[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 3 on -empyre: Welcome Ana and Simon and a few thoughts on boredom

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sun May 17 13:36:46 AEST 2015

I am really honored to introduce our next two guests, long-time
participants on -empyre. Ana Valdés (UR) was a participant on the -empyre
list serve in the very early days I recall her telling me just this past
February! A long-time member and guest moderator of -empyre- her topics
have related to the representations of the Arabs in the contemporary
world, the Crusades, and to urbanism and resilience. I value her strong
voice and experience. Her political activism and feminist sensibilities
are especially admirable and I¹m looking forward to her thoughts on the
topic this month. 

Simon Biggs (AU) also is a long time participant and a former member of
our moderating team.  Simon has hosted innumerable topics such as
Contesting the Netopticon, Creativity as a Social Ontology, OSW: Open
Source Writing in the Network, Screens, Research in Practice, Resistance
Is Futile:ISEA, Sydney, 2013, and Virtual Embodiment: Some Thoughts on the
Resonances of the Virtual in 2014 to name a few.  I am thankful to both
Ana and Simon for taking time out of their busy schedules.  I am thrilled
they have agreed to join us for Week 3.  I have included their biographies
below some thoughts I have penned below.
As we begin week three I wanted to not only introduce our guests but also
mention a bit of research I ran into the other day after an internet
search. Prompted by Lyn¹s post earlier last week I have also been
wondering about how boredom is defined clinically.  Thomas Goetz, lead
researcher and a professor
at the University of Konstanz in Germany identifies  multiple types of
boredom. His research identifies five states of boredom:
1. calm, relaxed, withdrawn, state of Zen, meditative‹boredom is ok
2. slight state of the recognition of boredom- mind-wandering,
3.  restlessness, unpleasant feeling, looking for ways to not be bored
4.  wants to escape boredom at any cost, boredom is so distressing there
is an urgency to escape
5.  unpleasant, feeling totally void with neither positive or negative
emotions, depression

That said boredom according to Goetz could run the gamut to be a positive
experience as in number one or quite negative in number five. As we
continue our discussion I am hoping that we  extend our conversation. Just
thinking broadlyŠ..

Any artists  whose work conceptually deals with the issue of boredom? You
will remember this entire month¹s theme was inspired by a talk the artist
Michelle Grabner on the influence of boredom on her art production.

What other cross-disciplinary threads intersect with boredom?  In
literature? Politics? History?
Are there cultural nuances to understanding what boredom is and
identifying it? 

Just a few thoughts and questions on a late Saturday night.   Renate

Week 3 Biographies

    Ana Valdés (UR) was born in Uruguay, South America, in a family of
Spanish and Italian emigrants, raised by German nuns where studied
Geography from German maps from 1942. At that time she was taught and she
believed firmly that Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway and Denmark were
a part of Germany. She was put in prison when she was 19 years old for her
    views. Ana belonged to a guerilla group called Tupamaros, at that
timeshe believed that weapons were a way to change things though she has
    changed her views, radically, and since then has been a member of the
pacifist group Women in Black for many years.
    After 4 years in prison she was deported to Sweden where she came of
age. She studied Anthropology and worked on death and blood ceremonies.
1982 she published her first award-winning book of short stories (Sorbonne
University) A bilingual writer in Swedish and in Spanish, she has written
and published more than ten books many of which have been translated into
English, French, Greek and Italian. Her latest book, ³Your Time Will Come²
recounts her time in prison including the torture and the resistance.
Counterpunch published an essay of her experiences as well
    She has participated in several debates about violence and
representation including one with Jordan Crandall, ³Under fire²
    Ana is also an independent curator and has worked with Swedish visual
artist Cecilia Parsberg in Palestine where they created the network

 Simon Biggs (born Adelaide, Australia 1957) is a media artist, writer and
curator with interests in digital poetics, interactive performance
environments,interdisciplinary research and co-creation. His work has been
widely presented, including at Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, Institute of
Contemporary Arts London, Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kettles
Yard Cambridge, Pompidou
Centre Paris, Academy de Kunste Berlin, Berlin Kulturforum, Rijksmuseum
Twenthe, Maxxi Rome, Macau Arts Museum, San Francisco Cameraworks, Walker
Center and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He has been keynote at many
conferences and lectured internationally, including ISEA, ePoetry, SLSA
and FILE conferences and Cambridge, Brown, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis,
Cornell, Paris8, Sorbonne and Bergen Universities, amongst others.
Publications include Remediating the Social (2012), Autopoeisis (with
James Leach, 2004), Great Wall of China (1999), Halo (1998), Magnet (1997)
and Book of Shadows (1996). He has been lead investigator on a number of
major research projects and is currently Professor of Art and Director of
the South Australian School of Art at the University of South Australia
and Honorary Professor at Edinburgh College of Art, University of
Edinburgh. He supervises a number of research degree students in Australia
and the UK. His website is at http://www.littlepig.org.uk/

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/>
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space

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