~e; rant: EM art p.1/2

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 18 Feb 2005 12:08:40 -0600
In-reply-to <001d01c50781$a2478960$b102a8c0@wanadoo.nl>

  hi Han. my apologies for not replying sooner.
  i planned to respond with some ideas and some
  work i've been doing, yet kept making things
  and now am ready to share some of it. i too
  would like to see a cooperation of many EM
  works and peoples in varying mediums- and the
  idea of a collaborative exhibit of many artists,
  many works, in many places at one time would be
  one way to get things started. there are many
  local artists who have dabbled with EM-related
  ideas and yet it is not the core of the work,
  it is hard to identify in itself, yet if they
  were shown together, there is a strong relation
  between the works and ideas of something that
  is larger than any one artist, and a shared
  condition that people seem to be mediating
  one way or another, by engaging the EM ideas
  and environments and aesthetics.

  the approach Bruce Mau is taking is interesting
  though i find it is self-limiting by traditional
  conceptualization (and bounding) of ideas in a
  given, inherited, context. this reminds me of
  what i think industrial designers Dunne and Raby
  were/are getting at when they write about the
  'post-optimal' approach to issues and ideas-
  that is, if it is in a traditional context,
  that optimizing for that context is not enough.
  though, if taken in terms of EM issues, there
  is a lot of optimizing left to be accomplished
  (for example: 90% energy waste in architecture).
  the key difference between these efforts at
  massive change in conceptualization and what
  i think/feel is necessary to get to the same
  place of possibility is that there needs to be
  a new electromagnetic context in which these
  things/ideas occur. that it is an EM CONTEXT,
  if need be - an electromagnetic 'art context,'
  too. otherwise, the traditional view of things
  distorts the EM reality of where/how things are.
  the limitations of tradition are too constraining
  and there is not enough fidelity or possibility
  of basic literacy to even approach, less to be
  able to understand and to discuss EM works and
  ideas in their own right- they defer to lesser,
  at times greatly lesser discourses based upon
  dogmas of historical and archaic thought and
  points of view, a philosophical fossil record.

  the reality of events and ideas goes missing.
  the value, the weight, the possibility limited.
  this is what i believe is lacking because of
  not having a common electromagnetic context to
  evaluate electromagnetic thinking and ideas and
  works - as, if this context existed today many
  works which predate this view would have their
  common framework with others as part of the
  development of the infrastructure and culture
  which actually, literally, defines their actual
  placement as artifacts in these environments.
  (video art, electronic art, light art, net.
  art, computer art; beyond 'mediums' too.)

  with an electromagnetic context some works of
  many artists could be shown together as one.
  there is no privileged medium, no single artist
  or perception or aesthetic, there are ideas, of
  shared and unshared views, but together they
  could define/sketch-out/show, a reality that
  is otherwise unapproachable through historical
  lens, as it is immediate, not just rhetorical.
  people are drawing antennas, painting e-wires,
  making high-voltage sculpture, making light-
  bulb crafts, etc. etc. etc. any one thing may
  be considered the work of a lone individual,
  until they are shown together as one thing,
  that this electromagnetic context may start
  to reveal itself in every place on the planet.

  circuit boards are being made into toys and
  furniture in Africa. surely in China someone
  is inventing new approaches to traditional
  art and crafts within their boom times. and
  in east and west europe and the .US a lot
  are exploring dimensions unique to these
  places, yet shared by all around the world
  in that there is something common about the
  context, about the possibilities- it is not
  just a question of technology and making of
  things, but of perception, realizing what
  this new environment we inhabit is about-
  and what it consists of, its details, are
  where the multitude of artists have already
  been working to reveal, yet this revelation
  has yet to be compiled, presented, as one
  thing, as a shared context, as a reality.

  i swear i cannot get a grant no matter
  what i write or do or make. it does not
  matter as it is being judged by people who
  do not know the most basic thing about the
  present environment, and the status quo
  rewards, oftentimes, mediocrity even when
  stating 'latest and greatest' advancements
  in cultural awareness, definition, value.
  i wonder what others experience in regard
  to these issues as it is a brutal situation
  where, because the context goes undefined,
  the energy is being wasted into optimizing
  relics of ideas of a bureaucratic mindset,
  and the subsequent reward systems, based
  oftentimes on group psychology and on a
  consensus-based appraisal and its approval
  of a realism that can be agreed upon--
  to break through into an interrelated
  view, where, say, global warming is not
  unrelated to oil consumption, oil wars
  are not unrelated to architectural design,
  theory, and practice, and that aesthetics
  are not without responsibility from their
  lineage in philosophy and the checks-and-
  balances of truth and morality, are to me
  all connected with electromagnetic context
  and how to deal with ongoing situations of,
  oftentimes, willed ignorance to choose the
  past over the present and future, to choose
  the simulations over the reality of events,
  and to choose fictional superheros and sagas
  over the less-than-perfect contributions of
  a small network of people willing to work
  together to make the necessary efforts and
  sacrifices to enact change on larger scales.

