[-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY - rpm"

Michele Danjoux mdanjoux at dmu.ac.uk
Wed Oct 19 12:22:12 EST 2011

And here are the beautiful lyrics to the John Lennon / McCartney song, the title apparently inspired by the by the front cover of a gun magazine reading ‘happiness is a warm gun,’ a statement which Lennon considered quite insane and therefore rather surreal and appealing (quite ironic, really when we consider his death in 1980, shot in the back 4 times) There are apparently several interpretations of the song:

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

she's not a girl who misses much
Do do do do do do do do
She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet
Like a lizard on a window pane.

The man in the crowd with the multicoloured mirrors
On his hobnail boots
Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy
Working overtime
A soap impression of his wife which he ate
And donated to the national trust.

I need a fix 'cause i'm going down
Town to the bits that i left uptown
I need a fix cause i'm going down
Mother superior jump the gun
Mother superior jump the gun
Mother superior jump the gun
Mother superior jump the gun.

Happiness is a warm gun
Happiness is a warm gun
When i hold you in my arms
And i feel my finger on your trigger
I know no one can do me no harm
Because happiness is a warm gun
-yes it is.

Also, some great footage with a few extra lyrics inserted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE2Vdcv9Q_o

But returning to this particular piece by Pipilotti Rist, introduced to the discussion by Johannes, “I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much” (1986), featuring Lennon/McCartney Lyrics actually marked Rist’s debut as a video artist. 

I cannot quite explain its appeal and yet, like Johannes, I was quite charmed and drawn by this piece. Maybe it was the whole thing of having to enter a private space for viewing which created a certain intrigue and transported one elsewhere, a kind of preparation for the viewing. The idea of putting my head through a small hole (one of four identical holes of identical circumference, positioned at different points on the wooden sculptural structure previously mentioned and described by Johannes) to peep at something inside was of course quite titillating
 The space inside was quite unreal, I imagined it might be claustrophobic and yet it was not, rather it seemed quite open and comfortable (providing one chose the hole best suited to one’s height so as not to contort one’s posture) and intimate and importantly non-threatening. Even being joined by two or three other heads in close proximity did not deter from a pleasurable and private viewing (masked off from the larger gallery space), but enhanced the experience for me
 I lingered for quite some time, fascinated by what I was seeing and feeling, trying to understand the appeal, which didn’t quite make sense, and like Johannes, I returned to re-view. It wasn’t logical to me, why I would be drawn more than once to this funny little blurred out video with distorted sound exploring what seemed to be aspects of the low-tech. It was to me quite beautiful in its innocence and in the tactility and frailty it presented to us of the technologies and of the screen image and musings of analog audio playback devices. We could see and sense the imperfections and were transported back to the days of the old 7” 45’s where one could manually speed up and slow down the playback sound (overriding the intentions of the artist and turntable) to one’s great amusement. Nothing particularly sophisticated, in fact, potentially quite brain numbing and banal and yet this fun activity of shifting rpm would enthuse one with a carefree excitement manipulating the sound of malfunction and exploring our technologies back in the 1970’s.

Remember the two pigs, Pinky and Perky? Well this girl in Rist’s video with black hair dancing in the topless, sleeveless, fit and flare black dress sang just like them.

Rist’s work is described as being “Visual Spectacle as Sensory Experience”. 

Gordana mentions the spectacle without content becoming mere ‘empty shell’ and yet, I am not sure
 (and maybe it is exactly this which Risk explores and comments on here) ordinarily, I would also say yes, this is true but I am slightly perplexed and still reflecting on my experiences of the current exhibition at the Hayward Gallery which I enjoyed very much
 Maybe because it was not overly demanding on my intellect but allowed me just to exist in this space for a while, shifting playfully between times, scale and proportion, acceleration and deceleration, real and unreal, fresh and decayed
   transported elsewhere via my senses. Maybe because it was empty like a body without organs did it open up new vista/old suppressed vista... I didn’t expect this and yet, it was rather a beautiful afternoon, which left me feeling quite light, and as though I had recaptured something from my (earlier) youth.


-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Johannes Birringer
Sent: Tue 10/18/2011 9:57 PM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration"

oh, it's always good to have inadvertent actors falling to the stage, or, as some might think in response to Gordana's posting on ritual interactive art,
unsuspecting audiences are also most welcome even as they may not have empathy with the streaming naked realizations...
, and I think this month as been a somewhat (to me at least) deliberate turn around from the sophisticated tourism to istanbul & isea. 

If you in fact thought that discussing motion/time is a prerogative of dancers, I'd think not so, but something pulled you towards Deleuze, not a bad dancer himself? why?

Gordana, i think I need to qualify any rash comments on the exhibition I attended, should I've made them; i was actually trying to ask myself why 
i reacted negatively to the repetitive chord structure of the sound in Pipilotti Rist's immersive installation  "Lobe of the Lung."

There was another work in the exhibition, "I am not the Girl who misses much",   which i enjoyed greatly, even though I nearly re-injured my back.
The piece was presented in a wooden box, which stuck out the wall like an airplane bow, with one sharp end, and inside the broad end it had the screen;  you had to stand up, stick your head through a round hole, 
and then gaze/listen -  and there was blurry Pippilotti dancing " I am not the Girl who misses much" - the video sped up so that her woman's voice becomes a high girl's voice ------  slowed down it becomes a male voice or a synthetic voice like HAL's, dying (the "Mother" control computer in Stanley Kubrick's "Space Odyssey").  The video is sung by Pippolotti Rist, or "re-synced" to a track, well, you may know it, from the Beatles/John Lennon ("Love is a Warm Gun").
A lovely piece, and I took time to watch it more than once.

The taking time is the issue Claudia had addressed, as museum visitors and lurkers have to decide what to do with time.


From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Rodney Berry [rodberry at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:17 PM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration"

Hi all! apologies for the last post. I was actually forwarding the one post - a bit out of context to some colleagues to lure them into the list but I was typing too fast with my palms on my laptop touchpad and somehow replied instead of forwarding.

... fallen from the balcony onto the stage and wondering what to say - I guess that's how we all become artists.

and Sérgio, thanks for steering me into some Deleuze for breakfast :)

Rod (red-faced lurker)

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 6:55 AM, Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk<mailto:Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>> wrote:

Hi Rod, welcome to this conversation;

[and perhaps to clarify, this month's discussion is not about dance at all, but about time and how we think we exist]

Thanks for your posting, Sérgio,

  I suspect the speeding-up of our lives, the obession with interactivity and production by means of technological devices are stoping many
people from experiencing important intelectual and aesthetic challenges and creating a generation of people addicted to to
intensity and dellusive involvement of technological environments.

could you speak a little bit more about your experience with immersive installations and sounding instruments?
are you, following the passage you cited from Deleuze, associating immersion and the 'interactive/participatory" imperative
with repression or coercion?

what role plays 'understanding',  in spectatorship?

Johannes Birringer

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