On Processes of Deflating, Recycling, Revibrating and Redistributing

While preparing the reopening in SAVVY Contemporary’s new home, we give you sonic glimpses into our upcoming project: RAUPENIMMERSATTISM. THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY AS CONSUMED SOCIETY OR THE MYTH OF ENDLESS PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION – opening on 25.09.2020. During Berlin Art Week, SAVVYZΛΛR will present a five-days long radio prelude set in the story of the children’s book Die Kleine Raupe Nimmersatt (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), to consider the taken for granted relationships with production and consumption we find ourselves entangled with. As sonic-surface, this prelude to the exhibition and a multi-layered program that contemplates the connective bridges of past, present, and future in our moments of international rupture discusses and journeys through capacities for transformatory policies, activating reductions, decelerations, and thus, possible rejuvenations.  

In an attempt of understanding the cycle of how a butterfly becomes, how it transforms from a caterpillar to a flying creature, how it recreates itself through its life, each day of the programme becomes a cycle of the caterpillar’s transformation as it cocoons, decays, and reincarnates. It resonates with SAVVYZΛΛR as a space of VOCIFERATING. COMMEMORATING. INCANTING IN QUIET. AGAIN. VOCIFERATING. COMMEMORATING. INCANTING IN QUIET. AGAIN.

The first four days will each focus on one of the four stages of the butterfly's life cycle: the egg, the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the adult. And the caterpillar’s ongoing consumption which eventually leads to fasting in its cocoon phase. The caterpillar stops eating and feeds off of all that it had previously consumed, to grow its wings and metamorph into a butterfly. Like the butterfly, in this series of days, we feed off our own archival fuels.

We start with the egg as we lay down a collective consciousness of embodied archives. And together we listen to become caterpillars. Feeding off of knowledge that transforms through generations and times, thus cocooning, allowing ourselves and future selves to be carried in journeys. To therefore transition towards the next phase of the life of an archive. 

We take time to settle into the imagery of the butterfly, as a need for reflected consciousness, to know where to fly from the many crises and myths of growth. On the final day, the caterpillar shifts into the exit of “the butterfly effect” of capitalist structures and enters the condition for ongoing recycles. 

We propose the stages of the butterfly’s life cycle as a means of deflating the myth of growth: offering an occasion to take time for depressurisation and decompression, historicising and contextualising deflation and degrowth by breathing new life into the archives of SAVVY Contemporary.  

Linked through the air, the connecting joint for these restorative exercises between RAUPENIMMERSATTISM and SAVVYZΛΛR, the urgency of decompression is brought into a radio program both recycled and new – cogitating alongside thinkers, artists, musicians, and activists of various disciplines and walks of life who together desire the bursting of growth in favor of slower, attentive, collective rhythms. 

This radio programme is a proposal for reflecting on the refusal of greed-based overconsumption, a means to seek less while living in a capitalist world. Throughout the years, SAVVY Contemporary has produced, created, conceptualized, sustained, continued and ignited very critical conversations in the city of Berlin. It becomes a natural response for us to contribute to a one week long celebration of the arts in the city of Berlin through revisiting content, talks, music, performances, conversations we have had with others since the inception of SAVVY Contemporary – conversations that remain long after us.

Particular influence comes from a wing of the project RAUPENIMMERSATTISM titled The Office of Deflation, a space investigating the ambivalent and shifting roles of value in consumerist and postindustrial societies, as well as in post-plantation and postcolonial societies, that find themselves now at the crux of neoliberal consumption. It stages a virtual office of transmission to practice possibilities of deflating the economic bubble: a collective exercise of learning how to carefully let air out before we experience another burst. The OoD considers degrowth through perspectives beyond the accelerationist, capitalist, and financialised Western world – and crucially, calls to inverse its logic of increase.




