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.

20180728

Water is an organ #ॐ. During my ride to Kensington stables I must have lost liters of liquids. It took me three days to recover, I hurt my back and I lost concentration. Recovering.

Bumped my bike on the Williamsburg Bridge railing, flew over the rod and bent my front wheel. Only bruises. Forced the wheel back to shape by kicking. It was 18:45. I searched online for a bike repairs shop. One was open for an other 15 min. Rushed to the shop, the wheel rubbing against the breaks. Got a spoke nipple tightener, the very last they had on rack. Cruised home and fixed my bike. A successful Sunday.

20180611

An artist in Helsinki who’s active on twitter has been writing a critical commentary of art-life, culture institutions and exhibitions for a half a year now. The blog is called Hampaat (teeth) and it’s an interesting albeit a tad cynical source for local art-news and art-thought. The most recent post is called YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE THE PROBLEM. The text feels like it’s very critical towards someone but that person is not identified… Which makes me paranoid (am I part of the problem? *laughs nervously*). The author identifies the figure of the “reputation avatar” (derived from the work of Gloria Origgi, a podcast about her book online) and tries to pinpoint moments were artists work primarily to maintain their reputation. I often engage with work to merely to maintain my reputation (but I don’t think it’s a bad thing).

The criticism of art mirroring our times (as a justification for the lack of critical thought and practice in art) is something I agree with. Elaborate media-artworks which I’ve seen recently (most of which are related to AIs) should be read as blatant celebration of media technology, innovation and capitalism (and not it’s critique). A hammer cannot be critical of a hammer #ॐ. The artist status should not be used as an excuse from ethical concerns: When artist use AIs they have the opportunity to be just as unethical as the übers and googles of the world.

The author is also critical of the recent trend of “melding art with science” and claims that “the situation of art as a site of knowledge is rotten at the core”. I agree to an extent. Artist are sometimes portrayed more pure hearted then they are. There seems to be consensus that artist would use science for the good of people if only given the chance. Which is not true – Artist are not healers. The text also makes me ask that why would anyone want to learn about Barad from an artist who reads Barad (if they can learn from Barad herself)? And to ask that in what circumstances is learning from an artist about Barad (instead of Barad herself) more efficient/better/smarter?

I’ve liked the THREE QUESTIONS TO PEOPLE DOING EXHIBITIONS UNDER CAPITALISM best so far.

Pietari shared a gruesome story from Amsterdam Dutch rewilding experiment sparks backlash as thousands of animals starve. A case-study for understanding the intersections of cross species solidarity and post-humanistic theory.