nqpaofu.com Notes, Quotes, Provocations And Other Fair Use My Two Cents

Notes, Quotes, Provocations And Other Fair Use II

Amsterdam 1998

May 15
Attention vv. Articulation. Attention is an articulation of expression? I'm No Believer.

URLification—Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. URLs on every vehicle we come across.

Since the French reality check I long for the material world like I didn't for a long time. I came across some old work when mining my archives. The new media brain drain certainly came with a price tag. Is this what they call nostalgia?

May 4-14
ST(*)boretum consumed most of my time, up to its vernissage Saturday 9 May. The past week I was back to Doors 5: Play, the upcoming new media conference with the Netherlands Design Institute. But I also met Maarten de Reus and Joke Robaard, and enjoyed to have Francine Zubeil here from Marseille, who prepares for a presentation at the Almere Paviljoens. There I discussed Joke's work on Sunday 10 May. I read some pages from Witold Gombrowicz' 'Pornografia' to the small audience, and ended with Yves Klein's jump into 'le vide'. Joke's recent large prints defy 'photography' and the 'document', meanwhile showing interest groups and individuals in an intricate relationship, staged yet improvising, very alive, with Joke as the artist in a role comparable to Fryderyk's in 'Pornografia': enhancing inevitable realities by perverting existing relations, allowing the viewer to witness the actions. The work Long Suit in Almere focussed on three adolescents with typical Gombrowiczian gut.

Joke a few days earlier showed me 'o.k. Ortsbezug: Konstruktion oder Prozess?', with Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber's contribution on the contemporary Dutch public art 'landscape', containing interviews with Maarten, Joke and myself, and with Bart Lootsma and Ronald van Tienhoven. Sabine and Helmut have plundered my sites for illustrations. Most of my text is on the IJsseloog project.

Going back over my notes I notice that I spent quite some attention to intensifying my thoughts on play. In the margin of these scribbles I even sketched some objects... among which a big dice with rubber stamps on all six sides, that would leave a trace when thrown, of the sides opposite to the ones that we normally read for value. Remember Robert Filiou...

In the Hortus Botanicus (where I tried to ease my confusion this week), I met with old friends.

May 3
My first dreamless night in a week. A five hour one too. Welcome back to Dataholics Anonymous.

Performed another reality check: before returning the car I drove to IJmuiden to see my studio/storage and buy salmon for dinner. Had not been at the 'Koelhuis' for at least a year. Temporary Autonomous Zoo parts are there, and stuff that is way older, paintings, wooden constructions, prints and some raw material. Returned some boxes there and brought two large frames that are now staring at me from the left wall of my office.

A nice find was Huizinga's 'Homo Ludens'. It seems to be left there by Maarten.

May 2-3
Had my reality check on the French coast. There's still a world out there—I must admit I was quite embarrassed to find out. What to do with it? When I returned at the house at 11.19pm our Wistaria (blauweregen, 'blue rain') waved a heavy load at me: all flowers and no leaves yet, it glows in the dark. I left Gilberthe and the kids with her parents to chill out in their garden a few days. I unloaded the car, picked random vinyl from the shelf (King Crimson, In the Wake of Posseidon, 1970), generously watered my passion flower and poured myself a Té Bheag. Collected E and V mail. Ready to pay attention. Snail mail can wait another day or two.

Our trip lead by Koos and Margriet Staal, right at its start. When we drove by their Haren house we saw Koos in their front yard, I waved, he waved back not knowing it was us, so I pulled over to really surprise them after 10, 12 years? They have two lovely daughters at the ages of 6 and 9. We boasted our two sons. It was like old days right away, we just picked up where we left off. Great to see them and hear the story of their lives. One of the best things that happened the past week.

The market in Wissant was the next big thing. Every morning fishermen drive their small boat on a trolley onto the market place and sell their salty bounty straight from the nets. Our hotel had the best restaurant we could wish for (though we could not compare with the acclaimed La Sirène at nearby Cap Gris Nez—it unfortunately had its seasonal closing—but we had our share of Fruits de Mer).

