20181113

Good stuff to listen to when fixing the socks of strangers around the world (only 5 pairs to go). We had an open studio event on the weekend at ISCP. I was in a flue for the entire event and sat in the corner darning socks. A hipster complemented my stitchwork. He told me I’d make 300$ for a pair!

Anna Tsing & Donna Haraway: Tunneling in the Chthulucene (2015) University of Idaho, Moscow. A long and loose (in good way) presentation of their thinking. Tsing reminds audiences that non-human life does not live in harmony. Symbioses develop trough violence and struggle. Haraway reminds audiences how multicellular entities form: By single cell organisms attempting to eat each others, partially devouring each others bodies, getting stuck and living together anew.

Imagining infrastructures (2017) The British Academy. A (too) detailed talk about infrastructure. Partially good for developing an understanding of infra as a social, life-supporting network. It starts with an interesting analysis of air-conditioners as colonial apparatuses! The idea that people work best in climate controlled cool environments should be re-evaluated. The negative effect that air-conditioners have on communities was addressed in a recent reading group too. Air-conditioners break communities by endorsing indoor, private comfort for closed families. Manuel Tironi’s account on how communities rebuild after catastrophes is very rewarding too. He suggest that infrastructure should be approached as a social network and a compost (as defined by Haraway).

The Facebook Economy (2018) Zero Books podcast. Douglas Lain chatting with Rob Larson. They work their best to frame Facebook (and others) as monopolies and do a good job clearing out how exactly the monopolies make their profits.

WRITING ABOUT ART TODAY MEANS BEING WRITTEN ONTO (2018) Kimmo Modig. Modig is developing a socio-material analysis of contemporary art-exhibition practices. They pleas for a broader acceptance of social practices (workshops etc.) as a critical medium for artistic expression. Social practices and community-building-as-art is a vital field of practice for groups and individuals, who cannot exist alone. Art practices which center on objects & orchestrated performances, advocate exclusive infrastructures. I would like to extend their critique to problematize material & energy demands object centered & orchestrated performance aesthetics rely on. Using Modigs critique we can argue that Chris Burden was more of an antibiotic artist then a performance artist. He was more hospitalized and medicated, then shot in the arm. #ॐ

Modig offers a diagram Social Anxiety Matrix #2 which can be used for analyzing personal motivations for attending art events. They argues that “Contemporary art has never been about class revolution [the temporal and generational rotation of positions of wealth past classes people are born to], but the cementing of its horizontal power structure while adding a new coat of paint on it.” which I don’t agree with. I believe that artist networks and support structures (grants, residencies etc.) are currently the best (if not only) systems for advancing the temporal and generational rotation of wealth and power. Quotes from the text below.

Public has become the primal form of new art, and exhibition the secondary one. The word public here is a (suboptimal) placeholder for assemblies, collectives, public gatherings, non-patriarchal familial constellations and so forth. […] What was once the fringe program (talks, workshops) is now the headliner. When I look around, I can see some people having not really realized this. Others are angry, even. “Why is art about the other stuff nowadays?” This is another way of saying “I”m white and feel like I can’t get enough exposure.”

Managing a nuanced perspective on things is particularly vexing when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the extreme, life-destroying urgency of climate change, for example. Often, you can catch an artist having gone through these motions and realizing that, say, flying to biennials is bad for the environment and a grueling way to live, too. So they turn their own realization into a dictum and hold everyone up to this standard of their own making.

20181023

Put a pretty plate in a big box. Place the box in the center of the room. Set a hammer on the box. Participants have the obligation to break the plate but they have to break it secretly, so that nobody will know who is responsible. The box is checked periodically (by the entire group). The exercise continues for as long as the plate is intact. When it is discovered that the plate is broken participants use a ouija board to consult each other who broke the plate. #ॐ

20180924

Visited the Independent Art Book Fair and had a pleasant chat with Iina Esko at the Khaos publishing stand. Also visited the Printed Matter Fair from where I bought Communism for Kids (2017) by Bini Adamczak and What is Landscape (2015) by John R. Stilgoe (which I seriously regret). I preferred the Independent Art Book Fair, it was less crowded and I could actually engage with people. Printed Matter was jam-packed. They also presented a “Zine museum” which felt like a stab to the chest, when presented in the same setting as a Gagosian gallery pop-up book-space.

Mansplaining is a matter of aesthetics. #ॐ

Timo Bredenberg is organizing a solo-exhibition called “Notworking” in Tampere, which opens next month. The exhibition investigates the material and ideological basin of network society and studies the trajectory of techno-utopian development, through the lens of smart-devices that will be stuck on earth after humans and forced to find a new meaning for their existence.

20180918

A art-critical/pedagogical practice with teenagers: School of Performance (1995) Avdej Ter-Oganian.

