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

sonja lebos sonjalebos at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 29 08:37:45 EST 2011

I am always surprised when people think post-urban in the world that is, looking from the stratosphere at people dwellings, - saturated with slums (epicenters of course look familiar:). Unfinished modernizations is what rather comes to my mind, sometimes.
We can, no doubt, talk about post-industrial when walking through Detroit (and I do not mean the Lafayette park here:), but post-industrial is not a global phenomenon. Industries all around the world, even hidden sweat-shops in 'our' cities rather resemble (pre-)urban 19th Ct Manchester.
The notion of cockpit as a prototypical space of the interface - it frightens me a bit. I am looking forward to hearing some more in order to de-symbolize the fear that might be somebody else's experience...
I already mentioned cinematic creations, VR included, that I see as plausible spatial modelling of cultural interface.
Johannes asked me to comment Occupy Movement. Well, thanks heaven, there is entropy and there is solidarity and compassion.I think these are two/three forces that move people to break through the shell of their houses and re-claim the skin of the city as their right.
The choreographies (as Slavic-Latin mind I just cannot admit singular exclusivity here of one and only choreography;) of those movements actually haven't changed so much since people's first protests in Northern Europe in the 16th Ct - when modernity as we know it today was actually born. As an English word, and therefore as a concept. The protests took their fully grown form in these pre-urban (pre-hygienic) cities of the 19th Ct.
Occupy Movements are intrinsically modern, actually, they represent a quest for inexperienced modernity, civilizations still rambling and stumbling in (expanded) medieval-like structures where hierarchies are simultaneously throned and intangible, as Latour puts it, while we are looking for Dingstaetten where democracy is not just simply (pan-)demonic.

--- On Fri, 10/28/11, Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration: time/space prospection, vacant lots
> To: "soft_skinned_space" <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Date: Friday, October 28, 2011, 6:44 AM
> It's very stimulating to read Branden's post from last
> night, it puts many of our discussions into an even sharper
> focus, regarding late capital/globalization, its dynamics, 
> its "network imperative [being] predatory to the extent
> that it can only ever seek its own expansion; in the book I
> figured this as a "pandemonic eye" constantly scanning its
> environment for that which it can incorporate into
> itself.."
> and its intertwinings with issues of design, urban
> architecture/gentrification and counter-gentrification (the
> dross, and deliberate decay, letting die?)...
> here i do not know where to start, as you mention this
> fruitful period of time when you worked in Houston, about a
> decade or so after I arrived there, marveling at a
> "post-urban city"  (via Lerup: a kind of "of non-linear
> weather system defined by the interaction of attractions
> (stim) and wasteland sprawl (dross)" that excited me because
> it was disorienting in a positive sense and yet immensely
> subtropically attractive and sensually demanding,  but
> obviously not for political reasons;
> and the temporal processes of gentrification and
> displacement addressed mournfully by Sérgio -- these I have
> experienced in every warehouse or funk, mixed
> arts/underground, queer neighborhood where I have lived or
> worked (in the US) since 1980, and Sérgio there is of
> course nothing unusual about them (except the futile arts
> protests and the perplexing – as you rightly say – self
> blindfolding of the (migrated) inhabitants. Or is this
> so?  
> Sérgio writes
> >>
>  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
> begining.
> 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".
> >>
> I wonder about the blindfolding. Who is blindfolding whom,
> and in terms of the current "OCCUPY" movements (Madrid,
> London, New York, and many other locations), can we make
> sense of the struggle for protesting global financial
> injustice in  terms of the rights the occupiers claim
> on protesting public space in the first place (i.e. "public"
> space and not privately own or controlled and prospected
> space)? 
> Could you re-enter the discussion, Sonja, and comment on
> Branden or extend your observation:
> >>
> skin of our cities still remains inflexible, and the
> choreographies of public spaces are shockingly limited and
> overly neurotic.  Unable to deal with the ambiguities
> of these choreographies, the majorities world–wide look
> for re-recreation in escapism and consumerism..>>
> (Sonja)?
> As to celeration and "acting techniques"  – and
> Branden's exquisite comment on "relative deceleration" and
> his analogy  "vertigo to orientation"  – I will
> anticipate Branden's writings on the cockpit interface,
> being reminded that on any given day, I might teach a
> workshop on butoh, scenography, or "aural immersion," and
> then walk to the cafe on my campus and meet a colleague from
> Design/Engineering who may have just taught the same class,
> but differently, namely on "human factors" and design
> enhancements,  late capitalist ergonomics.
> As to rushing on our streets with your nerves wide open,
> pushing yourself hard,   I stumbled across a
> new publication in latest issue of "Leonardo,"  and
> just mention it here: 
> Joe Marshall, with Alan Chamberlain & Steve Benford,
> "'I seek the Nerves under Your Skin': A 'Fast' Interactive
> Artwork,"  Leonardo 44:5 (2011), pp. 401-404. 
> (Abstract):  I Seek the Nerves under Your Skin is a
> wearable audio artwork that is experienced by people running
> while wearing a special jacket and headphones. This artwork
> encourages people to run increasingly fast, pushing
> themselves physically and mentally, which mirrors the
> intense, crescendoing performance of a poet heard on the
> headphones. This article discusses the challenges of
> designing and deploying an artwork that is experienced at
> high speeds.
> http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/leonardo/summary/v044/44.5.marshall.html
> best
> Johannes Birringer
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