Before even starting to read my mail I checked Paul's Alamut to see what he's been up to: after all we have a pamphlet to deliver before next Saturday... depending on the decissions he took on the ST(*)boretum piece that was banned from the Wageningen university site because of its Uranium containment. He uploaded a correspondency we had in the summer of 1993. I'll read it back tomorrow, with my mail. I shouldn't haste into any old routines. Having written this I realize it might already be too late. Old habits die hard. Let's pray for an unwired world. I'll flip KC and sit back before I go to sleep.

April 24
The past days were filled to the brim with Knowledge Mapping and Mining. Now for some real exercise. We're off the grid for a week. Gone fishing.

April 22
I am preparing for a short break: so work piles up before departure and immediately after return. But the break will save me from going nuts. I long for our beloved France. The food, the rolling campagne landscapes, the Normandy coast, the bric-à-brac, local markets and la langue Française. Provincial bookstores with no American culture jamming but plenty of French literature,

April 19
Paul brings me 'The Japanese Art of Stone Appreciation' (Suiseki), and other books to prepare his Nuclear Garden publication. Great aesthetic. Sexy prose: 'Aside from the suiban's color, height, and length, the style and the shape of the lips, legs, and sides also need to be considered.' (on the display container). Also, 'appreciation' has an interesting ring about it, especially vv. 'attention': no attention without appreciation. The Republic of Appreciation. An appreciation economy—talking about scarcity...

Last night read some new pages of Johannes Monstrans' 'Informatiseringsopruiming' (informationalization sale). He picked up writing after a long silence. Lucid stuff. Hope to publish it with Korsaar next year. Otherwise Saturday was sabbath, after Judith Cahen's KPN farewell party, Friday night.

April 17
Uploaded Collection of the Artist, a text from 1995-1996 that was published in 'Beyond Ethics and Aesthetics', edited by Ine Gevers and Jeanne van Heeswijk, for Sun publishers (isbn 90 6168 493 5). I'll soon summarize and update it for on-line publication. Currently on the Blast 'eyebeam' list the discussion on the museum and the exhibition still suffers from mixed up ideas about publicness, so there's relevance to secrecy promotion. The past days I listened to Hakim Bey's TAZ audio CD (Axiom 314 524 014 2) and his notions of secrecy I generally share (hard copy: Immediatism, AK Press, isbn 1 873176 42 2). It is widely available on the web.

This afternoon I am at the arboretum to hear davidkremers' talk and test run the computers at the information kiosk. The official ST(*)boretum opening is due May 9.

April 16
Uploaded ST(*)boretum first draft. The Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen, host to this independently organized presentation of the works of davidkremers, Paul Perry and Mike Tyler, yesterday forbid Paul's use of uranium in the arboretum... NOT because of the danger of it (which they admit is 0.0), but because of the anticipated reaction of the public: academia giving up on education, dialogue, freedom of expression! The third culture still has a long way to go in Wageningen.

April 14
In their April/May issue Dutch contemporary art magazine Metropolis M published my spontaneous rant about the naive arrogance of contemporary Dutch art mediation, after a 'future-of-art-criticism' panel at the Stedelijk Museum, March 1, with eg. Chris Dercon and Anna Tilroe. Where have our critics' and curators' eyes been fixed upon the past five years? They have no idea of audiences' aesthetic idiosyncracies and cognitive interests. Their own role in art mediation is totally hierarchical: pre-(even mass)media, they want to educate. They're clueless to the unruly intricacies of contemporary production and distribution. And how much we like that.

Spent Easter building up a nice spring cold. Slept a lot. I mean a lot.

April 9
I split off the first document of this series. Not following any calender, spatial logic or attention shift—I just closed it for the reason of its slowing down byte-load, to continue in a ('save as ciw_nqp2.html') new document. Business as usual.

