[NetBehaviour] On art and art-making: I do or do not make pictures.

aharon misnom at spell.blue
Sat Jul 15 13:46:56 CEST 2017


Thanks Alan for bringing up the question of - or from - art making processes. Perhaps at a time when art is linked with The artworld, and perhaps artworlds (as one with the T and the alternatives: http://www.plausibleartworlds.org/ )? Or when people have some double-takes on questions linked with art by claiming they use "art" for a certain contextual ease, yet indeed whether whatever is done might be art or not, is rather inconsequential - perhaps art-making, as a processes is a question to elaborate and articulate?

Beuyes claimed something to the tune of "we haven't done art yet", hence art was to be continually re-defined. This, in my mind seems slightly linked with 20th century art-linked negations of any given other negation, and so on - but am probably wrong on that level.
What seems to be interesting for me is that when an activity is unpolished and does indeed go not-entirely-perceived-wisdom, or not-entirely-common-place-imagination - when we get a sensation from such as: "oh, i didn't know i could imagine this and that this way" - we get the term art invariably popping up effortlessly. (when "this and that" are stuff like an object, a process, an activity and so on..)

Am saying that cause some years back i used to go into art-linked places and ask something like: "so.. i see here all sorts of objects. but where is the art around here?" A question that was perceived aggressive and had to change if it was to remain honest.
So nowadays the question is: "lets say i was an alien. i was told humans do art. i was told here in this gallery/museum/house/field there is this art thing, how would you help this alien?"
The replies vary in terms of focus and content. They vary by people, from a guard saying art is the stuff i should not touch, and a curator claiming art is the stuff she put up. 

Nothing to do with stuff being particularly visual, but aspects of how stuff is being, or came to be. Artists do not seem to need to be making pictures or even have a visual link even in the desert.
Asking someone in a desert near jericho if she knew an artist in the city, she said that as far she knew there were none. After I met a painter in Jericho who indeed claimed to be the only artist in town, it turned out to be they were both neighbours. 
Asked the 1st person how come she didn't tell me about the painter, i was told that the Quality of painting - not the fact they were paintings - made her think it wasn't art.
When in nicosia's UN controlled airport area's dog rescue centre, the local dog artist did not make images but was said to imagine "differently".

However, perhaps the question can also be slightly re-shaped?
The idea of production, of making. One might not make something visual, but produce something. (I know duchamp had a bit of a friction with that question of making, in the sense of having years/time when he considered himself to not be doing stuff, or not producing. If anyone has illuminations about that..?)
When recently in Rio, I hooked up and collaborated with Lara-that-does-nada. Doing nothing is her research. The question of doing as a production, as a burden and over requirement being placed upon people.
Nada is ofcourse an impossible. One breaths, one produces excrements, one is a witness to the other. One has frictions. One is a live and moves in time and at others in space.
What else is there to do?
I can be Your imagined gaze. I can wait for you? Wait with you? Wait linked with you? Maybe together we can make a queue? 

Question being is how we can share. Share nothing. Share that that seems like nothing?
In my mind, perhaps wrongly, this nothing idea links to european oriented art-linked image making from the earlier part of 20th century when it became more common to leave white spaces on a canvass. Spaces of nothing seemed a controversial idea despite the fact it was widely practised in south-east asian art-linked image making.
However, perhaps the white spaces the untouched are part of an object size rather than doing nothing? I recall, while in Nairobi noticing the prevalence of Bollywood cinema, i was surprised as communication is based on translation. So asked how come its so popular, i was told that for the same amount of money one might pay a Hollywood film, one can get twice or even more film-time!
The enlarged object?

Reading the occasional interview with sports people, I noticed that for some - in my mind the more successful ones - the focus of
is not the time and occasion of performance, but keeping up the practice. Current wimbledon pricked an interest with the issue of sexism, language and money. I noticed one of the players was slightly dissed by the writer for claiming her success was due to years of work - of making her - rather than her recently appointed ex wimbledon champ. I think her point was somehow similar to Alan's - focus on the processes, not the show.
However, this is precisely kind of a magician's nightmare. If people managed to view and review the processes employed, "magic" will be uncovered.

