[-empyre-] to magic

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Sun Dec 7 09:59:16 EST 2008

Dear empyre,  Tim and I have been in NYB these past couple of days and are
ready to think about a transition from Networked Catastrophe to magic,
spells and recipes.  Many thanks to all of you who contributed as guests
and participants this month.  We will turn it over to Christina and
Kristin and Kevin with anticipation.

Many thanks.  Renate and Tim

> In december =empyre= turns to magic, spells, recipes, antidotes,
> talismans, poisons-- in short, 'pharmakon'.
> A library of pharmakons is assembling under the influences of some
> artists and writers who've been giving me  images and text for a
> virtual (and physical) library.  The first launch was at the New York
> Art Book Fair last October.
> http://www.christinamcphee.net/pharmakon_library/index.html
> Please welcome Kristen Alvanson as our first guest-- she is writing
> from Iran.  We're having some server issues with COFA (not related to
> Iran, just to linking our pages to Sydney)-- so in the meantime I 'm
> just forwarding on her opening comment.
> Kristen Alvanson (born in 1969 in Minneapolis) lives and works in
> Shiraz, Iran. She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
> Science and Art in New York and holds a degree from Sarah Lawrence
> College. Alvanson has exhibited in shows in both the United States and
> the Middle East. In 2008 she participated in group/solo shows in
> Tehran, London, Istanbul and Belgium, including a solo exhibition of
> her work at Azad Gallery in Tehran and participation in the
> International Roaming Biennial of Tehran. Her writing and artworks
> have been published in Collapse: Journal of Philosophical Research and
> Development, New Humanist, Frozen Tears III, Cabinet Magazine and
> Specialten.
> http://www.kristenalvanson.com/
>   Kristen writes,
> "I've always been interested in the occult not as a mystic reservoir
> for solely personal experiences but as a map for occluded socio-
> political currents which are essentially collective. A number of
> people have said that the drawings and paintings I was doing while I
> was in New York had a strong occult line running throughout and I have
> to agree. But it wasn't until I was researching middle-eastern
> talismans about three years ago that I began using 'spells' in my
> work. It started with a project called 'Maskh' which was 100 drawings
> dealing with my metamorphosis – not in a narrative manner but in a
> cartographic way. I saw spells as occult maps for certain concrete
> socio-political processes which surface in the domain of collective
> desires; spells show transitions and metamorphoses of these desires
> from the collective to the individual sphere. That's why spells
> usually incorporate themes like abrupt transformations of identity and
> possession. Middle-eastern spells are mostly created in the form of
> diagrammatic bodies formed by abstract components such as numbers,
> letter curvatures and geometric elements which are ideal skeletal
> frames on which to build new spells. The spells I created for the
> Maskh series mainly had to do with the events leading up to my leaving
> the US and moving to Iran in 2006.,  , Once in Iran I continued to
> work with spells. I was able to see current examples of Persian
> calligraphy around Shiraz (in books, on walls and other places) as
> well as see many examples of old talismans. I was able to actually use
> locally made Persian ink which is a much richer and darker substance
> than what I could find in the US. I also learned how to work with
> Persian calligraphy pens which created so many types of lines. These
> pens create such limitless forms of curvatures and lines which I think
> are perfect for narrating the transitions of desires and
> transformations of identity through different expressions of intensity
> and ink tonality. Most Iranian calligraphers use the pens and ink in a
> very traditional way,  but I tried all sorts of techniques with the
> pens
for example,  scraping and using them on hard paper opposed to
> traditional glossy surfaces. I worked on a second 'installment' of
> maskh drawings and over the past couple years I've continued to work
> with spell making. The 'Poison-in/Poison-out' drawings I created for
> the 'Pharmakon' project is a continuation of this work.,  ,  ,
> Best,  , Kristen"
> -cm
> Christina McPhee
> http://christinamcphee.net
> DANM Digital Arts and New Media
> Porter Faculty Services
> University of California at Santa Cruz
> 1156 High Street
> Santa Cruz, CA 95064
> 001 805 878 0301
> skype:  naxsmash
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor
Fine Arts, Inter-media
Cornell University, Tjaden Hall
Ithaca, NY  14853

Website:  http://www.renateferro.net
Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>

Co-moderator of _empyre soft skinned space

Art Editor, diacritics

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