[NetBehaviour] Virus Diary Day 1: Importance of the Tribe

Patrick Lichty lists at voyd.com
Wed Apr 15 09:10:05 CEST 2020


Day 1 of entries; Day 41 of confinement.
Abu Dhabi, UAE.

My wife, Negin Ehtesabian and I have been in isolation here in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is actually one of the plaes in the workd where there has been a great deal of proactivity regarding the COVID outbreak; there are drive therough diagnosis stations, ready testing is available, and so on. Food now is almost all by delivery, the malls are closed and you have to have mask and gloves to enter the grocery or chemist.

The galleries are all closed, but lukewarm attempts at virtual ones are giving a valiant effort. What I call a valiant life support effort until things get back up online in the offline. A great text on the COVID cultural scene is in a Culturist Blog entry called, "The Cultural Bubble" here.

Ironically, Omar Kholeif;s first postinternet exhibition at the Sharjah Art Foundation, Art in the Age of Anxiety, is postponed. Featuring Cao Fei, Jon Rafman, Siebren Versteeg, Constant Dullart, and many more of the postint canon, seemingly what would make an excellent hybrid or even online exhibition has not turned out this way.

We wait as the curve passes over us during Passover in Arabia, as Negin and I watch Hasidic docudramas. Postmodern syncretism isn't dead for a second.

I had a long online chat with a European contemporary curator of my acquatinatnce, likely over 25 years, and I had decided in the depths of winer ask for a mirroring of my observations o the same amount of time. The grass roots o the 90's in New Media, its emergence around 2000, it's academicization and insitutionalization with the birth of the postinternet generation around 2006, the reply to Claire Bishop in taking New Media, objectifying it and taking it to the art fairs, and graduation of MFAs who had seen our 2000-1 bienniales, the reconfigurationa/hyperprofesssionalization of the discursive space and the neoliberalization of media art.  

She said, "With a few glitches, I agree, and the contemporary has all the pitfalls that media art has now. 

But what I have found is this. Find people who you have had a like mind for years, if not decades. Hold to your tribe. Cherish them. Don;t forget them.

I think in the blue-chip chasing world of Dubai, I feel like I wavered a bit, not so much about ambition, but about a sense of home, so far away from where i was.  I didn't find it in THAT space, but I saw where my homes remain. And homies. Much is implied here.

Day 1 of the diary continues.

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