bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd, so I’m taking notes.  TBA has been happening and things, so these are late.  This was the last proper class, the following week was a group critique.

Here are my notes from class, links that are related and the best parts of the readings:

Class notes: (Note—as points of Debord’s work was shown as slides, the salient points are included here as space allows, with a link back to the entire piece online. There were also a lot of in-class discussion quotes worth adding here, sadly I didn’t note who said what.)

  • “Well, with the day I’ve been having it will be interesting. About performance and audience, and civics, and spectacle, and media, and me being awkward.”
    -Opening slide in class, from C.O.P.S. professor Micheal Reinsch’s Facebook.
  • Wafaa Bilal
  • Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
    • “The spectacle originates in the loss of the unity of the world, and the gigantic expansion of the modern spectacle expresses the totality of this loss: the abstraction of all specific labor and the general abstraction of the entirety of production are perfectly rendered in the spectacle, whose mode of being concrete is precisely abstraction. In the spectacle, one part of the world represents itself to the world and is superior to it. The spectacle is nothing more than the common language of this separation. What binds the spectators together is no more than an irreversible relation at the very center which maintains their isolation. The spectacle reunites the separate, but reunites it as separate.”
  • Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent
    • “QUESTION: When we talk about manufacturing of consent, whose consent is being manufactured?
      CHOMSKY: To start with, there are two different groups, we can get into more detail, but at the first level of approximation, there’s two targets for propaganda. One is what’s sometimes called the political class. There’s maybe twenty percent of the population which is relatively educated, more or less articulate, plays some kind of role in decision-making. They’re supposed to sort of participate in social life — either as managers, or cultural managers like teachers and writers and so on. They’re supposed to vote, they’re supposed to play some role in the way economic and political and cultural life goes on. Now their consent is crucial. So that’s one group that has to be deeply indoctrinated. Then there’s maybe eighty percent of the population whose main function is to follow orders and not think, and not to pay attention to anything — and they’re the ones who usually pay the costs.”
    • “A ruling or elite class dominates at the level of ideas, thus undermining any consciousness of change.”
      “The video shows Chomsky’s guiding belief to be that a decent society should maximize human need for creative work — not treat people as cogs in a machine so that the power elite can maintain control, continue private ownership of public resources and increase profits — all the while managing media content (while preserving the myth of a free press).”
      “17) Chomsky argues that people need to work to develop independent minds — maybe in part by forming COMMUNITY action groups with others with parallel interests and values, not in isolation, which is where the present system tends to keep people.”
      Key Points in “Manufacturing Consent”
  • Flash Mob robs 7-11
  • What is a flash mob?
  • BART Jams Cell Phone Service to Shut Down Protests
  • “The spectacle is the existing order’s uninterrupted discourse about itself, its laudatory monologue. . . If the social needs of the epoch in which such techniques are developed can only be satisfied through their mediation, if the administration of this society and all contact among men can no longer take place except through the intermediary of this power of instantaneous communication, it is because this “communication” is essentially unilateral. The concentration of “communication” is thus an accumulation, in the hands of the existing system’s administration, of the means which allow it to carry on this particular administration. . .” Debord, Society of the Spectacle(point 24)
  • “Exchange value could arise only as an agent of use value, but its victory by means of its own weapons created the conditions for its autonomous domination. Mobilizing all human use and establishing a monopoly over its satisfaction, exchange value has ended up by directing use. The process of exchange became identified with all possible use and reduced use to the mercy of exchange. Exchange value is the condottiere of use value who ends up waging the war for himself.” Debord, Society of the Spectacle (point 46)
