[-empyre-] critical space

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Wed Apr 23 03:50:45 EST 2014

Dear all,

I have been lurking so far this month distracted by my heavy teaching
load and re-coding my project Private Secrets Public Lies for Hastac
(more on that later) . Thanks to Tim for  take over the logistics of
our discussion on empyre this month.  Whew glad to have back up.

Marcus thanks for the photograph of the incredibly poignant use of old
media. I love it! I'm going to print it out and put in on the door of
my Tinker Factory Lab courtesy of you.

 Tim and I have arrived in Lima and are just now "coming to" after our
flight from Newark late last night.  As we sit in the hotel restaurant
having breakfast we are seated next to Hastac staff who are madly
preparing for our arrival.  While their conversation intensely moves
from name tags to food to transportation their conversation rests most
intently on their anxiety about the  unpredictability of the tools of
technology. Will the network be slow or too fast, will participants
have their adapters, will they arrive in time to set up and hook up
their tech projects, what other problems will occur?

In re-reading the posts thus far this month the tools of technology
and the structures and platforms that they inherently rely on resonate
throughout most of the the posts from the South African archive that
Danny shared to Diane's archive and ebooks.  In the midst of
technology, questions of indigeneity are also central to our
discussion this month as Kevin Franklin mentioned Arcta and Danny
mentioned not only the archives but the the Vha-Venda and Isi-Tsonga
kinetic sculptures which  I found amazing.

Intersections between making and craft have  resonated with our themes
of tech and indigenous cultures especially in Denisa's maker spaces of
Shenzhen as well as Vivian and Joyce's game spaces.  Kevin Hamilton's
post so brilliantly catalyzes our concerns when he talks about the
" I look at the internet as both a medium or vehicle and material. The
material is the information that is on it. The medium is the networks

that transport the material. It also has the properties of a global
mythos that transcends and/or absorbs local associations. The nternet
can be both a subject and and object.  Or rather you can hold both a
subjective and objective viewpoint at the same time

Technology exists within the zones of craft-making and culture both
the subjective and the objective  which brings me back to Calin's post
a few days ago:

"The computer is, I like to believe, a new Dada "hat" where words mix
and compose themselves into another random poem a Ready Media piece
builds itself up, and works its way toward an unpredictable target or
goal. My involvement is in establishing, or provoking the context
around the operations of this system. "

My question for all of you though is in regards to criticality. Tim
has raised this question a couple of times in his responses in
relationship but I'm wondering if anyone out there could talk about
the issues of criticality in regards to our global discussion?  For me
issues of criticality flourish around my making and conceptualizing.
Often times I am totally unaware of the critical issues that I'm
dealing with until my project is underway or even sometimes finished.
The resonances between the local and the global or negotiating the
conceiving, making, crafting, coding, and uploading can only expand
and complicate for better or worse original intention.  In what ways
can criticality provide a GROUND for the beginnings of our
multi-dimensional practices.  How then?  Let's continue to talk about


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
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space

More information about the empyre mailing list