[-empyre-] the pitfalls of trendy theory and popular art projects

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Feb 10 08:27:59 EST 2012

dear all

sorry I am behind a day or two, need to thank Menotti for replying to my post and giving us more
background on the past seminars on "incompatible research practices", and then you mention, to my
surprise –  but then again, i was not in Berlin – that the theme of incompatibility (or "in/compatibility")
got "abused" during the Transmediale Festival.

you write:
Taking a step in getting rid of the concept, one could ask how relevant (or: operationally useful) it is to frame any issue (or: technical challenge) as a dilemma of compatibility.
 Of either belonging or not? Being part or being apart? Isn't this a sort of teenage anxiety? (Here some joke relating peer-reviewing to peer-pressure could fit :P).

and you ask later,
Do you think there is anything particular in artistic practice that allows it to employ ambiguous strategies, 
or would these strategies be within the reach of anyone – such as academic researchers or technicians? 

i should think the answer to the latter question is obvious, one hardly thinks of artists to be privileged
or particularly cunning, when it comes to in/compatibilities, but what surprised me as well, then,
was the reference made, almost on the same day, to "media archaeology" being a fashion and "inordinately hyped"

on the island where I work, also during seasons too cold, that has not been the news, at least forgive my ignorance,
i had only come across Siegfried Zielinski's "Deep Time of the Media- Toward an Archaeolgy of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means"
a short time ago, maybe in 2008, and later read about Erkki Huhtamo, but this is quite fresh and stimulating, for 
people working in performance and performing arts, and not recycled and decycled yet.

am i the only one who questions this?  I am also not sure that incompatibility is fashionable research, I had not come across
it yet under that lighting. 

I did see an interesting small exhibit last night amongst the clutter and the many lovely works at KINETICA Art Fair in London
[http://www.kinetica-artfair.com/];   its producer team's title struck me as unusual  (Boredom Research), the context intriguing
(honoring the memory of Alan Turing), the work itself, small and subtle, was called "Fragments of Lost Flight" (2011), and
connection to Turing not clear to me yet.  

probably a conceptual performance trick, this ambiguous strategy. 


Johannes Birringer

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