[-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration: time/space prospection, vacant lots

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Oct 27 08:27:28 EST 2011

dear all

something struck me in Sérgio's post, and i think want to bring up the particular passage on "prospecting" here, also hoping that Sonja will perhaps continue her fascinating thread from last week, which she ended by suggesting
"Imagine (e)motional deceleration as a notion of urbanity".......... and she will be joined by Branden Hookway and his perspectives on time, architecture and predatory late capitalism....

I think it is quite possible (and there is nothing mystifying about it) to link physics, philosophy, dance and architecture, and in fact Jaime del Val has given us some powerful conceptual tools in his manifesto on disorientation (s/he favors non-linear time, and dis-affection from cartesian binaries and postivist science).   I shall also quote from Michael Bell's book "Slow Space" at the bottom*, but here is the passage from Sérgio's urban intervention.

>> Sérgio writes

A lot of changes are going on the city here, because of all
the money that's going on in Brazil. As result of the devastating
power of money interests, architectural and urban memories are just
being destroyed, regardless of the meaning of those places and spaces
and people's life and history related. Myself, I presented two simple
works: a poem dealing with the question of commodities  (and ourselves
as commodities); and a work I've done with my wife, taking advantage
of a 4mts deep small hole which the engeneering company has made to
test the ground -- since they will raise a building there. So we've
put there a reel which people had to roll, and by the end of the line
a small acrylic piece brough two short sentences: "art is something
deep", and "art is prospection". People were interested, they played
it and they laughed. It was really nice. And some really nice
performance works of young  collectives also took place there in the

I wondered about it just as i marveled at Biyo Kikuchi's butoh performance on the street (i sent the picture the other day), "From Listening,"  and what struck me was the sense of poetic futility. (I had tried to describe this at an earlier point, a few years ago, when i heard about Francis Alÿs  and his performance in Peru,  "Cuando la fe mueve montañas" (2002-3).  He called the work a "social allegory,"  i would think of it as an immensely futile gesture. 

Jaime del Val is currently here with us in London, having arrived from Dublin where he attended an event called "TRANSFORMING HUMAN NATURE In Science, Technology and the Arts" (http://www.transformingthehuman.org/), and he mentioned some hard-core transhuman utopianists working in their labs on various enhancements. Jaime performed a workshop on "microsexes/microdances" which put in action some of the concepts posted here, and it was heartening to experience;  and yet, metaformance is also a part of fluid complex social choreographies that it seeks to affect (and is affected by), it can be absorbed or it can be marginalized, vacated, vacuumed, it will wonder the vacant lots,  but here I may be too pessimistic, just like Scott Taylor was last week having given up on ethics and morality, and culture as such........

Jaime tells us of the occupation movement in Madrid, and today visited the occupiers in London at St Paul's.   
Sérgio, art is prospection?  unable to occupy but to make people laugh?    are you sure?  or of course you are ironic (like Alÿs). 

What, then, to do with/against the "devastating power of money interests, architectural and urban memories are just being destroyed, regardless of the meaning of those places and spaces and people's life and history related"?

with regards
Johannes Birringer

*"Slow Space (edited by Michael Bell) was formed in and by abandoned spaces - the vacancies that, by having become the unintended archetype of contemporary urbanism, coerce an evolution of conventional visuality and inhabitation. The comprehension of an urban condition rendered through processes - machinic, regulatory, managerial - thus resides in the temporal. These durations, imbricated with the variable flows of the metropolis, form the medium for the twenty-three essays and projects that make up "Slow Space."  [This book represents an attempt to make time material, and an effort to find an architecture and a practice that engages and catalytically reconfigures the spaces and processes of the contemporary city.]

It would be great to hear Michael reflecting on Slow Space, some years after he wrote/edited the book in 1997-98. 

**  Footnote to Akram's work at CERN and the accelerator. 

IT was just announced that we not got:  "Prix Ars Electronica Collide at CERN" – the new international competition for digital artists to win a residency at CERN the world’s largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva. It is the first prize to be announced as part of the new Collide at CERN artists residency programme initiated by the laboratory. This new prize marks a 3 year science/arts cultural partnership and creative collaboration between CERN and Ars Electronica – which began with CERN’s cooperation with Origin – the Ars Electronica Festival in 2011. The aim of the Prix Ars Electronica Collide at CERN prize is to take digital creativity to new dimensions by colliding the minds of scientists with the imaginations of artists. In this way, we seek to accelerate innovation across culture in the 21st century – creating new dimensions in digital arts, inspired by the ideas, engineering and science generated at CERN, and produced by the winning artist in collaboration with the transdisciplinary expertise of the FutureLab team at Ars Electronica.

***  CERN was indeed featured this year at ars electronica, in a small exhibition, part of the larger theme ORIGIN (http://www.aec.at/origin/en/about/). 

- - - - - - 
To subscribe via  the World Wide Web, visit

Send your own posting to: 
       empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

More information about the empyre mailing list