[-empyre-] Critical Movement Practice, Viral Communication, and Design

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Sat Nov 21 06:36:58 EST 2009

Dear empyre,

I just received a pix from Ashley Ferro-Murray at the University of
Berkeley. Those of you on empyre will recall that she was a guest during
our discussion on Critical Movement Practice.  She is in the streets right
now with many other graduate students, staff,  and faculty from her
department as well as many others in the humanities, rhetoric, film.  Her
department of Performance Studies has been supporting other students and
staff who also went on strike a few weeks ago.

The image reveals fully geared security who appear armed.  She reports
that some students are taking over a building as I write this and one
student was accosted and beaten by one of the security team.

The "factory" model of their political action has been generated by viral
organization and communication that makes their efforts  engaging,
contagious, and efficient.

How ironic as I sit here at my computer thinking about a new design
rampage that seems to be brewing rampantly in the visual arts here in NY
within the art world and our world at the university.  Generated  and I
think influenced from digital technology and design initiatives, this
shift appears to me at least to be void of models that engage politics and
the economic crisis. It is the space that is situated between political
and social action, viral communication, and design spectacle  that
prompted our discussion this month on empyre.

Wishing I could be on the West side of the country right now. But I'm
thankful for email, pix messages, and facebook which places me virtually
there for now.

In solidarity,

> Hi Micha,
> yes, thank you for sharing those precious links.
>> At UCSD, very few students, faculty and staff that I've talked to knew
>> about or support the strike do. Myself and a handful of other faculty,
>> staff and students are striking, but is the very idea of a strike not
>> viral but more based in monolothic constituencies and factory models
>> of labor?
> No, I just think that after 3-4 decades of resting on dreams of unabated
> growth Americans (and Californians in particular) need to be re-educated
> and reawakened as to what it means to lose one's job, as to what it
> means to fight for it, and what it means to risk of losing your job for
> defending it. So thank you for taking on this rather humongous task ;-)
> To me it is not a matter of virality but of culture. People in Latin
> America, Asia, Europe and all over the world keep going on strike for
> defending their jobs, demanding higher wages, security on the workplace,
> etc. It is only in this country that three decades of brainwashing have
> led to the obliteration of historic memory (the cancellation of May1st
> being the most notable example), and to the perception that going on
> strike is somehow out of fashion.
> In actual fact, there exists a growing global movement to defend public
> education, and to build an entirely different model of knowledge
> sharing. You are probably familiar with this site:
> http://www.edu-factory.org
> which reports the news of 15 arrests at UCLA:
> http://www.edu-factory.org/edu15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=240:students-arrested-at-ucla&catid=34:struggles&Itemid=53
> and whose picture eloquently show the response of public authorities to
> this growing mobilization.
>> Perhaps the spreading occupations are more viral? I wonder
>> about this as I start going on strike tomorrow and join actions at
>> UCSD...
> Well, it is not up to me to say that strikes and occupations are just
> two sides of the same coin.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Art
Cornell University, Tjaden Hall
Ithaca, NY  14853

Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
Website:  http://www.renateferro.net

Co-moderator of _empyre soft skinned space

Art Editor, diacritics

More information about the empyre mailing list