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Written by roman

Like Bruce Lee says: Be Water

We recommand the article “Like Bruce Lee says: Be Water” in Elephant Magazine for Art and Culture No. 23 (Summer 2015) about fluid aspects in “Post-Internet” art.
Kari Altmann’s interview about behaving like a content feed is juxtaposed with Hito Steyerl’s movie “Liquidity. Inc”…

Liquid Intelligence and the Aesthetics of Fluidity

Conference, October 25-26, 2013
McGill University Montréal

website: liquidintelligenceconference

Confirmed Speakers: Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art) • Fabio Barry (Stanford University) • Matthew C. Hunter (McGill University) • Yukio Lippit (Harvard University) • Jeffrey Moser (McGill University) • Alexander Nemerov (Stanford University) • Jennifer L. Roberts (Harvard University) • Itay Sapir (UQAM) with responses by Sarah Hamill (Oberlin College) and Martha Langford (Concordia University)

In an influential essay, contemporary artist Jeff Wall has sketched a suggestive genealogy linking chemical photography to a range of fluid processes and their modes of “liquid intelligence.” By Wall’s telling, wet procedures done in the dark historically connect photography to a vast, subterranean network of primordial acts of chemical transformation like dyeing and bleaching. But, the pull of liquids on art and aesthetic imagination runs deeper still. From the unctuous stains of Titian’s macchie to Ed Ruscha’s “liquid word” paintings—from Kenneth Anger’s filmic imagination of the Renaissance garden’s ritualized, watery flows to the “boggy, soggy, squitchy” picture that flummoxes Ishmael at Melville’s Spouter-Inn—the urge to sound the fluid image abides. Where Walter Pater would explain Leonardo’s strange imaginings as like sight “in some brief interval of falling rain at daybreak, or through deep water,” no less central a theorist of pictorial ontology than Leon Battista Alberti appealed to the myth of Narcissus. “What is painting,” Alberti asks, “but the act of embracing by means of art the surface of the pool?”

Hosted through the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University and Media@McGill, this conference aims to thematize liquid intelligence and the broader aesthetics of fluidity in which it moves. Drawing together leading, international scholars, the conference seeks to open conversations around conceptions of photography, painting, and other fluid strategies made perceptible by pushing upon liquid intelligence. Can an ingenuity of liquid realization be constructively compared, we might ask, to the raw, “fluid” smarts that psychologists oppose to formal, “crystallized” intelligence? Might the theoretical heuristic of liquid thinking devised for a recent, proximate past help flush out the modalities of more distant minds responsible for, say, the oozing, oil-spotted glazes of medieval tenmoku tea wares or the inky insubstantiality of Zen patriarch portraits? If we, like the intergalactic researchers in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, are influenced by the hegemonic, fluid images we study, how might those subtle currents work to dissolve the dry media genealogies and hoary theoretical constructs that continue inform much thinking on relations between photography, painting and other arts past and present?

Monday Begins on Saturday

Monday Begins on Saturday is the title of the first edition of Bergen Assembly, and takes the form of an international exhibition, publication, and symposium.

It is a critical meditation on the potentials and pitfalls of the evermore ubiquitous yet at the same time elusive notion of “artistic research.” The project takes its title from a novel by Soviet sci-fi writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky about a fictitious research institute staffed by a motley assemblage of fairytale beings and mad scientists who are trying to solve the problem of human happiness through magic. The first edition of Bergen’s new triennial is an oblique contemporary re-writing of this text as a multi-venue exhibition and book.

