Street TV

This very short video introduces Telestreet as an Italian media jacking movement that “is a network of pirate micro TV transmitters setup by media activists across Italy.” (Thanks, Nico, for the link).

Telestreet began in 2002 and is now composed of over 200 stations in the country.

Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, “owns 3 of the 4 major commercial TV channels, Italy’s bigger publishing house, supermarkets, football clubs and much more. Along with control over the state owned RAI TV networks he has access to over 90% of the daily television audience.”

As a movement, Telestreet is a political response to the centralization of communication.

Franco Berardi (Bifo), a media theorist and philosopher, is the founder of one of the first Telestreets: Orfeo TV. For him Telestreet is a technical, cultural and political project that starts from the need to reverse the power instituted in commercial television.  In the 1970s, he was involved in the Italian political movement Autonomia before fleeing to France where he worked with French philosopher Felix Guattari. You can listen to him expand on Telestreet within the video.

The technology used is basic and cheap to transmit to a neighbouring area. Parallel to the television transmission, programs are generally broadcast over the Internet. The example given of a simple transmitter is said to cost about 500 Euros.

Throughout the history of modern politics, including the politicsof movements,  the predominant  idea has always been  that communication  is an  instrument  for pursuing objectives which  are  in  some way  external  to  them.  The most  favourable  and  productive moments  of communication are the ones where we understand that things are not really that way. Communication is not an  instrument because  the public can understand what has  to be understood. Communication  is effective when  there  is a possibility  to be what we want  in  the  social  space. Communication  is effective when  it becomes public domain and can be shared.   It is not a announcement of what is not is not working or what should be done in another way, but a shared space of enjoyment and pleasure where we can be together. This is how communication reacquires its original significance of “commonality”, of “becoming common”, of building a land where we are quite happy to plant our feet.

The above quote is an excerpt from an interview with Berardi. You can read the entire interview, Disobedience and Cognitariat, here.

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