Review ChaosCommunicationCamp 08/2019 @Ziegeleipark, Germany, Earth, Milky Way

The CCCamp2019 takes place every four years and was materialized in August in Brandenburg. As a lecture on “20 Years of Camp” (subtitles available) clearly showed, the CCCamp is a fusion of “open air and hacker culture”, if not rave and hack.

One of the active members of the Chaos Computer Club Hamburg, Tim, was present in the 1990s music scene in Berlin, where club events started professionalizing, and the first big raves got organized by Hamburgers and Berliners. So he got to know the Pyons. Tim then started the first camp together with the Pyons – Andre and Markus – in 1999. In the video/ lecture they “look back on the history of the camp and the special challenges in the planning and logistics of the event. The first camp on a horse meadow in Altlandsberg was a feat of strength for the CCC. Based on the 1993 (Hacking at the End of the Universe, HEU) and 1997 (Hacking In Progress, HIP) Dutch camps, an attempt was made to create an event that combined the spirit of the hacker club and tek with the strong influence of the techno open-air scene of the time. Encouraged by the successful move of the Chaos Communication Congress to Berlin at the end of 1998, the club accepted the challenges and developed a fruitful cooperation with the Pyonen, in which each group could play to its strengths. (…) In the end, the first camp succeeded in laying the foundation for the event it is today: a place of freedom and creativity that offers the necessary space for fun with the equipment, aesthetics and communication” (video info text).

For Markus, the camp and C3 have become more and more political in recent years and this was symbolized for him by the Anti-Fa flag on the chimney of the camp (and elsewhere on the area). Because Mildenberg is Brandenburg, where the AFD is prominent and is already mobilizing for the upcoming elections. Tim mentions that the club has always been political but that it realized that today it is more important to communicate this to the outside world. It was also due to the fact that Camp and Congress had succeeded in networking with and towards other cultural areas. The camp is now more colourful not only because of the colourful light, but also because it no longer only consists of the local branches of the association, but also has international guests, as well as people from theatre, art, culture and activism.

For more details on the history of the camp check out the Video.

Among these people from art, culture and activism were some from our village cluster 1Komona; already at the C3s in Leipzig Reclaim Club Culture was part of the new assembly. Unfortunately, most Komona members are not yet so familiar with their group, and with the procedures of the C3 events as Komona is still young. That’s probably one of the reasons why there were hardly any people on site on Tuesday and not much set up yet. The Komona motto “If You Are Komona You Can Make It Work” hasn’t completely translated into the identities of the participants yet, but the Villages have tried to fulfill their roles and tasks appropriately. Thus, while the official camp program was already starting, our village and a social structure consisting of many small groups was stil in the making. These were:

The game consulting, the anarchists, Mobile Info Tent, Heart of Code, IT Kollektiv, SSB, NixOS, Postapokalyptik Schrott Workshop, no name group, AFRA Hacker Space Berlin, Queer Feminist Geeks, Hispagatos, Chateons (miau!), Librehosters, Röschens Räterepublik, Reclaim Club Culture as well as other groups that came later or were forgotten now.

Why, who becomes part of Komona is not completely transparent, but obviously because you are not part of any existing club/assembly/village. Thus the status of the Komona cluster in the camp as a whole is that of Newbees, and that also became obvious by the camp site that was assigned to us. There were hardly any trees and a lot of heat from early morning on that made it hard to get a decent amount of sleep. The toilets had no water in the beginning and later it was only installed for the toilets, hands/washing had to be done somewhere else. Sounds not like a big deal, but it was a serious restriction, if one wanted to fulfill the hygiene rules to some extent, also because some Komona members had been to a festival before, where this had not worked out and therefore it had been stopped due to health danger. Also dust was a constant companion.

At the camp there were two lecture tents where the lectures and talks were recorded and streamed, this main program had a separate Schedule. The Village 3 Headed Monkeys also had a stage and filmed/ streamed, curated an independent programme. As well as all other Villages, which announce their events as Self Organized Sessions, which can be called up separately or in a einem Complete Calendar abrufen.

1Komana offered the following sessions:

AfD-Plakate entsorgen!, Anarchist Networking Party w/ Las Vegas Lady and Planète Concrète, Anti Capitalist CTF, Arranged Marriage, CCClasse – bezahlen für Arbeit? / CCClass – to pay for work?, Camp Pride Orga Meeting, 1st (open for all), Cryptpad, DIY reading session / DIY lese session, Ethical hosting: where are your data?, Hosting for non-geeks: communication needs, How to collaborate better, How to talk to the badge – a (micro-)python introduction for BEGINNERS!, Introduction to infoshop, Lh lightning talks, Meet librehosters, Mental Training Against Sexual Harassment, Movie screening „weird Germany series“ – day 2 : Kasper Hauser goes techno, Movies screening „weird Germany series“ – day 2 : The old Kasper Hauser, Networking Basics on the Command Line, Patterns for Decentralization, Postapokalyptic jewellery, Run your own Matrix server, Sticker Exchange Party, TechCoop Meetup, Terraform and Docker to selfhost, Trickmisch – Trickfilme erstellen, YunoHost workshop: install your own!

And others like Club culture against the monopoly of Facebook, Digital Activism Training – Infrastructuring for the upcoming rave protests for climate by RCC . The probably greatest session of our Village, if not the camp, the Chaos Ballet, initiated by lone fighters of the groups Reclaim Club Culture und Extinction Rebellion , was offered at the sportive time 5am, but also spontaneous performances were possible. The participative and performative nature of this session aimed to feel arguments rather than reproduce felt arguments. Other important keywords were: Ballet, Revolution, Emma Goldmann, Trampoline, Chaos, Arguments, Feelings, Feminism, Gravity, Drahti (the name of the trampoline).

