Re: [-empyre-] Introductions and beginnings (October on -empyre-)
Hello Ryan and all,
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.
Wow, I am envious of you being able to see the editions together in
the flesh. To be honest, I've only glimpsed at bits and bobs
distributed here and there. If there is any online documentation,
please point me in that direction.
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.
Creating your own reality is a nice way of putting it. In many ways,
working together has given us a degree of continuity. The art-world
is fickle, sometimes it sways in our direction and sometimes not.
Themes are picked up as hot and then dropped as not. And through
these waves, we just keep working on what we are interested in.
Without suggesting something hermetic, when you work together, you
can be both maker and audience. Someone suggests something and
someone else says "what do you mean?" or "I don't agree".
And here is where, I'm not quite sure about pragmatism...(or maybe
you can elaborate more on this). I think if you asked anyone one of
us, there have been moments when we did not want to negotiate our
ideas and respective voices. But that is part and parcel of the
group project... you have to conceptually duke it out. So, while
collaboration may offer zones of comfort, it is not built for speed
and is founded on endless negotiation ;-)
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
Within curating new media and for that matter many contemporary
analog works, creating that space for "extended attention" is a
great challenge (add that to our list too). Maybe its connected to
the notion of speed I raised earlier. How do you create public
space where that extended attention can happen? It's a real dilemma
for curators and research oriented works.
In the context of the exhibition how did you create a slower pace for
of positivist methodologies. Most of the examples also incorporated
an engagement with sub-rational forces.
I like this idea of sub-rational forces....tell more?
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 completely agree with you about unending questions. And that is
not to say for example to return to the Holme's quote about the
Geneva conventions, that there are no clear cut answers. Ignoring
the Geneva conventions is categorically wrong under any
circumstances. But its important to then ask... what are the
conditions that make this acceptable to a democratic body at this
juncture in history and in this political milieu? What are the
preconditions for this to happen?
And perhaps, as you point out, its about resisting simple answers...
Let's face it, with today's circulating political rhetoric, to be
nuanced is a political act in and of itself.
okay ... guess that's it for the moment,
a good weekend to all Empyreans,
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