December 29, 2008

Art School

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While still in art school, all artists should take mandatory courses in humility.



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December 27, 2008

On Artists and Lonliness

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I was thinking random thoughts, perhaps not really thinking anything at all, when a rather concrete question randomly formulated itself, namely: am I more or less lonely than other artists? And then: are contemporary artists, as a type, particularly lonely? And then: is there any documentation on the relative loneliness, or lack of loneliness, of contemporary artists? These didn’t seem, to me at least, to be particularly engaging or timely questions to be posing but my mind hovered around them for a few brief moments and I recalled something I had read in the book Artistic Research – theories, methods and practices by Mika Hannula, Juha Suorant and Tere Vaden:

Following Rorty (1991), the question indeed is: what communities and traditions does the person undertaking artistic research belong to? The sad thing is that sometimes we are happy with the context where we find ourselves – and yet again sometimes not. The politics of the everyday – and how we can cope with it – is how we specifically handle this conflict. But Rorty continues. The other decisive question is: What is our approach to loneliness? We cannot underestimate or despise such a question. It is useless to claim that one would enjoy one’s existence maximally only if and when one is alone. Despite the journey and need to make decisions, the question is about being in the world, about the pressures and needs stemming from this and how this relationship is carried out.

I have often said that one of the things art can still do, and perhaps the thing it still does best, is help us formulate what we believe in and therefore concurrently allow us to form alliances, and perhaps even communities, with those who have similar compulsions and beliefs. If there is a work of art I like I naturally begin to think about why exactly it is that I like it. This leads me to think what questions and positions the work of art expresses that resonate with my more general world view, allowing me to further clarify what it is that I actually think and why. When I meet others who like the same work of art we have a point of departure for a discussion about values. It might turn out that we like the same work of art for completely different reasons. And these differences once again allow us to clarify what might be meaningful to us.

In an art culture of hyper-plurality, such alliances at times seem few and far between.


[Unfinished.]



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December 24, 2008

Top Twelve (Not Necessarily Released During The Past Year But Nonetheless Listened To.)

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The Wave Pictures - Instant Coffee Baby
Reiko Kudo - Rice Field Silently Ripping In The Night
Fabulous Diamonds - 7 Songs
Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
Nigeria Special: 1970-1976
Hefner - The Fidelity Wars
Tony Allen - Afro Disco Beat
Adrian Orange & Her Band
Erykah Badu - New Amerykah: Part One
Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble - Singles
Icy Demons - Fight Back
Tiombe Lockhart - Queen of Doom



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December 21, 2008

Painting, Coffee, Toast

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Painting, Toast, Coffee

Does anyone still remember the end of painting, the death of painting, etc? It all seems like such a long time ago. What was it exactly that we thought was ending? An interest in strong male (possibly drunk) figures standing in front of blank canvases as if the canvases themselves were land waiting to be conquered? The feeling that abstraction was a meaningful, resonant break with representation? Art that didn’t involve video cameras?

And then another thought, another question: does anything ever really end? Do bands actually break up, or at least ever stay broken: the Sex Pistols got back together, Young Marble Giants got back together, The Pixies got back to together. Every ending is only a dull pause before the beast comes, once again, back to life.



Toast, Painting, Coffee


The colloquialism ‘you’re toast’ of course means: you’re beaten, you’re down for the count, you’re done, it’s over. I do not know the expressions origin. Should I look it up? Should I google it? Could I simply figure it out myself through common sense or logic? Bread is put into a toaster. Before it goes into the toaster it is bread, after toast. The bread is gone, of course only transformed, but somehow something that is less fresh, more burnt, now stands in its place. Perhaps, when there is discourse about things coming to an end (the end of history, the death of the novel, etc.) such things are not gone at all: they have only been toasted (I am tempted to write: toasted by over-thinking, by over-examination.) Where once there was something fresh, something straight out of the oven, in it’s place is now something that is burnt and, at any moment, ready to crumble.

Toast is traditionally eaten in the morning. “Tomorrow is another day,” is another expression that suddenly comes to mind, along the lines of: Today painting is dead but tomorrow is another day. Another day with toast and coffee and a new sunrise that will shine through the studio window. Each work will be seen in this new light. The pain and struggle, from the day before, of trying to figure how and why and what to make is washed away by such light. All you have is the work in front of you, without explanation, saying only what it chooses to say in that exact moment. Does it still choose to say: ‘you’re toast.’



