[-empyre-] Fwd: Minor Simulations, Major Disturbances

Christiane Robbins cpr at mindspring.com
Fri Apr 16 03:40:41 EST 2010

  Re: de Certeau -   Ahhh..... but there is that nasty issue of  
intellectual property which innumerable university administrators and  
academic senate committees have set their sights on for years now.

On Apr 15, 2010, at 10:14 AM, Beatriz da Costa wrote:

> Dear Jo, Rita et al,
> Thank you all for your thoughtful postings, I am glad I finally  
> joined -empyre- and am getting the opportunity to follow such a  
> lively discussion.
> Amidst all the events down at UCSD and the responses and comments on  
> this list, my initial thoughts seem to be most closely aligned with  
> Jo's statement below and Rita's dire summation of the university as  
> an "institution of control" that clearly has the ability to  
> distinguish between scholarship about activism and activism itself  
> (and yes, writing is of course a form of "making," but one that fits  
> in much more neatly with the rubrics of academia). Sadly, I am not  
> surprised at all about UCSD's behavior towards Ricardo and EDT's  
> work. California is broke, the UC system is in deep trouble (to say  
> the least), and overall the senate faculty has been playing along  
> with this situation just fine. Some letters, some really smart ones  
> indeed :), some protests, some attempts at organizing, but most of  
> us are still going in to teach our classes and attend meetings in  
> the same way we always did. Some of us have used the funding crises  
> and increased push towards privatization of the UC as an educational  
> backdrop to sharpen the political literacy of our students, and in  
> many ways the publicity around the bang.lab events appears to have a  
> similar effect. However, what this situation really seems to  
> indicate is a somewhat broken approach to the negotiation between  
> Tactical Media and academia. We can't simultaneously ride a career  
> as "interventionist artists," claim a political edge and demand  
> funding, space and support from an institution like Calit2. It  
> simply won't work, at least not in the long run. Eventually, the  
> support will either stop, or the political "edge" won't be quite as  
> edgy anymore. Its a wonderful thing while it lasts, and kudos to  
> everyone who tried. For a while, we really seemed to have quite a  
> few Tactical Media enclaves splattered between different  
> universities in various parts of the country. But there is a time  
> stamp on these moments of convergence and activity, and we shouldn't  
> really be surprised by that. Operating in plain daylight is one  
> strategy, and apparently the one the bang.lab has chosen up to date.  
> But it seems that Tactical Media has equipped us with a few other  
> tools that might be worth revisiting in this context. de Certeau's  
> describes his rendering of the french "wig" concept to us in the  
> following way: "La perruque is the worker's own work disguised as  
> work for his employer. It differs from pilfering in that nothing of  
> material value is stolen. It differs from absenteeism in that the  
> worker is officially on the job. La perruque may be as simple a  
> matter as a secretary's writing a love letter on "company time" or  
> as complex as a cabinetmaker's "borrowing" a lathe to make a piece  
> of furniture for his living room ... ."
> If the window for passing politicized tactical media tool  
> development as legitimate research activity is closing, maybe its  
> time to change wigs? Or is it just a matter of never using our tools  
> in any way that could be traced back to the university? I don't  
> know. I tried the latter a few years ago, and it horribly failed.
> On a much more mundane note: could anyone provide an update about  
> what is actually happening now at UCSD? I checked the bang.lab  
> website, and the last posting appears to be from last week. What  
> happened since?
> In solidarity,
> Beatriz da Costa
> excerpt Jo-Anne Green post:
>> You can't accept grants, teach at a university, and desire tenure
>> without these negotiations and compromises. The best one can do is
>> enter these negotiations armed with knowledge, awareness, and a well
>> thought out strategy for the best possible outcomes for your project.
> Beatriz da Costa
> www.beatrizdacosta.net
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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