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Geometry I

Woman_teaching_geometry

[Wikipedia: Detail of a scene in the bowl of the letter 'P' with a woman with a set-square and dividers; using a compass to measure distances on a diagram. In her left hand she holds a square, an implement for testing or drawing right angles. She is watched by a group of students. In the Middle Ages, it is unusual to see women represented as teachers, in particular when the students appear to be monks. She is most likely the personification of Geometry, based on Martianus Capella's famous book De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, [5th c.] a standard source for allegorical imagery of the seven liberal arts. Illustration at the beginning of Euclid’s Elementa, in the translation attributed to Adelard of Bath.]

La balsa de la Medusa

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[Estado de la embarcación en el momento del rescate. De la "Relation complète du naufrage de la frégate La Méduse faisant partie de l'expédition du Sénégal en 1816 par Alexandre Correard, H. Savigny, D'Anglas de Praviel et Paul C.L. Alexandre Rand des Adrets (dit Sander Rang)".]

Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1874)

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James McNeill Whistler,
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1874)

por un ______ imperfecto

“El cine imperfecto entendemos que exige, sobre todo, mostrar el proceso de los problemas. Es decir, lo contrario a un cine que se dedique fundamentalmente a celebrar los resultados. Lo contrario a un cine autosuficiente y contemplativo. Lo contrario a un cine que “ilustra bellamente” las ideas o conceptos que ya poseemos. (La actitud narcisista no tiene nada que ver con los que luchan). Mostrar un proceso no es precisamente analizarlo. Analizar, en el sentido trdicional de la palabra, implica siempre un juicio previo, cerrado. Analizar un problema es mostrar el problema (no su proceso) impregnado de juicios que genera a priori el propio análisis. Analizar es bloquear de antemano las posibilidades de análisis del interlocutor. Mostrar el proceso de un problema es someterlo a juicio sin emitir el fallo.

(…) Al cine imperfecto no le interesa más la calidad ni la técnica. El cine imperfecto lo mismo se puede hacer con una Mitchell que con una cámara 8mm. Lo mismo se puede hacer en estudio que con una guerrilla en medio de la selva. Al cine imperfecto no le interesa más un gusto determinado y mucho menos el “buen gusto”. De la obra de un artista no le interesa encontrar más la calidad. Lo único que le interesa de un artista es saber cómo responde a la siguiente pregunta: ¿Qué hace para saltar la barrera de un interlocutor “culto” y minoritario que hasta ahora condiciona la calidad de su obra?”

Julio García Espinosa, Por un cine imperfecto (1969)

fantasía

La negociación sobre el estatus de la fantasía. En tiempos modernos el problema consistía en discernir entre la realidad y las fantasías. En los posmodernos, en la atribución de valor simbólico a las fantasías. En la Era Afterpop la dificultad reside en precisar el estatus formal e incluso legal de la fantasía en la maraña mediática y metamediática. Ahora la fantasía está ahí, como lo está internet, omnipresente e intangible: está al alcance de la mano, y el problema no es difernciarla de otra cosa sino averiguar en qué remoto nivel de las redes digitales y jurídicas sucede.”

Eloy Fernández Porta, €®O$. La superproducción de los afectos, p.218

[¿se trata de un problema de en qué nivel sucede, o cómo funciona la fantasía respecto a cómo funcionaba?]

mundo de clichés

“Vivimos en un mundo de clichés. Lo publicitario produce los clichés, es decir lo contrario de una imagen, los clichés, es decir las excitaciones visuales que van a desencadenar un comportamiento conforme con los espectadores. La publicidad es lo contrario de toda poesía. Pero lo difícil es decir en que es lo contrario. La poesía, al nivel en que se la define, es borrar los clichés, suprimir los clichés, romper las asociaciones sensorio-motoras, hacer surgir fuera de los clichés las imágenes ópticas y sonoras puras que, en lugar de desencadenar comportamientos previsibles en los individuos, van a conmover al individuo en el fondo de su alma. De ahí en tema recurrente en Godard: vivimos en un mundo de clichés y no sabemos lo que es una imagen porque no sabemos ver una imagen, y no sabemos ver lo que hay en una imagen. No se necesita un arte del compromiso, es necesario un arte que haga su acción en si misma, es decir que suscite en nosotros, ¿qué? Que, produciendo imágenes literalmente inauditas, sea tal que nos haga captar lo que es intolerable y que suscite en nosotros, para hablar como Rosselini, el amor y la piedad. Un arte así puede muy bien participar en un movimiento revolucionario, pero, en todo caso, no es una literatura o un cine comprometido, es un cine de la pura imagen óptica sonora.”