  • “The tendency of use value to fall, this constant of capitalist economy, develops a new form of privation within increased survival: the new privation is not far removed from the old penury since it requires most men to participate as wage workers in the endless pursuit of its attainment, and since everyone knows he must submit or die. The reality of this blackmail accounts for the general acceptance of the illusion at the heart of the consumption of modern commodities: use in its most impoverished form (food and lodging) today exists only to the extent that it is imprisoned in the illusory wealth of increased survival. The real consumer becomes a consumer of illusions. The commodity is this factually real illusion, and the spectacle is its general manifestation.” Debord, Society of the Spectacle (point 47)
  • “In the inverted reality of the spectacle, use value (which was implicitly contained in exchange value) must now be explicitly proclaimed precisely because its factual reality is eroded by the overdeveloped commodity economy and because counterfeit life requires a pseudo-justification.” Debord, Society of the Spectacle (point 48)
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled 1992 (Free)
    • The idea of power, art having power, an access to power?
  • Is there something intrinsic in the making of art that is accessible?
  • The inherent hostility of performance.
    • Look at me/experience me [The Who: Listening to You]
    • Internet disperses power?
      • How then can artists redefine power/control?
    • Commodity is people’s information, not created by powers necessarily in control (emperor’s new clothes).
    • Zine culture as an earlier version of this information/creation dispersal
    • “Given optimism, you can create something viral.”
    • Powers in control allowing appearance of freedom?*
    • Is it now easier to get and harder to hold attention?
  • Do the 80% feel like they don’t have access?
    • Do they care?
  • “At the end of the day, no piece of art has changed my mind about anything . . . philanthropy changes people’s lives.”
  • “[Art is] important, but doesn’t do anything.”
  • “[Art] is the safest place to be a dissenter.”
  • “People really selectively give a fuck.”
  • “There has to be an accumulative effect.”
  • Late capitalism
    • “What we must now ask ourselves is whether it is not precisely this semi-autonomy of the cultural sphere which has been destroyed by the logic of late capitalism. Yet to argue that culture is today no longer endowed with the relative autonomy it once enjoyed as one level among others in earlier moments of capitalism (let alone in pre-capitalist societies) is not necessarily to imply its disappearance or extinction. Quite the contrary; we must go on to affirm that the dissolution of an autonomous sphere of culture is rather to be imagined in terms of an explosion: a prodigious expansion of culture throughout the social realm, to the point at which everything in our social life – from economic value and state power to practices and to the very structure of the psyche itself – can be said to have become “cultural” in some original and yet untheorised sense. This proposition is, however, substantively quite consistent with the previous diagnosis of a society of the image or the simulacrum and a transformation of the “real” into so many pseudo-events.” Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.
  • Anonymous
    • Necessary anomalies [similar points noted previously here with a *]
      • You need an “other”
  • Does audience give and define power/agency? (Power/agency being value assigned)
    • Power is etymologically rooted in potential.
  • Every other career is rooted in the development of capital.
    • Other people don’t worry about it,
      • Artists worry about it.
  • Any time you create something with no capital value, is it a perversion of the system?
  • Does jealousy relate to legitimacy?
    • Does someone investing in your work equal legitimacy? How?
    • Not to judge for or against once money is involved.
      • Money-based capital is a measurable value.
  • Homo Aestheticus
    • The ability to label art because of leisure.
    • An increase in artistic careers in post-industrial society.
  • “As someone who makes art, you have to acknowledge your own hypocrisy.”
  • Use the modes of production to critique the modes of production.
  • “Fucker money”
    • To take money from fuckers, yet not yourself become a fucker.


