cecile landman on Thu, 24 Jul 2003 17:11:47 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Telesogno or Telestreet in Italy


original text-address:

The last born is named Telefabbrica and transmits from Termini Immerese,
documents the stories and struggles of the Fiat workers. How many in Italy
nowadays are the neighbourhood televisions no-one will be able to tell
exactly, a part has been started by Telestreet, which for the 14th of
decembre organised an appointment for everyone in Bologna for the first
national meeting. (last year: 2002, ndr)

The question is simple, we say television and we think Rai or Mediaset,
and we are not even employees of the Auditel, and then it is so that to
make television a thousand Euro is enough, some notion of
electrotechnique, a good dosis of voluntarity and a bit of courage. To
make a neighbourhood television of course.

In the first place it were the artists, enthousiast about the new media,
from the futurists of the 'Radia' and their manifest of 1933 also
dedicated to the television and "waiting for the invention of teletactism
of teleperfume and teletast" until the "Manifest for the Television" of
the Gruppo Spaziale, the one of Lucio Fontana and Burri, year 1952. The Tv
then entered into all the houses, while the videomakers of the '60s moved
around with the big 'portapack', portable telecamera and videoregistrator,
and in one way or another made television in first person.

The video of extension of the individuality of the artist has become
creative media first, and then possibility of contro-information. Then
appeared the collectives Videobase, Alberto Grifi, the Laboratorio di
Comunicazione militante, only to give some examples.

Filming, actions and installations mixed conceptuality and metalanguage,
or even poned theirselves immediately as political documents, the
accusation already then was about the domain on the televisionscreens of
burocracy and politics which lowered the possibilities for artists and
intellectuals, the analyses of the medium multiplied its social and
political use, of its economy, of the dangers for the domestic consumer
who had a choice left: he could choose the color of the outside and the
table on which the tele could be placed.

If somebody still thinks that the history of television is made of the
history of the big channels, he/she should watch some sites that tell
otherwise.  Like the Otg site <www.otgtv.supereva.it> the radio-tv
observer of the Milan area, and read 'Tv Historia' (will be in Italian...,

Where one can find out that only in Lombardia the television experiences
of the last decades were hundreds, from the more institutional ones until
the 'televisione nel furgone' (television in a truck) which in 1976
travelled through Milan and transmitted throughout the neighbourhoods,
from the transmitting, "emanation of a noted artgalery" to "Teleippica,
service for the crossed halls, with connections from the various
hippodromes, which tents to national expansion. And Italy is full of
stories like these.

At last Berlusconi has arrived, first on the Mediaset government, then to
the government of the country and Rai television and more than one person
has thought that the measure was filled.
"Television is a dirty thing" is not anymore a terrace cocktailtalk, or a
playcard game in a simple restaurant, it's become common habit to talk in
this way about the Tg1 (Rai-1 television journal), as goes for the
throwing out of quality journalists like Enzo Biagi and Michele Santoro,
more than on the transmissions in the stile of D'Eusanio or Cucuzza (two
anchormen of Italian television with an extremely nothing to say, ndr) to
stay with the national public television, which doesn't seem so public

But after indignation, the action.  There are who want to undermine the
palace down to its fundaments, from Giulietto Chiesa with the whole of
Megachip, who gave themselves the goal to dismantle the Auditel, to
Umberto Eco who is boycotting the insertionist paste for the Cunegonda.  
And there is who simply turns of the tv.  There is who chases the dream of
a 'third pool from the basis', like Giancarlo Fabj and his campaign to
create a free television: LiberaTv <www.tv-libera.it> in which anyone who
wants to can partecipate, paying 20 Euro per month, and then there are the
constructors of neighbourhoodtelevision.

And so, in the face of the monopolist, more or less 'piracy-televisions'
start to exist, neighbourhood television or flatbuildingtelevision, ready
for ether, satellite, the web, the practices are those of selfconstruction
and selfproduction, independent, and selffinancing. The only one obstacle
is the Mammi' Law that prohibits the detention for anyone that's is not
the responsible person for a governative concession of a transmitter of
any kind, even when broken, penal crime, with punishments of a minimum of
seven months.

It seems a paradox, if one thinks of the Cavaliere (Berlusconi), who,
however long ago in 1974, started his career in the ether with a
television for flatbuildings, which was Telemilano, created for Milano 2.
(This was the area where Berlusconi had build a complete new part to the
city, and upto now it's unknown where the money to do so came from...,
ndr) Against the law on transmitting, which was changed in 1990, by the
then ruling politicians (Caf = Craxi, Andreotti and Forlani) in this above
all, Craxi, more than just a good friend of Berlusconi, lawyers and
parlamentarians work hard on it, promise battle, attack article 21 of the
Constitution which treats the right on information, they recall a
precedent from the '70s, when the monopoly of the ether fell and the free
radios where born.

It is not a coincidence that Telestreet was born in Bologna, from some
people that were already between the founders of Radio Alice.

At the ESF in Florence, while the Disobbedients rented a satellite channel
for Global Tv, the international project HubTv transmitted some more in
their cronichles of the movements on channel 60 Uhf. At work for HubTv
were media activists with various backgrounds, from Indymedia to Candida,
"the first electrodomestic television" founded by a group of young romans
who three years back found themselves making a program for a private
television for some months. Candida <www.candida.thing.net> produces today
independent metropolitan research and unedited formats for fiction and
documentaries for various destinations, ether, satellite and web, and
offers videoproduction trainings for young people from the outer skirts of
the city.

HubTv in Florence has propagated its city-signal thanks to the antenne
which was kindly offered by Orfeo Tv, founded last summer by Telestreet
with the slogan "let's make hundred, thousand neighbourhood televisions,
we'll create a network and we'll have television with a real public
access".  Orfeo Tv transmits in a small part of Bologna living in one of
the 'shadow corners' of the television frequencies where it is possible to
be inserted without disturbing other transmittors, it's possible to
sintonise in a reach of some hundred meters, channel 51. It transmits from
the Via Orfeo, which explains the suggestive name to this television. With
variable programming, the programs now go on air for some hours in the
afternoon for a couple of days in the week, the rest of the time camps the
'monoscopio' (?) and the audio is sintonised on a local information radio.
The video contents go from the local to the global, from the parking place
that someone wants to construct in the place of a park with old trees upto
the announced war against Iraq. Everyone has the right to say his or her
thing, the faces known as common citizens. Everyone can contribute,
promotors of sexist or racist contents excluded, the rules are simple.

The objective of Telestreet (www.telestreet.it) is to create a multiform
and extended editorial board, a network formed of the hundreds of 'cells'
that should start to exist in the cities and the provinces, the aim is to
see circulating videocassettes from and for every corner of the peninsola
and further.  'Shadow corners from where to transmit are everywhere, it's
enough to have an antenne installed on the contrary and Tv is made.

The project is so interesting that it teared the concrete attention of
Stefano Balassone, already consultant of the administrational board of the
Rai Tv, from the central-left political group of the 'Olive', who some
years ago with Guglielmi, Santoro and Costanzo worked at the programming
of that what they namend Telesogno (Teledream), that never came to

Contacts and projects that start and grow in the shadow, or even in the
small dark corners of the big transmittor, unedited resistent space for
real public access.

Valentina Avon

(bad italian-english translation by Cecile Landman,
who forgot loads of english while staying in Italy)

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