[-empyre-] Welcome to Mickey

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sun Nov 18 07:59:21 EST 2007

>>Norie -- could you define 'performative 
>>encounter' in more detail? (vs 'straight' 
>what we mean by performative encounter is an 
>encounter which only happens because we are 
>'documenting it'. ie, there is no encounter 
>outside the documenting moment. the documenting 
>is what brings the encounter into play -- there 
>is no prior or separate encounter or 
>performance, which we then document (which is 
>what I call straight documenting). We're using 
>perfomative in Austin and Butler's sense of 
>statements that make something happen by saying 
>it. We make something documentable by 
>documenting it. So we approach people with 
>documenting camera and microphone and ask them 
>something playfully impossible or improbable 
>(directions to a street that doesn't exist, 
>contributing breath to the world's largest 
>breath collection to blow back global warming) 
>and they respond and enter the zone of play with 
>us, which we document... i'm not sure how this 
>works in terms of your energy analysis. it does 
>take a certain extra energy to do these, which 
>seems to transfer to people who enter the zone. 
>(i notice we can't do them when we're low on 
>energy though occasionally the energy of the 
>people we encounter sparks our own).

somehow this seems to be an enigma wrapped in a 
pre-tension (using the word in a neutral sense, 
literally, as there is a pre-tension coming to 
the process)...  a self-consciousness, an 

but, yes, carrying a camera into a situation is 
part of the situation, and is a living act 
itself: what about the act of documenting 
documentation.  Making slides of art work (for 
getting a job or commission or residency).  Or 
those rare occasions where media coverage catches 
a ring of cameras completely surround a single 
small event.  making a documentation is simply 
another (kind of) mediated creative act.

I held a workshop in Tampere, Finland once in a 
community theater space.  I was not told 
before-hand that the workshop was to be partly 
broadcast live on a national cable channel.  My 
workshops usually end up exploring the meta 
structures (say, hierarchic and distributed ones) 
in the techno-social system which give rise to 
power relations of which broadcast is a very 
clear example of...  It was immediately evident 
that having these devices watching the workshop 
had an enormous impact on the situation.  My 
students decided to take the matter into their 
own hands, getting cameras to interview the 
camera-operators and directors with, starting a 
streaming server to stream out our content, and 
in general making a very stressful situation for 
the film crew who had only ever experienced a 
passive subject to silently record...

Of course, theater is something else, as is play. 
The 'documentation' process is simply using the 
available  techno-social tools to mediate the 
human-to-human contact in a certain way. 
regardless of the mediatory imposition of a 
technological system, it is always possible to 
have a collaborative encounter that energizes 
both participants...

some of my students did this exact thing in a 
project here: 

so it goes.

empowered facilitation well underway in translocal situations
locus: Germany: Köln :: sturm und drang
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