[-empyre-] Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit....

Terry Hargrave terrida2 at mac.com
Thu Apr 30 07:45:28 EST 2009

We're with Anna on this one.   does =empyre= mean Twitter meets talk  


Logo=rrhea :  the old bag of winds.  Polonius, in Hamlet.  "I will be  
brief" and then....zzzzzz's later..........

My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
What day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad. . . .

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 86–92
Polonius, right-hand man of Hamlet's stepfather, King Claudius, has  
been employed to spy on the prince and report on his very odd  
behavior. As Polonius begins to deliver to the king and queen the  
results of his investigation, he embarks on this windy preface.  
Besides being nonsensical, his speech is self-contradictory: he wastes  
plenty of time denouncing the time wasted by rhetorical speechifying.

"Brevity is the soul of wit" has become a standard English proverb; in  
the process, its context has been somewhat neglected. Polonius, though  
he has high opinions indeed of his "wit" (that is, acumen), is the  
least brief and one of the least "witty" characters in the play. Freud  
aptly referred to Polonius as "the old chatterbox" in Jokes and their  
Relation to the Unconscious.

On Apr 29, 2009, at 11:02 AM, sdv at krokodile.co.uk wrote:

> anna,
> what does "Nonrepresentability is not a quality but an effect"  and  
> "you
> can't attribute some 'thing' a nonontology!" mean ?
> Especially important give what an ontology is.
> steve
> Anna Munster wrote:
>> Actually I am not calling for 'strategy'. I am not calling for
>> anything deterministic like 'how artists should respond' or 'what
>> someone on this list must do'!!! I am asking,instead, for
>> thoughtfulness among some people on the discussion this month!!
>> Thought, requires effort, it requires looking into things and all I  
>> am
>> suggesting is that these things are already all around us and indeed
>> have been for many years in the form of very interesting engagements
>> between artists and (as Simon has also suggested) a long period/ 
>> series
>> of crises.
>> ...and while I am fully cognisant of the military overtones of that
>> word, I was simply using it  to collectively denote a diversity of
>> practices that have an 'investigative' thoughtful and hopeful  
>> response
>> at their core. Some of these practices are also tactical – in the
>> sense of tactical media, tactical biopolitics and so forth. Many are
>> not. Many rely on affect and sensation as their means and end, in
>> which case they are nonrepresentational and are certainly not aimed  
>> at
>> some determinant outcome ie representing the nonrepresented. Rather
>> they set off or produce affective environments and sensations that
>> might also provide space for thought. Others might use this  
>> 'strategy'
>> as well as critique - Hito Steyerl's 'Lovely Andrea' at the last
>> Documenta  for example...
>> Nonrepresentability is not a quality but an effect, btw...you can't
>> attribute some 'thing' a nonontology!!
>> One thing I have learned from this month's discussion is that
>> speculative reason and speculative capital have never been more in  
>> bed
>> with each other. When thought takes the form of arrogant
>> generalisations it performs in similar ways to speculative capital.
>> Forever trying to hedge itself against its own precarity and
>> inevitable collapse.
>> Anna
>> On 29/04/2009, at 8:14 AM, Michael Angelo Tata, PhD wrote:
>>> Or maybe what Anna is calling for is not strategy, which is  
>>> primarily
>>> totalizaing and singular, but tactics, which are fragmented,
>>> dspersed, plural and framed in the absence of the God's-eye-view
>>> perspective without which there are no totals, only partial sums?  I
>>> am thinking again of Michel de Certeau.
>>> *******************************************
>>> *Michael Angelo Tata, PhD  347.776.1931-USA*
>>> *http://www.MichaelAngeloTata.com/* <http://www.michaelangelotata.com/ 
>>> >
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 11:09:05 -0700
>>> From: editor at intertheory.org <mailto:editor at intertheory.org>
>>> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au 
>>> >
>>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Artists' responses to the so-called "crisis"
>>> dear anna...interesting comments, though I wonder if your
>>> representation of the non-representable is not a bit too theological
>>> for my taste? And transformation is such a magical enterprise...
>>> alchemically speaking, I do not suspect that attribution of a  
>>> quality
>>> such as 'non-representabililty' adds or subtracts to the strategic
>>> authenticity or legitimacy of politics, responses or art, for that
>>> matter. Strategies, in other words, are always fatal...to their
>>> object, or to themselves. We all try to catch the falling the knife
>>> with each attempt at becoming, no?
>>> Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D
>>> Editor, Kritikos
>>> http://intertheory.org <http://intertheory.org/>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> *From:* Anna Munster <A.Munster at unsw.edu.au
>>> <mailto:A.Munster at unsw.edu.au>>
>>> *To:* soft_skinned_space <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> <mailto:empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au>>
>>> *Sent:* Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:48:56 AM
