[-empyre-] (no subject)

Robert Nideffer nideffer at gmail.com
Fri Mar 1 11:29:02 EST 2013

Hi Natalie, your provocative post in the 11th hour of the exchange, noting
such striking parallels, reflecting, questioning, grieving, regrouping,
re-energizing, seems somehow perfect to me. And I think she would have
liked your framing.

"Thingking" or "thing king" (i.e., 'things reigning supreme' in the
material/symbolic networks we create) - made me smile, especially after
learning that it came from Usman :).

On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM, Natalie Jeremijenko <njeremijenko at gmail.com
> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Phytic acid and plant sources of Satopin, Anthrocyanins, Urban Pigeons
> and flight paths and payloads, carbon monoxide sensors, endangered
> species and local extirpations lists, urban animal/human interaction,
> cellos, mouse models and cancer research protocols, participatory research,
> breast-cancer-environment interaction, cytotoxicity of air pollutants,
> cancer as a metabolic disorder, clonal cell lines this curiosity cabinet of
> contemporary culture lists some of the very specific media that
> independently and surprisingly I’d discover that Beatriz and I both worked
> with, albeit in tremendously different ways. I recognized the legacy, love
> and desire to reinvent the cello—from her grad work, but ever since, till
> her death the the similarity of the actual material, more then the
> coincidence of our concerns, while unrecognizable to most, startled me and
> remains with me.
> Discovering that Shani also chose the same CO sensor from a long list of
> inadequate ones is, well, peculiarly ratifying. Or looked into the life
> cycle of Phytic Acid in plants and then the transductions within the cell
> membrane. Like finding a cell phone signal when lost in arid Australian
> outback—both of us unqualified to there; or the celebrated “ahaa moment” of
> the benzene-ring sort documented in history of science. It doesn't strike
> in a dream but in the forest of intellectual respect and rings on in the
> ongoing relationship to her work. I knew that she knew, she knew I knew the
> constraints and tradeoffs in calibration issues the airquality monitoring,
> for instance, or any of the struggles in the practical work of
> “thingking”--a coinage of Usman Haque’s I love and use for the intimacy it
> suggests between the material stuff and the ideas. We rarely spoke directly
> about technical issues but …
> In this simultaneity, there was, and importantly *IS* a quiet and
> unspoken intellectual companionship amongst lone explorations technical
> specifications, scientific literature or database design. When I realized
> this—that I still feel her company—I felt a glimmer of genuine happiness
> that was not memory, but the germ of a plan.  It is a tragedy to have lost
> her flesh, wit and presence at her well-planned events. I miss seeing the
> development of new strategies of representation--from participatory
> workshops to succulent hires video productions (something I would love to
> discuss) and so much more in her recent of exhibitions (thanks Nicola for
> posting the exhibition images) and apps and …. It is a tragic loss. Black
> as black. And in the blind fumbling search for sense amongst this I am
> confronted with the demands of her words/titles: the cost of life; dying
> for the other; and stalins one death is a tragedy; one million deaths, a
> statistic. The galling injustice of her death, is impossible for me to
> transpose this to the many who have died from breast cancer complications,
> even as I work on the relationship of cancer to environmental contaminants.
> I have to ask what does her death represent, actually? to examine the
> value of life, hers, mine, to describe what she did--what did she do?—and
> what I do, can do. The similarity of concerns demands that I figure this
> out. And I am late to post because I find  this is very very hard.
> Our profession, for want of a better word, demands we make these comic
> lists of media in compliance with gallery convention—obsequiously we list
> cell lines, debt bundles, nonhuman organisms, their handlers, student
> performers, institutions. Intense assemblages, amusing for their
> unlikeliness, and for the inadequacy of “mixed media” or new media, or even
> software art, environmental art, socially-engaged art, activist art, or
> environmental art activism or other terms used to describe what she/we do
> while silent on why these things are there, no mention of the research nor
> the citations that make research communities.
> The questions are less obvious—to me at least. “I work on food”, or “I
> have a food project” as if the media explains the concern. It does and
> doesn’t. Shani’s work-- her interest in food was specific, visceral and
> focused on cancer prevention, and tremendously delicious. But it asked how
> plant-derived food transforms our relationship to natural systems, to do
> nothing less than transform the calorie view of food (as fuel/energy) to a
> nutrient-based view of food that intimately couples the biodiversity and
> complex biological interrelationship both inside our bodies and
> externally…. to the soil microbes who make available nutrients facilitating
> the synthesis of phytonutrient, to the nude mice and cell cultures on which
> experimental work is done.
> I am writing this to ask for correction in my understanding of her work
> and questions.  I have a long list that I would love to develop ….
> Thanks Shani
> --
> Natalie Jeremijenko, Environmental Health Clinic
> Associate Professor in Art,
> Affiliated faculty in Computer Science
> Affiliated faculty in Environmental Studies
> The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development
> New York University
> clinic:     212.998.5110
> fax:          212.995.4320
> cell:         917.443.2179
> xdesign:     Environmental Health Clinic and Lab
>         environmentalhealthclinic.net
> 34 Stuyvesant Street, 402b
> New York University
> New York NY 10003
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Sent from my iPhone
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