[-empyre-] there are ebbs and flows to listservs and to life

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sat Mar 25 07:59:56 AEDT 2017

To Alan, Johannes, Simon, Patrick, and others, 
Just a quick note to let you all know that the reading this month has been incredibly interesting.  I for one (between faculty searches, MFA admissions, BFA admissions, and a looming deadline)  barely can get through the day but I always check -empyre before I go to bed.  Just because I have not been active in writing and engaging in real time does not mean that I am not tuned in.  I was just in NYC a few days ago when I heard one of our subscribers so brilliantly sum up what happens to him.  

“The posts are so incredibly engaging and dense and sometimes way too long. I read through them at first with every good intention of responding but when I return there seems to be a new thread in the mix. I like to go back though and recap what is happening even though I may miss out on responding right away.” 

What I think we sometimes forget is that this is a list serv.  It is going to have an ebb and flow to it.  I for one have been lurking this month more than writing because of the craziness of life.  Isn’t the advantage of a listserv that it gives us time to ruminate and reconsider at another time?   That it can trace at the lightning speed what is happening at the moment but also give us a chance to wait and perhaps go back at a later time? Isn’t is ok to let things go for a bit?  Check out our archives that trace monthly discussion from 2002.  So if you miss something at some point and want to go back to it then you always can even to 2002. 

Hey I’m not going to defend -empyre. All I am saying is that there are ebbs and flows to listservs and to life.  


Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

On 3/24/17, 3:15 PM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Johannes Birringer" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>dear all:
>a short while ago, Maria Damon wrote here about the raw confessionalism of early comments in response to Alan Sondheim's proposed subject of discussion (Trump and his global effect); she started off saying "Like everyone here, I've been laid low by the unexpected turn in US  politics."   This seemed to echo something I found, after re-reading, in Patrick Lichty's second letter, where he states that "
><But then I realized like the United States becoming another country........my privilege had died. and I was just another person.>
>This week, it seems, discussion has reached a premature end of sorts where the function (or usefulness) of this list itself is being questioned, and whether its missive reach anyone.  I can't know the latter;
>but did hesitate to get involved in the first place, and told Alan so, namely that US internal politics (elections, new appointments, policies, executive orders and what not) or a new temporary governor are not necessarily to be mistaken for the apocalyptic dimensions you credit them with, they do not derail nor preoccupy us all the time. I called it presumptuous; and admitted you are welcome to call me naive, but I see no Hitlerian fascism and no shirtless Putin riding on the horse. I see, from afar, a bumbling business man and narcissist. That'll pass.
>You speak of a large scale psycho-somatic effect, Alan, and even of a struggle for "survival", in your response to Aviva Rahmani? 
>>>It seems an inverted form of totalitarianism, with a deeply inept leader, and his staff, which are more directed and incredibly dangerous.
>A final note - for those of us who are distraught, are there groups people belong to, which deal with the internal psychological damage? In other words, other than outward action, what have people found helpful, that  enables them to survive with a measure of health?>>
>I agree the empyre list may give us time (a month) to address situations or themes with greater depth, more slowly.  But not many have followed this invitation, which does not surprise me.
>Still, I come back to the notion of a "sanctuary" and why this has sprung up (i would assume in many instances without effect, without effect of direct action, thus symbolic?)?  
>And listening to Simon Taylor's theatrical commentaries, which I still grapple with, I wondered how a country can become another country? what does one mean by this phrase, and was the exegesis of the economic and class shifts (just think also of the left green movement and right populism and how similar they are) in the US not saying exactly the opposite, namely that the country's phases/states are/were predictable?  What we see is predictable. 
>The crisis in the middle east, the Syrian catastrophe, the massive migrations, could they not also have been known (and we can go back to the Iraq Wars and various economic & neocolonial power interests playing out in various regions)?  Were not the anti-globalization protests quite militant (Genoa, Seattle), in the early 2000s, anticipating the mess? 
>When you look at changing-processes, say, post genocidal or post apartheid –  countries or, rather, societies, undergo certain truth and reconciliation processes; in Colombia it is a peace process, yes?  You are, then, speaking of
>a few years of surviving the republican party in government?  perhaps take heed of how many other societies have survived their jefes. 
>In my next post I'll try and come back to Simon's question about résistance and self-romanticizing the theatre of operations (the micro-theatres), the schools of non-compliance. 
>Johannes Birringer
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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