Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Platoon Kunsthalle in Seoul?

A recent student of mine informed  me of an interesting event coming up from September 24 to October 2 in the Platoon Kunsthalle here in Seoul, a philosophical event involving presentations by Alain Badiou (France), Slavoj Zizek (Slovenia), and Wang Hui (China):
I'm a student who took Academic English last semester, majoring [in] fashion . . . I'm not sure if you would remember . . . Anyways, Slavoj Zizek is visiting Korea to have a conference at Kyunghee University, and there is going to be an event at Platoon Kunsthalle for three days. I was asked by a friend who organizes this event if I could invite professors who would be interested in this event, and I thought you might be interested....

Platoon Kunsthalle is a very 'German' venue (founded and run by German people), and they have great German tap beers, which is rare in Seoul (so I've heard . . .)
Unfortunately, I probably can't make the event (though it appears to last longer than three days), and I regretfully told the student so, to which she replied:
It's unfortunate that you cannot make it to the event! However, Platoon is a very interesting venue, and you should check out the place . . .
If only I had wealth and leisure, I could enjoy these events. A Kunsthalle, incidentally, is something like an art museum, but without the permanent exhibition. As for "platoon," it's a military term for a unit comprising from two to four squads and having anywhere from twenty-six to sixty-four soldiers, and what it has to do with art, I don't know. Maybe this is just one more example of postmodernist influence. Or does it resonate with the also intrinsically military expression "avant garde"? Here's what the Platoon Kunsthalle has to say about itself:
PLATOON KUNSTHALLE opened its doors on 11th april 2009. PLATOON KUNSTHALLE is set up in seoul as a space for subculture in asia. its programmatic orientation towards cultural movements beneath the radar creates a dynamic space where new ideas are born and presented . . .
Go to the link for more, though there appears to be no explanation for the choice of "Platoon."

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At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the "platoon" refers to the 28 shipping containers that make up the building. This is from the link - "PLATOON KUNSTHALLE is built of 28 iso cargo containers. as icons of a flexible architecture in a globalized culture, the stacked containers form a unique construction that can be rebuilt anywhere else any time."


At 6:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Are shipping containers called platoons?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:17 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

"...and what ["platoon"] has to do with art, I don't know."

A nod to German militarism? Jawohl!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Marching, marching to shibboleth!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was refering to the count of the containers, 28, more than the actual container. That falls in line with the range of soldiers in a platoon.


At 8:51 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Maybe that's the reason . . . or perhaps "Platoon" has an additional meaning in German.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I decided to go to the source and ask this question. I sent this to their email address "What is the use of the word PLATOON referring to for your organization?". Christoph Frank from PLATOON BERLIN responded with:

here is our definition which also describes the usage of the word PLATOON:


a PLATOON is per definition the smallest independently operating unit.
PLATOON.cultural development recruits creative task forces based on projects from its affiliated media over- and underground.

Currently 280 active special forces coming from all kinds of creative professions are ready for action. is their western headquarter. PLATOON.seoul is their eastern headquarter.

When PLATOON.cultural development accepts an order, it will be developed and realized autonomously and strategically. The operating units are recruited from the special forces network: more than 6.500 recruits worldwide.

Areas of action can be all societal fields of relevant communication.


Make of it what you will......


cheers . christoph

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Jay. Also Christoph. Though I do wonder if a platoon is "per definition the smallest independently operating unit" in the military. What about a squad?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it is the smallest unit in Germany. Not to belabor this point forever; the following are the loose definitions of the various unit sizes in the US Army:

Team- a Sergeant or Corporal and three soldiers

Squad- a Staff Sergeant or Sergeant and two teams or ten soldiers.

Platoon- two to four squads, usually led by a Lieutenant and a Sergeant First Class or Staff Sergeant. 25 -40 soldiers total

Company- multiple platoons under the command of a Captain, and a First Sergeant (Battery in the artillery)

Battalion- multiple companies under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel

Brigade- multiple battalions under command of a Colonel, or Brigadier General

Division- Multiple Brigades under command of a Lieutenant General


At 11:04 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, I looked at that, too, a couple of days ago.

Perhaps the crucial expression is " independently operating."

Jeffery Hodges

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