[-empyre-] Introductory Post

Ileana Selejan ileanasel at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 22:56:27 AEST 2015

Welcome to the July, 2015 discussion on -empyre- soft-skinned space:
Intersubjectivity: New Media, Aesthetics, Networks, and Upended Cartographies

Moderated by Ileana Selejan (RO/US) and Calin Man (RO) with invited discussants
Gheorghe Sabau (RO), Horea Avram (RO/CA), Sarah Montross (US), Wes
Watters (US), Michael Maizels (US),  Ana Peraica (HR), Diana Marincu
(RO), Susan B. Barnes (US)

Week 1 (July 7 to 12): Horea Avram (RO/CA) & Gheorghe Sabau (RO)
Week 2 (July 13 to 19): Sarah Montross (US) & Wes Watters (US)
Week 3 (July 20 to 26): Ana Peraica (HR) & Michael Maizels (US)
Week 4 (July 27 to 31): Susan B. Barnes (US) & Diana Marincu (RO)

Dear all,

Calin and I are currently working on an exhibition foregrounded on the
vital, yet often overlooked, significance of sleep. For most of us
sleep is an invisible process, a solitary experience, a remote
“territory” where we go to disconnect, and from where we plunge into
the depths of the self. However we may chose to interpret sleep, we
spend about a third of our lives asleep, yet become most aware of it
in its absence. Furthermore, as science has shown, while our bodies
may be at rest, the brain continues its activity during sleep,
intensifying during REM episodes – an apparent contradiction that
sleep experts call “active sleep” or alternatively “paradoxical
sleep.” (Fascinating to note here is Dr. Carlos H. Schenck’s research
into RBD, or REM sleep behavior disorders; errors in regular sleep
patters and programing that have shed light onto the very mechanisms
that direct and regulate sleep.)

A series of questions, some of which we believe to be equally relevant
to this group of discussants, have emerged: if we were to think of
sleep as an extreme of subjectivity, what would be a fitting
counterpart, a metaphor for extreme inter-connectedness? The genome?
Genetic memory? The Internet? The GPS? Massive Data Repositories? And
what if we were to expand that very notion (as parameter) up to the
edge of the observable universe? Are we looking at an exchange of
particles? Waves? Which indeed is the ultimate field of contact? On a
planetary scale, population-wise, we are greater than the Internet – a
networked multitude that remains however, in directly sensorial,
physical terms, largely out-of-touch, untouchable so to speak.
Originating in worlds previously (or rather, “not so long ago”) held
apart, the scholars, artists and curators we have invited to
participate in this month’s discussion have contemplated the uncanny
intimacy of aesthetic zones of contact, areas where contractions and
contradictions collide, and occasionally merge.

During the Cold War, the isolation experienced by those living behind
the Iron Curtain was exacerbated by punitively enforced containment
(parallels can be found in numerous other regional contexts, whether
contemporary or historic). Across generations, we witnessed the
limitation of our intersubjectivity by the political. Sleep, became a
commonly employed metaphor through all that, a verbal equivalent to
the somatic oppression experienced by the many – a soft horizontal, a
potentially restorative state now rendered violent, never-endingly
against nature. There were thaws, and surges, and escalations, as many
consciousness thresholds were crossed or withdrawn. As sleep studies
and investigations have demonstrated, nothing is ever entirely asleep.
Processes, marked by intermediary states, such as (the scrumptiously
termed) hypnagogia and hypnopompia, i.e. going in and out of sleep,
might perhaps more accurately characterize the types of exchanges
realized through the inter-related subjectivities we seek to engage
and explore here. While the tone of this introduction was kept
deliberately abstract, discussants are certainly encouraged to dive
into history and personal experience in order to illustrate their own
perceptions of our remotely shared past, and of our collectively
projected futures. We are looking for gestures – not exclusively in
the realm of new media art practice – as mundane as they may be, that
may demonstrate how intimate connections have pushed through,
countering extreme isolation, and despite the highest risks. As we
move along with discussion, we would like to keep as a frame of
reference our most immediate context. For instance: how does the
awareness of intersubjectivity, particularly in relation to the Cold
War, impact the perception of our current freedoms or the lack
thereof? How much of our privacy are we willing to sacrifice for the
sake of closeness and intimacy on a large scale, now?

