Sunday, November 02, 2008

Misunderstanding Mediums

This week I'll be delivering a keynote address at the Misunderstanding conference as part of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) event taking place in Zurich.

My presentation is titled "Misunderstanding Mediums" (a play on McLuhan's "Understanding Media") and will include a few demos of postproduction art including my current project, Immobilité. As part of my keynote presentation, I'll bring this into the mix:
This kind of socially networked group performance which we produced while living our daily lives in what Hakim Bey calls a "Temporary Autonomous Zone" (TAZ) is not necessarily new. We see it in other works like Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls and Derek Jarman's Jubilee not to mention John Waters Pink Flamingos or on an even more intimate scale the film Fuses by the feminist performance artist Carolee Schneemann which she created partly in response to Stan Brakhage's Water Window Baby Moving [...]

What was it about our lives as artist-researchers that made us agree to participate in this structured improvisation that would enable us to use our intersubjective yet autobiographical experiences as source material for an artistically composed work of postproduction art?

Perhaps collaborative postproduction art is less about autobiographical experience per se and has more to do with remixing intersubjective pseudo-autobiography.

I say "postproduction art" because it seems to me that all art is now postproduction art, that in probing our practice in pursuit of freedom we are forever sampling from and manipulating whatever source material we have available to us at any given time and are more likely than not to use various media technologies to further postproduce the present as way of keeping ourselves one step into the future.

Of course, it's only when we download all of the recorded data into the computer and begin constructing yet more situations that we begin truly blurring the various tense fields (past, present, future perfect) and challenge ourselves as artist-mediums.
I'll also be moderating a panel on Misunderstanding as an Artistic Strategy. The conference organizers publicize the event as such:
How potent and provocative can art be in a time when even the TV news challenges its audience with avant-garde devices and controversial presentations? The shock, the novelty, the sensation have become worn-out media-strategies. Must artists now resort to more devious action? Are treacherous snares and hidden system errors more provocative, more dangerous, more effective?
Panelists include Yvette Sánchez, etoy.ZAI, and Pia Bertelsen.

The last time I was in Switzerland was 2002 for my [h]activity VJ tour and before that in 2001 for the Lucerne Easter Festival which sampled my "Surf Sample Manipulate" theory as the festival theme.

Zurich is a beuatiful spot and thanks to IETM there will be performance art all throughout the city during my stay.

It's also the home of James Joyce's grave.

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