The Strugatsky Brothers published Monday Begins on Saturday in 1964, at the height of the Cold War Soviet research boom. It tells the story of a programmer who gets sidetracked by hitchhikers while vacationing in the Northern region of Karelia, and winds up working at the Research Institute for Wizardry and Sorcery, which is organized into sections such as the Department of Prophecies and Predictions or the Department of Linear Happiness. Its researchers are on a modest quest to solve all of humanity’s problems. The institute’s main philosophy is dialectical: positivism and vulgar materialism must be fought off at all costs and opposed with the weapons of magic and the imagination. Its ethic of incessant research—alluded to in the title of the novel—is similarly dialectical: an ideal life of perpetual inquiry and thinking, opposed to the quick fixes of consumerism and immediate satisfaction. Here even knowledge of the future should not be “consumed”—it must remain an open horizon. But this utopian atmosphere is secured by almost inexhaustible state support, propped up by an ever-growing bureaucracy, and protected from the demands of the market. Although some institute researchers even want to work on New Year’s Eve, others nonetheless become terribly complacent, which leads to a profuse growth of hair on their ears…

http://en.bergenassembly.no/

Stoffe in Bewegung

Eine historische Epistemologie der materiellen Welt

Workshop: 6.-7. April 2013
Zentrum Geschichte des Wissens Zürich
http://www.zgw.ethz.ch

Mobilität und Wandel, die zentralen Imperative im Zeitalter des globalisierten Weltmarktes, gelten auch für die materiellen Grundlagen der Welt. Permanent werden Stoffe und Substanzen bewegt und verändert, um vorhandene Dinge zu variieren und zu vervielfältigen, oder neue zu entwerfen. Wir möchten im Workshop diese Phänomenologie der modernen materiellen Welt zum Ausgangspunkt einer Auseinandersetzung mit Stofflichkeit nehmen. Was, wenn die materielle Welt erst durch permanente stoffliche Translokation und Transformation zu dem wird, was sie ist? Statische Stoffontologien und naturwissenschaftlicher Elementen- essenzialismus werden dem nicht gerecht. Doch was könnte an ihre Stelle gesetzt werden? In der Diskussion sind viele Begriffe und Denkfiguren – Stoffströme, Materialflüsse, Stoffwechselprozesse, um nur die wichtigsten zu nennen. Doch auch diese Deutungsangebote müssen in ihrer Historizität und ihren epistemischen Eigenmächtigkeiten kritisch mit in den stoffhistorischen Blick genommen werden.

In dem Workshop werden präzirkulierte Manuskripte zu einem geplanten Themenheft diskutiert. Der Workshop ist jedoch öffentlich und für weitere TeilnehmerInnen offen. (Beiträge)

Organisiert von Kijan Espahangizi (ZGW) und Barbara Orland (Universität Basel).

Power of Material / Politics of Materiality

Macht des Materials / Politik der Materialität

DO 25.10.12 –
DI 05.02.13

Interdisziplinäre Vortragsreihe
des cx centrum für interdisziplinäre studien an der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, München (DE)

Die Vortragsreihe beleuchtet und diskutiert die Wirkung und Handlungsmacht von materiellen Phänomenen, die Dynamik und Vitalität von Materie und Material sowie deren Status als Akteure in den Beziehungsgeflechten von Kultur und Natur. Sie setzt die gegenwärtige Aufwertung materialer Komponenten in Kunst, Design und Architektur in Dialog mit den gesellschafts- und geisteswissenschaft­lichen Ansätzen eines „New Materialism“ sowie mit neueren Kon­zepten der Materie oder des Embodiments in den Natur- bzw. Kognitionswissenschaften.

Die Vorträge finden jeweils um 19 Uhr statt, in deutscher oder englischer Sprache.
Im Anschluss an die Vorträge ist eine moderierte Diskussion geplant.

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2012, 19 Uhr
New Materialisms
Diana Coole, Prof. für Politik- und Sozialtheorie, Birkbeck, University of London
Weitere Informationen
Historische Aula im Altbau | Akademiestr. 2

Dienstag, 06. Nov. 2012
Das neue Bild der Materie
Harald Lesch, Prof. für theoretische Astrophysik, LMU München
Weitere Informationen
Historische Aula im Altbau | Akademiestr. 2

Dienstag, 13. Nov. 2012
Materielles Unterfangen
Sofia Hultén, Künstlerin, Berlin
Colin Renfrew, Disney Prof. em. für Archäologie, Cambridge
Weitere Informationen
Auditorium im Erweiterungsbau | Akademiestr. 4

