Re: [-empyre-] on "meaningful articulations" : strategies



Kenneth wrote,

There are certainly approaches to using electronic and 
> computationally-based media that suggest the possibility of a 
> reconstruction of space and time into a meaningful articulation of 
> place.  It's not the global network, or the telematic embrace, but 
> perhaps new approaches to performance and presentation that allow the 
> artwork to respond more directly to its place.


One wonders if this very point, of creating new approaches to performance and presentation, articulates 'place' in a new way that can 
overcome the anomie and drift conditions of modernity at the very moment that it recovers a sense of the  the real. (apologies to Hal Foster).  I am thinking of Allan Sekula's Fish Story, here for example, but there are many others from many realms of human suffering and its consequences, including, Chantal Ackerman, Trevor Paglen,  Sue de Beer and Shamim Momin's collaboration on the exhibition of Sue's work  "Black Sun"  for starters,  just off the top of my head.   A senior White House official notoriously stated, in a New York Times magazine article last summer, something to the effect, you guys (the reporter) think you are reporting on reality; but hey, we make reality, we are the empire, you guys still think there is a reality out there to report on, but you're deluded. ::  Isn't that fascinating. ::  A comment clearly made before Katrina.  And also, the official's statement had on offer a denatured yet still potent expression of the post modernist eighties malaise (media creates reality , therefore reality is nil, checkmate, stalemate:  the only way left a long walk in the dark with Artaud).  The American administration were in their own eyes (sois-disant) the perfectionist manipulators of iconophilia.  But surely now new media works in a way such that images start to live counter, contra, lie in wait for truth. Certainly Nato's curating and writing and Ryan's practice seem to desire such. And does so by contextual intervention:  articulation becomes 'meaningful' relative to context, to the sense of place, to the issue outside the hermetically sealed world of image propagation. Even as lo res a landscape as a parking lot revives in the critical practice of Ryan Griffis.   When the FBI attacks Steve Kurtz, they seize his projects because they are taken to be 'sui generis' genetic manipulations.  An image-type, a brand mentality (gee i see a petri dish, this must be bioterrorism!) produces absurd and terrible sequelae (jail, trial.. worthy of Kafka).    Critical process, of which the FBI is apparently oblivious, involves recontextualization of a gesture, like Steve's experiments, into another realm, so that an otherwise hidden problematic can open up to view, can be given place: in Critical Art Ensemble/Steve Kurtz's instance, the whole problem of genetically modified food production. Surely this is par excellence a "meaningful articulation".   Surely this is a re(coup)eration, seizing, of the real. 

--cm

refs: 

Critical Art Ensemble
<http://www.critical-art.net/biotech/index.html>

Nato Thompson, "Strategic Visuality: a project by four artist/researchers: Trevor Paglen, The Speculative Archive, J. Morgan Puett with Jorge Colombo, and the Center for Tactical Magic" , CAA Art Journal, spring 2004
 <http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0425/is_1_63/ai_114632849>

Trevor's prisons <http://www.paglen.com/carceral/index.htm>

Sue De Beer, Black Sun
<http://www.whitney.org/information/press/170.html>
http://www.haberarts.com/debeer.htm

Allan Sekula, Fish Story <http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1248/is_n6_v84/ai_18356708>

Chantal Ackerman, general discussion of her work <https://secure.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/archive/innovators/akerman.html>

Ryan's parking lots  http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?32225
and general compendia... at  http://www.yougenics.net/griffis/





-----Original Message-----
From: marc <sparkle@c-level.cc>
Sent: Nov 4, 2005 1:27 AM
To: empyre@gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
Subject: [-empyre-] 	on "meaningful articulations", Re:whispering in the dark.

Kenneth and the rest of the hidden empyre,

howdy,

Christina Ulke and I have been collaborating on the framework. We both 
thought it would be a meaningfull investigation for this board..

The commodification of discourse often is an operative fiction with 
only some examples in reallity. One of those more real spaces of 
commodified discourse IS in the global network.

One finds commodified discourse when there is an abundance of language 
that does not properly describe physical reality.
(IE. tech utopianism that fails to acknowledge the labor issues 
implicit within technology. EG. un-critical aesthetic investigation  
done in concert with an  exhibition )

It is prevalent in art discourse when the economic structures that 
either support or spotlight work remain ignored and as such fail to  
fully describe the work. This ins't about truth in advertising, 
institutional support can be good and may even add to production- its 
about acknowledging that institutional and economic elements are a part 
of any work's architecture or social life.

If a digitally based artwork or cultural product is innately tied to a 
place then perhaps our ugly little term can be avoided. But anything 
that promises to "reconstruct space and time" in a purely fictive 
environment is highly suspect. What's wrong with the space that its 
reconstructing (besides the obvious poisoned environment, toxic social 
policy, war racism and sexism, theft, greed...)? And why does something 
need to be reconstructed (in a controlled environment whose defined 
parameters within the scope of man that only meets a fantasy need and 
feeds and houses only the imagination and someone's bank vault)?

And yes, there are "are certainly approaches to using electronic and 
computationally-based media that suggest the possibility of a 
reconstruction of space and time into a meaningful articulation of 
place." A meaningful articulation! I woke up this morning and made five 
meaningfull articulations before I got into the car. But no one 
listened to me because I wasn't yet in the office, Or I wasn't in my 
studio, Or with my activist affinity group who would act on my meaning. 
Or I wasn't at my pulpit. Or I wasn't ordering my soldiers out of the 
trench and up to the top of the berm. Or I wasn't connecting two lost 
friends who had hated eachother for years...

Oh, I made a meaningful articulation the other day. It was so good.... 
Look, fortunately, meaningful articulations are a dime a dozen. And 
that is the beauty of being human, that we can articulate meaningful 
things whenever, where-ever and however we can. But meaning becomes 
socially constructed and up for criticism when it takes on value... 
when someone says that this meaning is more worthwhile then others. And 
here is the point for criticism, why is one meaningful statement 
considered notable and another one ignored like so many crushed dreams?

The internet and hyperspace are a global pillowcase of immediate dreams 
and distant products. Occassionaly, these distant products have the 
marketing arm of the strongest economy and military in the world.

More latter.
It is quite possible that I totally misinterpreted the spirit of what 
you wrote. If so, let us acknowledge that this is par for the course.





> Hi Christina,
> ---
> Could you clarify your ideas on the  "commodifation of discourse"?  
> I'm unclear as to how and where this is occurring.  Is it the 
> concentration of discourse within the university/conference system?  
> MIT Press? Siggraph? The abstraction of "place" into decentered space 
> and time?... (but that's a more generic quality of Modernity isn't 
> it?)  There are certainly approaches to using electronic and 
> computationally-based media that suggest the possibility of a 
> reconstruction of space and time into a meaningful articulation of 
> place.  It's not the global network, or the telematic embrace, but 
> perhaps new approaches to performance and presentation that allow the 
> artwork to respond more directly to its place.
>
> I wonder also if there's a critique per se here of the notion of 
> interactivity itself?  It seems to have been effectively appropriated 
> by the world of management science and is couched more in terms of 
> control, efficiency and ease-of-use for the "user".  Artists are not 
> users, but rather makers.... what is the nature of the things made?  
> Use-value?... or something else?
>
> Kenneth.
>

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