[-empyre-] Anxiety Monitor [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
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- Subject: [-empyre-] Anxiety Monitor [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
- From: "Meziane, Tracey - Benson, Tracey" <Tracey.Meziane@deh.gov.au>
- Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 15:37:34 +1000
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- Thread-topic: Anxiety Monitor [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Hi Renee, Riek, Femke, Ryan and empyreans,
A few observations about the Anxiety Monitor.
I found the Anxiety Monitor conceptually very engaging because of the
type of technique used in generating the words. The words are aliening,
underlying issues of great unrest in the global landscape in economic,
environment and human terms.
When Renee first told me it was a web project that used frames my webby
accessibility police hat went on. But once I saw the work, I realised
that the use of frames exemplified a number of things that were relevant
on a conceptual level.
Firstly, the frames limit the users ability to have any control over the
content displayed - even to the extent of analysing the source code to
access the pages individually. This loss of control is representative of
the contemporary position of the global citizen, whose movements are
limited and monitored.
The second thing that struck my mind was who this work played on the
excess of information we have access to at any given time. There is
always too much to process and yet as users, we try to absorb it all and
quickly move on to the next topic. what ends up happening is we only see
a fraction of the information, the rest exists outside the frame. Too
often the information available is not the information needed, so users
are compelled to keep searching.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Ryan
Sent: Friday, 6 October 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Introductions and beginnings (October on
On Oct 5, 2006, at 11:27 AM, Renee Turner wrote:
> In our case, I don't think any of us ever believed we would be
> getting there first. As three women, we are used to working with
> borrowed languages and tools. This isn't resignation or
> compromise, but it's about understanding yourself as always being
> embedded and implicated in a larger social fabric and history.
> One of the things that interested me in your post was the connection
> made to people like Rosler and Sekula. Next to them, there are also
> others which are inspiring at least to our practice, and they may hint
> at other forms of criticality... like General Idea who mixed the
> language of pop with politics (http://
> www.aabronson.com/art/gi.org/index.htm), Irwin who's antics with the
> NSK Embassy bring together notions of nationalism and parody
> (http://www.ljudmila.org/embassy/), the Situationists and Ne Pas
> Plier, a French group who produce graphics of resistance in
> unconventional and frequently poetic ways.
Yes, these are great references, and i definitely didn't mean to make
any claim to exclusivity of my own "reads." Having worked on the
installation (literally, as a preparator/handler) of an exhibition of
General Idea's editions, that reference has a particular resonance for
me with deGeuzen's work. Thinking along those lines, as opposed to the
"critical documentary" direction, i wonder how we could introduce
collaborative practice into the discursive mix in terms of the ideas of
the "pragmatic utopianism" i brought up earlier. i'm thinking here of
the internal consistency that collaborative work allows - having your
"own" discussions, creating your own "reality" - as well as the
practical aspect - that it allows you to "get stuff done" in a way that
an individual maybe couldn't.
> And most recently, moving parallel to these experiments, we performed
> The Global Anxiety Monitor before a live audience. Using the same set
> of words that appear in the screen-based version, live
> (human) translators fed the information into a computer which was then
> viewed on large screens . It was interesting to see what happens when
> image browsing is performed as a social act, rather than a private
> one. Audiences started talking to each other about the differences
> appearing between languages, when for example the word "war" or
> "terrorism" were Googled.
Sounds like a great "test" of the GAM!
> Thinking about our own "sprawling" way of working, and knowing
> Crandall's practice which is even more comprehensive in nature, I am
> curious how visitors received the Chicago edition of the project.
> Many different bodies of research were represented there... was it an
> information overload or were there narrative overlaps? (writing this
> question, somehow, I feel we can add negotiating varying speeds of
> information processing to your list of challenges)
Well, saying if it was overload or not depends on the person
experiencing it. The space of the exhibition was conducive to the amount
of work included, so there was some "breathing room" between things. But
there was quite a bit of media that required some extended attention.
Without going into a detailed list of the works, many of which are
linked to from the exhibition web site posted earlier, i deliberately
avoided any immediate, or obvious, narrative overlaps, trying instead to
focus on methodological ones. In that sense, the works (from my point of
view) all exhibited attention to research and an idea of observing or
witnessing something. i want to be careful here though, as i'm not
asserting that the work WAS "positivistic" but that it utilized,
tactically, some elements of positivist methodologies. Most of the
examples also incorporated an engagement with sub-rational forces.
>> i would also like to point people to a short essay written for the
>> exhibition by Dan S. Wang, which presents perhaps, a third challenge
>> regarding notions of "commitment."
> Can you talk a little more about this idea of commitment and how you
> saw it operating in Under Fire amongst the contributions? Or
> potentially operating :-)
The issue of "commitment," is significant for me, not just as it relates
to the modernist question of autonomy via Adorno, but also in the manner
that Dan suggests the necessity of "taking sides" and the question of
what there is to be committed to. Dan's suggestion to "take sides"
doesn't necessitate an either/or "with us" or "against us"
oppositionality. i think that the works exhibited provide a space in
which to think about this, as well as providing examples, IMO, of people
actively investigating the possibilities for political commitment.
What is at stake in pointing to/discussing the circumstances of war and
violent oppression? i certainly don't have any answers for this, but
what the works in the show do for me is formulate different questions.
Part of the question of commitment is, i think, a commitment to unending
questions, finding other ways of asking them and not letting up on
responsible parties who should at least have to try to answer them.
i think deGeuzen's work is a great example of such a practice within our
context, but i'd love to hear more about your thoughts on these
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