Deleuze, curso sobre cine (18/05/1983), via.

“En cuarto lugar, se pregunta uno qué cosa preserva al conjunto en este mundo sin enlace ni totalidad. La respuesta es simple: lo que sostiene al conjunto son los tópicos [clichés], nada más. Nada más que tópicos. Por todas partes tópicos… El problema ya se había planteado en Dos Passos, con las nuevas técnicas que introdujo en la novela antes de que el cine pudiera soñar con ellas: la realidad dispersiva y lacunar, la pululación de personajes de débil interferencia, su capacidad para convertirse en principales y para volver a ser secundarios, los acontecimientos que se posan sobre los personajes y que no pertenecen a los que sufren o provocan. Pues bien, lo que cimenta todo esto son los tópicos corrientes de una época o de un momento, eslóganes sonoros y visuales que Dos Passos llama, con nombres tomados del cine, “noticiarios” y “ojo de la cámara” (noticiarios: noticias entremezcladas de acontecimientos políticos o sociales, de sucesos, reportajes y cancioncillas; ojo de la cámara: monólogo interior de un tercero cualquiera, no identificado entre los personajes). Son imágenes flotantes, tópicos anónimos que circulan por el mundo exterior, pero que también penetran en cada uno y constituyen su mundo interior, hasta tal punto que cada cual no posee en sí más que tópicos psíquicos por medio de los cuales piensa y siente, se piensa y se siente, siendo él mismo un tópico entre otros en el mundo que lo rodea. Tópicos físicos, ópticos y sonoros y tópicos psíquicos, se alimentan mutuamente. Para que la gente se soporte, a sí misma y al mundo, es preciso que la miseria haya ganado el interior de las conciencias, y que lo de dentro sea como lo de fuera.

Gilles Deleuze, La imagen-movimiento. Estudios sobre cine 1, p.290. (1983)

Trevor Paglen : Limit telephotography

2007 Open Hangar, Cactus Flats, NV, Distance - 18 miles, 10.04 a

2008 Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center #2, Groom Lake, NV, Distance - 26 Miles

2008 Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center, Groom Lake, NV; Distance - 26 miles

A number of classified military bases and installations are located in some of the remotest parts of the United States, hidden deep in western deserts and buffered by dozens of miles of restricted land. Many of these sites are so remote, in fact, that there is nowhere on Earth where a civilian might be able to see them with an unaided eye. In order to produce images of these remote and hidden landscapes, therefore, some unorthodox viewing and imaging techniques are required.

Limit-telephotography involves photographing landscapes that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. The technique employs high powered telescopes whose focal lengths range between 1300mm and 7000mm. At this level of magnification, hidden aspects of the landscape become apparent.

Limit-telephotography most closely resembles astrophotography, a technique that astronomers use to photograph objects that might be trillions of miles from Earth. In some ways, however, it is easier to photograph the depths of the solar system than it is to photograph the recesses of the military industrial complex. Between Earth and Jupiter (500 million miles away), for example, there are about five miles of thick, breathable atmosphere. In contrast, there are upwards of forty miles of thick atmosphere between an observer and the sites depicted in this series.

via Trevor Paglen.

