Re: [-empyre-] escape Artist


Dear Ryan:

Speaking to the "Map-Me" project--the spontaneous event of the "urban
shrine", which has that sense of tapping into some deeper well of human
creativity and sentiment, is also a completely Hallmark card response,
isn't it? The phrases and flowers are a kind of recycled greeting card
narrative that has become radically public (which is what the Queen of
England seemed to think too if the movie "The Queen" was right).  I don't
mean to say that people are not suffering or expressing real grief and
sorrow around these events, and I am very interested in the compiling of
the artifacts themselves, the letters and candles all nestled together in
a gigantic heap against the fence of Buckingham Palace in the case of the
Diana response, but I wonder if the channels for public expression of many
things--sorrow, critical thinking, creativity--haven't been narrowed.  It
sounds like your map-making ideas and projects seek to expand the
possiblities of public expression around the problem of space.  Gordon
Matta-Clark's "Fake Estates" project, for example, seemed to expand the
category of property-holding to include spaces that could not be,
strictly, inhabited.  The conditions of occupying space could broaden
beyond "use" which, in spite of its diverse aspects, is quite a reductive
idea for space.

On the pervasive gaming front, I would like to know (this sounds pretty
basic I know) why most games are violent.  Has the gaming environment
become a surrogate territory for repressed urban violence, or is that too
biased (too parental) an explanation?