Coffee, Toast, Painting


I often wonder, in an of course completely hypothetical manner, if I were to wake up one morning and there was simply, absolutely, no art left anywhere in the world, how long it would take me to notice. If I wonder about this for a while I usually come to the conclusion that it might even take a few days. However, if I were to wake up one morning and there was absolutely no coffee left anywhere in the world I am quite sure I would notice in about fifteen seconds. From this tentative thought experiment is it possible to ascertain that coffee is considerably more important than art.

You are in the studio, it is morning, a coffee in one hand, perhaps a cigarette in the other. You’re wandering around the studio, looking out the window, wondering about various random things, wondering about the next move, absent-mindedly placing the coffee cup down, picking it up again, noticing that the bottom of the cup has left a ring, a stain. The stain is a trace of this aimless moment, repeated over and over again, as if into infinity.



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December 16, 2008

Brian Holmes Quote

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Well, the problem I have, and maybe others have too, is that the formalism and the professionalism of the museum-university-festival circuit sometimes keeps you from knowing either who you are, or what you’re really talking about. This is not to say we should close the museums, picket the universities, burn the libraries, or go back to the land or whatever. But it is to say that unconventional and dissenting ideas don’t often come out of established and conventional functions. And when everybody tacitly agrees that culture production can only take place under the beneficent gaze of the market and the state, and on their payrolls, what you get in my opinion is very dull and timid attitudes combined with grotesquely simulated and overblown emotions. Or, from the more ambitious and professional types, you may get hyper-specialized discourses and elaborate aesthetic affects, this sort of highly valorized cultural production which appears irrefutable when it comes out of MIT or MoMA, but still doesn’t seem to be what you’re looking for.

To put it in more theoretical terms, there is no possibility of generating a critical counter-power – or counter-public, or counter-public sphere – when there is no search for relative autonomy, or when the self (autos) no longer even asks the questions of how to make its own law (nomos). So the importance of this kind of project is to use it as a moment of experimentation, not just in the quest for the perfect theory or the perfect procedure, but cosmologically, to rearrange the stars above your head. Such events don’t happen often, the only solution is do-it-yourself. It’s also part of the search for the outside, which has existential necessity. I think I’ve learned the most about art and social theory from counter-summits with lines of teargas-belching cops, and from those kinds of anarchist summer universities where you camp out for a week and have a hard time finding a shower, but also get to cooperate directly with people whose words and gestures aren’t totally dissociated from their bodies and their actions. Well, since those moments I have felt a need to develop more complex discourses and experiments, but hopefully not more conventional and complacent ones […]

- Brian Holmes



[The rest of the interview can be found here: Articulating the Cracks in the Worlds of Power. 16 Beaver Group talking with Brian Holmes]



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September 26, 2008

We have fought and won

.



1.
We have fought and won.
You will not oppress us anymore.
We have won the right to
oppress ourselves.


2.
In every battle there is a decisive moment.
Where things could just as easily
tip one way as the other.
What if that moment were stretched out.
What if it lasted forever.


3.
Loneliness must be recruited
in the fight
against capitalism.



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September 24, 2008

The counts on which Valerie is usually convicted of failure...

.



The counts on which Valerie [Solanas] is usually convicted of failure are the following: she was not a lesbian, she was a lesbian, she didn't comb her hair, she was a hooker, she was poor, she held extremist views, she was humorless, her humor was inappropriate, she picked on an artist who would become important, she was clueless about the workings of the art market, and she missed. She did not, fortunately, kill Warhol, or anyone else. By the time she got to him, William Burroughs had already shot his wife, and Norman Mailer stabbed his. Louis Althusser had yet to strangle his. Let us not even begin to speak of Carl Andre. The only woman to survive her man was Mailer's wife. Did the critical reputation, credibility, or perceived contribution of any of these men suffer more than a temporary glitch?

- Catherine Lord, Notes On Beatification: The Case For Valerie Solanas


[From the book Failure!: Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices]



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September 18, 2008

And just write anything.

.



And just write anything. Because you left the book you were reading (and enjoying immensely) at home, because you are sitting in the café alone and perhaps want others to think you industrious. You have no thoughts so you write anything, not worrying that it’s pathetic or uninspired, no one will read it anyway, even if by some miracle it is published hardly anyone will read it. But you sip the last dregs of your coffee and write. This is the perfect, public loneliness. You look around the café and continue to smile.



