[-empyre-] -empyre- 2018, a trip down

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Feb 8 00:03:39 AEDT 2018

dear all
if we were to look forward before remembering/looking back at the early days, what would we see?

and why this discussion now, February 2018, what new era?

there were comments made by colleagues here that were of course truly fascinating, so in that sense I am grateful to hear from some of the early activists
on the list such as Melinda and Christina, and Renate's comment on time/tempo of discussions (when you quoted bio-artist Paul Vanouse sharing his frustration
that he had intended to respond to a fascinating post and by the time he got to writing a week had passed and he felt that his comment was not timely), rings
very true. I guess many here had felt that way many times, and many also perhaps felt less encouraged or free to, simply, intervene, use their own languages, or
different experiences. 

This reminds me of receiving a letter, a few weeks ago, from John Hopkins replying to an empyre posting I made in 2014 or thereabouts, he had meant to reply
but never got around it, and so did now, 4 years later, also confiding that he does not have time much anymore to partake in such listservs.

This is one reason perhaps, we could ponder, our ageing process and the changes that come in life, different priorities, 'business demands,' and perhaps the inability to keep up with
the flood of emails and other communications/social media. The attraction that the list once had also of course had to do with the "disorder of the day" mentioned
by Christina, the "open and equitable space" evoked by Melinda, the sheer excitement of exchanging ideas and wild thoughts on any subject or art practice where 
we all learnt to some extent from one another, and about things we never knew, and this process, i fear, is not the same as the "professional overinvestment" that Simon Taylor critiqued, along with
the conservative / recuperative discussions, self-referential often, amongst experts. When thinking of the academic undertones of a new "Editorial Board", one
might even worry a bit, no? But then there is slow time, and eventually I figure I will visit John in Arizona and get a better idea of the cabin he was building there, or find
out where Christina paints her marvellous painting and shoots her Sodalake videos. 

 the -empyre- also, in that sense, for a while, was a family romance, many of us knew each other face to face
or wanted to know each other's artistic work better. 

with regards
Johannes Birringer

[Christina McPhee schreibt]

Thanks, Renate, for the comments around the aesthetics of early days
-empyre- and the quote in which I compare -empyre- to an Ant Farm

When I started moderating in 2002,  I sometimes posted as Christina McPhee
and sometimes as naxsmash-- a made-up portmanteau of 'birthing' and
'smashing' . Neither name indexed a definite identity. That seemed to be
the disorder of the day: you could scatter your texts to many eyes and ears
out of reach of one's own sense of place --- I felt unbound by my gender or
age or other markers. 

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