Dienstag, 27. Nov. 2012
Die Ökologie der Materialien
Tim Ingold, Prof. für Sozialanthropologie, University of Aberdeen
Max Lamb, Designer, London
Auditorium im Erweiterungsbau | Akademiestr. 4
Fotos zum Workshop mit Max Lamb auf der Website seiner New Yorker Galerie
Weitere Informationen

Dienstag, 11. Dez. 2012
Materielle Umwertungen
Manfred Pernice, Prof. für Bildhauerei, Universität der Künste, Berlin
Historische Aula im Altbau | Akademiestr. 2
Weitere Informationen

Donnerstag, 20. Dez. 2012
Embodying – Materialisierung von Gender
Sigrid Schmitz, Prof. für Gender Studies, Universität Wien
Ian White, Performance-Künstler / Filmkurator, London / Berlin
Auditorium im Erweiterungsbau | Akademiestr. 4

Donnerstag, 10. Jan. 2013
Die (Im)materialität der Ökonomie
Anja Kirschner und David Panos, Künstler/in, London / Athen
Costas Lapavitzas, Prof. für Ökonomie, SOAS, University of London
Auditorium im Erweiterungsbau | Akademiestr. 4

Dienstag, 15. Jan. 2013
Text und Stoff – materielle Übersetzungen
Cornelia Ortlieb, Prof. für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / Komparatistik, LMU München
Bitte abweichenden Veranstaltungsort beachten
LMU, Schellingstraße 3, Raum K0 4b
In Kooperation mit dem Lehrstuhl für Komparatistik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München organisiert.

Dienstag, 22. Jan. 2013
Das Versprechen intelligenter Werkstoffe
Thomas Schröpfer, Prof. für Architektur und nachhaltiges Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design
Nicola Stattmann, Produktdesignerin und Materialexpertin, Frankfurt a. M.
Auditorium im Erweiterungsbau | Akademiestr. 4

Dienstag 05. Feb. 2013
Vom historischen Materialismus zum spekulativen Realismus
Diedrich Diederichsen, Prof. für Theorie, Praxis und Vermittlung von Gegenwartskunst, Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien
Historische Aula im Altbau | Akademiestr. 2

Novel Forms & New Materialities

‘Novel Forms & New Materialities’ explores the radical transformations to our material world provoked by contemporary science and technology. It asks how engagement with new forms and modes of material performance promises to conjure into existence unseen materialities, narratives and possibilities.

‘Novel Forms & New Materialities’ has been organized by the Arts Catalyst, London, in june 2012.

Video footage of the event:
Science writer Philip Ball sets the context and considers what cultural,sociological and scientific factors have enabled these technological advancements, and our changing relationship with materials in this new “invisible era”.

read more about the event on the website of the arts catalyst.

Liquefactions, Conference Berlin

Liquefactions. Aesthetic and semantic dimensions of a topos.
International and Interdisciplinary Conference
(Berlin, 23-25 Nov 12)

From Zygmunt Bauman’s “Liquid Modernity” to Zaha Hadid’s “Total
Fluidity”, the topos of Fleeting and Flowing is experiencing a surge of
interest as a sign of cultural (post)modernism, with technologisation
and psychologisation having led to a ‘liquefaction’ of borders and
orders of the most varied kind. Still, such metaphors reach back much
farther, with the famous saying, “all things flow”, expressing one’s
belief in the ever-present change in universe. Romanticism followed
this positive interpretation with a substantial imagery of the Flowing.
Yet at the end of the century, the spirit changed, with the Liquid
being a potentially ambivalent topos that articulates an unsettling
modern experience of physical, psychological, technological und
perceptual processes. Given novel media and materials in the 20th
century and today, these moments of crisis are reflected with an eye on
the material, formal and semantic implications of the Liquid. The
conference discusses the aesthetic and semantic dimensions of the topos
since Romanticism, considering its impact on different scientific and
artistic fields, and its changing historical interpretations.

Location:
Universität der Künste Berlin
Hardenbergstr. 33
10623 Berlin
Raum Ha110

Sounding, Composition, Retransmission

 

Thoughts on Sarat Maharaj’s notion of sounding in the context of Art Research (a response to Maharaj’s keynote lecture during the SARN conference “We, the Public!”)