2010 They Watch the Moon

spectatorship

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Nuns examine Calder’s mobiles and stabiles at Frank Perls Gallery, 1953. Photo: Ann Rosener. Copyright: Smithsonian Museum v/ e-flux

Every original form is negated, or rather, abolished. Navigating through a network made up of photocopies, prints, screens or photographic reproductions, forms surface as just so many transitory incarnations.

a. Permanent Transcoding: Formal Nomadism

In the works of Kelley Walker, Wade Guyton and Seth Price, forms are displayed in the shape of copies, forever in a transitory state; the images are instable, waiting between two translations, perpetually transcoded. The practice of these three artists dissuades us from giving their works a precise place in the production and processing chain of the image, because the same patterns are repeated with greater or lesser variants in distinct works.

Kelley Walker operates by linking visual objects: he depicts an uprooted reality in works that are only ‘freeze frames’ of an enunciation in a continuous state of development, constantly incorporating earlier stages of his work. As for Wade Guyton, he leaves it to mechanical reproduction techniques to generate form variables that he introduces in his work.

Taken from magazines, television or Google search, they seem ready to return there, instable, spectral. Every original form is negated, or rather, abolished. Navigating through a network made up of photocopies, prints, screens or photographic reproductions, forms surface as just so many transitory incarnations. The visible appears here as a nomad by definition, a collection of iconographic ghosts; the work of art presents itself in the form of a USB-stick that can be plugged into every support.

from Nicolas Bourriaud’s Precarious Constructions
Answer to Jacques Rancière on Art and Politics
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Art strike 1977-1980

Artists engaged in political struggle act in two key areas: the use of their art for direct social change; and actions to change the structures of the art world. It needs to be understood that this activity is necessarily of a reformist, rather than revolutionary, character. Indeed this political activity often serves to consolidate the existing order, in the West, and in the East.
The use of art for social change is bedevilled by the close integration of art and society. The state supports art, it needs art as a cosmetic cloak to its horrifying reality, and uses art to confuse, divert and entertain large numbers of people. Even when deployed against the interests of the state, art cannot cut loose the umbilical cord of the state. Art in the service of revolution is unsatisfactory and mistrusted because of the numerous links of art with the state and capitalism. Despite these problems, artists will go on using art to change society.

Throughout the century, artists have attacked the prevailing methods of production, distribution and consumption of art. These attacks on the organisation of the art world have gained momentum in recent years. This struggle, aimed at the destruction of existing commercial and public marketing and patronage systems, can be brought to a successful conclusion in the course of the present decade.

The refusal to labour is the chief weapon of workers fighting the system; artists can use the same weapon. To bring down the art system it is necessary to call for years without art, a period of three years – 1977 to 1980 – when artists will not produce work, sell work, permit work to go on exhibitions, and refuse collaboration with any part of the publicity machinery of the art world. This total withdrawal of labor is the most extreme collective challenge that artists can make to the state. The years without art will see the collapse of many private galleries. Museums and cultural institutions handling contemporary art will be severely hit, suffer loss of funds, and will have to reduce their staff. National and local government institutions will be in serious trouble. Art magazines will fold. The international ramifications of the dealer/museum/publicity complex make for vulnerability; it is a system that is keyed to a continuous juggling of artists, finance, works and information – damage one part, and the effect is felt world-wide.

Three years is the minimum period required to cripple the system, whilst a longer period of time would create difficulties for artists. The very small number of artists who live from the practice of art are sufficiently wealthy to live on their capital for three years. The vast majority of people who produce art have to subsidise their work by other means; they will, in fact, be saving money and time. Most people who practice art never sell their work at a profit, do not get the chance to exhibit their work under proper conditions, and are unmentioned by the publicity organs. Some artist may find it difficult to restrain themselves from producing art. These artist will be invited to enter camps, where making of art works is forbidden, and where any work produced is destroyed at regular intervals. In place of the practice of art, people can spend time on the numerous historical, esthetic and social issues facing art. It will be necessary to construct more equitable forms for marketing, exhibiting and publicising art in the future. As the twentieth century has progressed, capitalism has smothered art – the deep surgery of the years without art will give it a new chance.

Art strike 1977-1980
Gustav Metzger, 1974



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