Sylvi Kretschmer and Kathrin Wildner reflect on their contribution to the festival “The Art of Being Many” were they participated in the panel sound/system/voices – addressing voices, music, and the sound of assembly; its acoustic and technical parameters. In their contributions to this panel they also took into consideration the relationship between assembly and amplification (of the voice). Since then, their respective artistic/research work has been accompanied by questions surrounding how voice amplification technology and techniques assemble people and things in political and religious contexts, or how co-existence is acoustically voiced.
Since 2010 we have witnessed new ways of assembling, which have made the word »democracy« sound important again. These practices may not have led to the political changes we had hoped for. Nevertheless, we are convinced of their importance. This book wants to acknowledge them as a starting point for a new art of being many: The »many« invoke new concepts of collectivity by renegotiating their modes of participation and (self-)presentation and by rewriting rhetorical, choreographical, and material scripts of assembling. This volume is inspired and informed by the square-occupations and neighborhood assemblies of the »real democracy« movements as well as by recent explorations of the assembly form in performance art and participatory theatre.