  • Watch Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

Well, July’s focus wasn’t entirely a failure. I mean, it mostly was because here I am at the end of August, having just finished the basic goal (to tidy my craft area upstairs so I can actually use it). But I still finished it!

I made slow progress in the earlier part of the month
Slow progress: 1

Slow Progress: 2

But hoorah, now it is done.

Took long enough

I need to vacuum, and there are areas that need to be further broken down and tidied, but the primary issue—having no floor space and just junk everywhere, is done.

And it’s not as though I haven’t been doing other things these past two months. I’ve been going to class at C.O.P.S. and writing ridiculous hyperlinked notes, regularly updating Audacity Gambit and generally enjoying the most pleasant summer in my memory.

I know what next month’s focus will be too. One of the points of this exercise was to hold off working in certain themes until the itch to do so was so strong I’d really be able to focus—instead of flitting around dis or half-interestedly. So I know what I’ll be doing by the end of the year and I know what I’m doing for September. It should be fun.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 08:15pm on 26/08/2011 under , ,

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class and related links. This is a video based class so the majority of the links are videos.

The Amateur

As the class has already covered viral film territory the focus this class was instead on one specific film maker.


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd, so I’m taking notes. These are particularly late for several reasons, one of which is that this was a particularly non-linear session and although I tried, I couldn’t really do it justice written out. I’d also found some cool things that referenced the public versus private space theme that the syllabus had said we’d be talking about, which we didn’t directly enough for me to figure out how to shoe-horn them in.

Here are my notes from class, links that are related and the best parts of the readings:

Class notes: [M. Reinsch reads aloud, alternating from both a copy/paste poetic manifesto and various readings, notes are comparatively brief and disjointed for this section.]

  • Catch and release attention
  • The Gutenberg Galaxy: a mosaic by Marshall McLuhan, 1962.
    • Tech infects mind and how mind processes
    • A universal understanding/entity . . . a peace? [see reading: Arendt 1]
  • Literary criticism as mystical and divine.
    • Does not work with the changes of the Post-Industrial era.
    • New Criticism is reactive, brings in contemporaries rather than mooning on predecessors. [compare with changes in author mentioned in Death of the Author, from class 07/09]
  • Every medium forces transformation on the mind
  • Machine as Narcissus [Narcissus to a Man: Lifelogging, Technology and the Normativity of Truth, Kieron O'Hara, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, McLuhan]
  • Non-linear, “head trip”, immersive, self-reflective
  • “Passive aggressive revolution”
  • “During the period of modernity, the “body of work” replaced the soul as the potentially immortal part of the Self. Foucault famously called such modern sites in which time was accumulated rather than simply being lost, heterotopias.” [see reading, Groys 1]
  • “Art is the person who loves you but only when they’re drunk.”
  • Copy/paste revelation, “nascent plagiarism”
  • Sherrie Levine, Marx. Artistic appropriation v. appropriation of labour.
  • “The future is yours for the taking and you’re still here making stuff.”
  • Art and space [Notes Toward a Confidential Art, Robert Irwin]
    • Site-dominant (murals, etc): Artist
    • Site-adjusted (space taken into account): Artist
    • Site-specific: (conceived with site in mind): Artist
    • Site conditioned/determined (reason for being is site): Artist is not the point, the place is.
  • object:non-object::seeing:not-seeing
  • Mind’s kitchen drawer of information . . .
  • “Clammy palms pressed together in hollow prayer.”

[reading ends]

  • Using the internet as a crutch, going for something different this time.
  • How present are you in the internet?
  • Documentation of performance
    • Should it be documented?
    • Shares the information, image and myth (if you get good documentation)
    • A still can encapsulate better than video (which just documents)
      • Find the correct mix of media to best portray work.
      • Don’t just have a friend do it.
      • No documentation helps create pure myth.
  • Chase reads his review of a Twitter update by Gwenneth Paltrow
  • I read my review of a Tumblr post
  • What is appropriation
    • Paying reference
    • Knowing nod
    • Can be positive or negative
  • Science has periodic table of elements
    • Art appropriation can add to a table of elements, flesh out a lexicon
  • Appropriation versus plagiarism
    • Appropriation is/should be self-aware
  • The process of documenting
    • Keeping up with media/the new thing (avoid nostalgia)
    • Have to make conscious choice for or against control of documentation
      • Let the audience do it and pull from the cloud?
      • Control your myth?
    • Whether or not to use markers (visual, audio, clothing, etc.) that mark time and era?
  • Digital does not equal archival.
  • Accessory is the new logo
    • Statement pieces
      “Though 2011 will see us move still further from the economic woes of recent history, don’t expect a massive change in the tangent of fashion: the major excesses of the last decade are gone, and 2011 will see us, rightfully, continue on with a drive of subtle consumption mixed with obvious quality. 2011 fashion trends will accomodate the fact that we’ll be buying less but spending more. That means less bland, and more quality. Fewer indulgences, but better statement pieces.”
  • Aloduous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited


Readings and sundry notes:

Arendt, Hannah. The Public Realm: The Common

  1. This enlarge­ment of the private, the enchantment, as it were, of a whole people, does not make it public, does not constitute a public realm, but, on the contrary, means only that the public realm has almost com­pletely receded, so that greatness has given way to charm every­where; for while the public realm may be great, it cannot be charming precisely because it is unable to harbor the irrelevant.

Groys, Boris. Comrades of Time.