We trouble makers look for trouble. The trouble is hiding inside of the innocuous and innocent looking ‘and’: Islam and the West. Europe and non-Europe. Europeans and non-Europeans. And the open space it generated between the colonizers and the colonized. That conjunctive is actually notoriously disjunctive. Whatever comes after that conjunctive is anything but, it does not bring together, it partitions and separates. It is in fact, exactly the opposite of bringing together. It creates an appendix, a parasitical expression, a mode of being that is ipso-facto subordinate, abnormal, abrasive… in need of some explanation… The phrase “Non-European areas” the way Mudimbe uses it in his pioneering text Inventing Africa, is always already colonised.

Hamid Dabashi: "The West and the Rest In Peace", lecture at SAVVY Contemporary, 14.09.2018

The egg is the first stage of contemplation, re-vibrating “Exchanges on Labor Day” with Bonaventure Ndikung and Elena Agudio, Dina Amro’s lecture performance “Cosmogonies of Creations” during last year’s project SOIL IS AN INSCRIBED BODY.On Sovereignty and Agropoetics, Lynhan Balatbat with SAVVYZΛΛR’s “When Does Time Start” and the “Agropoetics Reader”; with music by Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté and Night. 


If you haven't published it, you haven’t done it. If you haven’t written it you haven't done it, So let's write this.

Frederick Hickling’s entry words into his incredible lecture at SAVVY Contemporary’s ULTRASANITY Invocations which took place earlier this year

The second day focuses on the caterpillar and its feeding stage, starting with “Evolution and Decadence” – a drum based piece looking at the beat of the heart and the evolution and decadence of sound, composed by Halim El-Dabh. It is followed by a lecture performance by Protektorama during GEOGRAPHIES OF IMAGINATION that leads to Pamela Z's music recorded for the UNTRAINING THE EAR Listening Sessions, where multiple beings and identities coalesce with her machines. The 2018 project GEOGRAPHIES OF IMAGINATION is further re-vibrated with Antonia Alampi, Bonaventure Ndikung, and Drummers of Joy who lead us into the lecture by Hamid Dabashi. 


The third day centers the pupa, the first transition in the caterpillar’s cycle, where the pupae may further be enclosed in other structures such as cocoons, nests, or shells. Our cocoon becomes enveloped in reverberations of our project WE WHO ARE NOT THE SAME, Simone White’s 2018 lecture on “Erotic Power / Erotic Punishment”, interwoven with cogitations on Audre Lorde is bridged with a conversation between Lynhan Balatbat and Mpho Matsipa entitled “Like a Capsule in the Future / On Architectures and Archivectures”. The second hour re-airs Jasmina Al-Qaisi’s BEHIND SHELVES where the idea of roots expresses the multitudes of meanings and memories assigned to the word. An archive’s life being sourced by itself.


There is never any end. There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we've discovered in its pure state. So that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror.

John Coltrane from his liner notes of the album Meditations 

The fourth day accents the reproductive stage of the caterpillar’s adult transition, where it becomes a butterfly that can now fly. John Coltrane’s screaming saxophone, in the veins of owning one’s madness, streams in from “Consequences” on the album Meditations. From our 2019 project ULTRASANITY. ON MADNESS, SANITATION, ANTIPSYCHIATRY, AND RESISTANCE, the keynote lecture by late Frederick W. Hickling “Owning Our Madness: Contributions of Jamaican Psychiatry to Decolonizing Global Mental Health” follows. The Brothers Move on  joins the choir, alongside excerpts from “Do You Hear the Muses Cross the States of Quo?”. 


The fifth day rings with the transformative phase, where the caterpillar shifts into the exit of “the butterfly effect” of capitalist structures and enters the condition for ongoing recycles. The Invocations programme accompanying the solo exhibition LETTER FROM A GUARANI WOMAN IN SEARCH OF THE LAND WITHOUT EVIL by Patrícia Ferreira Pará Yxapy is the day’s nexus. Claudia Huaiquimilla, Edna Bonhomme, Patrícia Ferreira Pará Yxapy, and Fanny Huc’s voices are convening together on indigenous storytelling, filmmaking, resistance and healing.