[-empyre-] Tacticality: 4 Anna

naxsmash naxsmash at mac.com
Thu Apr 30 08:47:34 EST 2009


Anna, the pressure in contemporary art practice to produce meaning  
does often seem to devolve into identity. Emphasis who is , over what  
is going on . tagging supercedes critical thinking. You speak of this  
in re being told you "know" what is scarey" -- on this list.  tagging  
is the updated form of epithet and scapegoat.

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 29, 2009, at 3:04 PM, Anna Munster <A.Munster at unsw.edu.au> wrote:

> Steve,
> What I mean by the below is:
> By predicating 'the nonrepresentatble' to something ie an artwork,  
> one literally makes that artwork represent a quality ie this artwork  
> is nonrepresentatble. That seems somewhat impossible or if not,  
> likely to lead into an infinite regress of the kind that  
> deconstructive english professors like but I am not so interested  
> in...
>
> So, that wasn't what I was suggesting the kinds of artworks I was  
> referring to do... (please note: emphasis is on what an art work  
> does not what an art work is - hence I am interested on the effects  
> produced by art not the meaning of art). Rather the opposite: some  
> thoughtful art of the kind I was referring to potentially produces  
> effects that do not inhabit a semiosis of meaning but rather an  
> asignifying semiosis (Guattari). Not what is unrepresentable, but  
> rather what is nonrepresentable (an analogy might be: not what is  
> unconscious but what is nonconscious).
>
> Of course other artists to whom I was referring might use aesthetic  
> elements - iconography, performance etc –  outside the realm of art' 
> s designated field of representation; ie the art world. So, while th 
> is does not mean they are NOt using representative forms, it means t 
> hey are not representing themselves as artists. Other artists might  
> produce works that are affective (ie produce affects that are not ab 
> out representation and/or meaning) but may do so using combinations  
> of representational forms/genres eg critique.
>
> Of course if we take a very broad view of ontology, one might say  
> these add up to 'an' ontology...one that tries to transform the hold  
> that Being has had in western history for at least the last 300  
> years, for example. Or one could simply designate this (along with  
> nonrepresentational, nonconscious), a 'nonontology', which is what I  
> was doing.
>
> btw, Steve, I don't presume to 'know' what is scary or stupid in the  
> world at large...only what I come across in my concrete encounters  
> with people on a day to day basis. Some of these encounters are  
> online. One of these encounters was on this list. Many of the posts  
> during this month have shown that people do not wish to even find  
> out about vast bodies of aesthetic practice that are contemporaneous  
> to this discussion. When people make generalisations about what  
> 'art' does, it is, I would have thought, fairly ok to point out that  
> actually. 'No, that is incorrect based on what is actually occurring  
> in the world'. Last time I looked, this approach was called old- 
> fashioned empiricism.
>
> Apparently, however, it is not ok for a woman to then also call that  
> ignorance 'stupid and scary'. It's not ok because if you are a  
> woman, you really shouldn't question the attitude of, say,   
> university professors. Or, if you are a woman, you really need to be  
> told what it is that you meant to say by a man, because you really  
> don't know what you are talking about.
>
> And before anyone starts getting on their bandwagon and huffing and  
> puffing about me being some kind of 'victim' here - stop!! I am  
> raising this point because a cursory glance at this list's posts  
> this month will pretty much show that very few women have said a  
> thing all month. Gee, I wonder why??!!
>
> This month at empyre reminded me of list culture during the 1990s  
> when we had to actually talk about gender and class as issues that  
> needed to be analysed in list discourse. Still, again, I shouldn't  
> be surprise - a topic area that tries to look at crumbling  
> capitalism - no wonder the privileged get so edgy!
>
> cheers
> Anna
>
> On 30/04/2009, at 4:02 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 o 
>>>> nes –
>>>> 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
>>> 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>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --- 
>>> --- 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> 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
>>
>
> 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
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">
> 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
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ody>
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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