[NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Jun 21 12:14:11 CEST 2013


Hi Johannes & all,

Thanks for making the time to share your thoughts…

 > Tell me about the standing still, and what are these young women and 
men inspired by to resist
 > the banality of authoritarian power? And are you/we asking the right 
questions?

I think what you propose is a necessary question in itself. Especially 
in light of the various anti-corruption protests across the world. It's 
kicking off, and I think everyone has a part to play in this; in respect 
of our own personal attributes which include asking questions and 
enacting upon them according to situational, circumstances and skills.

Not everyone has the desire to go out in the streets and demand change, 
but not everyone needs to -- I think that critical acts against the 
neoliberal takeover of our public lives can be challenged in different 
ways. In the work place, on the streets, in our family relations and 
friends, on the Internet, in publications, everywhere in fact.

Trying to find ways to challenge this 'banality of authoritarian power', 
which I see as a form of corporate totalitarianism, is one of those 
choices we have to make if we are 'seriously' concerned in creating 
alternative ways of living with others, that serve to bring about 
something that includes a 'commons or shared values', which are not 
'given' or 'scripted' by a hegemony controlling our general behaviours 
through the interfaces, platforms and different media we use.

Neoliberalist strategies have successfully dismantled collective 
institutions, once able to challenge the effects of its global 
dominance; especially the organisations sharing values associated with 
social needs in the public realm. It is a term rarely discussed in 
traditional broadcasting and printed news media, but we are all affected 
by its dominating ideologies. It is the situation where governments have 
handed over their public responsibilities for companies to manage 
instead in the form of privatisation. Noreena Hertz, an advocate for 
market systems, who set up Russia’s first stock exchange, in her book 
The Silent Takeover, says “We are all in the midst of a corporate 
takeover, and no gated communities of six-figured salaries will protect 
us from its impact.” Noreena Hertz. The Silent Takeover: Global 
Capitalism and The Death of Democracy. Published by William Heinemann.

In Power Systems Noam Chomsky discusses political and economic forms of 
power in democracy, and that it is no longer in the hands of merchants 
and manufacturers. Instead, most of the power now rests in the hands of 
financial institutions and multi-nationals.

One of my questions (out of too many) is, how can artists and artists’ 
groups maintain control over their own imaginative ideas, and fulfil 
their individual and collective intentions, whilst maintaining critical 
positions; within the context of a globalised culture where prevailing 
attitudes fashioned on austerity measures and the economic crisis are 
now part of our everyday lives?

If artists are not in some form of expression dealing with these 
questions, whether it be through the medium itself, or in their 
intentions, and their ideas etc, then I do not see how artists are 
relevant anymore other than as small-minded careerists feeding their 
immediate and myopic desires, which is a kind of falling into a generic 
default or type. And yes, artists are going to be able to do this on 
their own -- academics, galleries, arts organisations, imaginative 
thinkers, and entrepreneurs, need to be brave build these questions into 
their own everyday experience, social and public interfaces.

Something as damaging as corporations controlling our 'supposed' 
democracies is one of the main issues that needs to be part of wider and 
varied critique that is not just hidden in 'clever' books but also on 
the lips of all people at all times, in all forms and in all languages.

One of the issues I find constantly infuriating - personally, is how 
certain writers on media art culture, tend to reflect a repetitive set 
of hierarchical that more relates to their careers, rather than trying 
to engage genuinely in creating possibilities with others whom are 
actively dealing with such questions as we are asking here, in our 
practice and infrastructures. One example, is how many academics are too 
easily diverted to reference not only the same names over and over 
again, but also referencing an art context as if it only happens in the 
main institutions. This is not a true representation of the dynamic 
culture that I am part of, and many on this list. And, for me this part 
of the larger problem where people fall into mannerisms that reflects a 
submission and dedication towards power rather than 'real' social change.

Wishing you well.

