[-empyre-] Welcome to Mickey

Norie Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Sun Nov 18 12:08:30 EST 2007

Something about you and breakfast, just a quick reply cuz that bakery  
has my stomach rumbling...
On 18/11/2007, at 2:53 AM, John Hopkins wrote:

> Greets & thanks for this interesting discussion, though I am  
> severely frustrated about the parallel subjects that are being  
> covered between the iDC list and this one.  I have the feeling of a  
> kind of competition going on there...  :-\  (Patrick, I'm not sure  
> about the efficacy of cross posting, as perhaps that should be done  
> with both lists, with all posts...)
>>> what happens when all memory is external?  will this mean that we  
>>> will be living in the perfect Zen dream of be-here-now?  or that  
>>> we would be constantly repeating our mistakes?
>> I think this is a crucial question.  But isn't it also possible to  
>> ask if memory is ever external?
> when we step out of the event (in the process of making a re- 
> creation of the event) -- this interrupts the memory formation  
> process (and prior, the sensory reception process).  we remember  
> making the photograph, not participating in the event, so the event  
> memory becomes interspersed with memories of photographing the  
> event.  What we are living is arguably not the event but another  
> process entirely (with the event 'playing' in the background).
>>> Each time the Self makes a document there is at least a partial  
>>> stepping-out of lived experience into the abstracted world of the  
>>> document.  It is in this abstracted world where we are most in  
>>> danger of losing connection to primary experience and ultimately  
>>> our embeddedness in the continuum which is all.
>> It's not the abstraction itself so much as our response to it that  
>> poses this danger.  To me the key word here is 'partial'; I would  
>> phrase it "only ever partial".  There are different ways to enter  
>> a relationship with a document, but we never leave lived  
>> experience behind.
> yes, there is the sliding scale of sensory blockages and open-ness  
> to receive the energy of the situation...
> consider the following narrative that I wrote yesterday:
> "These words are being written in a book, on a paper page with a  
> fine-lined red pen.  I will later transcribe them into an email to  
> post to this list.  I am documenting the event of sitting in a cafe  
> that is next to the bakery in a generic modern supermarket in a  
> small town in the Eifel region of western Germany.  My attention  
> and my eyes are focused on the end of the red pen and where it is  
> in relation to the grid of Light grey lines on the paper.  I look  
> up occasionally and  watch when someone walks by.  At the next  
> table two middle-aged women and an older man converse in a heavily  
> accented German dialect.  Supermarket workers are moving palettes  
> of food noisily around.  On occasion, I am aware of being watched  
> curiously while I focus on the paper and pen.  I am here, I am not  
> here.  My attention is split -- smells of the food in the bakery,  
> cleaning supplies, consumer goods mingle and reach my nose.  The  
> fluorescent Light annoys my eyes.  The cold draft from the door  
> chills my left foot.  But during the last three sentences I've  
> watched only the tip of the red pen as it jerks unsteadily across  
> the lines.  A group of young army recruits stand in line  buying  
> plastic cups.  I don't talk to anyone.  I watch the tip of the pen  
> move across the page.  My body absorbs smells, sensations, moises  
> from the location but almost without making an impression on my  
> body.  I am here, I am not here..."
>>> How can we think or experience the movement between abstraction  
>>> and specificity in ways that permit the preservation of memory,  
>>> as a necessary "survival" and navigational tool, without  
>>> endorsing an imbalanced and violently limiting economy of  
>>> representation?
>>> Of course documentation can be a re-presentative act in itself.   
>>> one which places the observer at that place at that time which is  
>>> different than subsequent after-the-fact re-play...
>> Would you please say more about this?
> that the individual's intent in an event is to be nothing more than  
> a means to create documents about the event.  The television camera- 
> person on location -- journalistic canon says that the camera  
> person should only record, never participate...  Although I believe  
> that this is impossible -- that the observer's eye affects the  
> event. There is this historic myth that the observer can be  
> completely removed from the situation.  And, so, documentation has  
> become an integral part of most art events -- despite the fact  
> (quantum-wise) that the presence of cameras, tape recorders, etc,  
> change the creative act itself...
hmmm,ok, i see what you mean and agree that there is never straight  
documenting... it's all performative in a sense... true,but i've been  
both an interviewer (though never trying to be objective non- 
participatory) and done performative encouners and there is something  
different... maybe it's just the intensity or level of the energy or  
the intensity of the border of the "magic circle"?

> and from another point-of-view, the act of observing is all that is  
> necessary to affect the event -- one does not need a technological  
> recording device -- it is 'merely' the act of human observation (a  
> human body receiving electromagnetic radiation!) that changes the  
> event.  Technological devices are simply a layer of mediation on  
> this fundamental relationship.
again, yes, but the quality (energy?) of the affecting is  
different... seems important to me to think about the difference,  
including to think about the experience of the difference...

on to my own baked goods... and the warm summer breeze coming in the  
window, sydney, spring turning into summer

> hmmm, okay, on to some other posts...

> John
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