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

A project called Beyond Green will use oranges as a vehicle to explore the
complex relationships that make up the world's food systems. It is about
how our food travels to our ever growing cities, the enormous
environmental effects this has, and alternative suggestions for local food
production. A virtual demonstration for "the right to know where your food
comes from" is online, and we are all invited to plant our own
demonstrator. Beyond Green will also be shown in different museums in the

?Now I don't think that CSNY, Yes, the Moody Blues, or the Who will lead
us to the barricades, however I think on a continuum of lame ass to
cutting edge culture, I can place them as somewhere beyond Mickey mouse.?

Paris 2005 (Have Burroughs?s Wild Boys been born? Maybe not??)
Hooded children of the Revolution By James Button, Sydney Morning Herald
Correspondent in Paris, November 8, 2005:
They wear hoods, baggy jeans and brand-name sneakers and their heroes are
American rappers such as 50 Cent. They describe their antagonists as
"white", hate the police and when they are fighting they say they're
"dancing with wolves".

Can we think to escape the socialization of the simulacra that commodifies
all relations?

Forgive my lengthy quote from Jonathan L. Beller?s Kino-I Kino World, but
it seemed to be apt:

?Such a relation of the senses and particularly of the visual to
production did not emerge overnight, and providing a theoretical and
historical account is one principle purpose of my theory of cinema.
Looking has long been posited as labor by capital, in the present moment
it is being presupposed as such. The lagging of a critical theory of the
mode of exploitation behind the practice of exploitation is no longer
tenable, if it ever was. Overcoming the epistemic lag-time is another aim
here, one bound up in the revolutionary potential contained in
understanding how the world goes on as it does and in whose interest. The
transformative saturation of the visual realm, which gives rise to the
terms ?virtual reality? and also ?visuality? was itself produced. The
transformation of the visual from a zone of unalienated creative practice
to one of alienated labor is the result of capital accumulation, i.e. the
historical agglomeration of exploited labor. By the ?alienation of vision?
I do not mean there have not existed prior scopic regimes which have
structured sight, rather I have in mind the Marxist notions of the
separation and expropriation endemic to commodification. This estrangement
of the visual, its new qualities of ?not belonging to me? characteristic
of the cinema and its disassociation from ?natural language,? [think
Gallery System] are simultaneous with the semi-autonomization of the
visual ? what we call ?visuality?. Furthermore, the maintenance and
intensification of the transformed situations of ?visuality? remains
essential to capital?s expansion and valorization.?
Jonathan L. Beller. Kino-I Kino World The Visual Culture Reader Second
Edition. Ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff. London. Routledge. 2004. 63

/James B.

> Robby -
> I am not "condemming" commodification, nor am I purging or discounting
> Mathias and his collaborators.  I was raising the question if
> commodification can be used as a strategy - for example to reach a larger
> audience. Since we are talking about commodification of discourse this
> week,
> I thought it might be useful to talk about a project in our own time and
> place, rather than going back to Sekula all the time.
> (btw - i  do like fallen fruit:), as I like the story of fish)
> - cu
> xtina wrote:
> "But how do you measure effectivity?"
> and
> "Or is this commodification even  necessary to be effective?" (in relation
> to fallen fruit)
> robby wrote:
> "First off, I would like to state straight fowardly that I find it very
> hard
> to condemn any artists for trying to make a  living. This may be percieved
> as cynical and counterproductive, however I find it very unproductive to
> get
> into  conversations about whether somebody has sold out or not. I may be
> disapointed with someone who stops having an "embodied practice" but I am
> aware of how fucking hard it is for people to try to live as an "artist"-
> especially an  artists that doesn't make objects to sell. I think that the
> terms of this selling out have been extremely well defined and debated in
> the last thirty years, and it is a discourse that I am not interested in
> furthering.
> .Of course commidification is not neccesary to be effective, but it is a
> very interesting and also potentially problematic sphere to engage. Just
> because it is problematic doesn't mean that it shouldn't be engaged with.
> Some people think they can ride the tiger and beat it. I think looking at
> the Ecology or Organics food  movement might be instructive here. Would
> the
> world have been better off if these concepts hadn't become branded? How
> about the womens movement, the brand of "roe vs wade" ? I don't know, and
> I
> am not sure how to
> measure this. But it would be an interesting study...
> Media exists on a spectrum, and while I tend to be interested in the more
> dangerious variety, I also will not discount or purge others for not
> living
> up to my expectations. In a sense this is like  shooting ourselves in the
> foot. "
> Robby wrote:
>>I am very  skeptical that Art, and artists when articulated as individual
>> practitioners, abstracted from a political, social, or cultural base,
>> can
>> have an actual effect here
> and
>>While Fish Story is a solid and even innovative practice of documentary
>>photography- it, like Sekula's practice- becomes a stand in for the real
>> in
>>the capitalist art marketplace, as he is bandied about as the last
>>standing Marxist in contemporary art
> Ryan wrote
>> along the lines of Kenneth's questions, i'm also interested in the
>> engagement with criticality as an "embodied" practice (to use Brian's
>> phrase).
> Ryan wrote
>> this is what i've seen as part of the journal's project (not to say
>> that for everyone else, of course). at some point, we have to evaluate
>> the state of embodiment. is the materialization of a given discourse
>> just producing books and conferences?
>  i've been thinking about de Certeau's use of "tactics" v
>> "strategy" in relation to the militaristic use of those concepts...
>> (thanks to a recent discussion with the center for tactical magic)
>> a lot of critically engaged practice has put much faith in the notion
>> of tactics as a reactionary form of practice, whether of the direct
>> action kind, or the unconscious everyday method of coping. but i'm
>> wondering if it's not important now to develop notions of strategy...
>> what would a "strategical media" look like?
>> this is what i've seen as part of the journal's project (not to say
>> that for everyone else, of course). at some point, we have to evaluate
>> the state of embodiment. is the materialization of a given discourse
>> just producing books and conferences? or is it interfacing with life in
>> other ways? i certainly am not saying i know how to evaluate this (if
>> it's even possible) but it seems the questions would have to be raised.
>> as to the question about where commodification (fetishism) is
>> happening... i think there are multiple ways that one could site that.
>> certainly the publishing system, and what's been called the
>> "academic-military-entertainment complex" on other lists recently...
>> best,
>> ryan
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