marc

 >
 > Alan's post is strangely remarkable
 > and I read it with mixed feelings
 > (as the questions enumerate
 > engagements I have done for a while, not done, or not felt
 > like wanting to do, but some of the philosophical thinking
 > does not go away and does has not died) But how is it necessary?
 > and at this moment? and from what generational point of
 > view (indeed, as Max also suggests), and from what place.
 >
 > i have two immediate reactions (if this text was an invitation
 > for readers here to react), also depending on the way you phrase
 > the refrain of the questions: "Do Deleuze and Guattari offer solace?"
 > No, i'd think, not really, and I won't have time to bother with 
Husserl or Peirce.
 > But then again, we always reread and sometimes ask whether
 > we had read the first time.
 >
 > Reading a book review yesterday, by Christopher Browning on two
 > newly published books, "How Ordinary Germans Did It" (New York Review 
of Books, June 20, 2013 (LX, no. 11), pp. 30-32),
 > discussing the role & behavior of conscripted soldiers or civilian 
officials during WW II and the
 > Holocaust,  I came across a reference to Hannah Arendt:
 >
 > I quote:
 >
 > "Fulbrook is not the first historian to discover the central role of 
implementers
 > and facilitators who neither made policy nor personally killed their 
victims. Fundamental
 > to Raul Hilberg's analysis of the destruction of the European Jews as 
a vast administrative
 > process was his appreciation of the phalanx of bureaucrats whose 
contributions to defining,
 > expropriating, concentrating, and transporting Jews were essential to 
the Final Solution.
 > At the core of Eichmann's defense strategy in Jerusalem was his 
effort to pass himself
 > off as just one among many such banal bureaucrats, a strategy 
successful with Hannah
 > Arendt, but not with the Jerusalem court or many historians.
 > Arendt grasped an important concept but not the right example. .."
 >
 >
 > so you ask "Is Arendt still necessary?, and I'd say yes, I remember 
reading her
 > Report on the Banality of Evil a long time ago, but I now I have 
forgotten, and how to
 > revisit that context? and perhaps critique her analysis, or thinking, 
now?  It could be most fruitful!
 >
 > My second reaction to the roll call of names, has to do with my also 
reading Artforum and
 > seeing a full page spread on Sam Durant's "
Proposal for Public 
Fountain" which shows
 > a tank with a water cannon shooting at a protester.
 > While I look at this,  I have this strange memory of Pina Bausch's 
dance piece "1980" when the dancers
 > have to come forward, one after the other, and name somebody or 
somebodies that
 > influenced their thinking, and there comes Mechthild Grossmann to the 
mike downstage
 > and with her deep throaty voice says: "Schopenhauer Adenauer 
Beckenbauer" and walks
 > off. The audience (in Germany) erupts into laughter.
 >
 > But then I read, over on the other side of my room here, the NYT on 
Brazil and Istanbul and the
 > protests that are happening now, as we speak, the tear gas and water 
cannons pointed at
 > the Turkish protesters, who now, I read, choose another tactic, 
standing still in the square,
 > after Gesi Park was cleared out by the police/military men, all 
conscripted or perhaps
 > volunteer functionaries.
 >
 > Tell me about the standing still, and what are these young women and 
men inspired by to resist
 > the banality of authoritarian power? And are you/we asking the right 
questions?
 >
 >
 > with regards
 > Johannes Birringer
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 > ________________________________________
 > Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
 >
 > thank you alan...
 >
 > i meant to flip the style.
 > i meant to switch from us generation to young people from today.
 > why are they still reading/studying
 > 
kanthegelmarxderridasartrerussellbadiouzizekpopperwittgensteinjunglacanirigaray?
 >
 > do we still engage?
 > is it the same for them young people as it is for us?
 > whats the guidance now?
 > the inspiration? the information? the comprehension?
 >
 > what seems to be going on?
 > what did go on 30 years ago?
 > just had to forward your thoughts and couldn't let go to share it 
with you...
 >
 > just questions, no answers.
 >
 > thank you again alan
 > max
 >
 >
 >
 >> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
 >> From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com<mailto:sondheim at panix.com>>
 >> Date: Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM
 >> Subject: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
 >> To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
 >
 >
 >>
 >> Do we still engage?
 >>
 >> Do we still engage with Sartre? Do we still read Derrida? Do
 >> they speak to us? Does Heidegger speak to us? Does Husserl? Is
 >> Hegel still critical to our thinking? Does anyone read Sartre?
 >> Does anyone think through Derrida? Do we think we've absorbed
 >> Badiou? Is Badiou important? Is Shestov? Is philosophy dead or
 >> dying? Is thinking philosophically still important? Does anyone
 >> read Plotinus? Does St Augustine speak to us? Is Descartes
 >> necessary? Have we absorbed Spinoza? Are we the better for
 >> Kristeva? Is Butler still relevant? Is Russell? Have we absorbed
 >> Wittgenstein? Do we still engage with Reichenbach? Is Latour
 >> still important? Have we gone beyond Carnap? Is Peirce relevant?
 >> Does anyone read James? Have we buried Marx? Does anyone think
 >> through Freud? Is Arendt still necessary? Are we still inspired
 >> by Jung? Do we relate to Plato? Is our world Aristotelian? Is
 >> Nietzsche still necessary? Has philosophy disappeared? Have
 >> people read Thom? Has Mill disappeared? Is Confucius
 >> fundamental? Do we still grapple with Hobbes? Is Kant still an
 >> inspiration? Are there answers to questions? Do we still learn
 >> from Kierkegaard? Is Lacan still read? Does Maimonides speak to
 >> us? Have we abandoned Fanon? Does anyone think through Kofman?
 >> Is there any reason to consider Hui Shi? Has Zhuangzi turned the
 >> world upside down? Does Parmenides offer solace? Does anyone
 >> read Goodman any more? Do we still engage with Bachelard? Is
 >> Balibar important? Is philosophy important? Do we consider West?
 >> Is Ranciere dead? Does Althusser still speak to us? Is the
 >> thought of Merleau-Ponty important to anyone? Is there anything
 >> to learn anymore from philosophy? Do we still read Trotsky? Is
 >> Grene still relevant? Have we absorbed Cassirer? Is philosophy
 >> of science science? Is philosophy of science necessary? Do we
 >> still read Langer? Is thought important? Is untethered thought
 >> necessary? Is philosophy tethered? Are we engaged with de
 >> Beauvoir? Do we remember Deleuze? Do we consider Guattari? Do
 >> Deleuze and Guattari offer solace? Is there any value in reading
 >> Lyotard? Have we forgotten Kripke? Have we ever comprehended
 >> Baudrillard? Is there any point to philosophy? Does philosophy
 >> worsen us? Is it necessary to think philosophically? Is it
 >> relevant to abandon philosophy? Have we taken Lao Tzu to heart?
 >> Are we trusting Agamben? Have we forgotten Schopenhauer? Do we
 >> still read Schelling critically? Is Heraclitus still inspiring?
 >> Can our lives be guided by Pascal? Are we informed by Whitehead?
 >> Do we comprehend the depth of any thought? Do we take thought to
 >> heart? Do we still engage with Lucretius? Do we still read
 >> Irigaray? How do we know?
 > _______________________________________________
 > NetBehaviour mailing list
 > NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
 > http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour