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September 16, 2008

New PME-ART Mandate

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Through performances, installation, public process and theoretical and practical research, interdisciplinary group PME-ART confronts its contemporary practice via local, national and international artistic collaborations. Combining creation, exploration, critical reflection, dissemination and casual yet significant interactions with various publics, the work is an ongoing process of questioning the world, of finding the courage to say things about the current predicament that are direct and complex, of interrogating the performance situation.

Performing as ourselves, we create actions, conditions and speech executed with a singular intimacy and familiarity. This intimacy reduces the separation between performer and spectator, opening up a space for thinking, tension, reflection and confusion. Within this space we present meticulously prepared material in a manner that is open and loose, sliding the situation towards the unexpected, towards a sense of connection with whatever the audience brings.

Full of paradoxes and contradictions, the work is often destabilizing. Such destabilization is not only about art, but also echoes the social and personal discomfort so often encountered in daily life. We believe acknowledging uncomfortable realities, instead of pretending they are not there, is of fundamental importance for the development of critical approaches that are generous and unpredictable.

We are deeply engaged with the ethical and political challenges that arise when working collaboratively, searching for a delicate balance between the essential freedom of the performers (to create the thinking, physicality and substance of the work) and the rigour necessary to structure and gradually refine the material over the course of the process.

Drawing considerably upon literature, music, dance, visual art, critical theory, philosophy and cinema, such influences are never entirely direct, always infiltrating our practice from personal, unexpected angles.

While the style of the work may seem fragmented, and is in many ways a reflection of the fragmented times in which we live, simultaneously the work generates a deeply human experience with a foundation in basic yet ephemeral realities: people working together, dealing with the audience, simply trying to figure things out.



.

September 14, 2008

Of course it’s too easy to think this way

.



Of course it’s too easy to think this way, as if every question had the same simple answer: that the world is irredeemably damaged. These people have style but that doesn’t guarantee they lack substance. Do more people read a book when it is the only one left in the shop? Do more people commit a crime when the pertinent law seems flimsy, arbitrary or ridiculous? In every matter there is choice but rarely does freedom decide everything. Does a belief in love automatically entail a belief in couples?



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September 10, 2008

These moments of lucidity

.



These moments of lucidity within the dumb, stupid, corrupt, venal, smug, overly-satisfied-with-itself world. And the lucidity that is little more than a stand-in for the overwhelming grayness of ones own inexplicable temperament.



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September 4, 2008

An American Plea

.



In the upcoming American election, the Republicans (with the help of rigged electronic voting machines) will simply cheat. When you cheat it is considerably easier to win. I therefore predict the Republicans will once again prove victorious. Considering the variety of questionable, even suspicious, practices during the last two American elections, how come this possibility of imminent electoral corruption isn’t front page news every single day?

God willing, if you are planning to be anywhere near the voting machines this November, anywhere near where votes are being tallied: please, bring a video camera, film covertly and often, get something on tape. Come on America, show some fight, let’s throw some of this painful evidence up onto youtube and see what happens. What the fuck else is the internet for?

Signed, a concerned Canadian.



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September 1, 2008

A Dream

.



We were living in a house together. The house was a lot like the place where I live now but it was located in the suburbs. We were renting videos or watching videos or maybe the internet and something happened and you died in my arms. I knew that when you were dead what I had to do, what I had been instructed to do, was go to the basement and blow up the house. I gently laid you on the kitchen floor and snuck down to the basement. I knew if I cut the gas line with your knife the house would explode. I cut the gas line with your knife then crept back up to the kitchen, took you back in my arms, and held you tight, waiting for the house to explode so we would both perish along with it. Then you awoke. You looked at me, I was startled that you were alive and said we have to get out of the house as quickly as possible because it's going to explode. We ran out of the house and dove onto the grass. You asked me what had happened and I explained everything. We sat on the front lawn for a long time, watching the house (all of the windows and doors were flung completely open to air out the gas), waiting for it to explode. Then you got very, very angry at me for blowing up your house. I knew that I was in fact in the wrong because I was only supposed to blow up the house when you were dead and clearly you were not dead. Then there was a flashback to when I was in the basement, a close up on my hands: instead of cutting the gas line I had - by mistake - cut the sugar line (the sugar line was a white straw-wrapper filled with sugar.) I suddenly remembered this, my own incompetence, could still taste the sugar on my hand, told you this new detail, and we went back inside and cleaned up the house.



.

August 12, 2008

Dear ask the experts

.



