16 Beaver Group Presentation

Aras will be presenting Ulus Baker’s “What is Opinion?” DVD at 16 Beaver Group’s meeting this Monday. For us, 16 Beaver Group is one of the most interesting artist collectives working in New York now, we are very happy to be there and we hope to see you too. For details of the event, see the announcement below…

16 Beaver web site

Monday Night 03.24.08 — Stefan Römer and Aras Ozgun


1. About this Monday
2. About Ulus Baker and “What is Opinion?”
3. About Boulevard of Illusions – Learning from Novi Beograd
4. Links related to Aras’s work
5. Links related to Stefan’s work
6. About Aras Ozgun
7. About Stefan Römer

1. About this Monday

What: Presentation / Screening / Discussion
When: Monday 03.24.08 @7pm
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Aras Ozgun + Stefan Römer

This Monday we will have Belgrade meet Ankara through the thoughts and
works of Aras and Stefan and their related projects there.

Both have been part of 16 Beaver in one way or the other: Stefan
introduced “Some remarks on the structural change between artistic space
and public sphere” in 2004 see


And Aras is also one of us, he contributed to several of the continental
drifts and 16 Beaver Monday nights.

We are very happy to have them both this week!

Aras will present a lecture/interview by Ulus Baker, one of the founders
of Ankara based korotonomedya collective, who passed away last year. He
will also present and discuss the works of the korotonomedya collective in
general, in the context of the Anatolian political and social settings
from the 90′s to the present. See # 2 below

Stefan will introduce his film “Boulevard of Illusions – Learning from
Novi Beograd” in the context of the project. See #3 below.

2. About Ulus Baker and “What is Opinion?”

In this lecture/interview, produced by Aras in 2001 and titled “What is
Opinion?”, Ulus Baker traces the notion of “public opinion” back from its
Ancient Greek origins following the major schools of western thought, and
criticizes what he calls “sociology of opinions”.

“We have lived at least one century within the idea of opinion which
determined some of the major themes in social sciences… In short, social
sciences were designed in terms of opinion; asking people what they think
about themselves, their lives, their stories, their issues, their
problems. And I believe that social sciences have been transformed into a
kind of doxology, but I’m tending rather to oppose this status of
sociological research. My problem here is that; sociology is
epistemologically -or logically- tending rather to become a general
opinion about opinions; of what people are supposed to think about
themselves and others. And this a clear distinction from the early
emergence of social sciences and social research in general…And, through
this, in social sciences, we have lost the ability to create (what we may
call) the “life of affects” -an affective life…”

Ulus Baker, whom we lost in July 2007, was an influential figure in
contemporary Turkish political thinking, both as a frequent author in
major academic and intellectual periodicals and as a professor of
sociology, media and film theory. He was also one of the founders of
“korotonomedya”, an autonomist political/artistic collective based in
Ankara. The works of korotonomedya has been a major resource for a
distinct line of experimental media arts and politics for Anatolian public
since mid 90′s.

3. About Boulevard of Illusions – Learning from Novi Beograd

Public installation and documentary film

Director: Stefan Römer
Duration: 24:47 min.
Colour DV, 16 mm film, Photography; music
Two language versions: English, Serbian

On two billboards, one at the beginning and one at the end, for one week a
poster with the title of the project was mounted:

Boulevard of Illusions – Learning from Novi Beograd

Public installation Stefan Roemer

The project prospects historical aspects of New Belgrade’s development on
the former »Boulevard of Lenin« where Tito drove up and down in his
Mercedes facing thousands of waving people. It raises questions of the
urban and historical function of New Belgrade: What was the plan for the
block system as a socialist utopian city project? What are the specific
stories told here in this new extension of the old city of Belgrade?
If the whole city is considered a panoptical system, New Belgrade with its
block system in particular is a utopian format of this. The new growing
areas – big international hotels, banks and shopping malls – in contrast
to the apartment blocks and the representational buildings from the
Socialist era prospected on the »Boulevard of Illusions« represent visible
history in its own right: on one side the socialist monumentalism – from
ruined to gigantic – and on the other side the new capitalists from east
and west. Between this you find for example the Ex-embassy of the People’s
Republic of China which is destroyed by collateral damage.

A Roadmovie in Novi Beograd
A car drives from the Square of the Republic over Brancos Bridge in the
direction of Novi Beograd on the Boulevard Mihajla Pupina up to the Cinema
Fontana and back. On the road you see a lot of advertisement billboards.
One billboard at the beginning and one near Fontana display the title of
the project »Boulevard of Illusions – Learning from Novi Beograd«, and
define the project.
From site to site and from billboard-installation to
billboard-installation the car drives with some off-voices telling stories
about the city and the different places which pass by. These stories range
from a kind of information style to more subjective impressions,
experiences or historical reflections. It consists of different
perspectives on urbanism, history, graffiti or art. The sites will be more
or less on the road. Textanimations on the screen display found graffitis
which reflect the last fifteen years in a kind of street culture history
as a transparency screen before the architectural façades. From site to
site the gaze of the camera follows the street life and shows the
apartment blocks that pass by.

Off-voices by:
Branislava Anđelković, Director of MoCAB
Ivan Petrović, Film and TV director
Mina Petrović, Professor of Sociology
Ljiljana Radošević, Art Historian
Stefan Roemer

Part of the project: Differentiated Neighbourhoods in New Belgrade
Curated by Zoran Eric

4. Links related to Aras’s work

korotonomedya web site


and the section on Ulus Baker’s writings:


Most of these texts are not translated to English, but the links to the
English texts below are interesting

Aras Ozgun, “On Cinema and Ulus Baker; An interview with Can Sarvan”:


Ulus Baker, “Between the Images”:


Ulus Baker, “A Comment on Dziga Vertov: The Cine-Eye”:


Ulus Baker, “The Political Film”:


5. Links related to Stefan’s work






6. About Aras Ozgun

Aras Ozgun is a media scholar/artist who teaches theory related courses at
Media Studies Department of the New School. He was born in 1970 in Turkey,
he studied political sciences and sociology in Ankara, and media studies
in New York. He produced experimental video works, documentaries and
installations, and published about media, arts, culture and politics
Turkish scholarly journals. He is currently working on his Ph.D
dissertation on the political-economy of contemporary cultural production.
7. About Stefan Römer

Stefan Roemer is professor for New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in
Munich and works conceptually between art practice and theory; his works
and essays are widely exhibited and published. His background is political
motivated activism and documentarism with the tendency to de-conceptualize
traditional epistemological canons and dissolve academic subjects. In this
framework his PhD in arthistory has the title »Artistic Strategies of
Fake––Critique of Original and Forgery«.


His experimental film »The Analysis of Beauty« was shown at the Bonn
Videonale in 1998 and is published on the DVD “loop pool” by Graw &
Boeckler (Cologne 2005), and his short film »Corporate Psycho Ambient« at
the Foto Biennial in Rotterdam in 2003; it is also released as DVD at 235
media, Cologne.
His documentary film »Conceptual Paradise« is produced with the support of
Kulturstiftung des Bundes and presented in cooperation with Museum K21,
2005. His documentary »Boulevard of Illusions« on a representational
street in New Belgrade was published by the project »Differentiated
Neighbourhoods« in 2007.

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th / 5th fl.
New York, NY 10004
phone: 212.480.2099

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:


4,5 Bowling Green
R,W Whitehall
2,3 Wall Street
J,M Broad Street
1,9 South Ferry

Comments are closed.