[-empyre-] Week 3:Welcome back Melinda Rackham.

Melinda Rackham melinda at subtle.net
Sat Feb 28 01:58:55 AEDT 2015

Hi all,

hey its great to see both familiar and new names in my -empyre- inbox. My long week has been greatly enlivened by being a guest here, and being given the gift of your art and ideas. Thanks so much for suggesting it Renate. 
Invitation is a indispensable tool.

Its late and I don't have enough brain processing tonight to weave everything I want to say into a coherent narrative so I'll dot point (a useful tool) responses to all your responses. My apologies if I have missed your post.  
+Yes, welcomes and group norms are both graceful and sturdy tools.

"Keep things small, multi-functional, adaptive, and cheap…  because if we use resources to achieve access to higher order tools (like buying iPads for school kids), then we communicate democracy, but in practical terms we achieve the opposite."
+ Appropriate action is a vastly under-estimated communication tool.

"My question is how can women have stronger influence to change this culture?"
+ I think your doing it Tracey - write, talk, act, wear comfortable shoes when walking, and enjoy yourself. 
Being a visible woman in any field is a powerful tool.

"That is the power of the artist leading through the conceptualization of an idea and its execution."
+ Holding the vision is a tool that enables others to act.

"Incidentally, did you hear of Argentine writer Carla Zaccagnini’s "Elements of Beauty", a book in which she tells stories of early 20th century suffragettes, and the violent and frequent attacks carried out by militant members of the Women’s Social and Political Union, on a number of artworks and artefacts in English and Scottish museums; and then these women went to prison for it?"
+ Thank you for this Johannes I hadn't heard of it and this is a perfect exemplar for a discussion on feminist tools and technologies. Great article about Carla here..
however I cant find any images of the sculptures she made of the weapons (tools) the suffragettes used to attack the artworks. Its great to know that after these  hactions in 1913- 14, an astounding 100 years ago , that women could not enter British Galleries and Museums without a ticket certifying that someone (husband, father, brother) was willing to pay for any damage that they caused. I love this herstory!
Incidentallity and random coincidence are essential tools.

and Tim..
"Our hope is to keep it flourishing as it morphs and changes."
+  Thank you for your kind words and vision in archiving -empyre- and taking it under the Cornell wing.  I know that you have also personally been instrumental in an extensive archive of the development of Chinese Media art which is really unknown in the west which is such important cultural and political work. There is a significant life time commitment to that. 
Reliability and constancy are the often hidden tools which underpin any endeavour.

As you say -empyre- will keep changing and thats necessary if its to stay effective and relevant. 
-empyre- is a responsive tool. 
Users can direct it towards their own interests if they choose to.
Cause someone makes the common ground, but its all about whats brought into it. 

In response to your question Renate, its fitting to leave on a cyclical journey into the tools of archiving..

+ Head over to the Art Gallery of Knoxville  http://www.theartgalleryofknoxville.com 
- the Gallery no longer exists but its history is beautifully archived in pic and podcasts.
- click on the right most yellow keyboard tab of AGoK, just above the CLOSED sign, which is the archive for "Building an Archive"
- theres still and moving image of the -empyre- books on the floor.
- this smart project was instigated by Chris Molinski  http://chrismolinski.com
- Chris may post something about it soon.

Thanks for having me.

