[-empyre-] After the facts, and from a distance

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Wed Sep 21 00:02:39 EST 2011

dear all

from a distance (and an island), the discussions and postings this month, from many of you having traveled to ISEA or the Biennial in Istanbul,  have been nothing but 
interestingly strange, at times intriguing, stimulating, unnerving, and disappointing, at times bizarre,  as content seemed to evaporate or be crystallized into impressions of visitors/tourists to a city
and to an academic conference in a building.  zones of contact were promised, dialogues and exchanges with Turkish artists (the "locals" that were referred to many times) announced, and again,
from my angle or the perspective of those who did not go to this ISEA, I was trying to imagine what motivated you to have this public discussion?

having said this, I also read the posts (from the beginning tweets) as a kind of strangely odd diary, here were all these people traveling to Istanbul and expressing astonishment at this city, at security checks (?),
at transport systems, at taxi drivers, at public space, at cramped space in panels, at demonstrations,  at art, at exhibitions and at patrons of such exhibitions, at friendly citizens, at parks.... I guess one could place a question mark at all these common places and occurrences, and then wonder how, and at what point, the soft–skinned postings became more self reflective and self critical or aware of what was contacted and shared with readers on this list not there on location.   As an attempt to stage a debate this month on site or from (a) location,  it is most interesting and certainly eye-opening;   i wonder whether some of the other participants on this list (not having been supported by institutions to go to such a high priced academic gathering) feel they were "let in" in some form or manner?    Will the discussion change now that the "locale" is left behind?   how does this coming in and then leaving behind affect the theme of zones of contact?

with regards
Johannes Birringer

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