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

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Oct 27 19:55:28 EST 2011

dear Sérgio, dear all

oh, no defense was needed as my questions were only meant to dig a little, to ponder the political and the affective (the relational forces that Jaime has spoken about so vividly), and your further elaboration of the action and your motivation are gratefully received, thank you for telling us the constellation in more detail, 

and this makes one wonder indeed how such action can/could also imply sustainable "occupations" (I think the Madrid occupation movement started in May 2011, the occupation squat here at St Paul's intends to stay there for months to come.......) and thus (re)new(ed) kinds of social choreographies resisting the "Pandemonium" and thermodynamic predatory capitalism analyzed – via "paranoid method – in Branden Hookway's work (back in 1999, the same "era" in which Bell composed the "Slow Space" project.  

occupying (as you also mentioned) is re-signifying, and also includes teaching, and thus a theatrical method (cf. Augusto Boal and his tactics) that resonates, in a more overtly political way, with many of the thoughts expressed here in the discussion, and thank you Sondra for speaking so clearly and naturally about ageing and dying, we rarely have this in intellectual & academic conversation unless someone has received a grant and is doing research on ageing or,i think doctors here call it, "time limitation."

time-limited lives. 

Akram, please tell us more about your particular search for truth (and we can treat it, Sérgio would you agree, as one amongst other paranoid methods which we need), and the physicists-at-CERN's perception of time and creation/de-creation.  You mentioned the notion of dark energy, and also you spoke of vacuum -- I'd love to hear on this.  

and Dee, it may very well always turn out, since there is no linear time (Jaime), that one cannot be out of sync.

asynchronous time lives.

best wishes
Johannes Birringer

From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of sergio basbaum [sbasbaum at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 3:54 AM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration: time/space prospection, vacant lots

Hi Johannes,

Thank for your wise comments. Indeed, myself I felt a bit
unconfortable when I wrote those lines. However, I must then defend
myself. Certainly, it should not be understood as futility -- as you
read it, not without reason -- but as a way of re-signifying spaces.
We had a place which was empty and would be demolished in a matter of
days -- in fact it is already being demolished. I must say, in my
defense, that I was the first to point, in the debates, these
questions regarding people that had to leave their places, the
predatory nature of late-capitalism, the traces of those people`s
lives let in there. In fact, I've even asked people not to change
anything before we had a clear concept of how to ocupy such spaces in
a meaningfull way.

Because of this, the previous owner of the place, himself a historian,
lectured to all the group about all the meanings and memories involved
with the place, built by his grandfather, a portuguese imigrant, with
his own hands.

To make things a little more complex, those small houses built by this
immigrant 70 years ago, in his weekends, were previously rent by
low-middle class workers families, and this neighbourhood, Vila
Madalena, which was characterized 10 years ago by a mix of artists,
intelectuals and low-middle class families, will be reduced to a
high-middle class neighbourhood, while the previous people will have
to move to far away suburbs, This was very disturbing to me since the

It seems, however, that people just accept it as natural, and maybe
this is the most serious question. In this context, I placed in a wall
a poem which radically discussed this matter of commodities, of
everrything, including people, seeming to have a price.
Unfortunatally, the way words were used in Portuguese is not possible
to translate -- the word "venda" being at the same time "selling" and
"blindfolding the eyes".
As a complement to this poem, I made this small work, exploring this
hole. One coleague compared it to Yoko Ono's work, famously described
by John Lennon, the stairs one would climb and find the word "yes".
For me, it was a way to explore poetically a space which would
otherwise rest unnoticed, and turn it into an art experience. John
Cage once said he preferred laughter to tears -- indeed, people played
and laughed; however, to read the writings in the acrylic piece, one
had to roll the reel for some time, and some people would not go until
the end, they would not invest themselves enough in the experience,
they didn't have faith enough. Furthermore, the whole work was done
with old things which were "recycled" into the work. In terms of
plasticity, it was very singular, ingenious and low tech -- this was
much Tereza's work, who developed it in one night.

Thus, by creating this piece, we didn't destroy the memories left in
the place, we gave meaning to this unnoticed hole, and created a small
and poetic (I believe so) experience out of nothing. By the end, I
regard this as also political. Maybe we should do, everybody, as a
group there, something more radical, politically speaking? It's so
complicate: we didn't have time to think or organize too much, since
we've known about this houses and their demolishing two weeks ago. And
the houses were sold by a friend's grandmother, an old woman who will
live her last years with this money -- the old dwellers had already
left one month ago or more, nobody knew where they had gone. And the
whole movement, the performances that took place there had shown to
this group of artists a new way of acting, outside art instituitions,
that may continue; and, who knows, can turn into something more
conceptually bruising. But that was a start, and possibly the begining
of something really interesting.

Concerning the problems of art and science, I have posed some beliefs
very openly here. I don't have nothing against any art strategy one
may choose. Robert Smithson, for example, made important works
inspired by scientific theory, and many more. My questions concern the
notion of truth as being exclusive domain of science practices.

I feel this as highly political -- if we live with the idea that
there's one and only objective truth determining our world, this is
not a world, but an anthill,t  so I cannot trust any complete
explanation and everything.

 best vibes from Brazil


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