> Alan's post is strangely remarkable
> and I read it with mixed feelings
> (as the questions enumerate
> engagements I have done for a while, not done, or not felt
> like wanting to do, but some of the philosophical thinking
> does not go away and does has not died) But how is it necessary?
> and at this moment? and from what generational point of
> view (indeed, as Max also suggests), and from what place.
>
> i have two immediate reactions (if this text was an invitation
> for readers here to react), also depending on the way you phrase
> the refrain of the questions: "Do Deleuze and Guattari offer solace?"
> No, i'd think, not really, and I won't have time to bother with Husserl or Peirce.
> But then again, we always reread and sometimes ask whether
> we had read the first time.
>
> Reading a book review yesterday, by Christopher Browning on two
> newly published books, "How Ordinary Germans Did It" (New York Review of Books, June 20, 2013 (LX, no. 11), pp. 30-32),
> discussing the role & behavior of conscripted soldiers or civilian officials during WW II and the
> Holocaust,  I came across a reference to Hannah Arendt:
>
> I quote:
>
> "Fulbrook is not the first historian to discover the central role of implementers
> and facilitators who neither made policy nor personally killed their victims. Fundamental
> to Raul Hilberg's analysis of the destruction of the European Jews as a vast administrative
> process was his appreciation of the phalanx of bureaucrats whose contributions to defining,
> expropriating, concentrating, and transporting Jews were essential to the Final Solution.
> At the core of Eichmann's defense strategy in Jerusalem was his effort to pass himself
> off as just one among many such banal bureaucrats, a strategy successful with Hannah
> Arendt, but not with the Jerusalem court or many historians.
> Arendt grasped an important concept but not the right example. .."
>
>
> so you ask "Is Arendt still necessary?, and I'd say yes, I remember reading her
> Report on the Banality of Evil a long time ago, but I now I have forgotten, and how to
> revisit that context? and perhaps critique her analysis, or thinking, now?  It could be most fruitful!
>
> My second reaction to the roll call of names, has to do with my also reading Artforum and
> seeing a full page spread on Sam Durant's "
Proposal for Public Fountain" which shows
> a tank with a water cannon shooting at a protester.
> While I look at this,  I have this strange memory of Pina Bausch's dance piece "1980" when the dancers
> have to come forward, one after the other, and name somebody or somebodies that
> influenced their thinking, and there comes Mechthild Grossmann to the mike downstage
> and with her deep throaty voice says: "Schopenhauer Adenauer Beckenbauer" and walks
> off. The audience (in Germany) erupts into laughter.
>
> But then I read, over on the other side of my room here, the NYT on Brazil and Istanbul and the
> protests that are happening now, as we speak, the tear gas and water cannons pointed at
> the Turkish protesters, who now, I read, choose another tactic, standing still in the square,
> after Gesi Park was cleared out by the police/military men, all conscripted or perhaps
> volunteer functionaries.
>
> Tell me about the standing still, and what are these young women and men inspired by to resist
> the banality of authoritarian power? And are you/we asking the right questions?
>
>
> with regards
> Johannes Birringer
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
>
> thank you alan...
>
> i meant to flip the style.
> i meant to switch from us generation to young people from today.
> why are they still reading/studying
> kanthegelmarxderridasartrerussellbadiouzizekpopperwittgensteinjunglacanirigaray?
>
> do we still engage?
> is it the same for them young people as it is for us?
> whats the guidance now?
> the inspiration? the information? the comprehension?
>
> what seems to be going on?
> what did go on 30 years ago?
> just had to forward your thoughts and couldn't let go to share it with you...
