[-empyre-] What is to be done .... continued

Greetings to everyone from sunny and frigid California!

In the continuance of this discussion I offer the following comments in hopes of generating further commentary -

It could be suggested that Roger Buergel's laudable utterance of “what is to be done?” is being imagined within a seeming consensual utopian dream for global salvation through the exhibition of various cultural practices. My reading of the subtext of his statement is as a collective consciousness or understanding of art practices as inhabiting the realm of an almost secular spiritualism and, as such, a wish for artists to engage in a somewhat evangelical aesthetic response.

The implicit assumption of a narrative trajectory for art practices - for education practices - assumes a collective set of purposes and necessities and, yes, impossibilities. It requires that we think and evaluate education practices and directives through the gelled lens of globalism which offers a branded patina of regionalized specificity and individuated experience. Any understanding of what constitutes education and artistic practices needs to be based upon what it is that artists do, where they do it, how they do it ... and why they do it. As we understand, artists do different things in diverse cultures and are accompanied by a dissimilar range of relational dynamics and understanding. Where they are "educated, " how they are "educated" or 'trained" and what they ultimately produce speak to the complexities and inherent ambiguities that exist within these varied contextualized and often, institutionalized and commodified platforms. A relevant query here is whether or not the construct of an exhibition such as Documenta is effective in adequately providing a context for various art practices to function as modes of transferable knowledge within the “global complex of cultural translation?”

All best,


Christiane Robbins

J e t z t z e i t
Los Angeles  l  San Francisco

... the space between zero and one ...
Walter Benjamin

The present age prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence for in these days illusion only is sacred, truth profane.

Ludwig Feuerbach, 1804-1872,
German Philosopher

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