[-empyre-] Liquid Blackness and Materiality / blockbusting

Cameron Kunzelman cameron.kunzelman at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 00:14:29 AEST 2016

Thanks for the reply and question, Johannes. What I meant at the end of
that original email is that the transformation of Kanye's material body
into a different kind of material that is visualized in a digitally scanned
(or modeled) version of itself is just a very literal rendering of a
process that we see occurring across lots of different artistic domains (so
it is a way of figuration, maybe, or merely just another version of the
processes that Sarah and Ken are pointing toward).

I would agree that "digital material" is contentious, but (because it is
impossible to flag all of our filiations at all times) I'm very much
interested in how the material of computer hardware is operating on the
conversations that are being brought up here. So it is less about the
digital being material but rather that the material processes of scanning,
storing, and representing via graphics cards generates certain kinds of
figuration because of the very material conditions of heat sinks, fan
systems, and processor speed.


On Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 4:22 PM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear Ken
> thanks to all for this week's postings –  very provocative commentaries
> that have made me wonder how i've fallen behind also on
> understanding or even getting into contact with references some of you
> made to OOO  or objects,  new materialisms, etc.
> Ken, in your comment below you speak of not wanting to let liquid
> blackness "sink into the bog of object-orientation (which I mostly find to
> be a grievous form of apolitical materialism)"
> Is there room here to explain to us what object orientation means here?
> and what would the sinking mean?
> (Cameron, for example, argued that "the materiality of digital image
> manipulation quite literally renders Kanye West into a visual generation of
> something that.. is happening in many ways across lots of artistic
> productions" -
> again I am not sure I can follow, what does this mean>? not sure I would
> think arguing for digital materiality is a matter without contention?, and
> you speak in our post of the problematic notion of "abstraction of
> blackness"  (has there
> not been considerable contentiousness about the figural vs the abstract in
> black art, and that abstraction (was it Kara Walker who upset folks? I
> forget) was a problem?). Sorry for being inarticulate.
> Yet I have not worried about the "new materialism" much, however noted
> with surprise that it's apparently now also reached academic performance
> studies (a recent issue of The Drama Review was dedicated to
> materials, objects and plasticitities, which hardly seemed new or has been
> without relevance to embodied performance and scenography of course for the
> longest time), and the editors mention joyfully that  Jean Bennett's
> "Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things" (2010) is all the rage in
> town.   Is it?  i guess depends on the town.
> Ken your comments on oil and L.A. & blockbusting are fascinating! I am
> sending your post to my friends in Houston.
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> [Ken schreibt]
> >>So this might be an example of what I meant when I said how blackness as
> technology of domination (redlining and blockbusting) can become an agent
> of radical transformation.
> ..
> I think it is a promising idea to refine the figure of black liquidity
> along the “diagnostic and the expansive” poles as types of available action
> performed by the term itself. This prevents liquid blackness from sinking
> into the bog of object-orientation (which I mostly find to be a grievous
> form of apolitical materialism), and begins from that most basic political
> question, “what is to be done?"
> >>>
> _______________________________________________
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> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

Cameron Kunzelman
@ckunzelman <https://twitter.com/ckunzelman>
This Cage is Worms <http://thiscageisworms.com/>
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