The decentralized RCC office was open in the afternoons, if not in use anyway. The second, decentralized information board of Komona and the existential sign painting station was next to the RCC office. In our deliberately decentralized village lots of activities developed and it wasn’t a suprise as separatist currents built up with the days. In the night from Friday to Saturday “Upper” and “Lower” Komona had been divided by a border.

One can imagine that when Komona already had such an oversupply of activities and dynamics, what was going on at the camp in general. There were also several lakes in the area, a small marina and you could rent boats. Of course music was also part of the camp, although not enough and too monothematic – officially on two floors (which was actually only one because when the Rockmore Booth stopped, the Chemistry Lounge started), these had their own timetable, the Abfahrplan

Sadly any unofficial music program – that was once characteristic of the C3s – was stopped due to loudness problems, camp rules and lack of emathy, which was regrettable and would need be solved differently in the future. 1Komona had an Anarchist Networking Party on Friday evening and the dance party/ DJ program had to be carried out as a Silent Disko after midnight. To the complete disillusionment of the DJs (including myself). Over the days, however, listening to music via headphones became a habit, if not a luxurious trademark of Komona.

Or you did it like the Social Distortion Protocol Village – early in the evening organized 2 hours of dancing. Or you took a walk with the sound system robot. Fortunately, at least at Milliway‘s there were concerts and DJs who were well equipped. Even more exaggerated in terms of entertainment, but effective and still late at night there was a bar & club tent from the self-proclaimed Bavarian Amts-Königreich. But also the illegal and clever Micro-Berghain offered an alternative to late hours. It was located next to an uninhabited non-place, which is why there were no complaints from the friendly but resolute CrewCrew (the all female camp security). Or they failed because of the tough bouncers…

Because so much was going on and the time so short I didnt attend most of the streamed talks and presentations. To check it out later, which never works, because there are always too many videos worth seeing. Here is a selection of what I did see and recommend:

Hambacher Forst #hambibleibt  resistance against opencast mining in Germany – the climate catastrophe and life in a forest occupation

#Fusionbleibt  How the Fusion Festival was able to successfully defend itself against police presence

How to act against digital sexist violence  “Not to be assigned to the phenomenon of cybercrime” (Response of the Federal Government)

Exposing Systems of Power and Injustice  5 Years of Disruption Network Lab

Robotron  a tech opera – computers & the GDR

Privacy: An Unequally Distributed Resource  A Study of Privacy as Privilege in Our World

Social-ecologic dimensions of digitalization

There was also a lot of excitement about the Card10, which had been preordered and paid by enough participants, so that after a few days everyone could still get one. The camp participants increasingly shared this wrist feature. Or you could see participants working on the gadget with their computer. This measuring device will keep some camp visitors busy, as the beautiful toy has to be understood halfway at first. That’s probably why there were some sessions, workstations and main talks dealing with the Card10:

card10 assembly in 4min

card10 Badge  „the 2019 camp badge, bio monitor, wrist worn POV device, and everything else your imagination comes up with. This year’s 0b10nd edition of the camp badge is card10. It comes packed with biosensors and can talk to many devices with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). As usual it comes with some space to extend it with further electronics and this time a programming interface that is even easier to use, so you can individualize your card10 and pick up some new skills on the way“.

There were also contributions to the hyped topic AI, where the money is currently flowing, and our neighbors from Artes Mobiles made their artistic contribution: „A spherical object serves as a volumetric display to visualize speculative artificial intelligence in the form of sound-image associations.The object consists of a seemingly chaotic heap of led stripes in which three-dimensional shapes, patterns and structures of light appear. The visual structures are produced by the neural network through the association with sounds“.

In addition to the tech workshops and talks that were to be expected, you could go to naked tea session, walks or baths with other campers, etch stainless steel (dressed!), take part in the Gameboy Music Contest, solder synthesizers, build keyboards, write letters to activists in jail, shop SIM cards and Card10 spare parts or chant that Pluto is indeed a Planet. Even soft ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream was on sale…

The Salzamt was responsible for complaints of all kinds, which had to be submitted in written form in accordance with tradition (Austria rules!). This was because the Salt Office/ Salzamt was a customary authority in the Middle Ages that supervised salt mining and the trade in salt. The salt trade was an important monopoly in the Habsburg Empire. The salt offices were an authority directly subordinated to the ruling dynasty. The word “Salzamt” lives on in Austria as an expression of a non-existent authority. If there is no legal recourse against an official decision, one can “complain to the salt office”. In case of emergencies outside the opening hours one could call “SALZ (DECT, 7259)”. Those who didn’t get rid of everything here could go even deeper. And exchange their anger. For the mental hygiene and bad feelings despite optimal conditions there was then h Angerbooth/ Anger Exchange Point of the Haecksen  – with a solemn reading of the remaining anger on the last day (very sad I missed that opportunity, I am willing to admit I had some complaints, and would have loved to exchange them).

Yo and when our village was finally finished, the last signs hung up and kitchen shifts provided, it was already time for de-asembling again. That was also the hottest day, and those who hadn’t understood the full range of the ice machine’s effects an necessity and why it was so well signposted, understood it now. Have you ever seen such a great ice-machine in your life?

In this unkown future of 1Komona this new and cute assembly will need more people and cyborgs to set up and dismantle. Ice cubes will be provided. Build it up, tear it down and drink it cool(ed)!

Without heaven and angels nothing moves at the camp, that’s why we were reminded to thank angels! Thank you!

Who was clever enough send a postcard home via the only true and beautiful postal office: Greetings from 1Komona, C3 Universe!

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