Dear ask the experts,
my life is empty
please advise
yours, lost
Dear lost,
ask the experts are not mind-readers
please send more information
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
when I try to think up reasons to
begin anything new
or for that matter reasons
to continue on with things I am
already doing
I can come up with many
many good strong reasons
(some of which of course contradict one another)
and yet, if I consider them further,
all such reasons fail to convince
please advise
yours, lost
Dear lost,
why do you need reasons to do things,
why not just do things that ‘feel right’
and let the reasons take care of themselves
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
without reasons I feel unable to
make decisions
if I try to trust what I feel
I realize that mainly
I feel apathetic and ambivalent
perhaps this is not ‘normal’
but it is where I stand
and I am searching for the next step
I am open to suggestions
yours, lost
Dear lost,
your desire for ‘suggestions’ is much
like your desire for ‘reasons’
you are searching for a crutch
since you have fallen out of touch
with your true desires
simplify your life, create the space
within which what you already
know you need can
gradually rise to the surface
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
if my life was any more simple
I would be in a coma
I have simplified and found only
emptiness and loneliness
yours, lost
Dear lost,
why didn’t you mention before
that you were lonely
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
must have slipped my mind
yours, lost
Dear lost,
loneliness is much like boredom
the solution is simply to take an interest
in something
find people who you like and
surround yourself with them
intertwine your lives with theirs
write down their birthdays in
your daytimer and make sure to
do something special for them
expect them to return the favor
your community is a mirror
in which you can see yourself
and better understand your own
true desires
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
I am already surrounded by close,
very dear friends
who care for me and bring warmth
and friendship and community
into my life
it doesn’t help
yours, lost
Dear lost,
have you tried drugs
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
the drugs don’t work
yours, lost
Dear lost,
it is rare for us to suggest
such radical measures
but in such extreme cases
we occasionally propose an attempted suicide
here is our reasoning:
an attempted suicide is a cry for help
you are obviously in desperate need for assistance
therefore, perhaps an attempted suicide
might bring you the help you desire
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
I am now a ghost
yours, lost
Dear lost ghost,
please note that we had specified
an ‘attempted’ suicide
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
it seems I overshot the mark
yours, lost ghost
Dear lost ghost,
what is it like in the afterlife
ask the experts are extremely curious
yours, ask the experts
Dear ask the experts,
it is warm here
I feel calm and at peace
all the troubles of a barely lived life
feel like the most distant,
pleasant memories
everything feels at peace
yours, lost ghost
Dear lost ghost,
so in some sense we have
managed to solve your problem
after all…



.

July 2, 2008

By self-selection became the first generation of psychoanalysts...

.



the unconventional ones
the doubters
those who were dissatisfied with the limitations imposed on knowledge
the odd ones
the dreamers
those who knew neurotic suffering from their own experience
the mentally endangered
the eccentrics
the self-made
those with excessive flights of imagination




[description, according to Anna Freud, of the characteristics of the personalities of those who, by self-selection, became the first generation of psychoanalysts]



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June 16, 2008

It’s true, as I’ve told others...

.



It’s true, as I’ve told others, that knowing one knows nothing is the best way to be, since life, minute after minute, is never more than being inspired to rediscover what one thought one already knew. I did know it, but… No, not “but”: and I’m about to know it again, right now.

– Harry Mathews, 20 Lines a Day



.

June 8, 2008

And people started to arrive...

.



And people started to arrive

the one we didn’t recognize

the one not interested or interesting

a friend of a friend we had heard many terrible things about

the friend we really liked and the other friend who was steadily growing on us

the crazy one who sat in the corner who after awhile we forgot

and everyone brought alcohol

and the stereo was informed by a rapidly changing whatever of eclectic suggestions

and the one who lost the address and had to phone three times before finding the right doorbell

the one who three of our closest friends had dated and we knew many intimate and embarrassing details about

the couple, who we called ‘the power couple’, who seemed to do little else then support each others careers

and it was getting crowded so we felt pride – clearly word had got out

“What do you mean by political?...” we overheard, just a few feet away

“Political… as in making things possible.”

the one who was at all the parties and knew absolutely everyone

and the one who hardly ever went out and was rapidly making up for lost time

the drinkers and non-drinkers and dancers and ones who might dance a little bit later once they’d had a bit more to drink

this was goodbye, next party would be somewhere far away: new city, new problems, new friends we would someday soon describe with a similar distanced love

and remembering the last city, the last party, ten years ago, the ones we still often wrote too and the ones we long ago forgot

the ones who said they were sad we were leaving and would miss us terribly

and the ones who said we were lucky to get out of this mean-spirited backwater and they wished they could escape as well

the ones who would stay in touch and the ones who would try to stay in touch and the ones for whom such thoughts barely even occurred

“They’ll be back in a year,” we overheard, just a few feet away, but knew this was not the case

and we wondered: how many of these people would we ever see again? how many would we still remember in ten years? would we hear when they got ill, when they got married, when they had children, when they died?

we looked around the room. guessing such things had never been our strong suit, but still: one hundred? two hundred? packed into corners and perched on the edges of chairs

did we really know why we were leaving? could the friends we hadn’t made yet ever hope to match the drunks that surrounded us now



.

