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 extended attention.

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 viewing...reading etc.?

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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