[-empyre-] public lament and gardening

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Oct 4 04:39:25 EST 2012

Dear all

thank you Monika for your text/introduction to your understanding of the system of lament, and "public lament as performative and political act in public domain"  
-- this is richly evocative and will have to go back to your writing after looking at some of your work (the slides, and the films or film excerpts you include on 
I am listening to the sound now, of two of your videos.  I was struck, entering the site, to also find your reference to Cage's silence.
on first viewing/listening, your visual-sonic work has quite a mesmerizing quality.  I am just responding now, without thinking, to my listening, and
also watching the face(s) of the women in your films. (this listening is now private, at a screen, in the dark of my room). so no public lament this.
But you stage these works in public galleries or spaces, and they are visited by the "public". how then does such work function in an art context?
can it become a ritualizing space?

but i shall look forward to reading more concisely (see below) your position, also in regard to the questions already brought up by Alan, when in his last post he  speaks of
the "overwhelming suffering of the world," stating that he does "not know how to accommodate all of this".  This followed the conversation about
pain, torture, memory begun by Ana. 

This accommodation will concern us, in the coming days, i am sure.

Monika, could you expand a little on your reference to Zygmunt Baumann's idea of "gardening" .
What idea is this?

And Ana, I began to delve into your longer text on the migration from torture.
It is a very complex and fascinating text, and i agree with Alan that the "clickable words" are a rather amazing intrusion function of the website. 

I clicked "perfume"

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with regards
Johannes Birringer

Monika schreibt:

Interesting question below from Alan about the nature of video as a catalyst for memory, pain and lament and later I would like to expand that part of our discussion towards the performative and the circular in terms of the relationships between cinematic mirroring and lament as well as pain. Just briefly for now -- about torture. I am more preoccupied with torture inflicted by governments, institutions and systems that often hide their violence -- as you know only recently in my city of origins, Warsaw, a CIA compound was found in which "suspected terrorists" were kept for a number of years and tortured by US forces, without any real knowledge amongst the civil part of the Polish government. There are thousands of examples of course. Massive, systematic pain and torture systems, the ones that are pre-designed by others, "enlightened", designed by those who are in power or who represent structures of power and hegemony not because of hate, anger or any other emotion but because of fulfilling some abstracted and pragmatic goal, akin to Zygmunt Baumann's idea of "gardening" .

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