[-empyre-] into what midst? which collective? whose imaginary space?

Charlotte Farrell charlottefarrell at gmail.com
Wed Apr 24 02:12:58 EST 2013

"taking collaboration out of the personal" - I really like that, Toni and I
also think that relates with what you said about Bacon's book. I've thought
a lot about this latter aspect in terms of writing about the work of
Australian director Barrie Kosky for my PhD thesis. I don't want to get too
caught up with biography, whilst also positioning the reader to sense the
context from which his work emerges, *affectively*. Therefore, writing *with
* his performances (rather than about, which reminds me also of your point
about the 'how' over the 'what of research-creation) and letting them 'move
my thought' has been a helpful exercise in not only taking making out of
the personal, but considering performance in ecological terms. Baz Kershaw
has a nice book Theatre Ecology (2007) along these lines that some people
may be interested in. I found Erin Manning's chapter from her book
Relationscapes (2009) on Leni Reifenstahl's work also exemplary in this

Friendship and the personal does colour the collaborative projects of the
SenseLab, I think, but not in the usual sense of these terms. By this I
mean, in a way to reiterate Toni's point, that it is not the basis, but
rather as an emergent quality of the collaborative 'ecology' of art making
in the field of experience. But I'd be happy for us to take this thought
further, collaboratively!


On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 5:37 AM, Toni Pape <tonipape at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> hello
> from erin's phrasing I would think that she means our "subtle allegiances"
> with capital. if i may paraphrase in a somewhat simplistic way: even the
> most anti-capitalist among us cannot escape capital. the goal is therefore
> not to naïvely try and step out of capital but to step in and navigate our
> complex entanglements with it differently.
> a really short note on friendship: we've had a lot of conversations about
> this and here's what i took out it. friendship can be (but doesn't have to
> be) an *outcome* of collaborative practice. it *cannot* be its basis. it
> has to do with taking collaboration out of the personal. i'd be glad to go
> over that one again if people are interested. :-)
> concerning "new forms of knowledge." this may sound evasive but i hope you
> trust that it's not: i believe you cannot know *what* a new form of
> knowledge is because it doesn't exist yet. that's the thing with novelty.
> and taken seriously, this poses quite a demanding task:
> if you go to a conventional conference, you know that the form of
> knowledge you'll get is the 20-minute-paper. if you go to a
> research-creation event, you will have to invent that form in the first
> place. in any case, you will only ever know afterwards (and we've talked
> about what that was in the case of the dome project). we obviously have
> ideas and propositions. but you never know how the process will play out,
> what will stick, what will fall away. speaking of "what" and "how", i'm
> reminded of the first *Inflexions* issue which was called "How is
> research-creation?" <http://www.inflexions.org/issues.html#i1> instead of
> "What...".
> i'd say the point about failure and uselessness is not that our
> collaborative efforts *have to *result in that. but failure is always an
> option. obviously, one doesn't need an instrument for failure. i'd say
> failure has a habit of falling into place all by itself and doesn't need
> much help. also, it would be weird (paradoxical?) to have instruments for
> failure. applied correctly, they would allow us to "succeed in failing."
>  sadly enough, failure still feels like failure to me.
> and the notion of uselessness, for me, simply implies that the standard by
> which you measure value does not pre-exist that which is measured. for
> instance, it's very easy to say *Logic of Sensation* is useless because
> Francis Bacon hated it and he was a good painter. so it's of no use to the
> obvious authority in place. fine. but a more interesting and generous
> question would be to ask: what can a book, or movement of thought, a
> creative process *generate*? how might it *create *its own use?
> toni
> Am 22.04.2013 um 13:53 schrieb Johannes Birringer <
> Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear all
> on a less humorous note, i have been thinking much about the recent
> response posting by Erin, which I felt was
> thought-provoking and frustrating at the same time, so i wondered how
> others here responded to the language
> and the philosophical stance (the term failure has been mentioned
> repeatedly but so far was excised from the discussion
> - and I'm glad it was as I don't particularly enjoyed recent academic
> rhetorical valuations of the merits of 'failure' in theory and
> praxis), so my question is rather simple - in response to the valid claims
> that might be made in favor of trying to un-align oneself
> with "value"  or prestige in the art marker or art system ...
> [Erin writes]
> ...a collective practice of working out how to connect with and at the
> same time leave behind modes of value-added (prestige value, for instance)
> so often associated to how art operates in the market. And the fact that
> many of us are academics also keeps us on our toes. But our point is not to
> suggest that we can create conditions that escape capital. Our hope is that
> in developing techniques that can create conditions for emergent collective
> processes, we will better be able to negotiate these subtle allegiances all
> of us participate in, and create lines of resistance that are curious and
> open-ended. >>
> could you elaborate what keeps you on your toes  -- that you have to
> produce something that is not waste?
> Claims that art is useless had been made a long time ago and repeatedly,
> of course the ironies abound.
> Yet collectively, cultures tend to remember art works and performances
>  and certain beliefs/rhythms (here I remind you of the
> text that Olu Taiwo had sent and which I quoted last sweek) they found
> useful and very much worth remembering or
> reinventing, that were instrumental in more than one sense.
> So what is your instrument of waste, of rigorous effort resulting in
> nothing? or anything (work) but only "affinities" and "subtle allegiances"?
>  What are these subtle allegiances,
> and where to they take us? are they your friendships?  surely that is
> fine, so are work-related creative temporary partnerships and production
> teams, we all enjoy them. What then
> are the "new forms of knowledge" you speak of?  and how could they be
> collective beyond your particular affinity group? is this the collective
> mode you meant to introduce?
> respectfully
> Johannes Birringer
> dap / interaktionslabor
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