[-empyre-] into what midst?

Charlotte Farrell charlottefarrell at gmail.com
Wed Apr 10 09:19:31 EST 2013

Dear all,

I would like to briefly take up Johannes' comment "the actual event". This
term particularly struck a chord with me in relation to the Dome event (and
Generating the Impossible, though I'll stick to the former for purposes of

Connotations associated with 'an actual event' usually relate to boundaries
of measured time. In the first instance it strikes me as referring to
something somewhat 'staged' which an event very well may be. However,
something of crucial interest to 'Into the Midst'  - both before being
located in and around the SAT Dome and during the measured time spent there
- was a complication of such a concept of 'the actual event' in processual
art practice; or, rather, art practice as process. Events such as those
processually enacted by/with the SenseLab, rather, foreground a notion of
event that is radically empirical. Simply, they are collective happenings
that foregrounds the 'thisness' of experience, rather than the 'thatness'
of form.  There are 'enabling constraints' as Erin Manning and Brian
Massumi discuss in their paper, Exploding the Gallery, yet the event is
what is enabled by the constraints in which a series of 'somethings'
germinate and sometimes flower. It is not the object that results from our
experimentation as such, but an event in the making with an indeterminate
end point.

Perhaps we'd like to discuss here in more detail the relationship between
notions of the actual, virtual and the event as we played with them in Into
the Midst.

I've also been thinking that something that was particularly generative
about this event (though some people may deem its downfall) was the ways in
which as the residency unfolded, people trailed off in various directions
or areas of focus working with particular materials. Clusters formed.
Andrew Goodman, for instance, was experimenting with sound which engaged
various people at different times while also engaging in a more solo
practice in other instances. Thinking about this the last few days, I've
been comparing it to Generating the Impossible, where people weren't able
to work so specifically in their area of specialty with particular
materials (*because we were in the woods for a week!!!) *with limited
access to technology and resources. This considerable difference in access
to materials made the Dome event much more individual at times, but it also
brought in a cross-pollination of art making materialities. For instance,
Zila Muniz spent some time directing Hannah Buck's filming of a groups
choreographic propositions, while at others times Hannah would bring an
idea to the movement group. This cross-pollination in creative making was
something that opened a space for peoples individual contributions while
creating tranversal potentials of exchange. In this material intermingling,
surprising things would, could and did happen...

I'd be interested to hear other peoples experience of this challenge of
collective creative practice in relation to 1) the conditions of the space
and 2) people's area of 'speciality'.

On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 1:07 AM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear all
> having read the two introductions to the SenseLab project (Generating the
> Impossible? Into the Midst?), it was of
> course fascinating to ponder the questions that Erin Manning raised when
> describing the plan to "explode
> the gallery" – here meaning the SAT dome in Montréal ? a gallery?  –
> especially when economic issues surfaced (about renting
> the dome space and making money) or, alongside, issues of the Lab itself
> as having become its own institution or institutional-affiliate
> not experimental, collaborative, collective enough? what notion of
> collective do you use?).
> The actual event that Erin described seemed to have been site specific, in
> the Parc, adjacent to that SAT space, and
> it involved two kinds of participatory activities (food, and the crocheted
> web). Could you please elaborate
> how this now constitutes a 'choreographic object" based on 'new media
> techniques" exploding anything? (which space?)
> I think I merely wondered what you were planning inside the neighborhood,
> on the one hand (how was the project
> communicated to the audience or the par dwellers or visitors), and where
> the "midst" now is located, urban space?
> or adjacent space (non institutional) and how did the action-environment
> you recounted made for next steps -
>  "providing us with a diagram for entering the space the next day? ? which
> is the second space?
> with regards
> Johannes Birringer
> Dap-Lab
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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