The two founders of Looo.ch, a fascinating media label, have the ambition to promote a change through cultural guerilla against censorphip and moral order. Describing themselves as publishers of “philosophical porn-site for contemporary culture”, and of “magazine aimed at cultural resistance”, they were forced to leave Ukraine and have been travelling the world, spreading the word, ever since. They accepted to answer the TRYANGLE’s questions.
An example of reaction of Russian medias and author of anti-gay law on their satirical “textbooks on homosexuality for kids”:
What is Looo.ch ?
Looo.ch is a guerilla media-label and traveling laboratory created by artists and culture hackers. We use information as a weapon against conservative mind and as a tool for emancipation. We believe that to change the world you need to change the culture and to change the culture you need to hack your mind using information. We make art, documentaries, file publishing, interactive stories, cyber-movies and visual streams. We’re a part of globally growing resistance to the government and corporate intrusion into our communications and sharing. We are against the ban of any idea or image. We dream of the world with no churches and masters.
What does the name means ?
“loooch” is Russian word for “ray” or “beam”.
Who is behind it ?
The core of it is Anatoli Ulyanov and Natasha Masharova. Anatoli is a filmmaker and writer, and Natasha is a photographer and videographer.
What is it about exactly, there is blessing of dogs, abandoned cities and lesbianity for kids, that’s pretty diverse !
By mixing images and thoughts we create an environment for cognitive transformations and sensual discoveries. Some of our projects are purely artistic (Dyatlov Pass ; Blackout in Manhattan). Some are the documents of the diverse and controversial reality (“This Chicken Is Gonna Die” ; “My new orthodox video”). Other – for example, out satirical “Illustrated textbooks on homosexuality/lesbianity for kids” – are political statements (those ones are against homophobia in Russia). We’re looking for the uncommon, intense and vital. Usually it takes us to question some boundaries and taboos. That’s why we’re being regularly banned by censorship of different kind. Sometimes it’s Facebook, which hates human body and consider such natural thing as something obscene. Sometimes it’s government agencies. For example, in order to ban our “homosexual propaganda” and article “Right on Death” (“Should suicide become a human right as the right to live?”) Russia banned our IP address and 27000 other web-sites located on Squarespace in the whole country.
Isn’t it hard to maintain such opinions in Russia has the country’s climate, from Europe perspective, seems to be more tense today, to say the least ?
Well, Looo.ch is banned in a whole Russia for our anti-homophobic and satirical art-projects – “textbooks” on homosexuality and lesbianism “for kids”. Authoritarianism and censorship, however, it’s not only a Russian problem. It’s hard to maintain such opinions anywhere. In US, where we live now, government delegates the right to censor to private companies. We’re being constantly censored and banned by Facebook and other services like Gumroad, Mailchimp, Tumblr, you name it. Meanwhile Europe experiencing right-wing renaissance these days. So, the beast of the Past is our global problem and we all need to unite in a global cultural resistance in order to overcome it.
When was it created ?
It was created in the end of 2010, when our previous site was banned by Ukrainian Committee of Morals. In 2009, because of the persecutions of Ukrainian government and right-radicals, we were pushed to leave our country and live on the road, in exile. We moved through Paris to Berlin, than all over Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Europe to our current base – New York. In this contextLooo.ch was created. To fight against the past and spread the new culture.
L’un des visuels de la Victory Day Gay Pride parodiant les nationalistes Russes
The navigation is quite peculiar, how did you conceive your magazine ?
Loooch is constantly changing following our mutations. Before what you see now there was a classic portal-like web-site, than we switched to blog you found, and now we need to change it again since we transformed from daily media to a project-based label. It will be our forth incarnation. Censorship taught us to be decentralized. If you want to avoid being banned use files instead of “posts” or “apps”. Nobody can stop a file. Proved by The Pirate Bay and Wikileaks. You can read more about it in our File Manifesto. The main channels of Looo.ch now are our visual stream on Facebook, our YouTube channel and our file library at http://looo.ch. Video is the most interesting media for us now. It helps to overcome limitations of national verbal language.
Who is friend ? Who is foe ?
We don’t like dichotomies and open to any information no matter how deep we’re disagree with the message or its author. Any kind of ideology and ethics is encaging to your mind. When we say “to fight the conservative mind” we mean no person or side but a cultural code in ourselves and therefore in a society. There is no “good” and “bad” – just a reality filled with sex and death. And even sex and death are not the opposites but parts of very same – the shine of life.
Do you reject everything about religion and/or spirituality ?
No, since consciousness that we used to create god is the same consciousness we use to create art. That’s being said, we do consider religion as an anti-sexual repressive ideology that makes people infantile, stupid and weak. Churches are incubators for slaves and soldiers. We’re not just a militant atheists. We fight against religion since we fight against authoritarianism.
You speak about cognitive transformation, but transformation into what ? Does the modern human being need to be “transforming” all the time or are we heading for a precise form of post-human ?
Evolution is constant transformation with no final destination point. You either mutate all the time to adopt the world you live in or you die, releasing the space for those who are ready for metamorphosis. Evolution or entropy – for us it’s pretty simple choice. And we don’t consider modern human as truly “modern”. Majority of the human population nowadays is severely conservative and underdeveloped. We have a lot to change ahead.