  1. Hesitation with regard to the modern projects mainly has to do with a growing disbelief in their promises. Classical modernity believed in the ability of the future to realize the promises of past and present—even after the death of God, even after the loss of faith in the immortality of the soul. The notion of a permanent art collection says it all: archive, library, and museum promised secular permanency, a material infinitude that substituted the religious promise of resurrection and eternal life. During the period of modernity, the “body of work” replaced the soul as the potentially immortal part of the Self. Foucault famously called such modern sites in which time was accumulated rather than simply being lost, heterotopias. Politically, we can speak about modern utopias as post-historical spaces of accumulated time, in which the finiteness of the present was seen as being potentially compensated for by the infinite time of the realized project: that of an artwork, or a political utopia. Of course, this realization obliterates time invested in this realization, in the production of a certain product—when the final product is realized, the time that was used for its production disappears. However, the time lost in realizing the product was compensated for in modernity by a historical narrative that somehow restored it—being a narrative that glorified the lives of the artists, scientists, or revolutionaries that worked for the future.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 01:22pm on 10/08/2011 under , ,

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class and related links. This is a video based class so the majority of the links are videos.


Gender & Punk Class notes/discussion topics:




Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

There was a lot of info last class and that is at least 50% why I’m so behind on notes. 25% is that I had a hell of a time with formatting on this batch, from Open Office to WordPress. Ugh. Anyway, the class on the 30th was crit and performance, which I took notes at, but they’re not really useful beyond remembering people’s work.

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class, links that are related and the best parts of the readings. Some of the links lead to videos:

Class notes (some reference chunks of reading, numbered in following section):

  • Preliminary definition of “not acting” and “acting” as defined by reading.
    • Not-acting: no pretension, feigning or impersonation.
    • Acting: to pretend, feign or impersonate—not strictly physical.
  • Non-Matrixed performance: not acting, nor using symbols, yet part of visual presentation.
  • Symbolised Matrix performance: performer uses symbols and references, relying on context to differentiate between this and received acting [see reading, 2].
  • Received Acting: performers are not feigning or impersonating, but the symbols and references they use, in a particular context, define them as actors.
  • Simple Acting: enhancing performance, involving pretence
    • Either physically
      • Like charades [see reading, 4]
    • Or emotionally
      • Like public speaking [see reading, 5]
  • Complex Acting: multiple simple elements, physical and emotional
    • Paris Hilton walks out of GMA interview [video link, has opening commercial]
      • Is she acting or is it a persona?
      • From symbolised matrix to complex acting
      • Similar to the facades used in social situations (meeting a partner’s parents, dealing with a superior, etc)
  • Absurdity as non-matrixed performing
    • “In philosophy, “The Absurd” refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent meaning in life and the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean “logically impossible,” but rather “humanly impossible.”
      • “The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.”
        Silentio, Johannes de. Fear and Trembling.
    • Sisyphus, as related by Camus as an example of absurd, non-matrixed performing.
      • If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory.”
        Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus.
    • Does absurdity come out more in non-matrixed performance than in acting?
    • If absurdity is self-aware, how does that affect its quality of absurdity?
      • See Sontag’s Notes on Camp: “The pure examples of Camp are unintentional; they are dead serious. The Art Nouveau craftsman who makes a lamp with a snake coiled around it is not kidding, nor is he trying to be charming. He is saying, in all earnestness: Voilà! the Orient!”
    • Representation of pointlessness, futility, leaves space for audience perception.
      • Does it need audience to have value?
  • Performances that exist on trust
  • When Faith Moves Mountains, Lima 2002” Francis Alÿs
    • Closer to a happening/student volunteers extras in Alÿs’ production? The material?
    • An apparent unwillingness to be open/aware of the acting
      • Does the lack of physical end mask this?
    • “Poor people move mountains”
    • How does Santiago Sierra’s 160cm line compare in self-awareness of action?
  • The Green Line” Francis Alÿs (non-matrixed performing)
  • Flâneur, Baudelaire’s “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”.
    • A result of leisure, the Flâneur is a voyeuristic observer (as opposed to immersed member of the city)
    • A modern version could include wandering the streets/space of the internet, like the the flâneur is a “a botanist of the pavement”, the internet wanderer would observe, study and collect the rare blooms of the web.
  • Flarf
    • Is the process non-matrixed performing?
    • Mm-hmm”, Gary Sullivan
  • The “architecture of the internet” (like Baudelaire’s Paris) evolved/is evolving to better accommodate “strollers” trawling for the weird [see the atrocity tourism mentioned in the class notes from Hello/Goodbye 07/17]
  • Ways of approaching the internet as an observer:
    • Getting high and wandering (like one does in a city or what teens do in malls).
    • Finding things missing on the internet and “plugging holes” by adding information
  • 4Chan as screen of civil disobedience
  • Flâneur on web is like to walk NY in a blackout
  • Conceptualism vs Flarf Poetry: “Why Conceptualism is Better Than Flarf”, Vanessa Place
  • Is Everyone an Artist”, Claire Bishop
    • Content only as good as those who participate [which includes artists, but good isn't a definition, it is a value]
    • Apparatus is interesting, content is banal . . . unless curated by an artist.
      • Curating is a way of asserting power.
    • By creating internet art is the power still in the hands of the creators of internet things?
    • Is everyone an artist? Who cares? ARTISTS.
      • Asking for validation “Am I pretty?/Do I look fat in this?”
  • “Lay person” (as non-artist) is a “pejorative”.
    • “Why does art treat people like retarded kindergarteners?”

