[-empyre-] A function of play: dada, discursivity, performance and transgression in [liken]

>> Barbara Lattanzi wrote:
>>>> this statement makes me wonder how can transgression possibly figure into
>>>> liken?  Is it accurate to say, instead, that liken aspires to be scalable
>>>> enough to swallow in one gulp any critique necessary for "disruption"?
>> ++
Hi all,

Looping back to the issue of transgression Barbara raised, and (of course)
this threads into the question of politics: I have been looking for some
time at dada  antecedents to criticalartware and its precocious offspring,

In particular I have been spending time with a book on Karl Schwitters,
called "Kurt Schwitter's Merzbau:  The Cathedral of Erotic Misery," by
Elizabeth Burns Gamard (Princeton Architectural Press, 2000). (see
<http://www.fluxeuropa.com/kurt_schwitters.htm> for book details).

Gamard articulates a context for the 'transgression' implicit in the
form/meaning of Merz-- but I argue, also for such an entity as liken.

In advance I might also suggest that the following [modified] quote be read
also with an eye to the important work of Kate Horsfield on video histories,
wherein varied and provocative transgressions were in the process of being
purged, in the mid-nineties according to Kate's account,  for the sake of an
idealized 'representation' of a 'proper' video used in 'proper' gallery
spaces, minus its unruly desires and  without history.

In the following quote, I am substituting the word 'liken' for 'Merz', with
apologies in advance to Professor Gamard.

See if it fits.

"The art and architecture of [liken]... Resists representation.  An absolute
art and architecture of objective forms, [liken], like nature, is
conceptually transparent and therefore non-representational.  From this
point of view any attempt at a linguistic analysis of [its] architecture, an
analysis that would imply a consistent grammar and thus 'proper use', would
be absurd. Accordingly,  the citation or speculation of an artwork proffered
from outside the limits of its material and dimensional context, also
constitutes a specious act.  As Wittgenstein has shown, even language is not
a fixed condition but a mutable form of life that 'means' only in the sense
of communicative discourse: 'meaning' is conditioned through use.  For both
Wittgenstein and Schwitters, the reason ('meaning') of art and architecture
is formulated according to the 'Urphanomen' supporting its coming into
being, a process that occurs through what Schwitters specifically defines as
forming and deforming ('Formung' and 'Entformung').  Thus the reason of the
object [liken] is inseparable from its appearance ... 'meaning' in art and
architecture resides for Schwitters in a project's discursivity, aspectis of
which include the project's impulse, processes of construction (Aufbau), and
th inscrption and effects of use and thime (Rhythmus).

"Art, language, and human sexuality, are all articulate dimensions of human
existence and activity, the reason of any one of these does not lie outside
its activity.  Here, reason ("meaning") is not the idealized proposition
governed by abstract logic, but instead a matter of desire and play--both of
which harbor an unselfconscious interest in the pursuit of life. The
transgression of boundaries, a moment or space in which separate identities
co-mingle, results in the momentary suspension of measurable time. Thus
transgression (Schwitters' revolution) is essential to the continued
regeneration of forms of life.  Indeed forms of life, intuitions that become
actualized through activity, continually stress--and at times
contravene--boundaries, an action vital to developing organisms. The erotic
nature of human activity, a play of function, and, conversely, a function of
play, exacts a dynamic, organic exchange that results in the creation of new
life.  Death, decay, love and life are all vital constituents in this
exchange, effective a performative economy where loss and lack are remedied
through the re-incorporation of excess."

Doesn¹t this resonate to the exchange here between Barbara and Ben
concerning performance and re-incorporation....

> On May 3, 2004, at 11:15 AM, Barbara Lattanzi wrote:
>> Could the Liken project be read in terms of its fabulous (fable-like)
>> aspiration?  In other words, to what extent is Liken a performance
>> (i.e., creating an archivable present) and to what extent is it a
>> mapped archive of the past?
> Oh, most definitely. I am a connoisseur of the fantastic! When liken
> was only in our imaginations, one of the features that made us giddy
> with anticipation was that fact that the system would autolink nodes
> based on their word frequency -- which meant that we'd no doubt get
> many non-sensical and unrelated links. In conventional thinking, this
> is a Bad Thing, but we loved that the system itself would be doing
> [cut-ups/mash-ups/remixes/jump-cuts/free-association].
> I think of liken as the performer. And by "liken" here, I mean the
> massive biological & electromechanical Neural Network that liken truly
> is. In a very real sense, all users are participating in and informing
> the performance of this meta-organism. Even users who just "browse,"
> since the very act of navigating liken alters its structure, and can
> thus be thought of as a rhetorical and political act.
> It is of course equal parts archive of the recent past (present) and
> past. If there is a map of this archive, it's in constant flux; its
> borders constantly changing, capital cities moving, and major highways
> erupting and disappearing before your eyes.
> As jC mentioned, visualizations of liken can take any form, and it's
> our sincere hope that people are inspired by the map of liken to
> produce interesting ways to manipulate its shape.
> - ben

(incidentally, for a cool online intro to Schwitters and his major work the
Merzbau, try this one:


  The eroand On 5/11/04 6:30 PM, "jonCates" <joncates@criticalartware.net>

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