Friday, April 07, 2006

Blogging: Theory As Performance

A funny thing happened on the way to my blog this morning: I realized that, as a few of my European colleagues noted in conversation, my writing in this relatively free-form open space is not so much a theory of performance - as when I digress into my wordy rappinghood solos on concepts like hyperimprovisation and proprioceptive-body intuition - but rather theory as performance. This is an important distinction, and one that is liable to frustrate both my PhD scholarly friends who want the theoretical premise of my supposed arguments to relate to specific content and contexts that easily connect my thinking with what is hot (and bothered) in contemporary critical theory - as well as my less theory oriented (sometimes anti-theory) art collaborators and students who are suspicious of artists who use theory as the Meta-Muse for their performance art practice.

So be it.

UPDATE: It also occurs to me that as my blog becomes more like a collection of scraps or an accumulation of doggy bag "leftovers" from my principle art and writing projects, the Reader looking for "deep insights" into my current theoretical investigations as they relate to my ongoing art practice may feel like I don't take this open publication space serious enough to warrant repeated return visits. But I would say that these "leftovers" are sometimes better when heated up than when they were first made, and that whereas they may not provide "deep insights" into anything, they may begin to help glas my simultaneous and continuous fusion of art, theory, fiction, film, video, politics, and performance. For example, why am I, as one of the progenitors of the early net art scene, and who playfully (and metamediumistically) had the first-ever net art retrospective of his work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London only 4.5 years after the release of GRAMMATRON, so eager to create historical linkages between the early work of 60s computer artist Frieder Nake and myself, while highlighting the fact that he and I together attended the memorial/homage to Nam June Paik in Bremen? And why am I attempting to use this blog space to create significant links between my own D-I-Y "theory as performance" and, say, the handwritten notes by Nam June Paik, one of the progenitors of the early video art scene? What could be motivating the writer of this blog to not-too-subtly equate his recent net art and VJ theory with Paik's idea of "ecstasy" and the courageous act of "going out of oneself..." as if lost in "completely filled time" where the artist embodies "the presence of eternal presence" while tappping into "unconscious, or super-conscious" acts of composition the way "some mystic forgets himself (goes out of oneself)" in the most "abnormal" of ways so that "the world stops for three minutes!" (for the original context of these quotes, go here)? Hint: it has less to do with subjective ego and more to do with intersubjective leggo.

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