Van Abbemuseum 2003 the way we screen
Ann Lee room projection robot
20 January 2003
Letztes Element der Inszenierung: der Titel, oder konkreter ausgedrückt, die beschreibende Etikette, welche die im Museum ausgestellten Werke begleitet. Jeder wie auch immer geartete Titel inszeniert einen bestimmten semantischen Bereich. Er ist ein Wort, welches versucht, das Werk auszusagen. Er spricht in Namen des Werks, als ob dieses sozusagen nicht volljährig wäre, sich allein zu behaupten. Aber der Titel bevormundet auch das wahrnemende Subjekt, da er ihm befiehlt, worauf es seine Wahrnemungsabsicht zu richten habe. Jeder Titel setzt also dem Werk, welches ein aufgeschobenes Wort ist und das Subjekt verantwortlich zu machen weiss, ein Ende. Jeder Titel usurpiert die Funktion, die das Werk dem Subjekt zugedacht hat. Er muss verbannt werden, inbegriffen "Ohne Titel". (Rémy Zaugg, Die List der Unschuld, page 298, last paragraph of the book, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum 1982)
I roam the new Van Abbemuseum building with Hans Janssen, old Groningen friend and curator of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. We temporary lose out of sight his wife Riet de Leeuw, who has just accurately performed for us El Lissitzky's interactive display in the 1926 International Art Exhibition Hannover Demonstration Room reconstruction (I've searched the web but found no pic so far back to the book shelves next) by sliding open a frame/door which had nothing behind it... where another work is supposed to be, when Hans and I get the idea to split the collection in works with and works without a title, to house them in two separate wings.
Mixing symbolic orders is an inevitable read/write practice. The work which was supposed to speak for itself had disappeared long before 1982, when Zaugg published his book on 'das Wahrnehmen einer Skulptur', which was its subtitle, with Donald Judd's "Untitled, Six steel boxes' (1969) as one of its objects of reflection, where it is claimed that a work of art could make the subject responsible for its own perception: das Subjekt verantwortlich zu machen.
As a consumer subject I love the museum and all of its traits. As a producer subject I have a hard time with it and both ideological as practical objections to it.
To re-open all cultural formats: this is the purpose of the world wide web and personal publishing. With arguments that were exhausted in old media juxtaposition blues, in the new read/write environment and publishing aggregate, we reach that momentum of reconsideration, all the while considering a new oikology of communication habits.
How would one format/venue be worthwhile the visit for cultural consumption and a waste of time to produce for, or within? Only if my production would importantly differ from any format which the expanded museum welcomes, I would have valid reason not to address it and seek refuge there. The historical, including 20C, works of art which are important to me can still best be viewed in the museum, in galleries and art fairs. When the museum is the message, like in Rémy Zaugg's List der Unschuld and his own work, the museum is the place to be.
At the time when Hans Janssen still worked at the old Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, in the late 1980s(?), I had chosen me a half hidden corner room in their old supermarket sort of a place, where I thought to propose them a series of columns, repeated presentations over time, like monthly or weekly changing small interventions. To be truer to that irregular pace and the distracted attention economy of my cultural production, I thought such format would best fit my message for the museum as well. Of course, we got personal publishing. So I find myself reconsidering proposing the Van Abbe, a Demonstration Room to be sure 'Zaal 8', the tiniest room, where there's one small Karel Appel painting today, would fit the idea. Hesitation Muse can be the working title.
Van Abbemuseum 2003 the way we beam
club night at the Vonderweg dependance
18 January 2003
My surprise visit to the van Abbe Museum re-opening this afternoon and evening was worth the detour in every sense. Expect more of my ambiguous thoughts on the museum in general (in the 'love to go there, hard to hang there' vein) and a pic or two of the way we screen soon.
17 January 2003
Fade out on a pleasant dose of alcohol around 3am in bed with the 1Book, 1Tunes over the headphones, to wake up later to put them of. At the time it would happen that I wake up in the morning, headphones on, needle stuck in the last groove of the record. As a kid in bed I glued my ear to pirat radio. Music before sleep. Coming to think of it the radio connected one to a world which was going on outside, while you were unable to attend, sent to bed. Now putting on my headphones in bed is the final shut off from that world that will anyway go on without me.
16 January 2003
In the 'documented life' nothing will anymore present itself as a mere memory with its 'referred' irretrievably lost. Upon search everything will come back as a mediated fact, living along with you as you wish.
