[-empyre-] Layers of ISEA2011: Corporate/Financial

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Sat Sep 17 19:59:28 EST 2011

..on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 11:36:03PM +0100, Simon Biggs wrote:
> Great. I'm flying in tomorrow. I think I'll cancel.

It'd be a shame to not have you here Simon. Your voice on several of the tabled
topics would be very welcome indeed.

Following on from Nicholas's comment, alongside a conversation with Michelle
Teran this morning, the towers are a very odd choice of site for discussions
about environmentalism, sustainability, art in public space and art funding.
Perhaps it is strategic, itself an intervention. In any case, it makes little
sense when there.

For what it's worth the wonderful Istanbul has become the host of rigorous
discussion, spilling out from the monuments to capital that are the Sabanci
Towers into allies, tabletops and bars.


> On 16 Sep 2011, at 16:04, Nicholas Knouf wrote:
> > Hello -empyre-,
> > 
> > I'd like to add another layer to the list: the corporate/financial one.
> > 
> > I want to write about the experience of entering into the main location
> > for the conference, Sabanci Towers.  This requires being checked off of
> > a list and then traveling through a metal detector with your belongings
> > x-rayed.  You find yourself in front of two gleaming towers of uncountable
> > numbers of floors that reflect
> > the blue sky.  You realize that this is
> > not the university, but rather the headquarters for Sabanci Holding
> > (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sabanci_Group), which
> > appears to be the largest industrial and financial conglomerate in
> > Turkey, while also the organization behind the founding of Sabanci
> > University.  Once you make your way through men and women in perfectly
> > tailored business suits and executives being escorted into Mercedes to be
> > driven to power lunches, you find yourself in front of another metal
> > detector and x-ray machine which may or may not be used (I didn't have
> > to go through it when I entered).  Inside is bland corporate decor not
> > unlike anything else in the globalized world.  Hacker or DIY space this
> > certainly is not, and the internet seems to block anything that doesn't
> > travel on ports 80 or 443 (meaning any local e-mail clients on computers
> > or smartphones won't work; Blackberries won't work; and seemingly only web traffic will go through).  For your
> > 400EURO fee you are still required to pay for pastries.
> > 
> > I find the totality of this environment rather problematic for an ostensibly academic
> > and artistic conference and could write much more about it, but will
> > refrain for the moment.  But I did want to describe this for those of
> > you who are not in Istanbul.
> > 
> > Best,
> > 
> > nick knouf
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> > 
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art University of Edinburgh
> www.eca.ac.uk/circle www.elmcip.net www.movingtargets.co.uk
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Julian Oliver

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