June 6, 2008

Notes Towards A Critical Optimism - Part Two

.



Ten Points Concerning Critical Optimism:

1. Optimism is an attitude towards reality that affects ones actions.

2. Without optimism nothing happens. Critical optimism is a desire expressed through action to make sure that not only bad things happen.

3. Optimism isn’t enough, we also require a tactic.

4. There is no optimism without imagination.

5. Optimism has less to do with your concrete situation and more to do with your attitude towards that situation.

6. The future isn’t fixed.

7. Focusing on the next small, experimental step instead of the big utopian dream.

8. A respect for the facts and for reality.

9. What would it take to turn a pessimist into an optimist?

10. Resistance.




And for Part One: http://radicalcut.blogspot.com/2007/02/towards-critical-optimism-preliminary.html



.

May 16, 2008

Maybe there will be no end

.



1.

Everything is settled. There is a specific way to do each new thing.
There is even an agreed upon way to break the rules.



2.
Maybe there will be no end, no flash, no blast,

no final show



This is your project and you must finish it

you tell yourself, you keep telling yourself

again and again

all the while knowing that it matters little

whether you finish it or not

(no one will notice, no one will care)

nonetheless you press on

this is my project, you say

this little square of irrelevance

it means something to me

damn them all

this is mine



.

May 14, 2008

I see now the problem...

.



I see now the problem is that I am a complete ideologue when it comes to theatre: always fighting for a certain, extremely specific, way of making and thinking about performance. I can be fair and reasonable and believe there is room for everyone but in my heart and blood I know that I am right. And when you are an ideologue you can never really be open and you can never, not for a second, rest. Towards my own ideology I feel only like Bartleby: I would prefer not too. But twenty years of fighting have turned me inside out. I am exhausted. No one particularly cares how or why performances are made. And when I was young, no one advised me to pick my fights more carefully. Is this what being an artist, a certain kind of artist (I suppose), in some sense, finally means? Then again, like Ranciere says, how to open a window and let in some air?



.

April 2, 2008

Hospitality Three - Promotional Text

.



Raised on a steady diet of television, recorded music and the internet, people today sometimes feel more comfortable mesmerized by recordings, or interacting through the interface of a computer screen, than they do dealing directly with real human beings. Hospitality Three: Individualism Was A Mistake will not shy away from this discomfort (a discomfort present at any live performance), rather it will honestly address it in order to deepen our understanding of what it might be like to share space with a group of people one doesn’t necessarily know.

Using the temporary community of people gathered in a room together to watch a performance as a metaphor for the wider community-at-large, Hospitality Three will provide as series of evocative examples of people working together – effectively (and sometimes not so effectively) – giving special focus to the fact that our cultures over-emphasis on individualism often makes such ‘working together’ difficult.




.

March 26, 2008

Laura Calderon de la Barca and the Anthology of Optimism

.



Dear Laura Calderon de la Barca,

I am posting this because I have now twice tried to email you and have yet to hear back.

If you are out there please contact us. We are very curious.

Hope you are not offended by anything I have written below.

Optimistically yours,
Jacob


.......


And here is the post:

On January 16, 2008 I sent the following email to Pieter de Buyser, my collaborator on the Anthology of Optimism:


.......


Dear Pieter,

Today, when I was going through my blog to send someone the link about the Anthology of Optimism project:

http://radicalcut.blogspot.com/2007/02/towards-critical-optimism-preliminary.html

I scrolled down to the bottom and read the following comment by Laura Calderon de la Barca:


------------------------------------------------


Hi, Jacob!