On 27 Feb 2015, at 2:15 pm, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks so much Melinda, Ben, Tracey and so many of you for posting this
> past week.  I know that Melinda is off traveling soon so I want to address
> just a couple of comments she made. I am quickly responding after a
> grueling day of teaching and admissions meetings so though I apologize for
> this fleeting email I did want to get it out.
> The aliases on empyre have always fascinated me.  I know that Christina
> McPhee has one.  There may be others out there now but my hunch is that
> most empyreans are using their own names and oftentimes their professional
> emails as subscriber addresses.  We recently had a group of people who
> wanted to potentially discuss the GAMERGATE issue on -empyre- but decided
> to opt out for many reasons but mainly that the issue was so hot that
> their own identities might be jeopardized.  So yes all these issues
> including vulnerability and safety are key concerns for all of us.  As
> moderators though I feel it is our  job to make our guests feel welcomed
> and safe.  The entire list is moderated and posts are read first before
> they are sent to our  general subscriber list.  Melinda you set that
> system up. There have been numerous times when our moderating team has not
> posted an entry because it was off-topic or inflammatory.
> The issue of archiving is one that both Tim Murray and myself are deeply
> invested in.  In fact Tim will be our guest on empyre to close out the
> month.  Yes the University of South Wales archives all of our discussions
> http://lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/
> Cornell houses our website http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
> I am aware that Rhizome.org also archives the site but I am not sure if
> that is select months or every month.  Maybe Tim knows that one.
> Yes you may be correct in assuming that when the print versions of the
> online journal may have incited a move to become a bit more pedantic.  I
> came in on the moderating team at the time when Christina McPhee
> represented us at documenta.  There are others In that list that I was not
> aware of Melinda so thanks so much for the list. I would be interested to
> hear more about what happened with the Art Gallery of Knoxville
> publication in 2005 and if you were ever able to find out later about its
> sources.  
> This past month has been a banner one for me.  To see so both Melinda and
> Tracey and other former regulars come back to us has been nostalgic and
> memorable.  Hope you will be able to make one more post Melinda before you
> head out.  Thank you.  Renate
> On 2/26/15, 11:00 AM, "Melinda Rackham" <melinda at subtle.net> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Kath - yes propose a month on something networked you want to talk about!!
>> I wanted to pull out some texts on vulnerability and giddiness
>> Renate..
>>>> The hope for a space that can and will work out new
>>>> potentials is a utopia but I think most of us do not want to let go of
>>>> that ideal. Our own list-serve acknowledges that the tension between
>>>> writing as a performative gesture and one that is conversational,
>>>> probing,
>>>> vulnerable or giddy provides an interesting interstitial space. A space
>>>> that can be informative but also one that is inquisitive and
>>>> questioning.
>> and Ben.. 
>>>> In the spirit of vulnerability I admit I've been quite intimidated by
>>>> the list, largely
>>>> because of the academic language and references I have not read. I was
>>>> at ISEA 2011 but did not have the guts to come out to the empire
>>>> get-together in person. I can't quite explain my recent and consistent
>>>> burst of activity on here, perhaps my own language has changed and I've
>>>> become that which had intimated me so. This certainly involves an
>>>> interesting question of access, not just in terms of tools and
>>>> technical
>>>> requirements, but also in terms of knowledge and language.
>> In the early days of -empyre- I  created two subscribers who were aliases
>> for me to use to guide the conversations and to create that soft space.
>> They spoke in plain language, they asked for clarification, questions
>> that I believe others were afraid to ask.., they were giddy, they were
>> excited, they were vulnerable. I really enjoyed creating them, their
>> unique writing and spelling style - and trying to keep them congruent
>> over time. As you say Renate -empyre- is a LOT of work to manage, and
>> eventually the community itself took over as the holder of the common
>> space and my virtual colleagues retired.  I'm sure that this
>> intervention, manipulation even, accelerated the terraforming of -empyre-
>> into an environment were poets, performers, technicians, scholars and
>> just plain interested people could feel safe to venture without fear of
>> not speaking the right language, then having it appear in a search engine
>> forever.
>> But -empyre- was always archived - centrally at UNSW where I did my Phd
>> and I also kept an offline archive plus off site back up. Later it was
>> archived extensively by Cornell.  But perhaps it was when we started
>> print publishing outcomes from the online discussions that the community
>> became more self conscious in what they posted. The first was the Lab3D
>> and Web3D Art Reader produced in conjunction with Kathy Rae Huffman @
>> Cornerhouse in Manchester which I co-edited with Taylor Nuttall in 2003.
>> Then especially the three moderated conversations on the three documenta
>> 12 leitmotifs for the documenta 12 Magazine Project, superbly edited by
>> long term -empyre -facilitator Christina McPhee in 2006 - 2007, and
>> printed and presented by documenta at Kassel. Links to those publications
>> in .pdf format : http://www.subtle.net/empyre.html
>> In late 2005 three hefty 3cm books with no title or author arrived in my
>> post office box.  I was bit shocked when I opened the first page and saw
>> my intro post to the -empyre- February 2005 discussion I had facilitated,
>> titled "To Save or not to Save". The book was a word for word reprint of
>> the whole months conversation, including every quote and requote in the
>> plain text email format. I had no prior knowledge of the project which
>> originated from an archiving exhibition at the Art Gallery of Knoxville
>> in November 2005. Theres great circularity there and its pretty funny.
>> It became obvious that -empyre- was an exploratory forum, but articles,
>> Phds and entire books were also being researched and published from here.
>> It wasn't a casual neighbourhood conversation anymore. -empyre- had
>> evolved into a differently effective tool for the artist, philosopher,
>> scholar, curator, creative technologist and cultural producer.
>> Renate I have no idea about the longevity of list serves - Charlotte
>> Frost probably knows about that if she is reading..?
>> Also I wanted to say something about generalism, but it fell out of the
>> conversational flow.
>> maybe tomorrow
>> Melinda
>>> On 26 Feb 2015, at 10:03 am, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Kath Melinda was the innovator of our present day -empyre-soft-skinned
>>> space.  We welcome ³less academic² topics at any time by any person
>>> interested in organizing a topic around networked culture.  Sure hope
>>> you
>>> will consider hosting one soon on a topic of your choice. Renate
>>> Renate Ferro
>>> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,Cornell University
>>> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
>>> Ithaca, NY  14853
>>> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
>>> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net <http://www.renateferro.net/>
>>>     http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
>>> <http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net/>
>>> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>
>>> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
>>> On 2/25/15, 5:39 PM, "Kath O'Donnell" <aliak77 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
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