“SOS – Soul of Sustainability”
Starting from the analysis of the artist-in-residence condition we focused on the concept of sustainability, as part of the main discourse in cultural organizations. The prevalence of this new term relies on the fact that art and culture are seen as indispensable though until recently disregarded instruments in the larger policy of sustainable development. But what does sustainable development actually sustain? The Bureau of Melodramatic Research has spotted how its very own object of study – emotion, sensitivity, pathos – is instrumentalized with the purpose of saving the soul of sustainability (“Sustainability also needs a soul”, Dr. Hildegard Kurt, from “Art as Seismograph”, KulturKontakt Magazine, Autumn, 2009). Artists regarded as bearers of subjectivity are the main “agents of the soul”, the missing link of a self-contained chain of sustainability, which the Bureau has identified as being a strategy of actually sustaining the power of capital owners.
The red “heart” and the sensitive “soul” are put to use in a new surgical operation co-opting what was left out, mainly the typical know-how coming out of “arts and culture”. Further, “humaneness” is defined, like all natural resources as an exploitable non-renewable fuel, as a limited commodity. We see this directly in the accumulation of a capital of pain that is being amassed and stored for further use.
The Bureau of Melodramatic Research is an independent institution founded in 2009 by Irina Gheorghe and Alina Popa. Its main strategic goal is to raise the veil laid over melodrama in different social contexts and ensure public free access to the results of the research. BMR is a non-profit making organization with the general aim of cooperation with institutions from the cultural field in order to reveal the circuit of the sentimental capital which determines social, politic and ultimately economic relations. The Bureau conducts critical analysis by detecting melodramatized appropriations and reappropriations. Its melodramatic methodology is defined asmelocritique.
In cooperation with writers, theoreticians and other Bureau agents, we are presently developing a research project about Romanian melodrama, its roots and dissemination in today’s society. The 2009 Activity Report has been issued as a first step in this study.
Stefan Tiron is also known as a paranoia double agent, information dealer, dirty data miner, info broker, shady somatic recipient and damaged cortical data retriever. In 2009 he started the Tschuessy Feng radio show. He indulges in his recent hobby for the cultural and ideological ramification of apiculture and beehive metaphors for the society at large.
BMR & ST in Vienna
BMR&ST are currently extending their research on the Austrian context due to a key partnership with KulturKontakt. We would like to question the rise of melodramatic strategies in the East-West relations considering Vienna’s reputation as a cultural hub: Wien ist eine Drehscheibe für junge Künstler aus Ost- und Südosteuropa (die Presse, 17. November 2009, http://diepresse. com/home/ kultur/kunst/ 522313/index. do).