[-empyre-] (no subject)

Norie Norie.Neumark at uts.edu.au
Mon Nov 5 11:13:05 EST 2007

Dear Gabriela,
Thanks for your post and for raising the issue of speed -- which does  
certainly seem to inflect memory, in art and everyday life.
Do you think that the speed-up-of-speed factor comes from and fuels  
the sense of information overload that  makes
people distrust their own memory's ability (ability to absorb fast  
enough) and therefore turn to computer
memory -- only to feel more overloaded? It seems a bit like speed in  
its drug form -- the more you have, the more you need.

What you said also reminds us how within everyday life, memory is not  
just about the amount of information remembered (stored) and the  
speed of access to it, but the relations between memories and what  
triggers them in the present. And it also resonates for me in  
thinking about art, where working with an archive is about  
contextualing it, the aesthetic issues of how elements are brought  
forth, their timing and their relation to each other and to what's  
not said...

So, as you described, accessing digital art at the wrong speed at  
best disturbs its carefully constructed time-space subtlety. Which is  
something that quite a few artists work with directly. Often, from  
the angle of slowing rather than speeding, as with Douglas Gordon's  
24 hour Psycho -- which is a work that I 'remember', from
reading much about it though I haven't yet seen. (I'm really  
fascinated with memory of things never actually encountered!) A film  
like Psycho, which I have seen and which most viewers probably know  
quite well, would create a sort of drag on memory -- our memory  
rushes ahead faster than the film itself. I'm curious to hear from  
people familiar with that work, or similar works, about how speed  
(fast or slower) work with memory in those works?

On 04/11/2007, at 12:15 PM, Gabriela Vargas-Cetina wrote:

> While I was a fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell  
> Tim Murray
> tried to show us some digital art that had been stored on CDs years  
> ago.
> The  pieces were absolutely crazy, moving at a speed that made it  
> almost
> impossible to understand what was going on.  Pieces that had been  
> made for
> the bandwith of a decade ago became these vertiginous moving things  
> that
> were difficult to discern and even more difficult to appreciate in  
> their
> artistic intention.  What does speed have to do to memory?  What does
> technological change do to memory?  When Derrida wrote "Archive  
> trouble" or
> whatever his book about archive memory was called in English he did  
> not
> anticipate the matter and importance of speed, the way Paul Virilio  
> did.  At
> Tim's presentation I was startled and began to think about speed as an
> important element of flux, Deleuze and Guattari's important  
> category.  David
> Harvey discussed the idea of 'time-space compression' as a key  
> element of
> recent human history (from the 16th century to our days).  I wonder  
> what you
> all think of speed as intrinsic to art, and of time as a key category
> related to memory in our times?
> Gabriela Vargas-Cetina
> Autonomous University of Yucatan - Anthropology
> Cornell University - Music
> On 11/3/07 4:29 PM, "maria miranda" <maria at out-of-sync.com> wrote:
>>   " The interruption of digital memory error accentuates what Thomas
>> Hobbes lamented in a much earlier age of technological revolution as
>> the fragility or "decaying sense" of memory."
>> ... but  digital memory is not the only medium that errs. I'm
>> reminded of a thought provoking work by the always entertaining MTAA
>> called the Updates --http://turbulence.org/Works/1year/-- that
>> appeared a few years ago -- it was a series of online performances
>> where the Art duo remembered/remade seminal performance works from
>> the 60s and 70s using digital forms and automating processes that had
>> involved time and endurance.
>> One Update worked with Sam Tehching Hsieh's Cage piece (http://
>> www.one-year-performance.com/), where Tehching spent a year in a
>> cage. MTAA transferred the task of doing time and enduring for one
>> year to the viewer.  That is, they created a video as if documenting
>> their time spent in solitary confinement, in a room --matching rooms
>> in their case - that recreated Tehching's original cage, as if it was
>> for a year.
>> While MTAA work with the way that the digital archive can fake the
>> present time and space, for me their work also throws light on the
>> analogue archive, that is, the black and white photographs that
>> documented the orginal piece - - and that shape our memories (proof)
>> of the time and space that Tehching spent in his cell. As I watched
>> this performance  online it had the weird effect of making me
>> question the original piece by Sam Tehching Hsieh. Did he really
>> remain in his cage for one year with nothing to read, listen to or
>> even talk to!! How do we know? Photos of course. But may he not have
>> slipped out occasionally for a quick bite and jog around the
>> neighbourhood to clear his head or taken in a movie -- and slipped
>> back into his cage in the morning?The only documentation of this
>> original endurance piece is  the photos - grim black and white photos
>> of Tehching in his cage. In understanding the artifice of the digital
>> MTAA have thrown open the possibility for all media to be fakes and
>> therefore all media memory to be fundamentally in error.
>> best
>> maria
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