[-empyre-] Engineering the University : Week One : Nguyen and Simpson (elizaBeth Simpson)

William Bain willronb at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 5 20:33:33 AEDT 2015

DearEmpyryans. When I first read the introduction to this topic I was putin mind ofideas on extending university activities, the per se concept of whatauniversity is and does, taking the school into society at large, etc. So it’sgood to hear elizaBeth on theimportance of going beyond to “blatantly transect the town/gown divide.” Thereare obvious social advantages to this. In terms of artit is alsofairly obvious that familiarity with critical or specialist concepts enablesgreaterappreciation of certain allusions or practices. Important meta-artistic factorsin filmstoday are available to readers of Derrida, for example, or Barthes. Butmaybe I’mpreferring academic concepts over street savvy. Not my intention, atleast notconsciously at the outset. At least. In my mindat least this conflates with Mimi’s post. There is perhaps more osmosisbetweenschool/street these days. Quoting; “So the question becomes what constitutes a‘living’ outside of and not dependent upon our present and possibleproductivity as laborers for institutions such as the military, or the state,or the corporation, which might want to force upon us a particular form ofliving that, as Lauren Berlant put so well, is meant to both prolong our livesthrough these continuous adjustments to our capacities, and also wear us out?”Personally what draws me most about this question is itslife-positive nature. In a sense it’s a question asked in every art object.There is perhaps aduality, a kind of how do you do your work and how do you get your work done. Ofthe institutions we’re talking about, which would be available to a beneficial society?Would institutions be replaced by some other arrangement? The other day on TwitterI came across this proposition: That a past cannot exist until a future has been
been builtto contain it. I haven’t yet found the source of that. Possibly someone on the listwill know. Anyway, thoughts on these different things... With best wishes,William

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