[NetBehaviour] inter - intra - action, and then the Chthulucene

Annie Abrahams bram.org at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 13:14:33 CET 2017


Dear Johannes,

Thanks for reacting. First of all I am not trying to get a new hype going,
I am using an existing term coined by Arjen Mulder in 2012 to think about
artistic practices that somehow take human behaviour as their anchor point,
as their aesthetic material. it made me a bit sad that the word agency
brings along so many negative feelings in a lot of people, because for me
it is an empowering word, it means I can put things in motion. For years I
used silently in myself the term behavioural art - silently yes, because
for someone trained in biology "behavioural" is a stained word. It turned
out that for others "agency" is just as stained.
I can't find other words and will do with these ... , I was very happy with
Mulder's theoretical embedding of the concept.

Yes, I was struggling with how to relate the concept of Agency Art and
Barad's ideas (as far as I could understand them) and I think I found my
personal solution near the end of my second mail :

*"Agency Art is made of interaction, but should be constructed, looked at
with intra-active spectacles."*
*"Agency Art is art that makes it clear to the receiver via his or her body
what is at stake, where opportunities for action lie, and which virtual*
behaviours he or she can actualize. It demonstrates how choices work, and
how to create patterns that retain their coherence while you remain part of
them and transform when you move within their field of action." (* virtual
understood as potentiality, not as a quality or in a re-presentable way)*

As for *Distant Feeling(s)*, Johannes, - I am glad you bring that work up -
that might be the best example in my work of what I am looking for in
Agency Art - open to all, a meeting, no hierarchy, a frame (the interface)
/ the apparatus is co-constructing the final performance, some rules, every
participant responds freely and is responsible. (thanks for making it
co-happen)

xxx Annie

ps I was not suggesting that you take any technology or medium as  starting
point, but I know a lot of work using technology does.
And please forgive me for bothering you all with unfinished thoughts.I
thought some might be interested.

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 9:57 PM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> Dear Annie
>
> you did (before you sent the long post today, which I could not read yet)
> make me think, go to your blog,
> and I managed to watch the theory video you had suggested to us. Thanks.
> You even transcribed it, and I sense you have reasons for liking Barad's
> terminology, though Ruth expressed some reservations or cautions.
>
> I suppose, if you wanted more debate,  I could agree with your sense of
> how we are entangled with assemblages, and how things (I glanced at a
> recent book by Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter:  A Political Ecology of
> Things, 2010)
> emerge, collaboratively, how there are these strange concatenation of
> stuff, and how maybe these are not so distinguishable from performances and
> what we think we do when we intend and carry out. The interconnectedness
> and the machinic I like, and all the recent interest in matter and
> materialism, very nice.
>
> I suppose as with all new theory vernaculars, they on occasion sound sexy
> (body without organs, reterritorialization, folds –  you remember those),
> and then they get repeated and cited, but I think agency has now been
> used for a while, and we can let it be, no?  "Agency art" does not
> convince me, as I also did not, as you imply, take "any technology or
> medium as  starting point [of what? .of the agency?].  When you invite me to
> participate in Distant Feeling, I did so as a performer, not a secret
> agent, nor as a laptop. yes, we came together, there were relations. There
> were interactions too, and they did not deflect responsibility, as Barad
> claims.
>
> As to the agents and such, imagine a new word i now had to learn today
> from reading about Donna Haraway's latest thing:  the Chthulucene !
> (I think it's her critique of the hype of the Anthropocene).
>
> And today, on the empyre list, someone from the US suggested we live in
> the "Trump era."
> That was news to me, I think eras take longer to arise and then be defined
> in retrospect after a strong and lasting impact they may have made in some
> areas or corner of the globe.
>
> with regards
> Johannes Birringer
>
> >>>>
>
> On 13/02/17 09:55, Annie Abrahams wrote:
> Hi netbehaviourists,
>
> Interaction was the word I used 20 years ago when I talked about my work
> in hypertext. Today I need other words: one word, I already wrote about it
> in my last post, is Agency Art. Another might be Intra-action. This word
> could be usefull to analyze my works of collaborative performance art,
> where it is not really clear what is causing what, where the agency is –
> not between clearly distinguisable entities, but coming from within a
> whole, where server conditions, individual computers, webcam and sound
> devices, as well as the voices and images of the co-performers, local light
> conditions and family situations are all entangled in what Barad would call
> the phenomenon.
> From https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/inter-intra-action-eng/
>
> I am not done with these yet. Somewhere soon hopefully something more
> concrete on Agency Art and maybe Bohrian Apparatusses.
>
> All the best
> Annie
>
>
> I like the concept of Agency Art because it doesn’t take any technology or
> medium as it’s starting point, but puts what these make possible in the
> foreground.
> https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/agency-art/
>
> J’aime beaucoup la notion d'Agency Art, parce que elle ne prend pas un
> medium, ou une technologie comme point de départ, mais met en avant ce que
> celles-ci rendent possible.
> https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/inter-intra-action-fr/
>
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>



-- 

*I like the concept of Agency Art because it doesn’t take any technology or
medium as it’s starting point, but puts what these make possible in the
foreground.*
https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/agency-art/

J’aime beaucoup la notion d'*Agency Art*, parce que elle ne prend pas un
medium, ou une technologie comme point de départ, mais met en avant ce que
celles-ci rendent possible.
https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/inter-intra-action-fr/
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