From Ghandi to British student protests, from experimental Volvo factories to the ongoing institutionalization of Art Research, from the meaning of research to its embedded model of labour, from problems of verbalization to the invention of methods on-the-fly, from retinal or cerebral regimes to modes of know-see-feel: we followed Sarat Maharaj‘s keynote lecture and felt his attitude, his outreaching openness, his affinity to language, his power to create spaces and possibilities for further development, his drive to deepen the entanglements with his chosen topic and his wish to make offers instead of imposing solutions.
In reply to the question of how critique would fit into his perspective on Art Research, Maharaj deployed his notion of sounding. He proposed sending out impulses and receiving a topological image of the surroundings as a reply – similar to sonar or ultrasound. Since several years he has applied the method of sounding to approaching complex subjects in a communicative sphere that is riddled with incompatible ways of living and knowing and filled with cultural difference and intranslatables (1). Critizing in such a sphere, which does not provide consistent cognitive parameters, languages and modes of experience, seems problematic and short-sighted. His rejection of critique parallels the arguments of Bruno Latour who claims that ”critique did a wonderful job of debunking prejudices, enlightening nations, and prodding minds, but […] it ‘ran out of steam‘, because it was predicated on the discovery of a true world of realities lying behind a veil of appearances.” (2) Furthermore Latour proclaims that what uses the sledgehammer of critique cannot also repair, take care, reassemble and stitch together. He thus propagates a ”compositionist” approach that does not rely on any world of beyond, but acts in conscious immanence and on the ruins that critique left behind. Compositionism takes the heterogenity of the assembled parts into account, has a close relationship to composition in the arts, and flirts with compost and its active de- and recomposition. As a further matter, it is open to compromise and in constant search for the Common (3).
The present attempt of trying to combine sounding and the Common led to a concert Chris Watson gave in the Brussels Museum of Natural Science in 2010. Watson is an experienced and versatile sound recordist who has worked on numerous BBC documentaries in the most unaccessible regions of our planet. He is specialized in recording wildlife and natural phenomena. In the museum‘s whale room, he played his latest sounds of Orcas which he recorded during his recent expedition to Antarctica. Sitting under the collection of whale skeletons, suspended from the ceiling, Watson explained to the audience how whales use echolocation for hunting. They emit frequent clicks from a complex of nasal sacs in the blowhole region. The clicks are reflected from the environment and received by the whales. Their brains can turn these sound-based responses into an image or map of the surroundings. Moreover, Watson explained that some biologists believe that whales cannot only emit the initial clicks but also retransmit the spatial response. This does not seem to be impossible, considering two facts: Firstly, the response merely consists of a sequential sound pattern. Secondly, whales have considerably bigger brains than humans and are highly specialized in communicating via sound and in using sound for navigation. The hypothesis even proposes that Orcas hunting in groups might be able to share their view on a scene with others that are positioned in different angles. Combining their perspectives into a collective three-dimensional map might result in considerable advantage.
Even if this supposition of a shared, – or to use Maharaj‘s expression – ”agglutinative” perception/thinking of whales does not prove to be actually the case, it seems to be a good starting point to ponder about collective sounding, compositionism and further modes, channels and formats of exchange between people involved in Art Research and thus involved in creation.

_________________________

1 Maharaj, Sarat, „Merz-Thinking – Sounding the Documenta Process between Critique and Spectacle“, 2005, in „Curating Critique“, ed. Drabble, Richter (Frankfurt/Main: Revolver, 2007)
2 Latour, Bruno, „An Attempt at at Compositionist Manifesto“, 2010, in „An Envelope for arts, sciences, politics and us“, ed. Deifel, Kraeftner, Widrich (Wien: Springer, 2012)
3 Latour contrasts his Compositionist Manifesto from the Communist Manifesto in many substantial ways, but admits that what they both share is the search for the Common. ”The thirst for the Common World is what there is of communism in compositionism, with this small but crucial difference that it has to be slowly composed instead of being taken for granted and imposed on all.“ (Deifel, Kraeftner, Widrich: p.35)

image: Chris Watson recording Orcas in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, 2009