Re: [-empyre-] original form

Wonderful...This group of artists collaborating in discussion, these
hearts-minds-bodies agitated and enlivened.  I think of the sensation of
reverse vertigo (is there a term for this?), that giddy, frightening,
exhilarating feeling of falling upward, a negation of gravity, when watching
a kite or low-flying aircraft.  Rhetoric is our tether, for better or worse,
and may function as a common ground, a springboard for the exchange and
acceptance of thousands of ideas and opinions.

>(Some others categorize what we do as a certain kind of pornography. We
>welcome that commentary, too. Still others say that what we do endangers
>society. Only in that case will we speak up, if necessary, although we
>haven't, thank goodness, come to that yet.)

Pornography? A psychiatrist is showing a series of Rorschach inkblots to a
patient.  The patient identifies the first as showing 2 people having sex.
The second, 3 people having sex, and the final as a full orgy.   "You
obviously have issues of sexual repression" says the psychiatrist.  "ME?"
says the man..."YOU'RE the one with all the dirty pictures!"

Endangering society?  Let's hope so.  Paulo Freire says "Washing one's hands
of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with
the powerful, not to be neutral."  In validating the status quo instead of
(consciously or not) propelling culture and society forward, we are static
and ineffectual as artists and human beings.  A vital and progressive
society is elastic, in flux and adaptive to the changes and needs of its
citizens and ecology.  If we are the so-called "architects of culture," I
suggest we have a responsibility to endanger the sluggishness and inherent
inertia of society. From my perspective, Young-hae and Marc do this with
grace, ease and beauty.  Maybe they disagree...I'd love to know.