Now playing: Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man. We're 2:17am on the 17th. Irretrievable memories no more: replay. Review. Al the facts of life pass by. Today's presentation at the Eyck was smooth. Gift of gab got me through. Actually it's ok to talk about what you do. Instructive. When Andrea's call came in right in the middle and I had to shut up my mobile this allowed me to tell the annecdote of the new Tannay's Sri-Lankan priest's first mass when same happened. Désolé. Now playing: Under the Boardwalk. I'm moody. So I shuffle 1Tunes' recent mp3s.
Screendump publishing. Talked about the recent industrially produced and commercially published format of the 'book', to introduce the ridiculously young format of hypermedia. The Screendump presentation's slides are linked at idie.net, but regular visitors here are familiar with their links. Now playing: Electric Prunes' Get Me to the World on Time. Later: Walk away Renee, Bernadette, Reach Out I'll Be There...
Chorus: '...to love and comfort you.' Here's Jane Siberry and KD Lang Calling All Angels. Find comfort to 2:43 log off.
15 January 2003
the self that flourishes in company (Eva Meyer)
Not to conceive of the articulation of the conditions of cultural production included in its every expression is a stubborn naiveté with artists: no cultural 'production' goes without distinct changes of the very conditions in which it emerges and/or is constructed, hence stipulating in one way or another the development of such conditions for the better. No cultural expression is as masochistic as to deteriorate its own conditions of existence. Nevertheless since no linear causal coming into being exists, it is exactly in an agile slipping in and out of different states (dirty, clean, constructive, destructive, consumptive, productive, etc.) that identities can be acknowledged if only as temporary as their names.
Such processes of coming into being supporting both articulations as well as their dissolution allow one to focus both on 'what is coming' and/as at the same time, 'what is going'.
Advising researcher in the theory department Eva Meyer today in her presentation at the JvE read from her upcoming publication 'Von jetzt an werde ich mehrere sein' (from now on I shall be several). In the program booklet (if you'd be interested to know what's happening at the institute this is a must-have) she introduces the book:
(...) trying to develop one's present knowledge by entering into variable relations with others, domains and persons, without reducing one's writing to a mere, distortive act of remembrance. Negotiating the tension between the immediate observation and spatial representation identified with the image and the mediated observation and temporal representation identified with narration, one has to write both ways at once more than once, in a free indirect way.
11 January 2003
dirty clean dynamic
The endless return of dirtying and cleaning is a powerful idea. 'Dirty' and 'clean', not as two distinct and inseparable states, in a teleological relationship of bad and good, working from the former towards the latter, always falling short, to feed frustration and guilt... but as two faces of a same dynamic condition. We dirty to clean, we clean to dirty.
10 January 2003
work or what I do
Charging the batteries for next week. Reviewing, and some restoring, of all three sites, to be presented at the Jan van Eyck for the new year's opening week. But I never talk about my own work! Not so much as a matter of principle just. To compensate for those who merely? Hm. The work is here to be bruised, what else can I do but maintain it? Yet at previous occasions I found that an audience judges anything anyone is about in the perspective of that person's 'work'. Work? Hm hm. Of course. That's why usually I never talk about what I do. Wouldn't call it work. Just what I do.
9 January 2003
dressed in ice
The ice around the Moulin grows fancy forms and patterns. I show Rolf his first ijsbloemen ('ice flowers') on God's own attic's windows and tell'm 'when I was your age' I used to go to sleep in such an ornate room every winter night. Rolf is intrigued by nature's workings and I don't know how to explain the forming of these florid crystal patterns. I'll have to search for the answer.
Meanwhile the Frères Niquet contractors pierce the 2ft. thick walls to further the kitchen project, and separate loo and kitchen with a wall, for us to now invite the plumber after finally deciding about the sink's design. It's definitely gonna be Corian or Cristalan counter top and sinks, with Alpes Inox flip-over countertop hobs and accessories. I know, this information belongs elsewhere. Sorry about that. I will send it there. Later. But these folding burners are worth the detour. The Niquets are both hard to get and by far the best around. They will start with the roof in a couple of months, after we have not stopped inviting them since summer 2000. The three master brothers took over their father's roofing business. They were born and raised in Cuncy les Varzy, at 8 kms.
Every afternoon I round the grounds to check the ice formations over the water.
8 January 2003
If for meteorological reasons humans are forced to dress in more than two pieces of garb, they are out of luck. To dress for shelter is not dressing, but housing. Inhabiting.