 Readings and sundry notes (emphasis in bold):
Kirby, Michael. On Acting and Not-Acting. [pdf link]

  1. Let us forsake performance for a moment and consider how the “costume continuum” functions in daily life. If a man wears cowboy boots on the street, as many people do, we do not identify him as a cowboy. If he also wears a wide, tooled-leather belt and even a western hat, we do not see this as a costume, even in a northern city. It is merely a choice of clothing. As more and more items of western clothing – a bandana, chaps, spurs, and so forth – are added, however, we reach the point at which we see either a cowboy or a person dressed as (impersonating) a cowboy. The exact point on the continuum at which this specific identification occurs depends on several factors, the most important of which is place or physical context, and it undoubtedly varies from person to person.
  2. In a symbolized matrix the referential elements are applied to but not acted by the performer. And just as western boots do not necessarily establish a cowboy, a limp may convey information without establishing a performer as Oedipus. When, as in Oedipus, a New Work, the character and place matrices are weak, intermittent, or nonexistent, we see a person, not an actor. As “received” references increase, however, it is difficult to say that the performer is not acting even though he or she is doing nothing that could be defined as acting. In a New York luncheonette before Christmas we might see “a man in a Santa Claus suit” drinking coffee; if exactly the same action were carried out on stage in a setting representing a rustic interior, we might see “Santa Claus drinking coffee in his home at the North Pole.” When the matrices are strong, persistent, and reinforce each other, we see an actor, no matter how ordinary the behavior. This condition, the next step closer to true acting on our continuum, we may refer to as “received acting.”
  3. If the actor seems to indicate “I am this thing” rather than merely “I am doing these movements,” we accept him or her as the “thing”: the performer is acting. But we do not accept the “mirror” as acting, even though that character is a “representation” of the first person. He lacks the psychic energy that would turn the abstraction into a personification. If an attitude of “I’m imitating you” is projected, however – if purposeful distortion or “editorializing” appears rather than the neutral attitude of exact copying – the mirror becomes an actor even though the original movements were abstract.
  4. If the performer does something to simulate, represent, impersonate, and so forth, he or she is acting. It does not matter what style is used or whether the action is part of a complete characterization or informational presentation. No emotion needs to be involved. The definition can depend solely on the character of what is done. (Value judgments, of course, are not involved. Acting is acting whether or not it is done “well” or accurately.) Thus a person who, as in the game of charades, pretends to put on a jacket that does not exist or feigns being ill is acting. Acting can be said to exist in the smallest and simplest action that involves pretense.
  5.  Public speaking, whether it is extemporaneous or makes use of a script, may involve emotion, but it does not necessarily involve acting. Yet some speakers, while retaining their own characters and remaining sincere, seem to be acting. At what point does acting appear? At the point at which the emotions are “pushed” for the sake of the spectators. This does not mean that the speakers are false or do not believe what they are saying. It merely means that they are selecting and projecting an element of character-emotion – to the audience. In other words, it does not matter whether an emotion is created to fit an acting situation or whether it is simply amplifed.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)
posted by [personal profile] bzedan at 08:05pm on 17/07/2011 under , ,

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class and related links. This is a video based class so the majority of the links are videos.