>>> *Subject:* Re: [-empyre-] Artists' responses to the so-called  
>>> "crisis"
>>> Sorry Nikos but as to your rhetorical 'no' below, I resoundingly
>>> reply NO WAY!!. There is a world of difference between responding
>>> (rather than reacting which is really what Joseph is talking about)
>>> to a social, economic and political crisis using aesthetic  
>>> strategies
>>> and techniques vs. the 'arts' of finance, government or whatever
>>> other institution you want to aestheticise.
>>> (a la Benjamin et al).
>>> The examples that Nik and Marc are talking about (and also what  
>>> Brian
>>> Holmes has been involved with) are emphatically not abut knee jerk
>>> response or reaction but are about using nonrepresentational
>>> aesthetic strategies - among a multitude of strategies which also
>>> include activist, semiotic, political, social and affective ones –
>>> to /transform/ subjective and collective situations. These are
>>> immanent, critical, positive and productive relationships with  
>>> crisis
>>> ie they do not respond /to / crisis but rather work amid, through  
>>> and
>>> via crisis to work with what might be transformative about crises.
>>> And these aesthetic strategies are absolutely everywhere both in and
>>> out of the 'art world' eg Critical Art Ensemble, Harwood and
>>> Mongrel,16Beaver, rebublicart project, The Senselab, eipcp, Make
>>> World, edu factory, The Thing, Serial Space (sydney -based for all
>>> you North Americans who need to get out more ;-)  etc etc etc. And
>>> these are just the artists/collectives/projects - there's also a
>>> wealth of brilliant art theory around this - try Hito Steyerl,  
>>> Gerald
>>> Raunig, Brian Holmes, Matthew Fuller, Florian Schneider, Brian
>>> Massumi all the FLOSS+art etc etc etc
>>> There is NO relation between these kind of politics, responses and
>>> aesthetics and the 'art' of finance - except a relation of  
>>> revulsion.
>>> On the other hand, if you want to find out about a really fantastic
>>> installation that engaged directly with the stock market and in fact
>>> used a gambling syndicate's money to trade stocks as part of the
>>> actual art work - have a look at Micheal Goldberg's documentation of
>>> his 2002 work 'Catch a Falling Knife'
>>> (http://www.michael-goldberg.com/main.html - go into Projects and
>>> select the title of the piece).
>>> Just another point I'd like to make about this month's discussion  
>>> - I
>>> have found some of the posts scary and stupid in their absolute lack
>>> of knowledge about anything that is going on about contemporary art,
>>> aesthetic strategies and politics. I really think some people need  
>>> to
>>> do a bit of preliminary research and investigation before they start
>>> sounding off about  how boring or naive the concept of aesthetically
>>> responding to crisis is,
>>> Best Anna
>>> On 24/04/2009, at 10:36 PM, Nicholas Ruiz III wrote:
>>>    nk...another aspect of interest is the way in which the financial
>>>    realm in itself is a creative act, and artful...with all of the
>>>    discussion revolving around the perception/reading parallax, I
>>>    wonder how people in the artistic/academic community may not
>>>    perceive/read financial creativity as art at all...I suspect such
>>>    financial activity is a form of art, which contains all of the
>>>    aspirations, triumphs and failures that any art project may
>>>    enable, no?
>>>    nikos
>>>    Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D
>>>    Editor, Kritikos
>>>    http://intertheory.org <http://intertheory.org/>
>>>    ----- Original Message ----
>>>    From: nick knouf <nak44 at cornell.edu <mailto:nak44 at cornell.edu>>
>>>    To: -empyre- <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>    <mailto:empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au>>
>>>    Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:07:11 PM
>>>    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
>>>    <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 <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au 
>>> >
>>>    http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>    _______________________________________________
>>>    empyre forum
>>>    empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au 
>>> >
>>>    http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>> A/Prof. Anna Munster
>>> Assistant Dean, Grant Support
>>> Acting Director Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics
>>> School of Art History and Art Education
>>> College of Fine Arts
>>> UNSW
>>> P.O. Box 259
>>> Paddington
>>> NSW 2021
>>> 612 9385 0741 (tel)
>>> 612 9385 0615(fax)
>>> a.munster at unsw.edu.au <mailto:a.munster at unsw.edu.au>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Windows Live™ Hotmail®:…more than just e-mail. Check it out.
>>> <http://windowslive.com/online/hotmail?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_HM_more_042009 
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> A/Prof. Anna Munster
>> Assistant Dean, Grant Support
>> Acting Director Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics
>> School of Art History and Art Education
>> College of Fine Arts
>> P.O. Box 259
>> Paddington
>> NSW 2021
>> 612 9385 0741 (tel)
>> 612 9385 0615(fax)
>> a.munster at unsw.edu.au <mailto:a.munster at unsw.edu.au>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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