To dress is for courtship: Party! Show off! Confuse the opposite sex! Display and mate! To dress is for professional or recreational purposes: Work! Sport! Dress to slave and perform! Sweat the shirt! Wet your appetite!
off course, quite
Remember 'Ginger' I completely lost track of It until I hit the Amazon ad, on a Gombrowicz-finding mission into enemy territory. So we were supposed to 'build cities around' these $5k wheels? Ah ha. Segway with the Lord?! I want one that climbs stairs. Or speeds at 80 mph. And knits me perfumed sweaters during down time.
placeholder, object, book, alp, possibility
7 January 2003
Au Motto, je me retourne pour la dernière fois. Dans une éclaircie imprévue, je vois l'alpe, couronnée de soleil; les roches resplendir comme de l'argent; les eaux étinceler come de la neige. Je regarde, les yeux fixes, pleins d'attention; l'âme tendue et suspendue; avec l'intense impression de vivre une heure grande.
Alpe de ma première vie; chalets applatis, qui avez protégé mes sommeils innocents; pâturages fleuris qui m'avez vu tout enfant; sentiers, qui m'avez guidé mille fois, si sûrement, d'un lieu à l'autre; fra&icirrc;ches eaux, où si souvent j'ai trempé mes lèvres rouges; mélèzes, sapins,aulnes, hêtres, je ne puis vous quitter sans que mon coeur ne se déchire. Dans ce coin de terre si vert, si blotti, si miraculeusement silencieux, j'aurais pu vivre une longue vie, élever mes fils, attendre la mort. La destinée, au contraire, m'a entraîné bien loin. ell m'a jeté dans une trouble et difficile vie. Et peut-être me tuera-t-elle avant l'âge.
Et pourtant je dois partir, je le veux. Demain, de bonne heure, je prendrai la route qui se détache, là-bas, de ce village bleu et rose. Dans le ciel trembleront les dernières étoiles. Mon âme jeune, malgré ses pleurs, sera toute fraîche et rayonnante. Mon père, sur le seuil, dans l'ombre de notre maison, encore une fois me dira: "Fils, marche avec le Seigneur." (Giuseppe Zoppi)
Take a good last look before you leave the territory. Is it all splendour behind you and mere darkness in front. Or maybe just shadows in your back, and blues and pinks with bright orange rays of golden light before you. Or like 360° deep ochres, with a purple horizon ring around it, where you suspect a break in the atmosphere that you are attracted to.
So the Italian restaurant keeper told him on the evidence of the doodles on his placemat that he had lots of this 'fantasy'. (Was she ever right!) For those who don't need it, there's no choice, but not choosing. One choice for possibility: not choosing ever after. Leave your alp. Doodle mountain scenes on placemats. In blues and pinks, oranges, ochres and purples. Walk with your Lord.
6 January 2003
La profusion étoilée du ciel... incroyable... dans ces amas errants se
détachaient des constellations, j'en connaissais quelques-unes, la Balance,
la Grande Ourse, je les retrouvais, mais d'autres, inconnues de moi,
guettaient, comme si elles étaient inscrites dans le plan général des
étoiles les plus importantes ; j'essayais de tracer des lignes, qui
formaient des figures... et je fus soudain las de les distinguer ainsi,
d'imposer une telle carte, je passai dans le jardin, mais là aussi je fus
lassé par la multitude d'objets tels que cheminée, tuyau, coude de
gouttière, corniche sur le mur, arbrisseau. (Witold Gombrowicz, quoted in 'Analyse et Synthèse, La mort de Dieu selon W. Gombrowicz', by Mark Alizart)
the age of reference
What are you pointing your little finger of a cursor at? Is your reference to a book, or to a text? Maybe to an author, or to a manuscript? To a body of work, or to a singular piece, a paragraph, line, just a couple of words that go together? Does it point at the same time at the context of the referred, or is only the immediate context of your reference and its possible annotation in your mark?
Do we refer texts and music or books, albums, CDs and other carriers, objects, among the latter both unique, possibly hidden, and publicly available copies, through libraries and bookstores. Bookstores? Do you point at online services? A particular bookseller's site, or a book place, with a window on the street, dressed to contextualize the works in it, like at 'St. Marks' or 'City Lights' or 'Architectura et Natura', 'La Hune', which all have other places of interest on the block, street life for a background and visitors like yourself who you keep the door open for when entering. That is where 'books' are. Your copy among them.
