Thursday, March 05, 2009

Artist as Transparent Medium

Tony Oursler has a new solo show titled "Cell Phones Diagrams Cigarettes Searches and Scratch Cards" at Metro Pictures.

Oursler, in conversation:
I always said I'm just an instrument; I'm transparent, like a medium, the language passes through me. Which is a bit like saying I'm a recording device, I start and I go. I had a real connection to ongoing, language production in real time.
At what point does what we still call performance art become an installation?
You put yourself over to the language and then the language becomes you.
Letting the language speak itself through you but not as a result of some celestial inspiration rather as part of an unconscious aesthetic potential that once triggered into action sends the body into creative spasm.
You know a narrative always has characters and action link up in a certain way that informs a structure or a plot. But what you're talking about is radical because you're in the moment resonating on the word as it comes along. Letting each word have its meaning. It's almost like a minimalist structure overlaid on language. Because you have the material honed down to a precise state's unfettered by composition.
It's almost as if the work comes to life when it is articulated in the discovery-space of choral writing, where the pseudo-autobiographical persona unconsciously projects their next postproduction performance.

Who are we versioning this time? The installation artist? The performance artist? The narrative artist?
What I've always been interested in is the difference between installation and narrative. If it's an installation, it can't really be a narrative. because if you have narrative, it's not an installation anymore, it's a story. It's the difference between being in a movie or a play or a performance and being in a sculpture where you can come in at any point and feed on it. You've of course straddled that line really wonderfully in a lot of ways. So this forward structure where does it fall? The focus of our interview is installations. But you're talking about something that falls on the cusp.
This blurring of narrative and installation has been a main thread in the art projects emanating out of Professor VJ's post-studio practice for the last fifteen years. GRAMMATRON is both a hypermedia narrative and a network installation. PHON:E:ME is both a network installation and a concept album about conceptual art. FILMTEXT is both an interactive new media environment that samples from cinematic forms and a network installation.

Immobilité will be both a looping feature-length "foreign film" (i.e. work of narrative art) and an installation.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Choral Writing

Breaking in virgin territory, as any post-Derridean would:
"Chora receives everything or gives place to everything, but Plato insists that in fact it has to be a virgin place, and that it has to be totally foreign, totally exterior to anything that it receives. Since it is absolutely blank, everything that is printed on it is automatically effaced. It remains foreign to the imprint it receives; so in a sense, it does not receive anything—it does not receive what it receives nor does it give what it gives. Everything inscribed in it erases itself immediately, while remaining in it. It is thus an impossible surface—it is not even a surface, because it has no depth."
And yet chora makes itself available as a space for discovery, an in-between space of becoming that enables the artist-medium to tap into their creative potential while methodically acting out their inner choreography as if in perpetual postproduction.

The networked aspects of contemporary choral writing are filmic in nature and are being transmitted body-image to body-image. These mobile body-images circulate in an intersubjective space of co-poiesis so that we (the mobile images) can remix (with/in) each other:
'I' meets a 'non-I,' 'I' meets another 'non-I.' This 'non-I' meets another 'I.' Each encounter creates its own psychic resonance field, and each resonance field is with and in other fields of resonance. Thus, each matrixial cluster is a web of meeting of one with-in the other, where each one -- and each other -- belongs to several such clusters. The matrixial web is thus the body-psyche-time-space of the intimate even though it is a web of several, and it is from the onset transgressive. Transgressive and intimate -- even when the encounter is between, with, and in two subjects, the encounter is not symbiotic. Transgressive and intimate -- even if the encounter is between three subjects, inside this sphere triangulation is not Oedipalizing. Com-passionate matrixial empathy is not oedipalizing, yet difference is being swerved there already.
Swerving through time and space, the artist-medium navigates chora perversely:
Chora, then, is the space in which place is made possible, the chasm for the passage of spectacles Forms into a spatialized reality, a dimensionless tunnel opening itself to spatialization, obliterating itself to make others possible and actual.
Actual entities ("the possible impossible") are then rendered into the ongoing remix as source material to be "taken" and postproduced into an aesthetic reconfiguration that feeds into the artist-medium's ongoing sense of satisfaction for having achieved what Whitehead calls Higher Phases of Experience.

Concrescent prehensions, rising to the occasion:
Actual entities can best be understood as "drops of experience" in space-time. They are both the subject that grasps other experiences and the new reality constituted by those experiences. Whitehead introduces the term "prehension" to illustrate this dual idea. The word "prehension" is related to the more traditional word "apprehension." Both are from the Latin "to take." But whereas the latter implies a subject taking hold of an object, Whitehead's term attempts to transcend this subject-object distinction. It implies a subject taking account of an object in a way that makes the latter a constitutive element of the subject as subject. It is a way of suggesting a real relatedness of subject to object, not just a relation of reason. To illustrate, consider the relation of parent to child. The child owes its existence and genetic inheritance to the parent; the parent does not owe its existence or genetic inheritance to the child. Hence, the child is related to the parent in a real or constitutive way, which is not the case considered the other way around.

Whitehead uses the term "concrescence" to define the process of prehending. "This concrescence is thus nothing else than the 'real internal constitution' of the actual occasion in question." (PR, 244) To continue the example, the process by which a unique person emerges from its inheritances and experiences is its concrescence.
For the artist-medium, creating a body of work (concrescent reality) that at once "emerges from its inheritances and experiences" while simultaneously navigating the matrixial in-between space of chora where it "has to be totally foreign, totally exterior to anything that it receives," the greatest challenge of all is maintaining its transgressive movement.

One approach is to invent persona via the postproduction of presence in trance narrative space.

Case in point: Immobilité, opening as a solo exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum in April.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Books of Sand

Kindle me this ...

Jorge Luis Borges from The Book of Sand:
Then, as if he were thinking aloud, he said, "If space is infinite, we may be at any point in space. If time is infinite, we may be at any point in time."
Tracking an infinite beach while succumbing to the reigning creative potential:

Fully loaded, the ultimate in inner choreography, a self-portrait as Landscape Avatar. As Ulmer taps into his readymade heuretics, more eureka discoveries are made:
Instruction: document a site designated as a self-portrait.

Show Me Yours
(And I'll Blow You Mine)

We are using the analogy of how the Greeks invented Philosophy (literate metaphysics) out of spoken Greek in the context of alphabetic writing, in order to invent an image metaphysics out of filmic media (the movies as General Cultural Interface).

Relay: House of Sand, directed by Andrucha Waddinton. The interest of this example is that the film originated in a single snapshot of an elderly woman standing in the doorway of a flimsy hut surrounded by dunes, taken in the arid and poverty-stricken northeast of Brazil. The image evoked for the producer and filmmaker the whole experience and history of that region. Thus it recommends itself as a relay for understanding choral images. Waddington unfolded the snapshot into a narrative, demonstrating how a site implies a diegesis (a “world”). The Popcycle of discourses is active in this diegesis.

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