[-empyre-] an 'ethico-aesthetic paradigm' - in France and Argentina

Eduardo Molinari archivocaminante at yahoo.com.ar
Wed May 14 09:26:58 EST 2008

Dear Brian, dear Timothy, dear Aliette

I like very much how you (Brian) make more clear
what is activism and politics.

I like also very much when you said
that is necesary to go "outside of your class bounderies".
I'm with you. 

And when you talk about solidarity on the streets,
where you can win or loose.

Now is a particular moment in Argentina
for this kind of activism,
because the middle class is on the streets.

The "farmers", the "gente del campo"
maked "piquetes" and "cacerolazos" 
(they cutted the streets in buenos aires, 
but also the roads, the access of trucks with food).
Is very particular how they use the tools 
that the piqueteros
created in the 90.

Then, is a particular moment for images and art too.

I understand the reflections of Aliette
like a difficult moment also.
But Aliette, is a good moment for imagination.
Is not a question of technologies (in Argentina
technologies are only for a particular elite.
I mean, popular use of technologies is for me another kind
of phenomen, because is connected with the simultaneous
destruction of the education system, and is not a joke.
People can't read but can use mobi phones).

What are the central questions when there is no social justice?

What are the common central questions when USA government is making war?

can we imagine together these central questions?

I think that yes, but... we need to be more strong in the act
of destroying the bounderies that Brian said. 

all the best,

Eduardo Molinari / Archivo Caminante
Aramburu 880, Dto.1 (1640) Martínez
Provincia de Buenos Aires – Argentina
0541 1 47 98 48 35

--- El lun 12-may-08, brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr <brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr> escribió:

> De: brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr <brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr>
> Asunto: Re: [-empyre-] an 'ethico-aesthetic paradigm' - in France and Argentina
> Para: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Fecha: lunes, 12 de mayo de 2008, 6:10 pm
> Timothy Murray wrote:
> While activism might not have been fashionable, I'm not
> sure that I'd 
> agree that it was totally retrograde in artistic circles. 
> I was speaking, on the one hand, about a specific place
> where I was living
> and working (Paris, France); and on the other hand, I was
> talking about
> activism. This is to my mind something different than
> artistic or
> intellectual vanguardism. It involves putting your body on
> the line, in
> some kind of embodied public space, in situations where you
> and/or the
> people you are in solidarity with can win or lose (a place,
> a right, a
> court case, an administrative decision, a vote, etc).
> Generally in the case
> of activism, there is some risk of getting arrested or
> beaten by the police
> as well.
> As this is a passionate thing, it is normal that people get
> passionate
> about it. Now, I have also been involved, in my case
> passionately, with all
> sorts of intellectual and artistic vanguardism and whatever
> you want to
> call it, and in fact, I' m mainly involved in such
> things right now. But I
> think it is important to make a difference. Activism, for
> Western middle
> class people, and I think, for all middle-class educated
> people in global
> society, either entails going outside your class
> boundaries, risking
> something with and for people whom you do not resemble, or
> risking
> something from a minority position where a group with which
> you are
> identified is being actively discriminated against. Just
> innovating in art,
> or gaining new recognition or state money as a middle-class
> art producer or
> theorist with an extreme idea, is not what I'd call
> activism. I also very
> much like C-THEORY; I am not sure I'd call it activist.
> Fabulously
> vanguard, yes, I love that stuff.
> By the way, the tired old song about being suspicious of
> political
> vanguards is just foolishness. Politics always means
> sticking your neck
> out, and it also means choosing who you will believe in,
> who you will give
> your solidarity to. Comfortably maintaining the status quo,
> i.e. having no
> belief about how things should change, there are good words
> for that: like
> conformism, indifference, and so on. Sometimes it is very
> reasonable to be
> indifferent. But in individualist societies, where private
> indifference is
> the expected, default option, I would not call that a
> politics or an
> innovation or anything new or surprising, it's the
> common condition of fear
> of getting involved. Which as middle-class intellectuals
> and artists we
> probably mostly share, most of the time.
> best, BH
>   This was, 
> after all, the period that gave birth to the electronic
> journal and 
> listserv.   If we take just one example, that of CTHEORY
> which was 
> founded in Canada by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, we can
> appreciate 
> a conceptual apparatus whose purpose was to think
> critically about 
> the urgency of the digital divide.  This is a prolonged
> discussion on 
> the CTHEORY site that continues to target technoglobalism
> and its 
> relation to art.  Indeed, this was one of the primary
> reasons that 
> Arthur, Marilouise, and I decided to collaborate on
> creating three 
> new editions of CTHEORY Multimedia in order to provide   a
> platform 
> for emergent critical practices in Net Art,  whose
> experimental 
> multimedia format provided artists with an alternative
> option for 
> critical artistic dialogue between themselves and others 
> (http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu)  (on Tech Flesh [the
> eco-politics of genomics], Wired Ruins [digital terror and
> ethnic 
> paranoia] and NetNoise).
> In the gallery spaces themselves in the nineties, a wide
> variety of 
> international work in video and multitechnological
> installation made 
> insistent interventions against globalism, racism, and
> sexism and/or 
> the politics of emergent capitalism and attendant
> corporate/political 
> fascism.  I'm thinking of a range of artists from
> Muntadas in 
> Barcelona/New York (who has a critical exhibition up right
> now at 
> Kent Gallery in New York on media panic in the age of
> terror), Keith 
> Piper  in London, dumb type and Candy Factory in Tokyo,VNS
> Matrix in 
> Southern Australia, Critical Art Ensemble (US), the inSite
> exhibitons 
> (Tijuana/San Diego), etc., etc.
> Indeed, one of the things I've carried with me from my
> Argentine 
> artist friends in the 70s in Paris, who fled during the
> period of 
> disappearance,  was to value to sociopolitico contributions
> of 
> experiments in artistic form itself, whose results could
> sometimes 
> open the artist and viewers to networks, systems, and
> relations not 
> otherwise thinkable.
> This clearly was also Melinda's vision when she created
> -empyre-, a 
> soft-skinned space.
> In this regard, Renate and I have been reflecting on the
> comparative 
> quiet of -empyre- during last month's discussion of
> "wired 
> sustainability."   We think that it's really
> fascinating that this 
> month's discussion topic, which is no less blatantly
> political, has 
> generated a much  more passionate response than last
> month's topic 
> through which the complexities of politics probably were
> articulated 
> more indirectly through the pragmatics of form.   We'd
> be interested 
> to hear all of your thoughts about the list's
> comparative quiet over 
> sustainability, when we're now writing passionately
> about the 
> sustainability of political cultures and systems.  Do you
> understand 
> these to be mutually exclusive discussions?
> All the best,
> Tim
> -- 
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