[-empyre-] practice as a means towards academic self-criticism / research as a curatorial enterprise

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Feb 25 07:03:00 EST 2012

dear soft_skinned listeners:

thx for responses that came, will reply soon when time arrives

it just occurred to me, reading the thread-title on "practice as a means towards academic self-criticism" and
Magnus's reply to Magda,  that I probably have underestimated how Magda may have intended "institutional critique"
and yet the "directing" and directedness are of significance, no?  what is meant by SELF-criticism?  did i miss this
in earlier postings, did some of you claim that practice-led research (whether it emulates science methods, or
humanities methods or no methods or invents its own methodology & strategy) is a means to critique one's own practice-led
research, perhaps render it ad absurdum?   interesting thought, that.

    [Magda schreibt]
>>Thus in my research around curating and commoning
(understood after De Angelis as  'the social process that creates and
reproduces the commons') I take into account the new context which is
defined by the changing character of production which becomes biopolitical
production invested in production of subjectivity.  

what does this mean?  i mean how do you use for yourself the term "biopolitics"?

>>In that context the question of recording is hugely important indeed because it is about what I
record and if I record at all (in which case it is a tough luck when it
comes to my PhD, though hopefully I will come up with some solution) . 

On the other hand there are already recordings of the session which are available 
on the wiki where the common practice is stored, in the edited
versions of skype text chat conversations, as well as original chat
discussions, wiki history which follows changes, etc. It seems to me that
the only way to interact with those, outside of the actual session as it is
happening, is through mythologizing, narrating, interpreting, etc.  
I am not sure what is meant by the concept 'directed commoning'. More
explanation would be. Common practice is not about curating collectively either. 

The following seems to point to the heart of your thesis and philosophy, yes?

The research  is about investigating the conditions (social,
technological, institutional, political) in which curating takes place
versus a desire (yes, utopian most likely) to on one hand not to be
subjugated to those conditions and at the same time not to subjugate others
to them.  Linking curating with the concept of the commons is probably not a
 tactic in this case, but a strategy, or methodology  if we want to stick to
the research language, to investigate biopolitics of 'curatorial'.

If this would be extrapolated, i think the political question at large, as I heard
it raised here in debate, is:   whether artistic practices (and there are different ones
of course and not all are intended with a political or politicized agenda) within
the humanities/universities can become or are practices investigating the conditions
or frameworks in which the practices can take place and be understood as research
and legitimated (via Viva and degree and the writing up)?  If self-critical, then
the practice would include writing itself as a questionable research action?  perhaps
based on weak data or weak theories or even lacking empirical evidence or too much
empirical evidence and undecided experiential values or affects or a dubious form of 
theoretical self aggrandization or justification? and so on.   I would like to see
such a self-critical phd thesis.... 

surely i also like to get the know the folks at the Faculty of Invisibility,
and the Boredom Research Institute, and at those german "Research-Clusters für
Forschungsorganisation und wissenschaftliche. Durchbrüche" [which
translates as research cluster for research-organization and scientific break-throughs].
nothing beats good organization

We Don’t Record Flowers, Said the Geographer

Johannes Birringer

- - - - - - - - - 
Magnus schreibt
Hmmm, I am also thinking about your mentioning the production of
subjectivity (self-constitution?) through this practice. In another
thread, I think there was some reference to invisibility and I see
that the Department of Reading has its own Faculty of Invisibility.
Does Common Practice pertain to this in any way? Since I've been quiet
now for a couple of days, that may a good question to close on :)


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