We look forward to this month's discussion!
ileana& calin

<empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>





Ileana L. Selejan is the Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in
Photography, at The Davis Museum at Wellesley College. She received
her PhD in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York
University. Her work focuses on war and documentary practices, and the
intersection of esthetics, ethics, and protest in photography and art;
she was the recipient of the 2012–13 Joan and Stanford Alexander Award
for her dissertation research in Nicaragua. She previously taught in
the Photography and Imaging Department at Tisch School of the Arts,
and in the Art History Department at New York University, at Parsons
The New School For Design, and in the Fine Arts Department at West
University, Timisoara, Romania. Ileana also writes independently, and
is a contributing member of kinema ikon.

Calin Man. Born in 1961, lives in Arad, Romania. B.A. in literature,
Timisoara University, Romania; chief-editor and designer of Intermedia
magazine; member of Kinema Ikon group. Works on cd-rom, net-art,
hypermedia installation. Participates on many international digital
art exhibitions and festivals all over the world.

Weekly Guests:

George Sabau, multimedia theorist, born in 1937 in Arad (Ro.).
University BA in Aesthetics. Researcher at the Art Museum of Arad and
professor at the Highschool for Fine Arts. Founder (1970) and animator
of the atelier kinema ikon. Author of experimental films, video-art
and co-author of hypermedia works on cd-roms, which participated at
international exhibition of digital art. Theoretical texts on cinema,
video and multimedia published in anthologies, catalogues, and various
art magazines, including Intermedia, issued by kinema ikon. AICA
membership. A promoter of the theoretical fiction with application in
multimedia installation. (2015)

Horea Avram is Lecturer at the Department of Cinematography and Media,
Faculty of Theatre and Television, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj,
Romania. Doctoral studies in Art History and Communication Studies at
McGill University, Montreal. He researches and writes about new media
art, representation theory, technology and visual culture. His most
recent publications include “Augmented Reality”, Encyclopedia of
Aesthetics, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014; “The
Visual Regime of Augmented Space”, in Theorizing Visual Studies:
Writing Through the Discipline, James Elkins (ed.), New York:
Routledge, 2013. He publishes essays in: M/C Media and Culture
Journal, International Journal of Arts and Technology, Kinephanos,
Ekphrasis, Idea. Art + Society, Arta, etc. Independent curator since
1996. He has curated most notably for Venice Biennale in 1999.

Sarah Montross is Associate Curator at deCordova Sculpture Park and
Museum in Lincoln, MA. From 2012-2015, she was the Andrew W. Mellon
Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
where she organized numerous exhibitions including Past Futures:
Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas (exh.
cat. MIT Press, 2015) and Breakthrough: Work by Contemporary Chinese
Women Artists (2013). She earned her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine
Arts, New York University with a dissertation on the work of Chilean
Juan Downey and Argentine Jaime Davidovich, two new media and
performance artists from Latin America who lived and worked in NYC
from the 1960s onward.

Wes Watters teaches astronomy and planetary science at Wellesley
College. He was a member of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover science team
for eight years. His research focuses on impacts: the most ubiquitous
and fundamental geophysical process in the universe. He uses a wide
range of tools, models, and data to study the effect of impacts on the
evolution of planet surfaces and interiors. Outside his formal
academic work, he has a long-standing interest in the science of
sleep, sleep disorders, and dreams. Occasionally and informally, he
collaborates with curators and artists as a scientific advisor, and
works on his own projects in computational art and music.

Michael Maizels. After studying photography and philosophy of mind at
the University of Southern California, Mike received his MA from the
University of Chicago and his PhD in art history from the University
of Virginia. His first book, forthcoming from the University of
Minnesota press, focuses on the artist Barry Le Va, who in the late
1960s, began to execute scattered sculptures composed of scattered
ball bearings, shattered glass, streams of sifted flour, and sharpened
meat cleavers. His second book will examine the intersection of
experimental art and music in the 1960s. More recently, his research
on the radical artistic ferment of the 1960s has lead into a larger
interest in newer forms of "variable media," including electronic and
digital art. He is currently the Mellon New Media Curator/Lecturer at
the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. He is currently preparing an
exhibition of the games of Jason Rohrer, which will be the first solo
museum exhibition given to a videogame maker.