I enojoyed very much sharing your exploration of what opens up inside of what Critical Optimism may be. I googled up the term as part of a websearch I am carrying out for a research project called "Cross-cultural 'Larrikins' in a Neo-Liberal World: Ideology and Myth in postmodern Australia, Mexico and Brazil". I first heard it the day I submitted my PhD thesis, which I wrote in the form of psychotherapeutic session for my country, Mexico, and which contains many elements that match with your reflections and ideas, although applied in different ways. My supervisor, Prof. Bob Hodge from the Univertisy of Western Sydney, suggested I join his wife, Dr. Gabriela Coronado, himself and someone else to start a group of "Critical Optimism Studies". I was delighted with the idea, and when I joined the Larrikin project as a full-time research assistant, one of my duties was to look up material for furthering this inquiry. In what you wrote there are many points of convergence with our project: the clarity about the damaging effects of Neoliberalism, the need to find other alternatives that are neither naive nor disempowering, the need to bring in reflexivity to the equation, and how identities get in the way of this, to name a few.

I am curious about the stories you might have to share on this, and if we can establish a space of sharing that may synergically propel this approach further. My e-mail is l.calderon@uws.edu.au, and I would love to hear from you.

All the best,
Laura Calderon de la Barca



------------------------------------------------


For some reason I think that this is really fantastic. It's almost like something out of a Borges story. Pieter and I think that we've invented the term "critical optimism" and then suddenly there’s a "Critical Optimism Studies" group and what's more it's in Australia. It's like we made it up but of course we couldn't have made it up because actually it already existed. And of course the name Laura Calderon de la Barca does sound just a little bit like that of a fictional character. (I realize this reading is more than a little solipsistic, I think really I'm just being fanciful) And then I very much wonder where it will lead.

And yes, then there is another point: the "Critical Optimism Studies" group is a real thing. There are so many things in the world that would give us a greater sense of belonging if only we knew where to find them.

Optimistically yours,
Jacob


.

March 11, 2008

PME-ART New Mandate

.



Through performances, installation, public process and theoretical and practical research, interdisciplinary group PME-ART confronts its contemporary practice via local, national and international artistic collaborations. Combining creation, exploration, critical reflection, dissemination and casual yet significant interactions with various publics, the work is an ongoing process of questioning the world, of finding the courage to say things about the current predicament that are direct and complex, of interrogating the performance situation.

Performing as ourselves, we create actions, conditions and speech executed with a singular intimacy and familiarity. This intimacy reduces the separation between performer and spectator, opening up a space for thinking, tension, reflection and confusion. Within this space we present meticulously prepared material in a manner that is open and loose, sliding the situation towards the unexpected, towards a sense of connection with whatever the audience brings.

Full of paradoxes and contradictions, the work is often destabilizing. Such destabilization is not only about art, but also echoes the social and personal discomfort so often encountered in daily life. We believe acknowledging uncomfortable realities, instead of pretending they are not there, is of fundamental importance for the development of critical approaches that are generous and unpredictable.

We are deeply engaged with the ethical and political challenges that arise when working collaboratively, searching for a delicate balance between the essential freedom of the performers (to create the thinking, physicality and substance of the work) and the rigour necessary to structure and gradually refine the material over the course of the process.

Drawing considerably upon literature, music, dance, visual art, critical theory, philosophy and cinema, such influences are never entirely direct, always infiltrating our practice from personal, unexpected angles.

While the style of the work may seem fragmented, and is in many ways a reflection of the fragmented times in which we live, simultaneously the work generates a deeply human experience with a foundation in basic yet ephemeral realities: people working together, dealing with the audience, simply trying to figure things out.




.

March 4, 2008

This isn’t the work we had meant to do

.



This isn’t the work we had meant to do
but it’s work nonetheless. Muscle. Struggle.
you land in the place and just start digging
vaguely remembering other, previous plans
or you dig to forget. Or to turn the head
of past regrets, so they once again face some
present sense of semi-fulfillment

This isn’t the work we had meant to do
but it has its pleasures and its surprises
its drawbacks and its pains
other roads might have been just as hard
or harder
and what does any of that matter now
this is the road you’re on
you can of course turn back
back towards indecision
towards that lost in aimless thought
and constant undecided self-recrimination
or you can forge ahead
and between these two options
as you continue to forcefully dig
there is no real choice
this isn’t what we had meant to do



.

March 2, 2008

As far as one’s thoughts about our present predicaments...

.



As far as one’s thoughts about our present predicaments or about the future, I have no difficulty understanding from whence the pessimism and cynicism springs. However, what’s critical for me is that regardless of one’s thoughts, one’s actions must be those of an optimist. Otherwise one is only further assuring that the status quo remains unchanged.

- John Gianvito



.

January 20, 2008

The idea that...

.



The idea that we know art is in many ways fundamentally reactionary and conservative but we still want to believe that art is radical and revolutionary and within the space of this paradox there is room for a lot to happen.



.