shrines and the lecture

[ follow ups ] [ Ken Feingold | discussion ]

by G.H. Hovagimyan on April 25, 1997 at 17:56:04:

Ken Feingold writes:

This is an image of the work titled "Claim" by Vito
> Acconci, from 1971. He described it as follows (this is an excerpt from
> his text in Avalanche Magazine, Fall 1972):
> "A two-level loft - at street level, next to a stairway door, a TV monitor
> records my activity and functions as a warning to viewers (a viewer
> decides whether he wants to open the door and come down). I'm in the
> basement, blindfolded, seated on a chair at the foot of the stairs - I
> have at hand two metal pipes and a crowbar - I am talking aloud, to myself
> - talking myself into a possession obsession."

> If one considers Acconci's work "Claim" to be a fairly early telepresence
> it says nothing about the power of his actions, nor of the poetics of what
> the work is about and how it addresses it subject.

GH Replies/ comments/ postulates:

I saw a robot piece Ken had done in a gallery. The robot could be
manipulated remotely. It was in a pen of sorts made up of mirrors. Upon
reflection (sorry I just couldn't resist) it makes a lot of sense that
he would refer to Vito's early performance. Within the confines of art
historical discourse Ken's move is brilliantly satisfying.

One of the disappointments of the eighties art world was the retreat
into object making that occured. I assumed it was due to art market
pressures. I mean after all there's a whole system set up for the
circulation of aesthetic objects. You can't just overthrow it.

Younger video-performance artists (like me) starting doing hybrid
events, acted in underground films, played in Punk bands and mixed-up
pop-deconstruction-writing-ephemera-situational art. This concept of
resistance is most eloquently voiced in Hakim Beys book, " T.A.Z. the
Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism,"
Autonomedia publications, 1984.

Twenty years later the Whitney Museum discovered the residue and mounted
the "No Wave Cinema" exhibition.

There is a fundamental break/ disjunction between the makers/ creators
of the art experience and the custodian/ presenters/ preservers of the
art object/ experience. The notion of connoiseurship, market
competition, the test of time and a vetting process of some sort is
contraindicative to primal creativity. To an artist if it's dead, it's
of no use. This is where the custodians start waking up.

Joseph Nechvatal Writes:

> >It was a consequential experience to me, as being inside Newgrange I
> >discovered an antediluvian region of the human mind which contains
> >principles of the bliss of sexual union, of scientific discovery, of
> >artistic creation, of physical conquest, and of mental expansion and of
> >death. Its immersive consciousness was one of inexhaustible intensity, in
> >fact I cannot withdraw from its prehistoric immersive circle, for once
> >experienced, it is as much within as without and it has become subjective
> >as well as objective to me.

GH Replies/ comments/ shares the experience:

Joseph is my favorite romantic. I think there's an Irish poet lurking
inside him as well as a French Troubador. ;-)

I'm a little confused as to Joseph's definition of "immersion." He mixes
up signs and symbolic metaphors to express his experience . This is of
course what an artist does best. We in the 20th (soon to be 21st)
century experience neolithic earthworks from a different viewpoint. We
have no way of understanding why these thing were done. Joseph, I'm
assuming took a train or a car out to the countryside to visit an
architectural artifact. The meaning and use of this artifact is quite
different for him than for the original inhabitants/ users. Maybe this
is a case of self-induced cognitive transformation.

I consider immersion to be a tool used by a society or group to create a
shift in consciousness. I also feel that the internet as a whole is an
immersive environment/ tool. I feel that all societies make use of
immersion to trigger cognitive growth. However there is quite a bit of
confusion as to what actually happens. There is also a lot of misreading
and projection of the experience.

A primal event such as a creative act is transformative. What occurs
next is rather interesting. If an individual is transformed they want to
share the experience. Can this experience be duplicated? This get's
tricky, especially in late capitalist global market media circulation
free enterprize zones. The question is ; can this be standardized,
reproduced and sold for a profit.

Going back to Hakim Bey's idea of TAZ, I'll paraphrase a bit but read
the book. All revolutions start with an urgent desire for freedom from
a rigid structure. If the revolution succeeds however one rigid
structure is simply replaced by another. The only way to maintain the
initial sense of liberation is to create a Temporary Autonomous Zone.
Cognitive transformation on the sly if you will.

There's something else, every society needs immersive transformation
but they often mistake religious ritual or entertainment events for the
real thing. This also occurs within the art world where the art object
is fetishized. When this happens the original transformative function of
the art work has lost all its numinous impact.

by G.H. Hovagimyan
Notes On Immersion
No Wave Cinema
Port-MIT roundtable

T.A.Z. the Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic
by Hakim Bey Autonomedia publications, 1984.
Real Audio interview with Bey

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