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

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Feb 17 17:21:32 CET 2017

dear Annie
oh, please I hope you were aware that my responses were quite playful...
and merely raised, perhaps, some general issues about worries (from the theory end) that may or may not affect us too much in our work.
hmm barely have I said this, i note that Mark brings up the "dada-esque" as a dismissive term, Alan Sondheim announces his "post-theory" texts. 
Annie I don't know why agents would bring up negative feelings, I for one had always wanted to be an agent during the cold war, but a
post=anthropocenic one, in relationality with everything, including the biologies of multispecies becoming-with, 
under the understanding that to be an agent at all, you must be a many, and "one's" work is unthinkable. 

warm regards
Johannes Birringer

[Annie writes]

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.

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