[-empyre-] vigilar y castigar
zac.zimmer at gmail.com
Thu Jan 20 02:54:34 EST 2011
Davin's point about material objects touches on something I have been
discussing with some friends recently. Davin said:
*"My worry about strictly web-based models of community is that they
use time and allow for thinking..... but they don't necessarily create more
time for thinking by producing tangible goods of the sort that can provide
material sustenance for the community."*
This is, in part, a response to Cynthia's observation that "*artistic
conception is not as tied to the process of a technical craft as it once was
*." I must say, however, that Cynthia's affirmation goes against a trend I
have observed: practitioners carrying around and reading Richard Sennett's
The Craftsman. I think, paradoxically, the immateriality of new media
artistic production has driven some practitioners to immerses themselves in
craft and the careful production of artesanal objects.
One of my friends, in what may appear a curmudgeonly assessment of material
vs. immaterial communities, made the following observation: "Some of these
younger artists approach the physical world as a grandmother would approach
writing her first email."
Perhaps there is a parallel between the artistic and the economic: in both
instances, we lament that (in the United States) 'no one makes anything
anymore.' In the ephemeral swirl of financial services and digital
renderings, it seems there is an economic and aesthetic hunger for the
2011/1/19 davin heckman <davinheckman at gmail.com>
> I think you hit the nail on the head: "Perhaps It would be more
> appropriate to introduce small, human-scale initiatives which include
> individuals and groups, according to their own needs and shared
> resources, and then build from there. As far as I am concerned
> (personally & with others), this has already been happening in regard
> to furtherfield and other forms of networked peer production, and
> independent community ventures, on-line and off-line."
> I think that the hope for a successful, mass, grassroots awakening
> seems to be a remote one (mainly because most people in the world are
> already awake to the need for change, but lack power). If being aware
> of inequity was enough, the billions would have changed the world
> But the possibility of localized interventions is incredibly appealing
> to me. It's hard not to find little bundles of people working
> together, sharing skills, providing goods, etc. that create their own
> currents. Where I live and work... a small town in an economically
> depressed region.... there are many, many troubling facets of
> existence. But there are also networks of people growing, sharing,
> producing, trading food. There are people making objects and art.
> There are various cooperative endeavors taking place that aren't built
> around a culture of economic predation. This doesn't solve all the
> problems in our community, but if these patterns of activity are
> nurtured and the ethos of mutual support spreads, then the ability for
> these simple solutions to offer at least partial alternatives to the
> monolithic Super Wal*Mart at the edge of town.
> Alongside these almost intuitive practices, however, there needs to be
> a philosophical basis for action, and this philosophy should be
> engaged in dialog with the practical, not simply imposed upon it.
> Aside from the practical matter of keeping one's hands busy or putting
> food in one's belly.... a way of thinking needs to accompany these
> practices. And that, I think, is the greatest obstacle. We have no
> patience for dialogic cultural processes. We are in the habit of
> consuming things as they appear and forgetting them when they go away.
> And, while certain models of community necessitate more long term
> thinking, we also need theories that encourage us to think about
> history and the future, to plan, to reflect, to be "human."
> In turn, it is the ability to slow down and think, which enables more
> productive forms of organization.
> If we want a historical parallel, it might be something along the
> lines of a transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural society
> that we are looking for. The widespread proletarianization of the
> world's people has robbed us of our ability to build culture. But, if
> we are able to, locally and efficiently, provide or supplement basic
> human needs.... we carve out space and provide the fuel for enriched
> consciousness.... if we cooperate, we not only have more time as
> individuals to think, but we are in cooperation with others, and thus
> have more opportunities to network our consciousness via culture. If
> we have more opportunities to think better collectively, we can, in
> turn, create more time for cultural activity, which is tied very
> closely to practical production (here, I am very interested in the
> break between Techne and Poesis, which Cynthia points to, as craft is
> increasingly independent from concept).
> My worry about strictly web-based models of community is that they use
> time and allow for thinking..... but they don't necessarily create
> more time for thinking by producing tangible goods of the sort that
> can provide material sustenance for the community. (Though,
> programming cultures are an exception to this general observation, as
> are established institutions which deal primarily in intellectual
> property). Which is why your point about the small scale (especially
> offline and/or intellectually-committed) ventures is a real occasion
> for hope.
> On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:15 AM, marc garrett
> <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org> wrote:
> > Hi Davin & all,
> > Sorry for not getting back earlier, it has been rather busy here...
> >> I think it is easier to see that art from a blank anthropological
> >> view, over our lifetime, has expressed an ironically posthuman set of
> >> priorities--the service of markets, the expression of those markets,
> >> and the general reification of market mythology.
> > Posthumanism is an interesting element which I feel can be included in
> > larger context of what is being discussed. If we include the netopticon,
> > neoliberalism and postmodern marketing appropriations and its techniques
> > well, we see a vista so profound and absolute in its influence on our
> > surely then 'as you suggest', we are unable to build alternatives as
> > 'equally' powerful.
> >> Rather than surrender to the bleak view that resistance is futile or
> >> flee to the false view that resistance is inevitable, I hope to join
> >> my voice with the growing chorus of people who are saying that a
> >> better world is possible, but we have to work for it. We need
> >> critical thinking. We need aesthetic practices. We need each other.
> > Universal change from the bottom up seems like an impossibility.
> > change may be misdirected desire, serving a lack of personal growth
> > intuitively and psychologically. Perhaps It would be more appropriate to
> > introduce small, human-scale initiatives which include individuals and
> > groups, according to their own needs and shared resources, and then build
> > from there. As far as I am concerned (personally & with others), this has
> > already been happening in regard to furtherfield and other forms of
> > networked peer production, and independent community ventures, on-line
> > off-line.
> > "Peer production is based on the abundance logic of digital reproduction,
> > and what is abundant lies outside the market mechanism. It is based on
> > contributions that lie outside of the labour-capital relationship. It
> > creates a commons that is outside commodification and is based on sharing
> > practices that contradict the neoliberal and neoclassical view of human
> > anthropology. Peer production creates use value directly, which can only
> > partially monetized in its periphery, contradicting the basic mechanism
> > capitalism, which is production for exchange value. So, just as serfdom
> > capitalism before it, it is a new hyperproductive modality of value
> > that has the potential of breaking through the limits of capitalism, and
> > be the seed form of a new civilisational order." An interview with Michel
> > Bauwens founder of Foundation for P2P Alternatives By Lawrence Bird.
> > A term I've come across is 'Zipperheads', which draws on the vocabulary
> > hacker culture - Zipperhead is a term for a person with a closed mind. I
> > consider that various systems in place reflect a 'Zipperhead' mentality
> > default, in many different places - family, our everyday media and in our
> > institutions etc. We can re-imagine perspectives and processes of
> > our behaviours in how we engage with the art world, if we wish to and if
> > deserves it that is ;-)
> > Wishing you well.
> > marc
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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