Candida TV

Candida TV was born from the melting of different realities: underground cinema, video production, rave parties, street theaters, independent radios, underground bulletin board systems and counterculture pop-magazines in the last seven years in Rome. Candida is a core of 12 people, fusing the experiences of self-managed squatted community centers and technical knowledge in the field of cinema and video production.

The Overdose Fiction Festival (O.F.F) that took place in the Forte Prenestino squat in Rome for three consecutive years was a catalyst in the formation of the group. We abandoned the idea of documentation of reality, and unleashed an imaginative creation of possible counter-hallucinations in mass-consensual reality. While documentation aspires to be a faithful representation of reality, we believe that is not possible to represent reality without modifying it, and so we moved closer to "reality fiction" - the presentation of other possible realities, like that of science fiction. During the organization of the festival we made an open call for "suburban stories" and we collected narrative visions of reality in the urban environment. We wanted to give a chance to the suburban imaginary to come out of the darkness and become visible on the big screen, a chance for others to tell unspoken stories, to create counter-hallucinations outside the dominant cultural paradigms.

In the summer of 1999 we decided that we had the right experiences to imagine the construction of a new television channel which could enter everyone's house and destroy the simulation mainstream. We were on air for nine weeks from December 1999 to February 2000 with a one-hour show each week on a local TV station in Rome. Our aim was to become a Pop Riot, our slogan was "Do you want pop? this is POP!" In fact we built a typical container show with music, news, cultural issues and we called on people to make their own television, to send us their tapes and to create a Communitary TV channel. We had a vision inspired by a hacker ethic of television technology: TV could become something that everyone is able to put their hands on.

Our show circled around different themes: music (interviews with djs of independent labels), independent cinema, poetry, soccer (really pop!). We also had a section related to the conditions of people in jail with greetings from their families - the idea was to use television as a tool to send messages to prisoners. Another section was dedicated to the crimes of the Catholic church during the year of the Jubileum in Rome. On this occasion we promoted the beatification of Antonin Artaud on the streets during Catholic gatherings.

To infiltrate a mass medium like television meant to us to insert new meanings into the mainstream, not final truths or "real informations," but seeds of awareness. We wanted to uncover the media mystification of realities by exasperating the form of daily TV shows and stretching them toward the line of the "absurd". We created "white noise" to add to the overflow of media information. This visionary soul grew up together with another soul that still believes in the need of clear information, and so we developed in symbiosis with the Indymedia centers in Rome. The effects of our effort to infiltrate the media infiltration may not have brought us to a prominent, stable visibility on television (in Italy there is no law for Communitary Television), but it created an interest in visual mass media and since then several new video activist groups have been organizing all over Italy.

After the broadcast experience of the year 2000, we created anti-prohibition spots (short videos using humor and a worldwide language), made some streaming webcasts, and organized events to screen our works. In July 2001 our collaboration with Indymedia brought us to the terrible days of Genoa. In its wake we produced a short movie called "Supervideo>>>G8". Supervideo, our Superhero was born some months before the G8 meeting in Genoa. We consider it a synthesis of our performative, visionary, soul and our need to communicate and share what we live and what we see.

Our desire to infiltrate mainstream media walks hand in hand with the need to create an information network from below, by giving access to communication technologies to people. During the last two years in Rome we organized workshops to teach boys and girls from suburban areas on the edges of the city how to use cameras and editing tools to make their own television. We call it "street television": a little sister who can reach places where big brother cannot enter because he is too big. This little sister, together with Indymedia is now in Palestine (April 2002) to help build an independent radio in Dehesihe, a refugee camp near Bethlehem, but now things are in a mad, horrible whirlwind, and she can be only a shield to protect civilians and a witness of crimes against humanity. There are never enough little sisters to communicate visions of realities and disseminate seeds of awareness.

Swarm Declaration











Candida was born from the evil blood of the human race. Despite all lack of fortune, she emerged from a fertile background of techno organized disorder. She grew up in a community network of outlaws in the cradle of necrotic European culture, living on the razor's edge of society and brain stability.

Screenal reality is a realm, a layer of reality, that pretends to be the only possible world, materialized trough the seductive words of plastic babies. Candida claims that this is the right moment to start squatting screenal reality. She moves with her network, like a swarm.

The swarm say: Our strategy is to infiltrate pop culture as a necrotic tissue from the inside. In the beginning of the eighties, The Sanz Patiente Kollective, one of the first groups representative of industrial culture in Europe claimed their POSTINDUSTRIAL STRATEGY or THE CATHEDRAL OF DEATH:

The Strategy is not dialectic:
liberation against control
unconscious against conscious
deviant against normal sex against chastity
The Strategy is catastrophic:
carry the situation to its own limits
The strategy is symbolic:
use against the system its own intolerable signs
The strategy is anonymous:
we don't want to be categorized as another deviant star

"Surveillance cameras are all around us, Surveillance cameras are all around us, Surveillance cameras are all around us," Magazzini Criminali (the Criminal Stores, a theatre company from Bologna) hysterically sang the in the eighties in their theatrical piece "Crollo Nervoso" (Neurotic Breakdown). Surveillance cameras are all around us, but instead of howling hysterically, we decide to hold the cameras in our hand Candida says:

Television is a weapon.
Screenal reality must be squatted.

One year ago in Rome, we began the experiment of "Candida--the first electric household TV." We had the weapon in our hand, BEWARE! almost all our games are played with live ammunition you may shoot ammunition into the emptiness. If there exists a big brother, Candida is The Little Sister, the first electric household TV.

Let me explain the meaning of this slogan:
Candida in Italian means Candid as in Voltaire's Candide, for whom this is the best of all possible worlds. Isn't this what tv-pop-culture is trying to tell us while our bodies are daily dispossessed?
Candida is Candid as in immediate; she has an immediate relationship with the media. It happens in the moment of the experience; a transformation from the television for everybody to the television created by everybody.
Candida is the first electric household TV because her aim is to overcome the differences between the consumer and the producer: television can be done by everyone, you just have to use the television as a monitor, the camera as an eye, the video recorder as an editing tool.

"MAKE YOUR OWN TELEVISION"--to doubt prefabricated authorities and to promote the decentralization of information. Screenal reality has to be squatted, Candida wants to be broadcast on the official television channels because the television channels are still the mainstream of the collective subconscious. Candida has got net streaming, but she is not satisfied with this because the actual standards for net streaming are proprietary, as is the Real Network. What we need is free software for light net streaming.

We are invading the pulpit from which everyone is preaching to pour waves of vitriol in everyone's houses, we know that nothing is true and that everything is possible-the swarm are bastard nieces of uncle Dostoyevski and uncle Bill Burroughs. In the merry-go-round of media, as Guy Debord once said, what pretends to be true is false and what is false can only appear as true.

Let's play the game.
Book industry, telematics, radio, television: Candida is a nomadic swarm that advance as grasshoppers of sense.
no name will be changed to protect the innocent. everyone is fucking guilty.

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