[-empyre-] (no subject)

Christiane Robbins cpr at mindspring.com
Sat May 3 03:08:44 EST 2008

Dear Jennifer, Brian and Christina –

My apologies in advance as, unfortunately, I speak neither Spanish  
nor Portugese!

†hanks so much for post which serves both as an introduction and  
substantiation of a needed critical cultural analysis.

I’d like to posit a collateral point from Foran’s Theorizing  
Revolution.  My recollection is that he noted that oppositional  
cultures are often elaborated in contradistinction to the state – or  
in this case to the global art market -  and that they are also  
rooted in the actual experience of diverse social sectors.   That  
said, they have an eminently practical dimension and one which gives  
a sense of purpose and/or requires direct involvement.

Quite often these days, the global art market has presented us with  
forms representing an integration of social and aesthetic  
understanding and practices ( not to mention political.  ) Arguably,   
relational aesthetics can be seen as the early 21c incarnation of mid- 
late 20th c conceptual practices, some of which were hermetically  
embodied by such artists as CA artist Tom Marioni.  Hence we have  
recently seen what might be termed social aesthetic activity –  
intentionally projected within the frame of the art circuit and  
therefore considered to be art projects.  Clearly a number of these  
have been validated as art projects while others have found their  
validation actualized through larger critical cultural discourses.

But … without doubt … the resulting tensions wrought by contestations  
between “art” and lived reality(s) is brought into play.  This  
dichotomization is itself an artifact of the “imperialist”  
underpinnings of the global art market, no?  It exposes the privilege  
of the art market system while simultaneously revealing the lack of  
agency of art practices within “lived realities.”  In considering  
Vallie Export’s statement ( someone from the global North – “it is  
the challenge to negate, change or destroy the existing social and  
cultural codes and to build new ones.") As I assume you do, I suggest  
that we consider the challenge of various notions of artistic agency  
within the specificities of our lived realities - which, given the  
rich diversity of this list, should prove fascinating.

Looking forward to this discussion!


On May 2, 2008, at 9:07 AM, Jennifer Flores Sternad wrote:

> Thank you for you your introduction Christina.
> and thank you, Brian, for your wonderful text!
>  I apologize for my absence yesterday – May Day was a very busy day!
> I'd like to make a few brief comments to begin and then I've asked my
> co-moderator Brian Whitener to introduce himself to you all and talk a
> bit more about how this conversation came to be & where it could go.
> Junto con Brian, proponemos esa discussion como media para profundizar
> y ampliar un balance sobre la experiencia de Publico Transitorio que
> comenzamos hace unos cuatro meses, a lo cual han colaborado los
> integrantes de La Lleca, and members of Etcétera…, Ala Plástica,
> Frente 3 de Fevereiro, y BijaRi. Bill Kelley Jr. ha dado un aporte
> enorme a este proceso de reflexion – y fue integral en  todo el
> proyecto de Publico Transitorio. Latinart.com publicará el dialogo en
> inglés y castellano, y compartimos con ustedes fragmentos de ese
> dialogo en el espacio de empyre durante este mes.
> Para empezar pensamos yo y Brian en una propuesta inicial para darle
> marco a la conversación– y hablé con Eduardo Molinari acerca de la
> propuesta también. Les mando abajo el texto escrito por Brian y yo y
> la respuesta de Molinari con el fin de que los dos podrían servir como
> puntos de partida para la conversación en –empyre-:
> "Recientemente, los circuitos del mercado global del arte han dado mas
> atención a "lo política" (hablando en términos muy generales) en el
> arte contemporáneo. Sin embargo, en esas discusiones los gestos
> normativas del globalismo son inevitablemente repetidos cuando emplean
> una manera de pensar la política cultural y el internacionalismo de la
> izquierda que acepta sin cuestionar el acuerdo imperialista que ha
> subrayado la mayoría de los discursos liberales y progresistas en el
> Norte global. La discusión de este mes en empyre aborda de otra
> cartografía de practicas artísticas-políticas. Nuestros invitados son
> artistas, activistas e investigadores de Argentina, Brasil, México y
> Estados Unidos que trabajan colectivamente junto con movimientos
> sociales y luchas que se desarrollan situacionalmente en contra de las
> (de)formaciones del capital imperialista. La discusión de este mes
> explora el potencial político de las prácticas artísticas, así como la
> creatividad que la transformación social y subjetiva reclama. "–J.
> Flores & B. Whitener
> "Sobre el texto de introducción: Creo que es importante destruir –
> desde el principio – el marco "normal" que tiene esta discusión. La
> dimensión política del arte no es una cuestión de este o ese parte del
> mundo, sino una cuestión de creer o no creer en la potencia del arte
> para hacerle aparecer – en el espacio y tiempo actual – un nuevo mundo
> posible. Como dice Valie Export, el desafió es negar, cambiar o
> destruir los existentes códigos sociales y culturales para construir
> nuevos." –Eduardo Molinari
> Brian Whitener and I proposed this conversation as a means to continue
> and complicate a critical reflection on the experience of Público
> Transitorio. Brian and other members of La Lleca, and members of
> Etcétera…, Ala Plástica, Frente 3 de Fevereiro, and BijaRi have
> contributed to this dialogue over the past four months; Bill Kelley
> Jr. has been central in encouraging this dialogue -- and in making
> Público Transitorio happen. It will be published soon in English &
> Spanish on Latinart.com, and we will post excerpts from this exchange
> on –empyre- this months as well.
>  I recently spoke with artist Eduardo Molinari about this and sent him
> the brief introductory text that Brian and I had written as a possible
> frame / initial proposal for this month's discussion. I'll paste this
> initial intro text here, along with his response, as possible points
> of departure for our discussion:
> The critical circuits of the global art market have lately afforded
> greater attention to questions of "the political" (if broadly figured)
> in contemporary art and aesthetics. Yet familiar gestures of globalism
> are too often reproduced in such debates when their discursive
> formulations of post-1968 cultural politics and leftist
> internationalism leave unremarked the imperialist compact that has
> underwritten much of liberal and 'progressive' discourse in the global
> North. This month's discussion centers a different geography of
> political-artistic practices. Our guests are artists, activists, and
> researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the US who create and
> act collectively in concert with social movements and in situated
> struggles against the (de)formations of imperialist capital." J.
> Flores & B. Whitener
> "About the [above] introductory text: I think it is important to
> destroy -from the beginning- the "normal" frame that this discussion
> has. The political dimension of art is not a question of this or that
> part of the world but a question about believing or not in the potency
> of art to put in front of us -- in real space and time -- a possible
> new world. Like Valie Export said, it is the challenge to negate,
> change or destroy the existing social and cultural codes and to build
> new ones."  -Eduardo Molinari
> un beso,
> jennifer
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Christiane Robbins

... the space between zero and one  ...
Walter Benjamin



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