>
> just questions, no answers.
>
> thank you again alan
> max
>
>
>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com<mailto:sondheim at panix.com>>
>> Date: Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM
>> Subject: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
>> To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>
>> Do we still engage?
>>
>> Do we still engage with Sartre? Do we still read Derrida? Do
>> they speak to us? Does Heidegger speak to us? Does Husserl? Is
>> Hegel still critical to our thinking? Does anyone read Sartre?
>> Does anyone think through Derrida? Do we think we've absorbed
>> Badiou? Is Badiou important? Is Shestov? Is philosophy dead or
>> dying? Is thinking philosophically still important? Does anyone
>> read Plotinus? Does St Augustine speak to us? Is Descartes
>> necessary? Have we absorbed Spinoza? Are we the better for
>> Kristeva? Is Butler still relevant? Is Russell? Have we absorbed
>> Wittgenstein? Do we still engage with Reichenbach? Is Latour
>> still important? Have we gone beyond Carnap? Is Peirce relevant?
>> Does anyone read James? Have we buried Marx? Does anyone think
>> through Freud? Is Arendt still necessary? Are we still inspired
>> by Jung? Do we relate to Plato? Is our world Aristotelian? Is
>> Nietzsche still necessary? Has philosophy disappeared? Have
>> people read Thom? Has Mill disappeared? Is Confucius
>> fundamental? Do we still grapple with Hobbes? Is Kant still an
>> inspiration? Are there answers to questions? Do we still learn
>> from Kierkegaard? Is Lacan still read? Does Maimonides speak to
>> us? Have we abandoned Fanon? Does anyone think through Kofman?
>> Is there any reason to consider Hui Shi? Has Zhuangzi turned the
>> world upside down? Does Parmenides offer solace? Does anyone
>> read Goodman any more? Do we still engage with Bachelard? Is
>> Balibar important? Is philosophy important? Do we consider West?
>> Is Ranciere dead? Does Althusser still speak to us? Is the
>> thought of Merleau-Ponty important to anyone? Is there anything
>> to learn anymore from philosophy? Do we still read Trotsky? Is
>> Grene still relevant? Have we absorbed Cassirer? Is philosophy
>> of science science? Is philosophy of science necessary? Do we
>> still read Langer? Is thought important? Is untethered thought
>> necessary? Is philosophy tethered? Are we engaged with de
>> Beauvoir? Do we remember Deleuze? Do we consider Guattari? Do
>> Deleuze and Guattari offer solace? Is there any value in reading
>> Lyotard? Have we forgotten Kripke? Have we ever comprehended
>> Baudrillard? Is there any point to philosophy? Does philosophy
>> worsen us? Is it necessary to think philosophically? Is it
>> relevant to abandon philosophy? Have we taken Lao Tzu to heart?
>> Are we trusting Agamben? Have we forgotten Schopenhauer? Do we
>> still read Schelling critically? Is Heraclitus still inspiring?
>> Can our lives be guided by Pascal? Are we informed by Whitehead?
>> Do we comprehend the depth of any thought? Do we take thought to
>> heart? Do we still engage with Lucretius? Do we still read
>> Irigaray? How do we know?
> _______________________________________________
> NetBehaviour mailing list
> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
> http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour


-- 
--->

A living - breathing - thriving networked neighbourhood -
proud of free culture - claiming it with others ;)

Other reviews,articles,interviews
http://www.furtherfield.org/reviews.php

Furtherfield – online arts community, platforms for creating, viewing,
discussing and learning about experimental practices at the
intersections of art, technology and social change.
http://www.furtherfield.org

Furtherfield Gallery – Finsbury Park (London).
http://www.furtherfield.org/gallery

Netbehaviour - Networked Artists List Community.
http://www.netbehaviour.org

http://identi.ca/furtherfield
http://twitter.com/furtherfield




More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list