Re: [-empyre-] Tactics and Strategies

On Oct 13, 2006, at 10:47 AM, Renee Turner wrote:

I am sorry for the delayed response. We were in Stockholm and could only go online via a coin operated surfing station in our hotel. The whole experience was a nightmarish mixture between broadband technology and a penny arcade.

yikes... sounds like a potential project starting point though (penny arcades and broadband, that is)!

...Sometimes, it is interesting to be both consumer and producer. There are immense potentials in operating at that intersection. (maybe that's the pragmatism you speak of...)

yes - i think this idea/potential is part of my interest in "pragmatism." As undefined and blurry as that interest is :)

Borrowed languages and adapted tools, create space for things not to be what they seem. They open up space for works to tap into other systems, known languages and as a result, reach audiences never imagined. And here, I would like to pick up on another notion of De Certeau, "la perruque", the wig or disguise. He writes: La perruque is the worker's own work disguised as work for his employer. It differs from pilfering, in that nothing of material value is stolen. It differs from absenteeism in that the worker is officially on the job. La perruque may be as simple a matter as a secretary's writing a love letter on "company time" or as complex as a cabinetmaker's "borrowing" a lathe to make a piece of furniture for his living room. (p.25)

CAE also wrote a great text that takes this idea of appropriation of time/resources at work titled "Slacker Luddites." Their idea of SLs is expressed as:
<quote>The slacker Luddite delights most in misappropriating the technology, and in turning the authoritarian codes of the workplace inside out. H/is mission is not to destroy the material aspects of work - this would be as misguided as the actions of the originary Luddites - but rather to destroy the symbolic order that confines and alienates the individual. This is not to say that an occasional intentional freezing or crashing of the technology never occurs, or that such actions are not of interest; however, these tactics, when done under the sign of slack, are only a means to a very limited end. All high-end slackers know that it is the hallucination of the workplace that must be destroyed, not that which conveys the hallucination.</quote>
( full text available here index.html ).

In a way, through mis-recognition and the vernacular of the web, our work can move across unfamiliar territories or finds itself viewed in unconventional registers.

This is exactly what i was thinking regarding the cross-over of the sub-rational and rational... and precisely what attracted me to your work for the subRational eRuptions show.

Actually, in an interview many years ago someone asked this same question. If you say your engaged in "research" it is inevitable. We couldn't answer then...and we've discussed this point with each other quite a lot. "success or failure?" was a question that literally stupefied us. Not because there is nothing at stake, but maybe successes and failures have their own delusions. Could there be another option, of going back to the drawing board....again... and again...?

Yes... this has been my reaction to similar questions, and why i am so interested in, yet wary of, the ideas of pragmatism/positivism that i see surfacing in some current work and certainly in the whole "post-critical" discourse. Martha Rosler once wrote in an early text (1979) titled "For An Art Against the Mythology of Everyday Life" that <quote>Cultural products can never bring about substantive change in society, yet they are indispensable to any movement that is working to bring about such changes. The clarification of vision is a first step toward reasonably and humanely changing the world.</quote>
i guess my question isn't whether continuously going back to the drawing board is an option, but what information/desires/needs we use to decide when to reassess/redesign/rework. i think you're right, that notions of "success" and "failure" are too elusive and problematic to be tactically useful. Can we discuss what the stakes are in non-zero-sum terms...
hopefully this is somewhat coherent... allergy/sinus meds are taking their toll.

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