[-empyre-] practice, research, curating, common, deconstruction

Magda Tyzlik-Carver magda at thecommonpractice.org
Mon Feb 27 08:40:30 EST 2012

Sorry for coming back with some of the responses with this delay.  Also
thank you Ioana for your answers, which again seem to articulate proximity
of our interests. 


>>You talk about "...practice in flux, nomadic practice that exists in the
common." If I may infer some degree of useful disorganization results from
the distributedness in your curatorial practice, I would then ask if there
are any incompatibilities emerging from 'nomadic'

(where I read 'disparate') and 'common' (where I read 'shared' and
'collective'). I mean, in your Common Practice is there any difficulty in
curating togetherness, in organizing collectivity? What is the effect of the
technology in this case? How do you respond to the different aspects of a
practice in flux?>>  (Magnus)


Yes, there is lots of difficulty in, as you call it, curating togetherness.
I would say it is a reassuring difficulty, however. In fact, my intention is
not to curate togetherness, nor is it to direct forms of commoning. Perhaps
it is valid to say that I am hoping to curate nothing in projects such as
common practice. A situation like common practice is more of an assemblage
of people, technology (software, hardware,), texts, but also skills and
affective responses to the way in which the session develops, to the
software and the kind of protocols it requires (it is not uncommon that some
get frustrated during sessions). 


I used to think of common practice as a curatorial system but I think
assemblage is more appropriate, as there is no presumed result that common
practice session is supposed to generate except for the fact that it invites
to share time, thoughts, engage in discussion, intervene in texts,
experience individually and collectively common practice as an event. 


>>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 :) >> (Magnus)


Department of Reading
http://automatist.net/deptofreading/wiki/pmwiki.php/Main was/is part of the
Faculty of Invisibility http://facultyofinvisibility.tinka.cc/ together with
other departments (of Haunting, Doubt, Survival, etc.).  Interestingly, the
Faculty is of course concerned with the question of invisibility directly by
asking 'what is artistic research and production? I would recommend checking
their website to see more on the project initiated by Inga Zimprich.

In common practice the focus is on materiality of practices of immaterial
and cultural production and how they are played out by putting together all
the elements: texts, poetry, people, code, language, wiki, chat, etc.; how
they are played out in relation to the fact that sessions last for 3 - 5
hours (3-5 hours in front of the computer screen), and require participants
to learn how the system works, and then how they want to use it for the
session. During the sessions we read the proposed text which is stored on
the Department of Reading wiki page, we start to work/play/intervene/comment
on the text dierectly from the skype chat room (where a discussion also
takes place) and which is connected to the wiki directly via specially
designed programme called doris (Department of Reading internet system).
This turns skype into an interface allowing to edit text on the wiki. What I
would say takes place in common practice is production of collective
subjectivity which is very much contingent upon all the elements which art
part of it: technological, thematic structures, people, etc. this shared
activity of production and reproduction of language, knowledges,
experiences, affects define what common practice becomes for each session.
This process is repeated each time, as new elements shift the familiarity
which might be carried from other similar experiences of working online, or
from the previous sessions. The value of the session is in the forms of
interaction with texts, software, each other, during the actual event as it
is happening and as such it opens a possibility of understanding the event
as a location of co-production of knowledge and 'a materialist temporal and
spatial site of co-production of the subject' to use Rossi Braidotti's
terms. And to respond to Ioana's question about 'another knowledge',  it is
one of the ways in which it could be defined. 


> I am not sure what is meant by the concept 'directed commoning'. More 

> explanation would be. [MT]

Oh, it wasn't meant to have the weight of a "concept", I was just trying to
refer to a process of commoning that would be planned or developed in a
centralized way (by one person, for example).>> Gabriel

Directed commoning seems like a paradox in itself. Also it seems to assume
that commoning can be prescribed for example as a game.  Before each session
I wonder (like we do in similar situations) will people come, will they want
to engage in this? It is so dependent on their generosity, curiosity, and
then decision of spending time on this activity. There is no prizes, no
points, sometimes people leave because they find it frustrating or
pointless. Those reactions are also part of the event, how wouldn't they. 

I agree there is a degree of directedness, or perhaps direction of some
sort, which is suggested by a proposed theme, texts, software, etc. but the
process engaged here results from the interest of exploring the ways in
which control (so characteristic to the figure of a curator) can be shifted,
though I wouldn't say it is about distribution of control either. More like
a deconstruction in common.   



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