[NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Mon Jun 24 19:10:20 CEST 2013

hallo Suzon
you are right (to understand 'engagement' differently, i don't doubt it's possible)
I was trying to see whether the meditation you suggest, dissolving into a Whole
as you said, would work if that Whole, as political economy or ecology, is nether perceivable anymore in its complexity
and eviscerating dominance over us, or has dissolved already as something thinkable or graspable (philosophically
or otherwise analytically), so i wondered what you meant by nuanced engagement in such a moment of stillness,
what it is you perceive, what presence this might be, or what death.

From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] On Behalf Of Suzon Fuks [suzon at water-wheel.net]
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 1:08 PM

Johannes, yes there are many different meanings for 'engagement': I was
thinking about body perceptions and presence, in terms of engagement.
Somehow as human, I am interested by understanding engagement from
within.I do not just dissolve, I dissolve in the whole? and somehow engage
at that times in a very nuanced way. It is comparable to meditation, and
maybe death, Alan!


On 24/06/13 9:00 PM, "netbehaviour-request at netbehaviour.org"
<netbehaviour-request at netbehaviour.org> wrote:

>Message: 5
>Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 05:29:48 +0100
>From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
>Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
>To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
>    <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
>    <DF657B70CB20304DB745D84933F94B1E03C150C6E8 at v-exmb01.academic.windsor>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"
>dear Alan and all
>you letter Alan is full of disillusionment, and i understand that,
>and I wondered as well about Suzon Fuks's response and her telling us
>that she stood still
>("Anyone is Free to Do Nothing With The Artist"), Suzon you said you
>dissolved, I worry about that.
>The dissolution o f  the Whole is what Alan's post argued, and his
>additional critique, I believe,
>is directed at everything, including the street, the galleries, the
>universities and the outside of
>universities, the furtherfields, the eyebeams,  and lists like this, ?
>the lack of depth of continuity of discourse of
>philosophical or critical reflection ? and what TAZ's? i see none, if
>indeed there is no safe and hallow ground.
>but reflection and outrage are happening, Alan, and so is writing, also
>here on this list, though maybe sparsely,
>and those who act out or stand still are part of what Christian Cary, in
>his book "Strange Rebels: 1979 and the
>Birth of the 21st Century" believes to be a continuous revelation of the
>actually feeble dominant ideologies
>- yes, I agree, neoliberal capitalism is a strange monster, hard to grasp
>and what does it affect us to do on a local
>level of political strategy  ?  they are feeble because the crumble and
>fracture, and underlying needs are sustained,
>as you can see all around us in many places where people are upset. These
>expressions of being upset
>are, one could argue, an effect of inquiries that people make about what
>we are doing here. Regardless of whether
>they reread Spinoza or Foucault. Today I met old friends for coffee and
>we did not mention a single writer on your
>list, but others came up, Bohr and Einstein and Hugh Everett's
>many-worlds interpretation (in quantum mechanics),
>and I was not able to follow everything, but got inspired as we discussed
>randomness and unpredictability for
>some time. what i might ask here is what we think 'engagement' ultimately
>means, and I am sure it means many
>different things for different folks. If you ask whether you can find a
>place to think, then only you can answer
>and answer it with the people close to you or in the margins that you
>described;  i cannot even begin now to speculate on,
>say, where Snowden is and how this can possibly have a good ending. Or
>whether there is a good ending for any of us.
>From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org
>[netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] On Behalf Of Alan Sondheim
>[sondheim at panix.com]
>Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2013 7:07 AM
>To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
>Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Do we still engage?
>Hi, just want to add a few things here. A lot of what's being discussed is
>political economy, political strategy, and there are narratives that
>circulate around these. Philosophy moves above and below; it's a ground-
>work of the body and ethos and it's the grand narratives as well: all of
>these are shattered. But the inquiry is relevant and asked everywhere -
>what are we doing here? I would also ask about institutions - so many of
>us in the U.S. operate from none, on the margins; like them I get by with
>a little help from my friends, but have no exhibition or publication
>structure I can rely on, no institutional collegiality (the last I had was
>Eyebeam, and that lasted for six months, ending a year and a half ago). So
>the situation places us on the street, whatever we do, without financial
>support, without the continuity of discourse that tends towards depth. I'm
>not complaining; I also chose this path to some extent. But what then?
>That philosophy, political economy, strategies, if they tend towards
>depth, have to exist outside any institution or academy altogether; I
>think of the Plato etc. as engendering TAZ. So all of this is outside the
>gallery structure to some extent. On the other hand, I wander here, I see
>just as much corrosion in new media and new media institutions, as I found
>in the academy; if the names are different, and the outlets apparently
>mobile, there is still canon- and genre-making at work, just as there was
>with the Situationists for example, or within Eyebeam, or those gatherings
>I've attended this past year. If the academy needs deconstructing - and it
>does - so does the alternative institution, the email list, Occupy, all of
>is. There's no safe or hallowed ground. The issue then, if there is one at
>all (I realize I'm rambling), is - how does one find a place to think, and
>to think deeply? And as well - how does one find a site for action?
>Places and sites are invisible, almost virtual in their reality; perhaps
>the dead are the only real among us.
>- Alan

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