[-empyre-] More Art

nick knouf nak44 at cornell.edu
Mon Apr 20 07:12:41 EST 2009


Thank you for your very kind comments on the project :-)  As for
galleries, I've been in a few shows, but am fundamentally ambivalent
about them; while I wouldn't say that I abhor the gallery space entirely
(as I see the possibility of doing interventions within them), I am also
quite interested in different modes of exhibition and engagement with
artworks.  As is evidenced by MAICgregator, I see there to be an
interesting potential space with new types of net.art based projects,
especially when we can consider ways of modifying webpages in-place.

With regards to what other artistic interventions are going on in
response to---and developing creative alternatives as a result of---the
financial "crisis", I'm hoping that others will be able to share
projects that I don't know of.  One the one hand there's works such as
"Stock Overflow" that I mentioned in my statement
(http://www.imal.org/StockOverflow/) that are a direct reaction and
reframing of what's going on.  On the other hand there are initiatives
that are on-going that take on new urgency now.  I'm thinking especially
of the workshops and meetings put on by Medialab-Prado in Madrid
(http://medialab-prado.es/) that are about bringing people together to
collaborate on projects of their own choosing, as well as organizing
seminars to teach techniques and theory about everything from installing
Drupal to netlabel management.  These sorts of alternatives to
traditional gallery spaces---as well as the mainstream neoliberal
system---can be conceptualized as well as a means of producing an new
form of individual/collective subjectivity that cannot be---at the
moment---easily re-inscribed within the system that produced the
collapse in the first place.


Michael Angelo Tata, PhD wrote:
> Nick:
> Wow!  I love your Webby intrusions and incursions: have you exhibited
> any in a gallery or exhibition space?  Your adjusted pages make me think
> of Hans Haacke and his marvelous infiltration of the real estate
> industry with works like /Shapolsky et al, /or even his /Manet '74/ and
> its exposure of the provenance of a Manet masterpiece and its connection
> to activities of the Third Reich. 
> Please say some more about direct aesthetic responses to current
> corporate greed, the bursting of housing bubbles, or the ineluctable
> smirk of Bernie Madoff.  I know some fab visual artist is making fiery
> canvases depicting the faces of the guilty, but I cannot think of his
> name.  Do you know who I mean?  For example, he paints Madoff, or that
> creepy Angelo from Countrywide, then goes to the street and encourages
> strangers to mark up the canvas with words, expressions and graffiti
> expressing their anger, grief and dissatisfaction.
> A bientot! 
> *******************************************
> *Michael Angelo Tata, PhD  347.776.1931-USA*
> *http://www.MichaelAngeloTata.com/* <http://www.michaelangelotata.com/>
>> Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 13:07:11 -0400
>> From: nak44 at cornell.edu
>> To: empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> Subject: [-empyre-] Artists' responses to the so-called "crisis"
>> Dear empyre,
>> It's strange that it's the 16th of the month (at least where I am), yet
>> there has been little sustained discussion of present-day artistic
>> responses to this so-called financial "crisis"--one that exists in a
>> mythical realm of numbers-that-we-cannot-perceive, but that sadly has
>> very real impacts on people. Responses by students, academics, and
>> activists have not been limited to the resignation of acceptance, nor
>> abstract theorizing in and of itself, but rather have taken, at times,
>> forms of protest and occupation throughout the world, as well as direct
>> actions against banking institutions. (See, in particular the story of
>> Enric Duran:
>> http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090319182858556 and
>> http://17-s.info/en .) How then might we understand these actions
>> within the context of our own theorizing activities?
>> This should reflect a special concern as to the impact of this "crisis"
>> on academic and cultural institutions. Indeed, the occupations and
>> protests at schools---NYU, the New School, University of Rochester,
>> institutions in Italy and France and Spain and...---suggest the deep
>> worry that many have regarding how the "crisis" might ultimately move to
>> transform culture and learning into more and more reified situations
>> governed by numbers and the market. (The Bologna process is coming to
>> the states: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/education/09educ.html .)
>> In response there have been discussions and interviews about how we can
>> use this time of "crisis" to develop new models that exist in parallel
>> to concurrent struggles to force governments to provide for the basic
>> needs of people. (See in particular "Interviewing the Crisis":
>> http://www.interviewingthecrisis.org/ .) How might we then reconsider
>> actions and activities of the past and present and future---TAZs,
>> tactical media, pirate radio, and many, many, more---in light of calls
>> for more standardization and more "accountability"?
>> And whither the academic institution? Corporations have fairly free
>> reign in many departments at colleges and universities in the United
>> States. Are we to expect even more of these so-called "public-private
>> partnerships" in the future? What is the role of the institution in
>> producing the people who created the "crisis" in the first place? Who
>> will follow the links between the powerful actors in order to map their
>> impact?
>> I present here a recent project of mine that is my own attempt to face
>> some of these issues. MAICgregator (http://maicgregator.org) is a
>> Firefox extension that aggregates information about colleges and
>> universities embedded in the military-academic-industrial (MAIC)
>> complex. It searches government funding databases, private news sources,
>> private press releases, and public information about trustees to try and
>> produce a radical cartography of the modern university via the
>> replacement or overlay of this information on academic websites.
>> MAICgregator is available for download right now:
>> http://maicgregator.org/download . If you want to see what MAICgregator
>> does to a website without downloading it, you can look at some
>> screenshots: http://maicgregator.org/docs/screenshots . This is its
>> first public release, so expect that things might not work properly.
>> I have written an extensive statement about MAICgregator that tries to
>> contextualize it within discourses of net.art, the
>> military-academic-industrial complex, "data mining", and activist
>> artistic practices. As the statement is rife with embedded links,
>> please read it online:
>> http://maicgregator.org/statement
>> I welcome any feedback or discussion that this might provoke; if you
>> want to e-mail the project authors directly, please e-mail info --at--
>> maicgregator ---dot--- org.
>> http://maicgregator.org/
>> nick knouf
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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