  to me it is the network of EM people in all
  fields who are going to make these changes
  possible and to make them real. it is not
  within my experience, 'markets' that will
  or can do this, nor consensus-based groups.
  it is people who value the ideas, who share
  the ideas, and move the ideas in ways that
  can make things happen within this network.
  to define the culture, share the culture,
  change the culture by understanding the
  context, firstly, then onto bigger issues.

  so often the traditional markets reward
  those who accumulate ideas within their
  own framework, capitalize and minimalize
  them, rarifying them -- this is not that,
  though it is self-limited by individuals
  who can only do so much alone, without
  any support in the traditional forms of
  money, equipment, collaborations so to
  get technical advances in the structure
  needed to build up the ideas, contexts,
  to share more of these ideas, people,
  works, realities. all it would take is
  a few art shows, a few conversations,
  debates, and i am convinced their would
  be a firestorm of discoveries of the
  great works and ideas already that pre-
  exist in the cultures all around, that
  the environment would reveal itself in
  its own terms, and the paradigm shift
  requisite would begin to start moving.

  i am also certain that most everyone
  on this list- in one way or another-
  has something to contribute to this
  understanding of the new EM context--
  in some way there is something about
  some detail or aspect or concept that
  is related to, across every division
  that exists, to engage EM abstractions
  enough to consider the ideas, events,
  within an electromagnetic context. it
  has proven itself as a context as valid
  as that of other 'studies' that can be
  found in universities, including those
  relating to cultural studies, science
  and technology, and others. studying
  this EM culture, this context, is a
  way to learn more about what is going
  on in this era, in our time, the basis
  for economic, social, political issues
  that define the present moment (think
  nuclear anything, e-commerce anything,
  light/energy/matter anything). there is
  a value here that is not found in the
  traditional context, a reality that is
  missing from analyses, and from 'art'
  too, i feel, as it is pointing in an-
  other direction, away from the present
  or into private views, rather into a
  shared world of wonder and enchantment,
  of understanding and engagement with
  even the most horrible of circumstances,
  to regain a belief in change and control
  of the worst motives of moving this EM
  force into places that are detrimental
  to our shared future-- it is necessary
  to be responsible for the ideas, too,
  that are creating the cultural malaise
  and lack of changes, to not keep adding
  to it, funding it, building it, but to
  look at it, take it apart, realize what
  it is, talk about it, and to change it.

  without an EM context, this is not going
  to happen, has not happened, and cannot.
  it is another paradigm. it needs to be
  shared to be realized, shown to be seen,
  and i do not think any one person alone
  is going to be capable of doing it. i
  have tried and failed more times than
  i want to admit. nor would i want to do
  it alone even if it were possible- it is
  only a community that will do it, be able
  to scale the ideas, to share, coalesce,
  bring the new range of things into view.

  right now i am looking for a venue to
  exhibit my own work in minneapolis, if
  you know any gallerists serious about
  ideas and the purpose of making things,
  ideas of greater value than monetary,
  and who are willing to take a risk on
  failing, in order to share ideas that
  may change ways of thinking, in ways
  small or large, about electromagnetism,
  culture, environments, this new context
  and its reality. to foster conversation.
  i am dismayed by all the competitions,
  grantors, bureaucracies which speak of
  the value of ideas, then fund what is
  the predictable and non-threatening to
  the status quo in terms of the ideas.

  there must still be some trouble-makers
  who are dedicated to shaking things up.
  and this is what impromptu self-organized
  exhibits by artists - of ideas - not of
  aesthetics - could do, as it could start
  redefining 'the real' and its EM context.

On Monday, January 31, 2005, at 04:42  AM, H S wrote:

> Hi Brian,
> It has been a terrific em-List!
> But is consumes lots of time> a real (once a half year) magazine or 
> smth
> like that would be an idea too! A cooperation of many EM!
> Personally I don't like Blogs.
> All the best> like to see more EM Art> would also be a very good 
> idea/theme
> for a worldwide travelling Art exhibition (like www.massivechange.com )
> Cheers,
> Han Specks, The Netherlands

  brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
  architecture, education, electromagnetism

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