Class notes/discussion topics:

  • Initial aspects of endurance: impressing others, consistently topping oneself or others.
  • Endurance as viewer: How long will you watch?
    • Once you’ve seen/watched it, you “get” it.
    • Question of the necessity of watching a long form piece in entirety.
      • [see Andy Warhol's “Sleep”, from the YouTube comments: “imagine this 10 minute clip lasting 5 hours, yeah, crazy shit"]
  • Watched the San Diego Zoo’s Polar Cam while class read “A Hunger Artist” aloud.
      • [apparently the live cams at night are soothing/interesting, just barely seen waterfalls, abstract night vision]
    • Shift from initial interest in spectacle to boredom.
    • Longer work looses you from finite time frames, allowing you to come and go.
  • Everybody can smash a guitar on their head. (Chunky smashes guitar on head) So why do/imitate it?
    • Documenting assholery.
      • Bas Jan Ader, Fall 1 [watched last class]
      • CKY Roof Fall [not a good example, but their early work does reference the masculine body work of folks like Ader]
    • Public interest hasn’t waned, but the bar has risen.
    • Memetic ability
    • Cover band: take a piece of something that is popular/powerful
  • Why watch it?
    • Atrocity tourism: this is terrible, do you see how terrible.
    • Why else?
  • Günter Brus: Vienese Actionists, 1965 action
  • Documenting the challenge, the dare, Guinness Book of World Records
  • Japanese game show, “Pass the Critter
  • Sidebar: Shepard Fairey Obey Giant Mayday Jeffrey Deitch
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak



  • During the guitar smash video it was remarked that the room “was perfect” and agreed that to create that same space on purpose for use in a video piece would be difficult. Set dressing is, like costuming, a surprisingly detailed and involved process. It takes work to make something have natural looking detail that informs the piece. Note the falconry (and “avian control” van in the foreground pint-balancing video. You can’t make that shit up.
  • WTF video source: Found Footage Festival
  • WTF video and edited video source: Everything is Terrible
  • WTF edited video source: Four four
  • Supercuts can be definite viewer endurance, due to repetitiveness


Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

I’m taking classes at the Conceptual Oregon Performance School this summer and I’m a huge nerd. Here are my notes from class, links that are related and the best parts of the readings:

Class notes (some reference chunks of reading, numbered in following section):

  • Passageway 1961, Robert Morris. [Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties, page 50]
  • Actively engaging in civics, spectator v. participant
  • Mostlandia (compare to Borges [1, 2] and Varo [1], creation of “imaginary spaces”)
  • Involvement increases value
  • Vito Acconci
  • Audience & viewer find obligations in a space that encourages interaction
    • Children’s/learning museums
    • Realising, loosening social bounds (drunks interact more)
    • Demand characteristics
  • Spectator as curator, deciding what is art [see readings: Barthes, 3]
    • Flickr’s Galleries, where the user decides what pictures belong, sometimes what you don’t want or expect. [see readings, Ranciere, 2]
    • Spectator determining value: levels to it, starring, commenting, sharing.
  • Can rules guide a viewer in a new perspective, within proscribed bounds, in a way that provides a new base of hypertextuality with their own story? [see readings: Ranciere, 1]
  • Con game as performance art, using a shill to snowball audience’s reaction.
  • Constants and variablesin empirical study:
    • What constants can bound performance . . .
    • but still allow free reign of audience variables?

Readings and sundry notes (emphasis in bold, sidebar in italics):

Barthes, Roland. Death of the Author.

  1. . . . in primitive societies, narrative is never undertaken by a person, but by a mediator, shaman or speaker, whose “performance” may be admired (that is, his mastery of the narrative code), but not his “genius” [the audience is the “reader”]
  2. . . . the true locus of writing is reading.
  3. In this way is revealed the whole being of writing: a text consists of multiple writings, issuing from several cultures and entering into dialogue with each other, into parody, into contestation; but there is one place where this multiplicity is collected, united, and this place is not the author, as we have hitherto said it was, but the reader: the reader is the very space in which are inscribed, without any being lost, all the citations a writing consists of; the unity of a text is not in its origin, it is in its destination; but this destination can no longer be personal: the reader is a man without history, without biography, without psychology; he is only that someone who holds gathered into a single ?eld all the paths of which the text is constituted.

