Dear SUMMIT delegates and guests!

The first "SUMMIT non-aligned initiatives in education
culture" has been opened tonight in Berlin. The inaugurational
ceremony welcomed 240 delegates and featured six statements
by the members of the preparatory commitee. The archived
audio live stream of the opening can be downloaded at:
/www .o video
recordings will be available by tomorrow noon for download.
The manuscripts of the speeches are available as text files at
<> (to be
completed asap)

Tomorrow, Friday May 25 at 11am the SUMMIT consultations will start
with the "Organizing the unorganizable" caucus in Hebbeltheater. At
the same time the working group "Release Early, Release Often: What Is
the Question of the Archive?" starts in bootlab. IN HAU 1 SUMMIT will
continue at 1pm with the meta-media caucus "Privilege escalation" and
a workshop on "Seriousness".

More and updated information on the program is available at:


Opening speech by Florian Schneider

Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear SUMMIT delegates and SUMMIT contributers,

it is my utmost and sincerest pleasure to welcome you to the first
SUMMIT non aligned initiatives in education culture.

I am supposed to deliver a speech since a summit is usually opened by
a speech. But of course such a speech would be un-speechable. Who am
I that I could possibly take the chance to claim the right to open
such a thing as a summit? For whom could I speak -- hardly for what is
supposed to be myself? Whom should I represent? Why should you believe
such a performance is relevant at all?

I am mentioning these questions not in order to impress you (or
our guests from britain) with some autodidactically appropriated
understatement. I am mentionig them since it refers to the condition
that characterizes the aporia of the project SUMMIT and its process as

i learned today, impossibility might be the wrong word: what i mean
is an inverted potentiality, or if you like: a negative potentiality
in the sense that we feel an urgency to do exactly what seems to be
unthinkable, unfeasable, unforseeable and way beyond our power or
actual capacities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reflect on this basic condition of the
event for a few minutes at its very beginning and lets start by
describing some phenomena: We are meeting in an extremely interesting
place at a very distinct moment.

The main venue of SUMMIT is a theatre. Truly one of the most exciting
theatres in Germany and we are very grateful for the hospitality we
encountered over the past few months -- we really know that this is
everything but a matter of course and we appreciate it very much.

But why did we choose a theatre, and not a conference center, an art
academy or any other more or less appropriate space for a gathering
like this?

The reason may be obvious: a certain playfulness, a kind of mockery
or mimikry. Something like a parody in the truest and driest sense of
the word, a parody understood as a melody that is slightly misaligned
and by that uncovering the mechanisms in which authority operates
due to a small delay and a certain distortion. Let me please make
thi absolutely clear: It is not about humorous effects or satirical
exaggerations, but about gaining access to the courtly theater by the
relatively simple means of copy-paste.

But there is also another reason. That reason implies the opportunity
to stage something, to make an experiment, to create a certain
artificial mis-en-scene that would not be possible by nature. We
understand the SUMMIT as a dramatic laboratory that calls into
question all that exists.

SUMMIT is taking place less than two weeks before the heads of
governments of the eight most powerful nations of this world are going
to meet in a rundown luxury ressort a two hours car-ride north of
here. We have chosen this moment explicitely not in order to protest,
not in order to lament, and not in order to propose alternatives.

We are meeting here and now, since we feel the urge and desire to open
up new fields.

At the moment SUMMIT consists of 82 working groups, workshops,
presentations, caucuses, dj-sets, and parties. We are sure that there
will be further, ad-hoc sessions that are going to be scheduled on the

The wide range of delegates is characterising the specific concept
of SUMMIT: From professors of universities and art academies to
delegates from migrant self-organizations, from software developers to
artists, curators and museum directors, from the initiators of free
and self-organized academies to precarious labor activists and union

It would have been unthinkable in advance, impossible to envision, let
alone planning it, and in fact it is nothing we can rely on: there is
no common ground or common agenda and i promise you: there won't be
anything like that.

Non-alignment is a non-identitarian and non-representative category.
It is neither nor. It does not call for unity, it does not claim a
territory, it rather tries to overcome blockages, escape dichotomies
and liberate itself from a self-inflicted immaturity and dependence.

We are perfectly aware that on this basis we can only produce
misunderstandings and i really do hope that these misunderstandings
become as creative, enlightening, unexpected as possible.

So, what can be the goal of SUMMIT? What can we achieve in these four
or five days?

I do not believe that we should try to start a new project. Most of
us are already busy enough and can hardly manage to cope with our
manifolded commitments, mostly unpaid and extremely urgent.

i also believe, that we do not just have to renovate and realign an
existing body of knowledge, update its organizational structure and
methodologies. No, we really need entirely new terminologies, we
urgently need really new concepts and new categories...

I am very confident that these four days offer us the extraordinary
opportunity to formulate the challenges and demands, compile
the sources and release a program that might outline the main
characteristics, lay out the infrastructure and make available the
pre-requisites of a multitude of networked educational, pedagogical

Please allow me to mention quickly three points that seem important
to me and might work as an example how we could proceed last but not
least in terms of an "impossible" declaration or action plan:

1. open source radicalism

We are not satisfied by the wikipedia. The button with the logo of the
creative commons license is defientely not enough. If free software
is not free beer, free knowledge is more than information about some
ingredients and on this basis we want to take over and run the entire
brewerie and create two, three, four, many open, free, nomad, monad,
pirate, peer-to-peer universities

2. new configurations of the self

in order to struggle against the ongoing privatization and
proprietarization of knowledge production we need to invent and create
new models of multiple ownership. This seems to me the only chance to
deal with increasingly fluid forms knowledge and would enable us leave
the common notion of individual mastery behind. A generecally open
notion of mutual owenership that might enable us to reappropriate the
means of immaterial production

3. increasing complexities

we all know, that we live in a world that undergoes dramatic changes
and is commonly perceived as increasingly complex. Instead of reducing
these complexities, simplfying them, the enormous challenge we
are currently facing is to fold and unfold, or better: multiply

Tomorrow night we have scheduled the first session with a public
editing of the declaration and we are going to use that opportunity to
start from scratch, with a blank sheet of paper and

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear SUMMIT delegates, we are all more or less
familiar with the fundamental problem of emancipatory pedagogy: in the
moment when I try to teach somebody how to liberate him or herself, i
re-align to an infinite line of regression and power reappears even
stronger than before. The more I try to explain, mediate, communicate
or teach, the more I reaffirm the distance, inequality and dependency
of those who lack knowledge on those who seem to possess it.

Lets cut this gordic knot, lets take advantage of a this enormously
privileged situation where we have the opportunity to meet and
discuss, argue with each others and question ourselves in such a great
company for about four days and nights.

Lets come forth and lets unalign!

Thank you very much!

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