[-empyre-] incompatible research practices - week 03 - feedback & control // language & curating

magnus lawrie magnus at ditch.org.uk
Wed Feb 22 09:50:40 EST 2012

Hello Ioana and all,

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 01:04:01PM -0800, I. J. wrote:
>    Thank you, Gabriel, for inviting me, and to all contributors for still
>    having me despite the postponement.
>    Having just read Lasse and Magda’s posts, I think there might be some
>    fruitful intersections (and “in/compatibilities�) between us.
>    By way of introduction, I will say a few words about the research and
>    performance project I am currently working on. This project has grown
>    around some issues on which I presented at the  reSource
>    “in/compatible� workshop in November. In brief, I am interested in
>    exploring the human-nature interaction and the relation between nature
>    and technology today, as well as the role of reason and affect in the
>    negotiation of these relations (I do want to hold on to the notion of
>    “reason,� but I recognize that it needs to be reconceptualized for
>    me to be able to do work with it). I think that one way to go about
>    this (figuring out the role of reason and affect in the negotiation of
>    these relations) is to turn to the notion of an experience of thought
>    (a sort of embodied understanding; a thought experiment + the body) –
>    a concept that I have been thinking about but have yet to develop. (I
>    feel that I might be crossing paths with Lasse with my interest in what
>    I term “an experience of thought,� particularly as regards his
>    question: “How can moving a "mouse" on a table and pressing a finger
>    onto that mouse while watching apparent motion on a computer screen be
>    experienced as one integrated action: clicking on something?�).

There is a quote I recited in my own presentation for reSource:

“One should not necessarily flee or condemn circularity as one would a
bad repetition, a vicious circle, a regressive or sterile process. One
must, in a certain way of course, inhabit the circle, turn around in
it, live there a feast of thinking, and the gift, the gift of
thinking, would be no stranger there.” [1]

I wonder if this is in any way evocative of the of interfaces and the
intersections and in/compatibilities between this weeks discussants?
>    Relatedly, I am interested in the question of the radical potential of
>    myth and myth-making today, and of the possibility for a certain
>    cross-fertilization between the natural and the technological through
>    myth. I understand myth along the lines of what Ricardo Dominguez terms
>    “the mythopoetic:� the opening of a space that allows one to create
>    rituals of understanding around the social space, around pervasive
>    epistemological-ontological constructs; a meta-space for transmission
>    where conversation and experimentation can happen. One avenue of
>    thinking about this network of connections developed around myth is
>    that of a conceptualization of nature in terms of transformation, of
>    change, of that which is slightly ahead of us, rather than as some kind
>    of definite entity to be preserved (at stake here is a coming undone of
>    the traditional nature-technology dichotomy to which I referred in my
>    contribution to the “in/compatible� workshop). Key to this approach
>    is acknowledging that new mechanisms of action-reaction (feedback, if
>    you will) have emerged with recent technological developments, as well
>    as trying to figure out what these mechanisms could be.
>    As I mentioned earlier, my interests are now taking (artistic) shape in
>    my current project, which is called “Techno-Mythologies.� This is a
>    collaboration with poet Robert Snyderman
>    ([1]http://www.thecorrespondingsociety.com/robertsnyderman). This past
>    fall, Robert and I have had a series of theoretical conversations on
>    our topic of interest (the relation between nature and technology
>    today). In parallel, each of us worked on developing a play
>    materializing in artistic form our different positions towards this
>    topic (Robert's play is entitled "Voice Graffiti;" mine, "The Deaths of
>    Pan"). Robert and I are now staging our plays (separately) and
>    presenting them together in a performance-installation (we are working
>    with visual artists: our shared set consists of paintings and
>    sculptures that, in a way, re-create nature).
>    Documentation of the project is available here:
>    [2]http://technomyth.wordpress.com/. (* below is a brief description of
>    The Deaths of Pan)
>    Some challenges I am facing in my attempt to move across different
>    disciplines (theatre and performance studies; philosophy; media
>    studies), and between theory and practice in my academic and artistic
>    work are:
>    How can I embody and live what I theorize, without letting it close
>    down my possibilities of experiencing? How can I make of my
>    performance-making practice a learning experience (that materializes in
>    some kind of knowledge acquisition or understanding) rather than an
>    application of the theoretical outcomes of my research? (How) am I to
>    justify my art practice in relation to my theoretical research and
>    demonstrate its relevance to the latter? (this question matters because
>    mine is a theory-focused PhD; its outcome will be a dissertation)

If I have understood well, Lasse and Magda have both indicated
creative practices which are in some degree exterior to the PhD.
Perhaps you could reflect on this in/compatibility as you experience
it also. There could be an interesting comparison emerging there. I

There is so much more to your post - thank you and forgive me if I
don't respond further but instead take time to re-read it.

Best wishes,

>    I would also have some other thoughts about the relations and
>    in/compatibilities between research and art practice in my case, but
>    I’ll stop for now for fear that this post is already too long.
>    I hope these thoughts will generate some discussion.
>    Thanks.
>    Best wishes,
>    Ioana
>    * The Deaths of Pan is a one-hour performance that invites its audience
>    to a thought-experiment: what has become of our memory now that we are
>    increasingly relying on technological devices to remember for us, and
>    what has become of our relationship to nature now that we increasingly
>    live our lives in artificial and virtual worlds? Are we beginning to
>    experience an acute nostalgia for what we now grow to realize is a life
>    to which we no longer have access (a life of simplicity, in so-called
>    “harmony� with nature)?
>    Built around the myth of the mortal god of nature Pan (whose name is at
>    the root of the word “panic�) and the nymph Echo, this
>    thought-experiment is presented through the metaphor of a love story
>    – “an anxious sudden intimacy worked out as a practical
>    relationship – that devolves through jealousy and alienation� (in
>    Erik Ehn’s reading of the play). The Deaths of Pan traces Pan and
>    Echo’s journey together (or, rather, together apart), in a meditation
>    on the human-nature interaction and the relation between nature and
>    technology today.
>      __________________________________________________________________
>    From: Gabriel Menotti <gabriel.menotti at gmail.com>
>    To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>    Sent: Monday, February 20, 2012 2:05 AM
>    Subject: Re: [-empyre-] incompatible research practices - week 03 -
>    feedback & control // language & curating
>    Hello again!
>    I'm happy to say that Ioana Jucan, who could not participate last
>    week, is also contributing to this one.
>    Welcome, Ioana!
>    Best!
>    Menotti
>    _______________________________________________
>    empyre forum
>    [3]empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>    http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> References
>    1. http://www.thecorrespondingsociety.com/robertsnyderman
>    2. http://technomyth.wordpress.com/
>    3. mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

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