Is this linked to art? In german, as far as i seem to understand, Kunst is indeed linked to magic.
But check this.. In polish, art is always a piece. The object is always a bit of some other stuff. sztuka.
In Czech  sztuka is a ceiling ornament.
In arabic the word for art sounds like Fun - which takes us back to english and a sense of fun?
Art as a thrill?

Being a thrill or is it making a thrill? Having to produce a sense of fun - or some other sensation - or being that very sensation?
Making as a kind of performing?
Performing as a kind of being?

Here's another little story before I shut up.
A story from a different culture to the one i tend to experience in "the west" and perhaps laced in misreadings - but here you go..
Brazil 2017 is a post coup brazilian life. Post coup, for example, means that people that could survive somehow around a years ago - can not anymore. Post coup brazil is stark and violent.
Here I am.. I am skateboarding between brasilia and rio. doing some abstract 040-language stuff along the way. Stuff that when I asked goteo.org to get a croudfunding campaign for - i was told its not possible because there is no viability for people.
However, I was surprised by hearing from people i met something to the tune of:
OH! This is Precisely what we need here and now in brazil! Yes I thought sometimes my leg is being pulled, and at others i asked to record the conversation, while at all cases I did try to critic. (eg suspiciousness about people claiming that if x occurs, then surely Y and Z will follow.. Which is, to be honest, precisely not what http://ifxyz.xyz languages are..)
However, the point remains and remained - I think - that the "just being", simply going on and doing-that-which-a-person-is, seems to have been, to a certain extent at least, possibly taken as a common understanding of art.
There was no need to produce images, nor sounds, words, nor performances for the practice to be taken as some kind of art.
(I am not entirely comfortable with that, but perhaps its a different question..)

So yes.. For me this kind of making process by Alan, is Uber inspiring before Uber might have been imagined as an occupying venture...
Perhaps indeed, there are, these are, dynamics. Knowledge? Of knowledge? A knowing as a sensation of knowledge? As a non-knowledge? the time before a knowledge becomes known? Before any clear image comes?

Perhaps there is a process, a category or a search, a direction or a movement, a gesture that is in and from itself? Not "pure", but requires else but itself?
Does love need an image?
Does a need for help requires anything else but?
Does a movement of a body asks for other stuff but a chance to be?
..and a chance to be while it is being - how is it shared? As a witness? As a story? As an image that is other than a body?
Pictures do not make art, but art can, at times, make pictures along its way?
Art as a species? a category? 

Well.. I hear doors open for questions of specificity and forms.. Hopefully there are other opinions, maybe even written clearer and more succinctly that I just managed.. ;)

Have fun!