Ranciere, Jacques. The Emancipated Spectator.

  1. It starts when we realize that looking also is an action which confirms or modifies that distribution , and that “interpreting the world” is already a means of transforming it, of reconfiguring it. The spectator is active, as the student or the scientist: he observes, he selects , compares, interprets. He ties up what he observes with many other things that he has observed on other stages, in other kind of spaces. He makes his poem with the poem that is performed in front of him. She participates in the performance if she is able to tell her own story about the story which is in front of her.
  2. [In pedagogy] the master presupposes that what the student learns is the same thing as what he teaches to him. . . The paradox of the ignorant master lies there. The student of the ignorant master learns what his master does not know, since his master commands it to look for and to tell everything that he finds out on the way and verifies that he is actually looking for it. The student learns something as an effect of his master’s mastery. But he does not learn his master’s knowledge.
  3. In that way [theatre] is supposed to provide some unique sense of community, radically different from the situation of the individuals watching on the TV or the spectators of a movie who are in front of mere projected images. . . what does specifically happen between the spectators of a theatre which would not happen elsewhere? Is there something more interactive, more common to them than to the individuals who look at the same time the same show on their TV? [see: interacting online in comparison to interacting in person]
  4. We have to acknowledge that any spectator already is an actor of his own story and that the actor also is the spectator of the same kind of story.
  5. Their activity as propagandists could not be torn apart from their “passivity” as mere strollers and contemplators. The chronic of their leisure meant a reframing of the very relationship between doing, seeing and saying. As they became “spectators”, they overthrew the distribution of the sensible which had it that those who work have no time left to stroll and look at random, that the members of a collective body have no time to be “individuals” . . . Workers’ emancipation was not about acquiring the knowledge of their condition. It was about configuring a time and a space that invalidated the old distribution of the sensible, dooming the workers to do nothing of their night but restoring their forces to work the next day.
  6. Artists, just as researchers, build the stage where the manifestation and the effect of their competences become dubious as they frame the story of a new adventure in a new idiom. The effect of the idiom cannot be anticipated. It calls for spectators who are active as interpreters, who try to invent their own translation in order to appropriate the story for themselves and make their own story out of it. An emancipated community is in fact a community of storytellers and translators.


I think about Fraggle Rock. I didn’t think much about it as a kid, I just enjoyed watching it. But going back and looking at it now, the lessons of that show are amazing. Everyone is free, no one is in charge, things should be given freely, there should be no kings.

What I hope is that we can embrace, promote, and create cultures of sharing and egalitarianism and encourage themes of resistance to oppression. I hope that that can have an impact.

To say that culture is important and activism (or direct resistance) isn’t would be an obvious mistake, but to claim the other way around is bullshit too. There’s a false dichotomy that a lot of people in radical circles promote, that culture doesn’t matter, that you can’t have any influence, that all that matters is the struggle. But we need both.

Margaret Killjoy, interviewed for The Art of Dismantling

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.

bzedan: Cropped image of suspenders worn over collared shirt (me)

Eek! Kind of far into the month do declare July’s focus, but it’s a (kind of) light one and something that needs to happen. So here goes.

One of the beautiful parts of our apartment is the finished attic space that we’re using as studio area. Problem is, my half has been getting things dumped in it (by me) and has become kind of a super mess.

This is embarassing

So July is all about increasing the usability of that space. I’d like to do a sewing focus month soon, but I can’t until I have space to work in. Side projects will include perfect binding any sketchbook, idea or whatever pages, so I can recycle the rest. I love doing this, it removes so much clutter. I’d thought I’d done them all already, but there were hidden caches of papers and sketchbooks. Oh me.

It’s going to be hard, because I keep wanting to work in the garden, but that’s why it’s this month’s focus!

As it is, focuses for this month and the next will be interesting, as I’m taking classes at C.O.P.S. and there’s readings (theory!) and homework. I’ll probs be posting bits of that here, as I know some of you may dig what we’re learning and doing.

Mirrored from Journal of a Something or Other.


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