Florian Roetzer asked me to write an article for the Fall 1998 issue of Kunstforum, on 'art, media and attention', as an elaboration of the review I'm doing on the Culture of Interactivity conference (New York 17-18 January 1998), for Telepolis. A quote from my introduction:

- The Information Age is in its infancy, but we're positioned right in the middle of its constitutive turbulence, which doesn't offer much of an angle for critical reflection in the first place. Probably for the next decades or so the cultural embedding is in all that came before interactivity and which makes up largely our present cultural conditions. A critical tradition will have a hard time to specify a new condition. It is remarkable that with the advent of crucial new media and connectivity of networked computation, cultural discourse doesn't know how to translate these phenomena into a new cultural paradigm.

I keep receiving these weird but intriguing email messages and attachments from Harry Dierendonck in Arnhem.

Had a long and topical telephone conversation with Paul (Perry), whom I will be finally visiting tomorrow, in Rotterdam. First time over, to see his new home and have dinner and spend the evening to continue our discussion chest-to-chest. I'll ask him when he'll allow me to link to his webside ponderings. Actually I just did ask, because we're a mutually sub-Scribed Tribe. Paul?

Spent the entire day browsing yellowed web documents on the Netherlands Design Institute server, for in-/exclusion in the new site. What are the 'best bits'? I'd rather throw everything off and start anew. On the other hand I like it when you can tell the short blazing history of the web by the looks and contents of its documents. The new NDI design by Michael Samyn for VanRiet online productions is way sober. Exoticism has to be added by related web projects that gain autonomy, like Doors of Perception. For the fifth issue also Michael is doing great. All out there soon.

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best bits from correspondencies, attendencies and collected hard copy

SINCE 1998

underhyping the Internet#2 [#1] c|net news.com Business, April 8, 1998, Venture Capital interest in Net companies soars (Jeff Pelline) "Venture capital investments in Net-related companies doubled to $1.88 billion in 1997 from the previous year, according to the Price Waterhouse National Venture Capital Survey." No saturation of the Net-based investment market. It made up 14.6% of all VC investment in the US last year! John Doerr is right!

wie het voelt mag het zeggen Metropolis M #2 1998, April/May,
Glad Mis
Onder leiding van een in toonzetting en dictie opvallend op Martin Simek gelijkende Chris Dercon, had een forum bestaande uit Hans Abbing, Jan van Adrichem, Anna Tilroe en Henk Oosterling het, mede namens de hardnekkig `modern' genoemde hedendaagse kunst, weer eens glad mis. Aan de hand van vijf provocatief bedoelde `stellingen' van Dercon werd een gehoor van ongeveer 90 dames en heren de ene na de andere banaliteit geserveerd. Het door Camiel van Winkel geselecteerde (en helaas representatieve) panel illustreerde tegen wil en dank hoezeer de huidige museale en kritische praktijk onbekend is (en wil blijven) met wat ik maar een eigentijdse culturele dynamiek zal noemen. De bijeenkomst was opgezet om het `kunstdiscours' een nieuwe agenda aan te reiken, nadat in het debat naar aanleiding van de vernieling van Newman's Cathedra de stoppen waren doorgeslagen. De zekeringen zaten er nu weer stevig in en de gelederen waren gesloten: het licht van de kunstkritiek mocht weer schijnen.