July 14 2017 4:35 PM, "Alan Sondheim" <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
> On art and art-making: I do or do not make pictures.
> http://www.alansondheim.org/london1044.jpg
> Art-making as continuous process of thinking and improvisation;
> art-making as project- and statement- oriented; art-making as
> plateaus and interventions; art-making as digital progress; as
> analog microterritorialities; as flow.
> I'm not sure I am an artist in any traditional sense, and for
> many people, I'm not an artist at all. What is the reason for
> this? I have no projects, no documentation of stages that stand
> on their own as, for example, plateaus; I have no outcomes other
> than the experience of the body or production as it is already
> ongoing, in much the same manner as musical improvisation is
> ongoing. So that it is a situation of lived experience, of
> something else, not the confinement of an art-induced structure
> that grants autonomy and totality to work conceived of and
> produced to a certain point. That much is certain. If art might
> actually be an investigation, say one that articulates the body
> in relation the appearance of (totalized or partial) structures,
> then there's the possibility that the investigation occurs among
> dynamics - not of knowledge per se, but of knowing, a knowing
> which possesses a somatic component, the body which may be, for
> example, politicized, but is not on the order itself of the
> political, a body as body for all that, an accumulation-body,
> one encompassing its variegated chemistries and components. I
> think of this as a deep ecology of the body.
> http://www.alansondheim.org/london1048.jpg
> So there is this work of the body and its dynamics and relations
> to structure, and there is the issue of presentation, as if,
> along a scientific trajectory, there are findings which are
> enframed as a form of comprehension and transmission. The
> enframing is buckled to its own languaging, within and without
> the materials formed and formulated for presentation, and this
> within and without presupposes an abject, neither one way nor
> the other for example. (Even an example of an example, or an
> example explaining an example is abject in this sense.)
> It is always a mixture of modes, modalities, but in my case, it
> is not a system of plateaus designed to enter a marketplace and
> be sold within such; in fact, I generally give my work away
> after a show, as a form of homage to a organizer, a friend,
> someone who is a companion in a way. I continue to move on.
> Hence, I am and am not an artist; at so many points I've been
> told what I'm doing is not art, by which is meant, I am not
> making art, but am doing something else, since for many the art
> resides in the forms and figures that emerge after a period of
> contemplation.
> Contemplation itself is moving, and as movement it need never
> coagulate into the ossified form of a statement or date, of an
> indication of a series or progression, or a profession of series
> or series of progression. One need not have any of that.
> In which case there may well be a relation between this kind of
> art which is a form of knowing, and meditation, in the sense,
> that a result is always problematic, and may be a problem as
> well.
> Art as a form of knowing is different than art as a stipulation
> or answer to an institutional call. It's neither "better" nor
> "worse" nor a "life-choice"; it's a way of being tied to deep
> ecology, not as data, but as an internalization of flows and
> dynamics. Contemplation would not end at the door of the gallery
> (or begin there), nor would the gallery be viewed as a portal.
> On a practical level I see the gallery as the potential to
> access for further tools, to the extent that tools are necessary
> - tools as well have their limitations.
> http://www.alansondheim.org/lund17.mp4
> If art is an intervention into the social, the habitus, the
> real, it is also part of these and the intervention is not a
> gate or barrier, but a wave, a con-vocation, con-vocalization.
> In this sense it stands, not against the digital, but against or
> within the problematic of the protocols of the digital, their
> institutional, economic, and geopolitical connections, and the
> harm and promise they carry, harm towards others, and the
> promise to them. The protocol is always already a barrier, a
> plateau; it is never "updated" but replaced; even with legacy
> applications, it is a replacement, and the legacy disappears. It
> is capital that drives it, whether bank or bitcoin. The protocol
> lives among destinations; it carries a lost history of design,
> fabrication, dissemination. It is natural, but it is also step-
> wise.
> I do not mean to imply either contemplative subjectivity or a
> position of privilege, but something akin to an improvisation
> without beginning or ending, at least in an untoward or contrary
> phenomenology, an improvisation akin to dance as if the body,
> even in its senescence and submission, were continuing its
> movement and grace or gracelessness in the world. It is an
> opening towards others, not a closing, and in the world of
> galleries and other institutions, and world of opening these as
> well. So many do not fit into fitness, genre, or canon; so many
> are thereby excluded from participation in the formalizations of
> culture and the conversations, communities, that appear to ensue
> from them. Community itself is prior, of course; there is
> sentience and community everywhere in the world. Again, one can
> only call for the removal of barriers, for open sight, for deep
> withdrawal before judgment or withdrawal in the process itself.
> What if we all gave our work away, not necessarily in trade or
> compensation, but freely? What would happen then? And what sort
> of institutions might support this?
> In my own case, I rarely know where a work becomes a work, if it
> ever does, where it begins and where it ends, where it might be
> located, what it might offer in terms of collapse into formal
> and denuding structures. As formal culture becomes increasingly
> allied to high capital, as our digital machines are tied to the
> lowest capital and misery in their production, we need to think
> and rethink our practices, what I consider praxis in its most
> continuous sense.
> Who are we when we produces a series of something? What is a
> series? What are variations? What depths might emerge? What
> dynamics?
> http://www.alansondheim.org/london1047.jpg
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