Arabesque Time (2022) Katharina Clausius is hopeful in presenting expressions unhindered by the rigidity of form and insists that revolutionary organization is possible and local: “… the arabesque’s revolutionary movement is repetitive and self-generating”. Progress is so complex that we need not fear soiling it with the “matrix of rationality”. The political left’s lack of a grand scheme (alternative to capitalism) becomes presented as its strength: “[…] the “not-yet” quality of the revolution is the furthest thing from an empty point of anticipation waiting to be filled by the decisive action to come. On the contrary, the time of emancipation is an ornate dramatization that tells no particular story but instead “symbolize[s] the commonality of all movements” through a radically decorous choreography”. We cannot imagine what is to come, only contribute to it. All revolutionary work is revolutionary.

Rancière seems to suggest that revolutionary time is concurrent with the matrix that is its complementary opposite. Measuring time – seeing, hearing, and feeling it pass – is only possible because we can simultaneously conceive of time and non-time, of the matrix as positive and negative space. Ticks and tocks divided by silences, where the silence of “non-time” is as much part of the temporal experience as the audible “times” framing the noiseless intervals.

Workers labour in the dead of night on verses and landscapes, not to produce artworks or become great artists but simply to knit themselves into the very fabric of a common aesthetic ground. The revolving movement of the clock no longer divides day from night, work from rest-before-work, those who labour and those with leisure. Instead, revolutionary time makes it “possible for the carpenter to create a spiral which, in the midst of the compulsion of working hours, initiates a different way of inhabiting time, a different way of keeping a body and mind in motion.”


Met with Maria Oiva for an interview concerning her Digi-artist venture. She is going to blog about the discussion.

Learning about Tania Brugueras’ “Useful Art” concept from Claire Bishops’ book Artificial Hells (2012). “Useful Art” feels fitting to Trans-Horse activities (even better than “Maintenance Art”). The chapter “Conclusion” (pg. 275) is really good to read. I don’t agree with her critique of participatory art.. Art/Education/Activism is not about my relationship to the Other but about Our relationship with the world (the horse). There is more in the world then masters and slaves, there is also the world. The text is filled with useful quotes such as: “Critical pedagogy retains authority, but not authoritarianism”.

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Benjamin Buchloh slaps Joseph Beuys on the face in Twilight of the Idol (1980). He points out that:

[…] German fascism and the war resulting from it, destroying and annihilating cultural memory and continuity for almost two decades and causing a rupture in history that left mental blocks and blanks and severe psychic scars on everybody living on this period and the generations following it. Beuys’ individual myth is an attempt to come to terms with those blocks and scars. When he quotes the Tartars as saying ‘Du nix njemcky (You are not German).’ they would say ‘du Tartar, and try to persuade me to join their clan…’ it is fairly evident that the myth is trying to deny his participation in the German war and his citizenship.

In the work and public myth of Beuys the new German spirit of the postwar period finds its new identity by pardoning and reconciling itself prematurely with its own reminiscences of a responsibility for one of the most cruel and devastating forms of collective political madness that history has known.

[…] his compulsive interest in accumulating and combining quantities of rejected, dusty old objects the kind that one finds in rural cellars and stables, are imbued with metaphysical meaning by the artist and his eager exegetes: they could just as easily be read in psychoanalytic terms, and perhaps more convincingly so.

His work does not initiate cognitive changes, but reaffirms a conservative position of literary belief systems.

I think that the extensive rituals of guild German artist and politicians express over WWII is actually a way to advance Catholic beliefs, world views and control. When Merkel gave the German flag away she managed to both express nationalistic values and to conceal nationalistic ambitions responsible for Germany’s economic growth. German guild is tactical – They get emotional before their practice can be criticized. It’s a way of hiding the facts. This same critique was present in Frimer’s Documenta’s Reinvention text mentioned earlier in relation to poststructuralist art. Perhaps postructuralism became popularized as a method to hide the political causalities of the expansion of capitalism.

A fantastic library of Finnish Zine publications: Oranssin pienlehtiarkisto 1977-1982.

Claire Bishop on The Social Turn Collaboration and its Discontents (2006):

The discursive criteria of socially engaged art are, at present, drawn from a tacit analogy between anticapitalism and the Christian ‘good soul’. In this schema, self-sacrifice is triumphant: The artist should renounce authorial presence in favor of allowing participants to speak through him or her. This self-sacrifice is accompanied by the idea that art should extract itself from the ‘useless’ domain of aesthetic and be fused with social praxis. As the French philosopher Jacques Rencière has observed, this denigration of the aesthetic ignores the fact that the system of art as we understand it in the West–the ‘aesthetic regime of art’ inaugurated by Friedrich Schiller and the Romantics and still operative on this day–is predicated precisely on the confusion between art’s autonomy (its position at one remove from instrumental rationality) and heteronomy (its blurring of art and life). Untangling this knot–or ignoring it by seeking more concrete ends for art–is slightly to miss the point, since the aesthetic is, according to Rencière, the ability to think contradiction: the productive contradictions of art’s relationship to social change characterized precisely by the tension between faith in art’s autonomy and belief in art as inextricably bound to the promise of a better world to come. For Rencièrethe aesthetic doesn’t need to be sacrificed at the altar of social change, as it already inherently contains this ameliorative promise.


IKEA GLOCK 9mm (2012). A photo of an assembled unit.

Writing an abstract for the Hollo Institute spring seminar, emailing with Kristina Junttila concerning an upcoming trip to Tromsø (a horse performance is in the making!), stressing over the Kontula Electronic gig and making neurotic/pointless edits to the SOW: Blacksmith ed.1 sound pack text descriptions/webpage (while waiting for Frederic to confirm that the clips have been accepted to freesound.org).

Discussing the politics of art education: Pedagogical Paradigms: Documenta’s Reinvention (2010) by Denise Frimer.

Continue reading “20170327”