[NetBehaviour] The Burrow online exhibition

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 31 20:35:31 CET 2019

Looks very interesting!

The link opened to the etchings of Mechanical Jungle, Yu Cai 2017-2019.

These include images of the labyrinth, brain, architecture, astronomy, maps, and rivers; they also have an apocalyptic or hell/heaven/purgatory aspect similar to Bosch and Dante.

I find these to be interesting themes relating to Calvino's ideas of the novel as a network, and each person as a network, as he wrote in the "Multiplicity" chapter of Six Memos for the Next Millennium.  In my recent annual art work Solstizio Calvino from June I tried to capture some ideas about these themes by way of 104 gray bricks, set up in a millstone pattern about 30 feet wide, on the banks of the Mississippi, as a rejected submission to a local festival focused in part on the Mill District neighborhood of the city.  Inside the millstone/labyrinth were six wooden boxes, each containing paper slips printed on one side with two images (of either brains, maps, astronomy, or architecture, all archaic from 17th-19th c. except for some contemporary brain scans).  On the other side was printed an excerpt from one of the six memos.  Each box was labeled with the name of a memo.  The slips in the Consistency box had only images and no text, since Calvino died and was buried underground before writing that memo.

The work was in place for six days, rain or shine, with at least a few humans walking into it and collecting a paper slip.  One brick was removed and probably thrown into the river by a very participatory participant.  The remaining bricks and boxes have been retained for future use or non-use.  I also placed a small buddha on a nearby picnic table while I had lunch and lit a candle to say goodbye to my wonderful dog and friend Victor who loved the river and had passed away on June 7th.

The transformational tenor of the etchings also reminds me of Lee Smolin's call in Time Reborn to re-envision particle physics and the nature of time via a new "relational program of research" to replace the failed program of the last 20 years based on quantum mechanics.  This new program would transform all spheres of knowledge, and Smolin singles out physics, biology, and computers for emphasis (though all disciplines are affected since brains and the products or net-behavior of brains, all brains, are affected).  The poem "The Waste Land" is also about death and rebirth for all spheres of humanity and knowledge from the full array of deaths, so it can be read in part as a network poem, perhaps even as the first example of Calvino's invention "hypertext" since Eliot provides a lot of footnotes and references as part of the poem itself, networking in Chaucer, Buddhism, Shakespeare, the Fisher King, riverine pollution, Sanskrit, indeed "all of it" as one might say despite Eliot's sometimes horrid deficiencies.

I also like the first stanza of Shelley's Ode to the West Wind here:

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
  Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

  Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou          5
  Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
  Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

  Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill   10
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
  With living hues and odours plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2019 12:00 PM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Subject: [NetBehaviour] The Burrow online exhibition

The Burrow is a pavilion of https://thewrong.org biennial curated by Aad
Bjrkro. Now open at https://h.aard.work, the exhibition includes 25 works
by 27 participating artists, and will run until Mar 1 2020.

Envisioning the internet as myriads of intertwining underground tunnels;
where places of refuge coincide with the secret bases of those must be
hidden from. Emerged in the tunnels we tried to listen to those who must
never speak, look for things we had lost and spy on the spies spying on
us. For display we gathered relics from our past, expansions of the
hidden, connections to the elsewhere and lessons for the future. Now we
gladly invite you to see what we have found.

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