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

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Feb 11 07:52:28 EST 2012

dear all

your reply is full if interesting and thought suggestions, Menotti, and
I am enjoying the discussion -  

having in fact benefitted quite substantially from Zielinski's research when our ensemble adopted
for rehearsal (on a recent choreographic work)  some images and motifs ("ogypts") from Zielienski's chapter on Gastev and 
"the economy of time,"
on the "packa orderov" and so on, Gastev's relation to the other Russian madmen and madwomen of the "Victory of the Sun"
avant-garde project, the connection (or dysconnection? to Khlebnikov and I think we're now especially interested
in pursuing the compatibilities between choreography and Lissitzky further, in our next installation  (recently having seen the exhibit
"Building the Revolution" at the Royal Academy of Art and noted the many amazing drawings and "constructions" by El Lissitzky). 

So when I see your concluding question, addressed to Baruch (and César), i wonder why you doubt the commensurabilities?
probably you are interested in how the research you ask about was "written", or written down (is it up?) as they say,
 and this is course perhaps a different question.

I also loved the image of the boat, crossing the underworld rivers. 

   Menotti schreibt:
  >  To call anarchaeology a 'boat' would imply that he was expecting it to take
  > him somewhere, and it would seem it has. [Baruch Gottlieb]

   ....I was using the metaphor quite loosely, but your remark evokes
    the story (told by Zielinski in DTotM) of how a detour/delay in a ship
    voyage led Athanasius Kircher to “fortuitous finds” that would become
    the basis for a whole new metaphysics.

     If hype is indeed intoxication, how closely it stands to
    self-intoxication? Is it possible to be mistaking a Baader-Meinhoff
    phenomenon for the commodification of theory? One’s past with
    everyone’s else?

And you probably have answered your question about self-intoxiation already, surely what is fortuitous in the finding
is anticipated or intended in the (self)intoxication. Of course it is possible to instrumentalize intoxication in one’s own favour.
we see it all the time or much of the time, in sports, entertainments industries and academia, and also in the arts and in
other sectors, although to parse this argument one would need many pages, to look at it from a social and political
stance and at different levels or layers of intoxication formations.

Your comment on Baader-Meinhoff, however -- I could not figure it out, sorry, Could you unpack it for me? What is the
Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon, in your mind?    and what has it got to do with "commodification of theory"

I am as puzzled now as I was a few months ago when a member of the group Blast Theory told his audience about
an "ambulatory work" or performance they had created -- and some of you may have seen in in Venice (Biennial) or somewhere --
called "ULRIKE AND EAMON COMPLIANT"  [http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/bt/work_ulrikeandeamoncompliant.html], a work
that requires participation:  "participants are invited to assume the role of Ulrike".

This strikes me as perverse. But it could also be, perhaps, a certain strategy of questioning our relations to, what?, politics, the past,
armed rebellion, civil disobedience, emprisonment, consumer/user relations to  the RAF (reproduced a art game or video game), interactive
re/sourcing?  theatrical decompatilizing?

with regards

Johannes Birringer

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