> From: "James Barrett" <>
> Reply-To: soft_skinned_space <>
> Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 14:33:09 +0200 (MET DST)
> To: "soft_skinned_space" <>
> Cc: soft_skinned_space <>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] original form
> Its so strange that when empyre has lots of theory discussion I feel the
> need to talk about practice and when the center lies in practice, I keep
> thinking about we go again: I would argue, along with Mr.
> Friedrich Nietzsche, that all language forms are rhetorical, and the
> alluding to truth is part of this rhetoric.
> Rhetoric is not a bad thing; rather I think it is unavoidable. The space
> between the understanding and the form is the domain of many dangerous and
> wonderful realities. "Art" being one, "poetry" another.
> To continue on the "I love your work" theme of this month; a
> young poet in the early 1990's I thought of you and your work as an
> inspiration, perhaps the rhetoric here found it's mark.
> James
>> i am sorry i have offended you.
>> i did not mean to categorise you or your work.
>> i was speaking as a performance poet and of the similarities in trying to
>> engage an audience.
>> i too use rhetoric in my poetry, i don't think it is a bad thing.
>> regards
>> komninos
>> komninos zervos
>> poet
>> you'll see plenty of rhetoric if you read these poems;
>> .html
>> and yes i used to bombard people with these poems, and still do, given the
>> opportunity.
>> cheers
>> komninos
>> wrote: -----
>> To: soft_skinned_space <>
>> Sent by:
>> Date: 13/05/2005 02:28AM
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] original form
>> Hi komninos,
>> "Can you point me to any of your work that doesn't bombard me with stark
>> rhetoric, or uses other devices to engage?"
>> No. We can't help you there. (And, of course, you don't really need our
>> help. No one does.) You do your job, we do ours. Our job, we believe, is
>> done. We have given you something that you have categorized as a certain
>> kind of poetry, or others have categorized as a certain kind of art. That
>> is
>> more than enough for us. We are grateful to you and to everyone else who
>> has
>> stopped by. We have left you less than indifferent. That is also enough
>> for
>> us.
>> (Some others categorize what we do as a certain kind of pornography. We
>> welcome that commentary, too. Still others say that what we do endangers
>> society. Only in that case will we speak up, if necessary, although we
>> haven't, thank goodness, come to that yet.)
>> We're not in the business of defending the indefensible -- poetry and art.
>> We're just the poets and the artists (and the business people). We make no
>> claim to understanding what we do. In fact, we're suspicious of poets and
>> artists who can talk the talk. We do what we do, and leave the explaining
>> to
>> others more competent than us. Or rather, you, as a professor, deal in
>> rhetoric. We deal in emotion. Or are they the same thing? But even that
>> question is more than we can deal with.
>> Young-hae and Marc
>> On 5/12/05 1:50 PM, "Komninos Zervos" <> wrote:
>>> this work, the website
>>> reminds me of the similarities of new media art and performance poetry.
>>> especially performance poetry in the street or in a shopping mall or at
>>> a
>>> festival or in a park, with a large moving audience passing by the
>>> perfpoet.
>>> in that situation were you do not start with an audience but have to
>>> attract one, this is very similar to the web experience. you pass by
>>> many
>>> sites but few gain your attention and even fewer maintain your
>>> attention.
>>> in the ones that maintain my attention either the navigation/means of
>>> progression through the piece and/or the content and/or the effect i am
>>> having on the piece keep me engaged.
>>> in a performance of poetry in the street, the audience may read the poet
>>> visually, but apart from their words the poet has few other devices to
>>> engage the passing crowd.
>>> buskers have their devices, build an audience, prepare them for a
>>> performance, mark out their performance area. place their props around
>> that
>>> area, its a performance pre-performance to let people know something
>>> good
>>> will be happening soon.
>>> alan gregory, a melbourne poet in the 1980s and 1990s, a busking poet,
>>> would put up a big menu board of poems for people to choose, hand out
>>> menus, wear a big red cape, and sometimes ring a bell.
>>> but most performance poets who read in the streets just sound their work
>>> without any techniques to draw attention to themselves other than their
>>> words, they just put it out there, and whatever gets listened to is the
>>> audiences decision. tom the street poet, poor tom or as he is now known
>> tom
>>> the world poet, would stand at the corner of bourke street and flinders
>>> street, the busiest street corner in melbourne reading out his poems and
>>> handing out street sheets of his poetry. another australian performance
>>> poet, pio, would shout at the top of his voice, no matter where he was,
>> in
>>> a coffee lounge, or in the street.
>>> Young-hae and Marc's site is like the street poet of the internet,
>> standing
>>> there shouting their words to the passing crowd, some are engaged and
>>> continue to read, continue to follow the logic and the art of the words,
>>> some move on.
>>> i have been engaged by each piece i've visited but i don't think ive
>>> seen
>>> any of them all the way through.i would really like to project them onto
>> a
>>> wall and just have them playing continuously whilst i do other things,
>>> maybe in a bar, or coffee lounge, so that i can drift in and out of the
>>> screen.
>>> someone said that poetry was giving extra or special significance to
>> words
>>> we are familiar with in everyday language. these works by using large
>> bold
>>> black fonts on white screens give words that extra significance. and
>> unlike
>>> what we read from a page we can't see what is coming next, so again the
>>> similarity with performance or spoken word poetry.
>>> it is interesting how kim describes the selection process for the
>>> initial
>>> workshop and the most basic, but effective, use of flash technology
>>> these
>>> pieces involve. i have been teaching the CyberStudies major at griffith
>> for
>>> six years now and one thing that becomes obvious is the importance of
>>> studying and developing narrative strategies for this medium. whilst the
>>> major has to do with computer and web technologies and their impact on
>> the
>>> arts, visual, media,language, film, etc, and there is always pressure to
>>> teach skills, software and hardware, it really comes down to how these
>>> tools are used to make the art, or even be part of the art.
>>> of course there is new media art that requires little narrative
>>> interpretation and lots of programming skill, that is generative and
>>> experiential( Derived from, or pertaining to, experience. Coleridge. "It
>> is
>>> called empirical or experiential . . . because it is divan to us by
>>> experience or observation, and not obtained as the result of inference
>>> or
>>> reasoning." Sir. W. Hamiltion.) ,
n>> a
>>> ry+definition&hl=en
>>> ),
>>> that leaves the writing of the narrative to the end-user. you get what
>> you
>>> get while your getting it then you are gone; an of the moment
>>> experience.
>>> this is also a quality, but more likely a criticism, of performance
>> poetry.
>>> well thanks for listening.
>>> can you point me to any of your work that doesn't bombard me with stark
>>> rhetoric, or uses other devices to engage?
>>> cheers
>>> komninos
>>> wrote: -----
>>> To: "'soft_skinned_space'" <>
>>> From: "Kim Machan" <>
>>> Sent by:
>>> Date: 11/05/2005 11:41PM
>>> Subject: RE: [-empyre-] original form
>>> Hi Mike
>>> It seems Young-hae and Marc may still be down on the beach and Victoria
>>> must
>>> be busy with other creative responsibilities,  I was waiting for their
>>> comments ... but will put a few lines up.... They have been working very
>>> hard on this list!
>>> You wrote:
>>> 'What was 'it' that was seen by Kim to attract her attention?
>>> How did Young-hae and Marc feel about the idea of a commission? Did the
>>> notion of being asked to do something, fall comfortably within their
>>> cultural remit?'
>>> In 1999 a general email call was made inviting artists to participate in
>> an
>>> online residency that would commence with 10 days in Brisbane during the
>>> MAAP festival and APT and then with ongoing support via email
>>> etc....with
>> a
>>> very nice guy called Jeff Sams.
>>> Young-hae Chang wrote an exquisite application that was, in comparison
>>> to
>>> other applicants, 'technology free' in approach. For my own research, I
>> am
>>> trying to dig into my old rusty hard drive to resurrect this amazing
>>> document!
>>> When asked 'what experience do you have in technology applications?' All
>>> applicants listed dutifully photoshop, director, etc, etc, in contrast
>>> Young-hae told an intriguing story of passing through metal detectors in
>>> airport security - it side stepped all of our expectations and in my
>>> opinion, dealt with the application as a piece of art, (very
>> conceptual!).
>>> That was 'it' for me!
>>> Just briefly on the expectations of the training and residency, there
>> were
>>> none, there was no demand for a commission, it was very open and we were
>>> happy whatever the outcome... The Perfect Artistic website was born out
>> of
>>> unconditional love!
>>> Best
>>> kim
>>> komninos zervos
>>> lecturer, convenor of CyberStudies major
>>> School of Arts
>>> Griffith University
>>> Room 3.25 Multimedia Building G23
>>> Gold Coast Campus
>>> Parkwood
>>> PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre
>>> Queensland 9726
>>> Australia
>>> Phone 07 5552 8872 Fax 07 5552 8141
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
> -- 
> Doctoral Student, Umeå University
> Department of Modern Languages/English
> +46 (0)90 786 6584
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