Best, Catherine Ingraham

Im glad to have recived interest in my posting yesterday but it has
> taken me a while to formulate responses to the questions posed. mostly
> clearing up my own ideas and comments, not out of confusion of the
> questions themselves.
> "I am interested in your mapping project which had resonances,
> also, of the way public "memory sites" and shrines now seem to assemble
> themselves--the 9-11 shrines of flowers, notes, candles etc. or Diana
> shrines or Vietnam memorial "hyperlinks" by means of notes and messages.
> Is this true of the Analogue Art Map project?"
> Certainly the aesthetics implications of these "memory shrines" as you
> so well describe them, informed the conception of Map Me and other
> Analogue Art Map works. As narrative clues, flowers at the site of car
> accidents and even lost pet notices have a way of shaping the feeling
> of a place. I too remember noticing the large information boards after
> 9/11 and the 2004 Tsumani. Their public setting, impermanace,
> collaborative structure and emotional charge was really appealing but
> I wanted to allow these assemblages to occur outside tragic
> circumstances.
> "What is the intention behind creating a physical Myspace or
> Facebook....>>user friendly social art in public areas - Analogue Art
> Map seeks to use non digital media to discuss digital culture and
> technologies with a particular lean towards mapping spaces>>  ... and
> isn't it interesting that such "map making"  in public areas (office
> spaces? shopping malls?)  wouldn't necessarily be considered
> art at all, but how strong is its criticality?
> I guess from the outset the intertion was to invite collaborative and
> user generates map making. On early statement of intention was:
> "Through architectural interaction, mapping social networks and psycho
> cartography, Analogue Art map seeks to both record and generate
> connections between creative individuals and the spaces in which they
> live." Presenting these works in non traditional art spaces challenges
> the use of these spaces and indeed may for some pose questions about
> the definition of art. Is art something that is confined to a gallery
> or museum?
> "how does such a practice "discuss" digital culture" ?"
> By creating analogue versions of digital applications such as facebook
> and myspace, the group aims to encourage discussion and comparison of
> digital networking and interaction with social gatherings in physical
> space.
> pervasive games?
> Pervasive games is an umbrella term for a lot of stuff and it was
> dodgy of me to open this can of worms without elaborating. Pervasive
> games can be loosly defined as being experiences that deliberatly blur
> of the boundaries of a game world and non-game world and by doing so
> they can alter the perception of the spaces in which they are played.
> By their sole presence, many of these games challenge the use of
> spaces that they occupy, aiming to critique and disrupt social norms
> of urban areas in efforts to reclaim the streets from purely
> commercial interests or as a strategies for urban renewal. Many of
> these games turn city street into playgrounds and by doing so
> challenge the utilitarian notion of these spaces. Albeit indirectly,
> others like Street Wars challenge issues of privacy and security and
> terror laws.
> "I would like to know more about what you mean in your comments about
> pervasive gaming and architecture.
> Specifically I was responding to the thread discussing suspension of
> disbelief in spaces as taken up here:
> "Perhaps it may be helpful to ask when does a quotidian experience
> prepare one to
> suspend disbelief in order to engage with a work of art / spatial /
> performative  experience?  And, of course, is this necessary?"
> Once again i was flippantly brief and I appologise. As pointed out
> earlier suspension of debelief is a film term that might fit uneasily
> in a spatial context. It implies a tacit agreement of an audience to
> defer their judgment and accept fiction as truth in exchange for
> entertainment. In contrast, Performance of Belief requires people to
> become actors not just spectators, performing within an understood
> situation. An example of this might be a Punch and Judy show where the
> audience is yelling out "behind you" as one of the puppets sneaks up
> on the other who never turns quickly enough to see. The audience is
> not just passivly suspending disbeleif but is activly performing
> belief. I wouldnt say that this is a common occurance in "quotidian
> experience" but i do think that that it occurs often in art that
> requires interaction.
> Returning briefly to Map-Me, this was always intented as a tactile
> social experience, one that could not be represented or recorded in a
> way that would do it full justice. A happening i guess. Map- Me is
> being presented this week at the Conflux Festival in Brooklyn. If you
> are local, i would urge you to go along to see it for yourself and
> check out some of the broad range of psycho geographic activity at
> this festival.
> cheers
> hugh
> On 9/13/07, <> wrote:
>> >
>> Dear Hugh:  I am interested in your mapping project which had
>> resonances,
>> also, of the way public "memory sites" and shrines now seem to assemble
>> themselves--the 9-11 shrines of flowers, notes, candles etc. or Diana
>> shrines or Vietnam memorial "hyperlinks" by means of notes and messages.
>> Is this true of the Analogue Art Map project?  Also, I would like to
>> know
>> more about what you mean in your comments about pervasive gaming and
>> architecture.  Thanks, Catherine
>> I've been a spectator here for awhile and I guess now is as good a
>> > time as any time to weigh in.
>> > Although much of my time is spent negotiating the digital spaces, I
>> > have become a bit of an activist towards real space interaction
>> > through collaborative performance/ installation.
>> >
>> > Partly as an educator but mostly as an artist, a few years ago I began