Received my copy of Malfeasance – Appropriation Through Pollution? (2011) Michel Serres. I dislike his etymological, latently nostalgic word games. He adores a reality that remains inaccessible for non-germanic folk (this statement is best exemplified by a cry on pg. 55. “Old Europe, what ignorant ruling class is killing you?”). But I like the coarse tone of the book. He argues that human cruelty is derived from the cruelty of our neighbouring animals and that a process in religious practices, which developed the concepts of afterlife and holy-land (sites that are not tainted by bodily impurities), were needed to produce a tangible, object-like earth for us to habit and study. Science is possible only through religious traditions.

Serres argues that people who seek to live without producing waste are modernity-producing-myth-reenactors. He argues that the founding myth of modernity is a story of a man who left his grave without leaving any waste behind: “[L]eaving no trace whatsoever that would allow us to infer a history”. This myth enforces the de-territorialization of localized cultures: Colonization of any-and-all terrain is possible only because there is a holy-land which lies beyond reach. “[O]ur being is not there” or even here, someone else will judge us – We are tenants of our bodies.

Current economic schemes which focus on intangible services and brands echo the same shift. This has a convenient impact on consumer culture: When we were branded clothes we get excused from the pollution these objects develop into. The objects are just on loan – This means that hiding a logo is a process of claiming responsibility over it.

Human misery marks the limit of possible life. Those who have a place have. Those who have no place have nothing, strictly speaking. Do they exist? They have fallen below the level of animals. (pg.12)’

I don’t agree with his view that “our appliances rig out the organs of our bodies”. I believe the body has the potential to change and the potential to develop into something else then flesh-defined, which has other then personal desires. For me “exo-darwinism” in development can result to altruism. Serres points out that “since the emergence of blacksmiths” we have know that, the stuff we produce taints the world and destroys habitats. Our understanding of the anthropocene is not new. We know that we are wasteful and do it anyway. He argues that we cause pollution to keep the nature at bay, to kill tigers. I wrote something similar in 2016 “Zoos provide us an opportunity to approach animals rationally”.

[…] sewers, garbage barges, factories. and loudspeakers can be thought of as orifices, pores, mouths, anuses. […] Our species wins out and becomes the master and possessor of nature. (pg.40)

The text might offer me some tools to develop a “performance architectural” / postricturalistic analysis of build environments too. Serres talks about language as a maze, which locks subjects inside it using prepositions (in, for, to, from). These spaces (made of prepositions!) pit us against each other by creating categories of subject/object. Prepositions feel like a great route for developing and understanding of text as space / space as text!

[…] this is how the walls of a dwelling or the partitions of a room function. (pg. 44)

Serres claims that e-waist is send intentionally to “the mangroves of poor countries” to cause disarray and recolonize these sites and that we should see advertisement selling e-goods as exactly the same waste. He continues that mass-media (facebook etc.) makes it impossible to talk to out neighbours (by monopolizing communications): Streams of noisy information appropriate all possible relations, everywhere.

Spatial expansion is becoming total. (pg. 52)

Pollution should be addressed simultaneously as a hard substance and a soft coercive substance. The division between hard and soft pollution (ie. e-waste and e-good advertisement) is superficial: Both manifest the same desire. He does not want to separate nature from culture? Because of pollution “We can no longer enclose a piece of land”. Pollution makes it possible for us to envision collaborations without a need for nationstates!

Consequently pollution, both hard and soft, signs its will to power, its desire to expand spatially – yes, the war of all against all. (pg.68)

Serres believes that we have reached an impasse. Wars are over because there is no space to fight over, our war against the world is at its end. He believes that humans can and will destroy every other species. He does not believe that new species will emerge from pollution.

The war against the world replaces, integrates, summons, adds . . . and terminates all the wars among men. Peace with the world requires peace between men.

Idea: Make waffles out of plastic by melting milk jug can lids. #ॐ

20180902

Jari Tervo (2018 interview in Finnish).

As long as racists protest when they get called out, things are heading in the right direction. If they stop being offended, we know we are in trouble.

A nifty statement. It makes me think that discussions concerning cultural appropriation of visual and musical styles could be seen in a positive light too: We are safe as long as fashion and music corporations, steal their content from a variety of marginalized groups and identities (and claim they are sincerely of inspired by them). When they start to sell us a narrative of a monoculture, we know we are in trouble.

I know this is controversial but isn’t it somehow comforting to see Tanja Poutiainen celebrate the end of her career wearing a fake Sami outfit, being called out and to publicly apologize for her ignorance. Wasn’t this process and what people learned from it, better then wearing plastic clothes from a multinational sports brand?

Disagreeing is easier then coming to terms. #ॐ

Found a dollar bill which is a part of the Where’s George? project. It had a Mt. Brk. stamp.