[-empyre-] Week 3 on empyre: thoughts about the first two weeks and moving on

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Sat Oct 19 01:22:27 EST 2013

Hey, empyre!

Thanks for the intro, Renate. It is quite pleasing to participate of
the list in the much more comfortable position of a guest. =)

Following Dale’s comments about venues and events in Delhi/Mumbai that
foster convergence of practices, I could talk a bit about my recent
experience, having returned to Brazil after a four-year season as a
PhD candidate in London. Still suffering from academic jet lag, some
challenges within local universities, research councils and seminars
become very clear.

Somewhat, the precariousness of local institutions plays against
convergence. In the context of arts & humanities, the general lack of
resources (books, equipment, funding - and time to work!) seems to
result in much more homogenous projects, repeating similar formulas,
topics and bibliography. Besides the demands of productivity and
accountability, I believe one of the reasons for this streamlining of
the field is the very honest desire to find intellectual interlocution
- common, reliable bases for dialogue. It can feel quite alienating to
be the only one in a whole field dealing with a particular
bibliography or theme, having no one to talk to. We invest time and
attention in authors and schema that allow us to communicate with our

Thus, theory moves slowly, in well-established fads, trailing after
what happens in North America and Europe (mostly France). The most
recent ones are Rancière and Didi-Huberman, who are being mentioned in
virtually every national debate about moving image. There seems to be
both insecurity and cautiousness in this development, a kind of fear
of walking with one’s own steps and suddenly finding divergences from
norms set abroad, risking putting into question the rigid hierarchies
scientific authority relies upon.

(It’s funny how this creates certain distortions of perception. For a
long time, Vilém Flusser – who lived, worked and taught in Brazil for
a long time – felt too foreign. When I moved to London, I made the
mistake of changing all my main references to match the British
edition of “Towards a Philosophy of Photography”, ignorant of the fact
that Portuguese was more of a working language for the author, and the
Brazilian version of the book is actually more up to date.)


2013/10/17 Renate Ferro <rtf9 at cornell.edu>:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Tim and I have returned to the US after an intense and productive time at the Busan Film Festival.  It was wonderful to see Youngmin and Alex in real time in both Busan and Seoul.  The Asian perspective on convergence is one that I feel we have only begun to flush out. Thank you Alex for teasing out some of the cultural complications involving this fact.  This was evident for me not only at Busan's film festival but in meeting many of my former students who despite a critical fine arts education at Cornell have transitioned over to their home in Korea where most of them work in very large commercial design firms. It appears to me that this spirit in celebration of capitalism as opposed to a suspicion (that particularly western academics and artists) stems from a desire and necessity for South Korea to assert itself from its neighbor to the North,  communist North Korea. I am thinking though about how other parts of Asia may weigh in on this.
> Week three brings to us three guest moderators:  Dale Hudson, Gabriel Menotti and Ken Feingold.  Dale now teaching in the United Arab Emerites has been a guest on -empyre previously so many of you may know him.  Dale used to teach at our neighboring institution Ithaca College and we do miss seeing him around town.  Gabriel Menotti long-time empyreans will recognize.  Menotti was a part of a moderating team a few years ago.  We welcome him back as a guest and look forward to his contribution.  We also welcome Ken Feingold this month a new contributor to -empyre. Biographies are below.
> Dale Hudson (UAE/USA) is a media theorist, critic, and curator.  He teaches film and new media studies at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), curates online exhibitions for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), and serves on the preselection committee for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF).  His work appears in journals including Afterimage, American Quarterly, Cinema Journal, French Cultural Studies, Journal of Film and Video, Screen, and Studies in Documentary Film, as well as in anthologies.  His book-in-progress, “Blood, Bodies, and Borders,” analyzes transnational and postcolonial vectors of U.S. history through the political economies of film.  He has also reviewed films, exhibitions, and books for journals including Afterimage, African Studies Review, Jadaliyya, and Scope.
> Gabriel Menotti (Brazil, 1983) Gabriel Menotti is an independent curator and lecturer in Multimedia at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES). He is the author of Através da Sala Escura (Intermeios, 2012), a history of movie theatres from the perspective of VJing spaces. Menotti holds a PhD in Media & Communications from Goldsmiths (University of London), and another from the Catholic University from São Paulo. He has published work in a number of research journals and books, as well as contributed to international events such as the São Paulo Biennial, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid and the Transmediale Festival.
> Ken Feingold (USA, 1952) received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in “Post-Studio Art” from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA.  He has been recognized as an innovator in the field of interactive art after fifteen prior years of making films, video art, objects, and installations. His early interactive works include The Surprising Spiral (1991), JCJ Junkman (1992), Childhood/Hot & Cold Wars (1993), and where I can see my house from here so we are (1993-95) among others.  His work Interior (1997) was commissioned for the first ICC Biennale '97, Tokyo; Séance Box No.1 was developed while in residence at the ZKM Karlsruhe during 1998-99, and Head (1999-2000) was commissioned by the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki for the exhibition "Alien Intelligence" (Feb-May 2000). Since 2000 he has developed a body of “cinematic sculptures” - objects and installations which include artificially intelligent animatronics and, frequently, moving images. He has taught moving image art at Princeton University and Cooper Union, among others, and he is also a licensed psychoanalyst in private practice. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kiasma, Helsinki; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, and others.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,
> (contracted since 2004)
> Cornell University
> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu>
> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
>       http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

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