[-empyre-] stepping out of the frame to play around & playing in the frame
christina.spiesel at yale.edu
Tue Jul 24 01:25:53 EST 2012
This has been a wonderful conversation to lurk in and I greatly
appreciated Simon's summary and introduction to this week's conversation.
A couple of brief observations: I have been musing on the difference
between Bookman's /Mass Ornament /and Kutiman's /Through You/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tprMEs-zfQA; see also
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Oka7uTytM&feature=relmfu Kutiman /Mixes
Democracy/. Without a doubt, taste plays a role here, but viewing people
dancing in isolation in private rooms but seemingly "controlled" by
external prompts (or maybe we should say rules of the game), may be a
smart comment on our isolated screen-dominated lives, but I find the
Kutiman work much more moving. The human participants are each doing
what they want to do full-out and the artist is recombining their
efforts into a larger whole. Is it just a different politics or is it
that he is using web contents to make a new thing that could not be made
any other way? The Bookman piece actually could be performed on stage
aside from the conceptual overlay -- who the dancers are and what their
spaces look like seem less important and one could indeed stage cubicles
with moving bodies in them with any material identifiers desired by the
production designer. Obviously for the choreographer, the technology
itself was very important as it is for Kutiman; as their viewer, though,
I respond to a different attitude about that technology. I do not mean
these to be fighting words in any way; I am just thinking aloud about my
response to two works.
Which leads me to Aristede's reflection on facts and events.
Cognitively, every time we call up a fact speaking of the brain and
memory) it enters a new context -- in our brains if not in response to
external changes in the world out there. So if we call a fact dead, then
are we not saying that it no longer has meaning, but if we've called it
up, there is some connection somewhere in our minds to something that
does have meaning. Otherwise the world out there has caused us to recall
it and the ground of meaning may have shifted a little but, once again,
it appears in a different contextual array. It all dynamic.
On 7/23/2012 4:17 AM, Karen O'Rourke wrote:
> Hi Scott, Sean, Johannes, Salvatore & all,
> Great way to sum up week 3. The aestheticization of politics "plays
> on" human needs it would be foolish to leave to totalitarian regimes.
> Natalie Bookchin's video choreography points toward the rituals
> involved in play, and the playfulness of ritual - - people are ready
> to collaborate in choreographies like the danced wedding so popular
> that same year : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0. (which
> seems to have triggered off a new genre on YouTube) Or Body Movies.
> Sometimes it's important to just plunge in and dance.
> Le 23/07/2012 05:52, Scott Mcquire a écrit :
>> Hi Johannes, Sean, Karen and all
>> Lost this thread in the weekend, and, even though wk 4 has begun, didn't
>> want to leave it hanging.
>> Johannes Birringer"<Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:
>> "I wanted to just pause for a moment and ask about what kind of play you
>> have observed,how you evaluate or interpret it (again one might think
>> of large screening projection works like Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Body
>> or even more popular seemingly wide-spreading events like the "Big Dance
>> Day" that Wayne McGregor organized via the internet on July 14),
>> and how we feel about the mass ornament today?"
>> These are great questions Johannes but way too big for me to do more
>> sketch a response here. The stylization of the affective by regimes
>> such as
>> the National Socialists in the 1930s was certainly one of the
>> examples I was
>> thinking of in terms of the left abandoning affect and thereby
>> leaving it to
>> the worst exploitations... (I agree that Kracauer's Mass Ornament, like
>> Benjamin's 'aestheticisation of politics' critique, remain vital in the
>> Nathalie Bookchin's 'mass ornament' video<http://vimeo.com/5403546>
>> a sense of how the sort of distributed individualism fostered by the
>> of web platforms such as youtube might intersect the ambivalent
>> demands to
>> 'express yourself' in the present. Not sure I read this work as an
>> 'intimate part of a democratic drama' (review in the LA times), but
>> see it
>> as more about the limits of contemporary exhortations for
>> as self-improvement.
