[-empyre-] TAZ-mania

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD mtata at ipublishingllc.com
Tue Apr 21 22:03:16 EST 2009

Hi, again!
Please see my Warhol comments to Joseph (to be posted soonish)—these are also written with you in mind, and I would be quite happy to have your take.
As for the pages you so generously sent to the forum, here are some fleeting thoughts:
“Stock Overflow”
Such strange financial cartographies, arrows and vectors sending me on- and offshore on international junkets of junk bonds and cash accounts and investments in an infrastructure that will always transcend me.  Algorithm and cluster fuck, the sudden appearance of obscured and obfuscated networks of “stoppages” miraculously turned into data flows revealing how the circulation of commodities and capital is set in motion, overdetermined in velocity, direction, telos.  I spy paths, ways, routes, places I may have been without any memory of the journey, economies in which I’ve participated without my knowledge, planets and isthmuses where buried treasure is guarded by emoticons sporting eye patches.  My computer screen becomes panoptical, showing me my desire to be shown the world, recealing my position in a watch tower outside all seeing: my eye fills and spills; the hagiography of Michel Foucault requires me to be burned at the stake as well, and I comply (it wasn’t my decision, after all: discipline is discipline).
Wow—thaumaturgy and prestidigitation.  Was Adam Smith a wizard, or The Wiz?  Can machines be funny?  Can they chortle?  I channel Silvan Tomkins, and he says to wait for the Mex DF workshop to find out, but also that until we can fabricate interest, there is neither poiesis nor autopoiesis nor I nor AI.  Such lovely synergies, parts overtaking wholes and infusing them with enthusiasm and élan.  Smash the cogito—or at minimum, string it together like Christmas lights, toss it into a system of simultaneous equations, de-oligarchize the production and dissemination of knowledges (noematic, somatic, aesthetic).  Wiki-Wiki: we come together at the center of an atoll made of licorice.
Thanks for sharing these marvelous possibilities and realities.  I can only have responded poetically, since any other type of response would have cheapened this important, critical and above all inspiring work.
And as for your call to revolution, to “arms,” as Nick might call it, given his initial interest in creativity and armature, I think of de Certeau’s notion of La Perruque in The Practice of Everyday Life: all those tiny, little breaks in the system we effect each day, everything from oppositional shopping (label-switching, kleptomania) to the simple act of writing a love letter “on the boss’ time.”  No giant Arendtian break, but sweet and individual tears in the social tapestry that give meaning to the banal, the programmatic, the codified, the staid, the static.  

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD  347.776.1931-USA


> Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 17:12:41 -0400
> From: nak44 at cornell.edu
> To: empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] More Art
> Michael,
> 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.
> nick
> 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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