Ana Peraica holds a Ph. D. in aesthetics of photography. After
graduating from University of Zagreb, in fields of art history and
philosophy, she became a researcher in art theory at the Jan Van Eyck
Akademie, Maastricht, where awarded UNESCO-IFPC, In parallel she
undertook three year doctorate course in cultural analysis, theory and
interpretation at ASCA, University of Amsterdam and defended her
thesis entitled Photography as the Evidence at University of Rijeka.
She is an editor of the reader "Smuggling Anthologies"
(Rijeka-Trieste-Idrija, 2015), Victims Symptom – PTSD and Culture
(Institute for Networked Cultures, Amsterdam, 2009), "Zena na
raskrizju ideologija" (Split, HULU / Governmental Office for the
Equality of Rights Split, 2007) and author of Sub/versions (Revolver
Publishing, 2009). She currently works on the book Culture of the
Selfie. Her essays in domains of visual studies and media theory
are/were published by journals, such as Leonardo Journal, Afterimage
Journal, Institute of Physics Conference Series, and magazinse such as
Springerin, Art&Education Papers, Documenta Magazine, Pavilion, Flash
Art etc.

Diana Marincu (b. 1986) is a Ph.D. candidate at the National
University of Art in Bucharest, Art History and Theory Department,
with a research focusing on the curatorial discourses built in
relation with political and geographical criteria in the last twenty
years of exhibition making. She writes art reviews in Arta, IDEA
arts+society, Poesis International, and other publications.

Dr. Susan B. Barnes is a communication professor, medium, and Spirit
Artist. She is an award winning professor who has been trained in
mediumship at the Arthur Findlay College and The International
Spiritualist Federation. She is a member of the National Spiritualist
Union. Her work has been featured in the Psychic Observer and in
several television programs. In addition to mediumship, she has
conducted Spirit Art circles in and around Lily Dale. Moreover, she is
the author of five books including: Visual Communication: From Cave
Art to Second Life

On Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 10:00 PM,
<empyre-request at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
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> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Today's Topics:
>    1. WELCOME TO JULY ON EMPYRE: Ileana Selejan and Calin Man
>       (Renate Terese Ferro)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2015 19:50:03 +0000
> From: Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: [-empyre-] WELCOME TO JULY ON EMPYRE: Ileana Selejan and
>         Calin Man
> Message-ID: <D1C1A5A9.215A3%rtf9 at cornell.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Dear -empyreans,
> Welcome to July. We are getting started just a bit later in July because
> of travels and the US holiday.  We hope all is well with you.  We are
> thrilled to introduce Ileana Selejan (RO/US) and Calin Man (RO) who will
> be moderating our July topic: Intersubjectivity: New Media, Aesthetics,
> Networks, and Upended Cartographies.  We are really looking forward to
> their provocative title which revolves around an exhibition they are
> co-curating on sleep. They will formally introduce their topic, post their
> own biographies and those of their upcoming monthly guests.
> We met Ileana this past year on a jaunt that Tim Murray and I made to
> Wellesley College?s Davis Museum of Art.
> https://www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum/
> For those of you that don?t know Wellesley, one of the original seven all
> women?s colleges in the US, is situated a short distance from Boston,
> Mass.  The college?s Davis Museum holds an evolving collection that we
> enjoyed visiting.
> Tim curated Calin?s work in one of the first CD Rom Exhibitions, Contact
> Zones: The Art of the CD Rom.
> https://contactzones.cit.cornell.edu/
> We have followed Calin's work for quite some time and welcome him as
> moderator with Ileana and the line up of guests they have organized for
> us.  We are hoping you will all follow closely and respond to posts
> throughout the next few weeks.
> Just a note that at the end of July we will be shutting down for the month
> of August to relax and re-group but will see you all again in September.
> Renate
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor of Art
> 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
> Managing Moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
> ------------------------------
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> End of empyre Digest, Vol 127, Issue 3
> **************************************

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