>> I think Body Movies offers a number of pointers as to how things might
>> proceed otherwise. It involves a level of spontaneity, in the sense
>> people often discover the interface unexpectedly and then proceed to
>> how it works through experimentation. There are diverse modalities of
>> engagement including observation of others and more direct forms of
>> participation. The work is not organised around turn-taking or
>> scoring (the normal game paradigms) but is relatively open-ended.
>> Individuals are able to recognize their own contributions, but these are
>> always located in the broader context of a collective 'screenplay'
>> (think of
>> this in the old sense as a collectively authored film). And engagement
>> depends on implication of the body in the scene, which limits the
>> towards relating to the work as pure spectacle.
>> Finally, I agree it is not only about what scenarios we think the
>> might fulfil, but what people actually do (and don't do) in these
>> A brief aside to Sean
>> "In the scanned screen, completion is permanently held out as
>> presence, and
>> permanently denied -- a dialectic of the unstable attept to construct a
>> permanent present."
>> Sounds a bit like the screen as desire in the Lacanian of lack?
>> Now to the beginning of a new semester of teaching...
>> Best, scott
>> On 21/07/12 5:55 AM, "Johannes
>> Birringer"<Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
>>> yes, i have no problems with the argument at all, Scott (regarding
>>> And I am of course interested (and try to engage) affective
>>> or forces in multisensory environments we create or find ourselves in.
>>> These also can be transformative, although I'd be carefully
>>> questioning mass
>>> phenomena or massive/collective sensortiziations...
>>> My concern was how the "sensory" or the "play" in interface
>>> scenarios got validated and overvalued in recent interactive art and
>>> interactional design [discourses] in western display sectors,
>>> leaving the
>>> interactive turn (which i was excited about initially, admittedly, in
>>> terms of art practice, and then later on came to find severely limiting
>>> and red-herring-ish), and we were talking here about (screen and
>>> after-screen) interfaces and participatory imperatives in
>>> driven modalities).
>>> Thus, to remember the analyses of the apparatus posted here,
>>> or the imaginings of cloudy virtual data worlds seemingly ubiquitous or
>>> i wanted to just pause for a moment and ask about what kind of play
>>> you have
>>> how you evaluate or interpret it (again one might think here of large
>>> screening projection
>>> works like Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Body Movies, or even more popular
>>> events like the "Big Dance Day" that Wayne McGregor organized via
>>> the internet
>>> on July 14),
>>> and how we feel about the mass ornament today?
>>> Not too long ago, during a workshop at EMPAC in 2010, we worked a
>>> lot on
>>> and devising interfacial [computational] environments for audience
>>> interaction, and I remember
>>> staying up many nights to write a blog on the "social ritual" (Goffman)
>>> aspects imputed into such
>>> participatory designs – Goffman very interestingly spoke about
>>> inter-faciality and keeping/losing face
>>> in such social contexts – yet then I noticed that in the lab we
>>> probably most if not all of the time on
>>> programming and testing, not on asking ourselves why we wanted our
>>> "users" to
>>> do this or that,
>>> and how they responded or might respond, or not respond.
>>> with regards
>>> Johannes Birringer
>>> Scott Mcquire schreibt:
>>> Yes, play, like participation, is a term that is much used in the
>>> probably too much. And of course the conditions of play have been
>>> significantly transformed by its pervasive commodification in the
>>> But I'm not sure I want to surrender the term.
>>> Johannes asks: Why is there so much credit given to "playful"
>>> why is the sensory valued over the cognitive and pro-active political
>>> organization of behavior and decision making, interpretation,
>>> denials or choosing?
>>> For me, both modalities are important and necessary in any
>>> project. One of the problems with traditional 'left' approaches to
>>> space/public sphere was the tendency to ignore the affective and
>>> the cognitive/rational (Habermas, etc). I was thinking more in
>>> sense, where play involves the collective testing and renegotiation of
>>> social rules, both formal and informal, in the course of public
>>> I think we ignore the affective, sensory dimension of play -- which
>>> is the
>>> aesthetic ‹ to our own loss.
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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