Max Stirner's Der Einzige und sein Eigentum is my unique personal copy, my Paul Valéry library contains unique copies, those objects which can only be found on my shelves. With Gombrowicz, Cioran, Agamben, Morselli et al I live, through the copies of their works which are with me and in most cases have been for a long time, 'show slight wear'. Of all the editions of Gombrowicz's Kosmos, my reference points at the Polak & Van Gennep Paul Beers translation paperback, dating 1968, which opens "Ik zal u een ander, wonderlijker avontuur vertellen... Zweet, Fuks, ik achter hem, broekspijpen, hakken, zand, wij slepen ons voort, moeizaam, grond, wagensporen, aardkluiten, het blinken van glanzende stenen, geschitter, de hitte zoemt, trilt, het is zwart van de zon, huisjes, hekken, velden, bossen, deze weg, deze tocht, hoe, waarom, lang kan men erover praten, om de waarheid te zeggen, ik had genoeg van mijn vader en moeder, van de hele familie, verder wilde ik tenminste voor een van mijn examens slagen, en ook wat afwisseling beleven, eruit zijn, ergens ver weg vertoeven."
Why the default Amazon link, if I do not refer to just any reproduction of G.'s Kosmos, nor to just the text, in just any Dutch or just any other language, but to this copy, that has been with me since 20 something years. It is 'not about me' but about my reference. You read any Gombrowicz you like, in any edition, they're all great my reference can only be to this unique copy with its H.P. Doebele cover in black photo and red and gold ('KOSMOS') text. Remember the age of reference is the age of to the point precision, connected dots which form constellations and other information.
5 January 2003
the gentler arts
Hm? Wish I could remember a joke. Gotta get out of that attention loop.
4 January 2003
rains rise her
I felt like smoking a cigarette but, being a non-smoker since three-and-a-half years, have none at hand.
I check the Beuvron at 5 and 7am. She's still on the rise but we might just make it. The rains that are all over Europe causing water trouble just like here will stop and temperature drops, with possibly some sleet before dry weather from tomorrow. Last winter and over 2002 we were lucky not to inundate. Previous wetter moments were 28 December 1999, 14 March 2001 and 30 April 2001.
For the moment the water slowly creeps across the front garden towards the house. Later today Michiel den Ruijter my landscape architect friend since Floriade times will find the place in a spectacular setting for his first visit.
inundation in north direction towards Ouagne, 8am
the island has disappeared, note its grassy bridge head
From 9:30-ish water wells up in the basement so we start preparations to empty out the first foot up from the floors. A couple of hours later the water still rises very slowly, more spreading than rising. When I round the house to take the pictures I see the dike which we have had raised along the border in the front garden actually keeps the water from streaming in, the garden side level is much lower than the river side: whatever water we have inside the house is rising groundwater.
the Moulin's south façade, seen from the bridge,
over the upstream shutter and overflow
3 January 2003
Girls in pullovers keep coming back to me in my dreams. This time she wears my black Pringle. I suggest to sprinkle it with her perfume before returning it.
Doing back-ups. 58.000 files from MacEncore. Macedelica's visual content has to go CD in anticipation of a sturdy external hard drive.
The new year's walk happened only on 2 January: a short trek through the small wood above the Moulin, to the Grange and back again. The fair wind causes branches to drop left and right. We look up a lot.
The Moulin grounds have drowned, gone back to the ducks.
2 January 2003
Most humans, it seems, still put up fences around their acts and thoughts even when these are piles of shit for they have no other way of delimiting them. (Allan Kaprow)
what you read/write is what you get
Over the past weeks at several instants the question of mediation was raised. We hadn't decided for an unplugged holiday week, but promised ourselves to prioritize production over consumption. Balanced by slow candles in the Christmas tree and slow fire in the chimney, slow food and drinks and talk, we fired our digital camera's, kidpixed and browsed Illusions by Edi Lanners, Thames and Hudson 1977, and other magical books.
The documented life, living the biography, personal publishing with every shared file: to me read/write is the undeniable condition of cultural production of our times. WYRWIWYG. All r/w instants build performance momentum, or should do so. Immediacy still being where eros lives however unskilled we will remain in face of it, entering unprepared into every contact an unprecedented body of sharables is building up in the network of personal computers covering the globe from Bulawayo to the Inuit backyard.
Roemer gazing into 2003 at La Grange Treillard,
01 January 2003 (su-sd 8:33-17:05)
happy new year, take your time
the nick of time
Hours 11 through 13 of 2003 I suffer it having started but remaining senseless. After 2002 fading appears no new year out of the perverse nick of time. Events being 'over' as soon as they 'start' seem to spoil my experience of the new.
Later looking back and forth, aimlessly but guided by interests which despise any notion of time yet show progress in leaps and stints and windings, never settling or changing, going back and forth, led by one generous hand which does not point you anywhere, but shelters your experience this hand of timelessness makes the senseless perception of no-new-year evaporate. Aimless sum pathos saves time. Abstinence is a high art which is hard to deliver. I just hope I will manage to take my time this year, sharing as much of it as I can get up.
at Florence and Patrick's