>> > an arts group Analogue Art Map. Analogue Art Map was a response to
>> > what I saw as 'keywording' within media arts and also what Milli
>> > accurately describes as arts "hermetic state". By creating user
>> > friendly social art in public areas Analogue Art Map seeks to use non
>> > digital media to discuss digital culture and technologies with a
>> > particular lean towards mapping spaces.
>> >
>> > Map-Me is a work that I have presented several times with Analogue Art
>> > Map that invites participants to create a physical Myspace or
>> > Facebook. Participants can create a personal presence by sticking a
>> > business card, a photo or any bit of pocket debris that they choose to
>> > represent them to an assigned wall. I provide wool or yarn (depending
>> > where you come from) for people to hyperlink to friend's presences on
>> > the wall. The face to face nature of Map Me means that people make new
>> > friends pretty quickly and the hyperlinks become rampant.
>> >
>> > Ultimately this time based work allows for a socially networked space
>> > to form that is both physical and metaphorical.
>> >
>> > Those that are familiar with online social networking tools
>> > immediately understand the metaphor while those few who have no
>> > experience of the mysfacebook phenomenon begin to recognise the
>> > attraction. But unlike the digital world, no-ones personal info is
>> > data mined.
>> >
>> > What is interesting to me about Map Me is the social negotiation and
>> > creativity that it cultures. I organise the space and materials but
>> > the installation is user generated and the participants make all the
>> > creative decisions as the webby architecture forms. It's heart warming
>> > to see people rationalising their own creativity to allow room for
>> > future participants to be equally involved.
>> >
>> > As a sculptor and as a physical being, I find that these indescribable
>> > social sensations and interactions that are experienced in physical
>> > space very important to me, and while I love the idea of digital
>> > social spaces such as SL, so far I have found these spaces to lack
>> > emotional resonance or any significant genus loci.
>> >
>> > Moving on, my own interest in spatial practice has been reinvigorated
>> > by involvement in pervasive gaming which brings me to my final note, I
>> > am hearing the term suspension of disbelief a lot here in reference to
>> > architectural interaction. While it might not be a tight in the
>> > context of this thread, I have found performance of belief as
>> > introduced by Jane McGonigal in her discussion of pervasive games to
>> > be a useful term and concept when applied to architecture interaction.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Cheers
>> > Hugh Davies
>> >
>> >
>> > Map Me pictures at:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On 9/13/07, Ryan Griffis <> wrote:
>> >> On Sep 12, 2007, at 5:58 PM,
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Firstly, given how thoroughly I tend to agree with them usually, I
>> am
>> >> > a little surprised at Ryan and Kevin's concerns with escaping art
>> as
>> >> > context in the service of art as process (to be a bit ham-fisted
>> >> > about the summary, please correct me if I have this wrong), as if
>> >> > interdisciplinarity and the refusal to locate practice allows
>> flight
>> >> > from the power relations of assimilating cultural institutions. It
>> >> > reminds me of a certain repetition of Conceptualism in the new
>> media
>> >> > arts sector; and also (as Brett perhaps suggests) a new media
>> studies
>> >> > repetition of "criticality" which seems not-well-enough-connected
>> to
>> >> > previous debates on the limits and exclusions inherent in the
>> >> > critical enterprise's attempts to find distance from power.
>> >>
>> >> Danny,
>> >> Firstly, i would challenge your assertion of not saying "anything
>> >> useful"! The gender critique, especially bringing up WACK is totally
>> >> useful... while i didn't see the show, i did hear from many about its
>> >> challenges and pitfalls. And one only has to look at the chosen cover
>> >> of the exhibition catalog (from Rosler's "Body Beautiful" series) to
>> >> see how much institutional reframing can really screw with context.
>> >> But anyway, to get to your question of my (i'll speak for myself, not
>> >> Kevin) attempt at escaping Art, you may have me on that... but i
>> >> think i also did a poor job of stating my questions. It's not so much
>> >> a matter of "escaping" Art, as it is reframing the field that Art is
>> >> situated within, perhaps. In other words, the "not just Art"
>> >> signifies that Art operates in a field occupied by more than Art, as
>> >> much as it does a practice of Art that also wants to "be" something
>> >> else. Is there anything that is "just Art"?
>> >> This is why i wanted to point to that article by the RCRC, as i think
>> >> this is what it is trying to analyze.
>> >> The question only seems to matter if the field of Art is less fenced
>> >> in than such critiques suggest. Is Art even an adequate context?
>> >> WJT Mitchell wrote in his "What do pictures want" : "In short, I
>> >> think it may be time to rein in our notions of the political stakes
>> >> in a critique of visual culture and to scale down the rhetoric of the
>> >> "power of images." Images are certainly not powerless, but they may
>> >> be a lot weaker than we think."
>> >> Maybe we could say the same about Art, as it is perceived to be an
>> >> auto-reproducing entity, with an internal logic and set of concerns.
>> >> This is what i find interesting and useful about "spatial"
>> >> practice... the boundaries of space are defined through negotiation
>> >> and those negotiations require more responsibility than Art (or its
>> >> critical language) can take on its own.
>> >> best,
>> >> ryan
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
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