardi, me reading the text below and a debate between the two of us will become available in a little while. Semiotexte will publish a version of the thesis by the end of 2015. /geert
Being a decade younger, I heard for the first time from him and his activities around 1980, when stories about Radio Alice were spreading throughout Europe. True, the Amsterdam free radio scene, operating out of the squatters movement of the time, had a multitude of local roots but Radio Alice was certainly one of them. The Bologna uprising of 1977, in which Bifo played a crucial role, predated our most tumultuous year, 1980, and was thus a an important source of inspiration for the revolts in Amsterdam, Zurich and Berlin. What we shared was our common desire to find out what ‘autonomy’ could look like in different parts of Western Europe which lacked any trace of an ‘operaist’ workers movement.