In de handen van de vijf panelleden is de kunstbemiddeling (door kritici, museaal gedisponeerden en ambtenaren) een gewetensvolle zaak. De argumenten en posities zijn overbekend en zitten roestvast: glorieus ingeklemd tussen verbaal weinig gearticuleerde kunstenaars en een nauwelijks meer esthetisch of intellectueel te prikkelen publiek, kruipt de kriticus/bemiddelaar in zijn `empathische', interpreterende rol. Schutterend met extra-museale manifestaties van een zich blijkbaar (verrassing!) nog steeds verruimend kunstbegrip en het weinige interpretatieve houvast dat een op hol geslagen geschiedenis biedt, blunderde het gezelschap voort, daarbij soms opvallend bijgevallen uit het publiek (Franz Kaiser schoof de kunsthistorie als enig ijkpunt naar voren). De jongste kunst, die zich naar verluidt weer eens onverschrokken tot het leven en de alledaagsheid verhoudt, doet de bemiddeling zich wanhopig afvragen of het zijn geprivilegeerde ruimte in krant, blad en museum als discotheek, filmzaal of keuken in zal richten. In reaktie hierop tobt men met de vraag `niet wat, maar wanneer (er) kunst is'. Haal je de koekoek, uit de handen van dit gezelschap wil je in elk geval nooit meer kunstkritiek! Benjamin Oosterling deed op de hem bekende aanstekelijke wijze tenminste nog zijn best om enige mediale diversiteit te schetsen, maar kwam uiteindelijk, met de `blik' (pardon...?) als zijn grootste wapen, ook niet verder dan de kritiek een `sensibiliserende' rol toe te kennen. Daarmee sloot hij zich weer aan bij de rest van het gezelschap. In het land der stommen (kunstenaars) en blinden (publiek) regeren loud mouth en éénoog.

Uit de hele exercitie bleek maar één ding: de arrogante onderschatting van de mediale dynamiek waarin `kunst'produktie en -receptie vandaag de dag plaatsvinden. Hieruit blijkt de totale minachting voor zowel kunstenaar als kunstliefhebber, makers en publiek. De `discours' gaat nog steeds over posities en hiërarchieën van waaruit geen enkele betekenis meer wordt aandragen. De `emancipatie is voorbij' (Oosterling) maar moet voor de bemiddeling nog beginnen. Helaas wordt ieder met een cultureel `beslagen bril' (Oosterling) geboren en besmeert het bestel, de kritiek voorop, deze vervolgens met steeds dikkere klodders dis-informatie. Deze bemiddelaars worden gehinderd door een groot warm hart en een nog groter en nog warmer ego, en zo manifesteert zich een gebrek aan verbeelding, en geest. Men graait gedreven door enthousiasme voor het exotische in `actuele' thema's (openbare ruimte, kinderen, film, Cézanne, club culture, mode, geweld, katten, water coolers) om een zo breed mogelijk algemeen publiek aan zich te binden. Met empathie beziet men de kaleidoscopische werkelijkheid en een kunst die `daarover' zou gaan: wie het voelt mag het zeggen. Al het andere is ideologie.

De fragmentatie van produktie en receptie wordt slechts met frisse tegenzin toegegeven. Een fragmentatie van de kritiek komt ab-so-luut niet ter sprake. Als ik Camiel van Winkel na afloop voorstel een kunstbijlage aan de Consumentengids of nog beter de ViaVia aan te bieden lacht hij meewarig en gaat aan een ander tafeltje zitten. Dat wordt niks, voel ik. Als ik tijd had zou ik het zelf doen. Laatst zapte ik naar Pierre Janssen bij Hanneke Groenteman. Of die nieuwe multi-media uitstalling achter de Nachtwacht nu niet de goden verzoeken was, luidde de vraag. Wat nu, inzoomen op de poppenhuizen en digitaal in de kasten gluren? Pierre lachte vrolijk en vertelde hoe hij in Arnhem met dia's had zitten knoeien. Als iemand een onverslijtbaar toonbeeld is van optimisme, nieuwsgierigheid en respect voor zowel de kunstenaar als elk publiek is deze man het wel. Hij moet maar directeur van W139 worden. Dercon terug naar Witte de With of voor mijn part PS1, en Thomas Peutz directeur van het Boymans. Martin Margiela doet Hermès, dus het kan. Maar ja, dat is de mode.