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Four Points and a Circle, Complimenta (I), The Manse/Ithaca, NY Sept 2, 3, 2012.

“At length, desisting, all ceased together, gathered together, all sighed together…”
- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

COMPLIMENTA invites artists and viewers to step outside of the usual space of art production, exhibition, and deposition. The site is The Manse, a property situated in the Town of Enfield, City of Ithaca, NY, where time stretches, allowing for a fuller platform; a wider dance; a different form of expansion wherein alternate structures can arise. Forty-five local and international artists have been invited to present site-specific or semi-site-specific works that will be presented in the forest, garden, barn, pond and studio of the Manse.

The Manse and COMPLIMENTA share and ethos of building open space for conversation, making this an ideal inaugural pairing of conceptual practice and natural landscape. Over the course of 2 days we will present performances, painting, poetry, film, sculpture, music, lectures, and workshops. - Complimenta (I)

The Manse, Ithaca, New York. September 2nd, 3rd, 2012

The ‘Infinite’ Strike Begins TONIGHT: With art education costing upwards to about $80,000 for an MFA and $60,000 for a BFA, a call for a new system of education is in order. Members and working groups from Occupy Wall Street and Strike Everywhere and Edufactory and others have begun the call to slowly erode the industrial-education-complex, aka edu-factory. Starting now, with a focus on stopping enrollment in private for profit institutions in September, VizKult joins the call for an ART STUDENT AND TEACHER STRIKE and the formation of new alternative education models!

 

communique on the building the infinite student strike, May 23, 2012:

 

SOLIDARITY WITH QUEBEC STUDENT STRIKE GOES ON

INFINITE SOLIDARITY WITH A CALL FOR INFINITE GENERAL STRIKE

 

 ACTIONS IN NYC ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012:

6pm:   Night School in Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike

Washington Square Park, Manhattan

8pm:   March Against Police Oppression

Meet in Washington Square Park, Manhattan

(reconvergence at Union square)

10pm:  Night School at Union sq.

WE MARCH AGAIN!

 

May 22 marked the 100th day of the ongoing Quebec student strike, one of the largest student mobilizations in history. Demonstrations against the massive tuition hikes (which would increase tuition by 60% over five years) occurred daily across Quebec, with over 160,000 students on “infinite strike.”  Last Friday, the Quebec government enacted a draconian emergency law (Bill 78) intended to break the strike. The legislation in effect outlaws public assembly, imposes harsh fines for strike activity and criminalizes protest, just as the struggle is gaining popular support and escalating to unprecedented levels. Many are questioning the law’s constitutionality.

 

Bill 78 summary:

·  Fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution.

·   The fines are higher for student leaders (up to $35,000) and for unions or student federations (up to $125,000). Fines double with repeat offenses.

·   Authorities must be notified at least 8 hours in advance about public demonstrations involving more than 10 people. Organizers must provide the start time and duration of the demonstration, as well as the routes of any marches.

·   No on-campus protests. Protests outside universities must stay at least 15 feet from entrances.

·   Encouraging someone, explicitly or tacitly, to protest at a school is subject to punishment.

 

No More “Good Faith”

The government of Quebec has conceded the power of the students by suspending the current semester, while the education minister has been forced to resign amid the crisis. The Quebec Premier Jean Charest claims that the government has negotiated in “good faith,” but the student unions say that the government has refused to budge on the central issue: TUITION HIKES. Students are fighting to maintain affordable, accessible higher education for all the people of Quebec. The crisis has put into question the political future of the Premiere’s Liberal Party and his own career. Civil liberties in Quebec are being fundamentally undermined. “Good faith” is dwindling between the people and the government.

What Is An Infinite General Strike?

The infinite strike is a voluntary and collective cessation of activities in order to assert claims that would not be addressed otherwise. The word “infinite” points to a confrontational stance with the government. It does not mean that the strike is limitless, but that its length is undetermined in advance. This means that the strike goes on until demands are met or until the body decides to stop the strike. In the case of Quebec’s student mobilization, the students meet every week to decide whether to continue the strike.  The educational system is a crucial part of the economy and it requires human capital in order to function.  Only through a strike is it possible to create the institutional congestion generated by a whole cohort of students that may not graduate. That is why an open-ended general strike is such a powerful weapon.

Why the Quebec Student Strike Matters For NYC

We are all in the red!  In Quebec strikers, demonstrators and sympathizers alike have shown their solidarity through the emblem of a red square, signifying a state of “being in the financial red”—untenable student debt. In the United States, the Federal Reserve recently stated that student debt stood at $870 billion, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a new government agency regulating private student loans) estimated that it had already surpassed $1 trillion. As more and more students stand up and organize against exorbitant escalations in tuition and debt, similar draconian laws have been passed in the US. Unprecedented levels of police brutality have been perpetrated against student uprisings across New York City—at Baruch College, Brooklyn College and the New School, just to name a few. The state seeks to silence these students, many of whom have been arrested on trumped up charges that reek of biased intimidation.

It would appear that we too are in the red, both financially and politically. This is untenable. It is time that we stand in solidarity with students in Quebec and across the world to fight for our right to free education. On May 23rd we in New York City continue our solidarity and stand with the infinite strike. Our demonstration in solidarity with Quebec students is also in defense of our right to assemble and protest. An increase in the powers of the police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere. State repression exists globally and it is unjustifiable. We will not stand by and watch our already limited voices be silenced even more. The warnings and fear mongering of new protest laws being enacted in Frankfurt, Chicago and Montreal will not deter us. The new laws only prove that our mass mobilizations are a threat to the powers that be. We will be heard. We will take part in our own lives and not be pawns for the workings of capitalism. Our rights are not given to us by governments but established by us. OUR LIVES ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE!

Call to Students, Workers and Debtors of New York

With call on students, workers and debtors from all walks of life to stand with us in our right to assemble and dissent in our commons, against police brutality and intimidation. There is nothing to fear or be ashamed of in this. There is only strength and solidarity for us to find each other. As we stand with the students of Quebec, we acknowledge their grievances, and join their chorus with our own. As Quebec does not stand down, neither will New York. We are not afraid, and see no limit on the horizon.  All we see is red!

 

WE ARE ALL IN THE RED!

 

RPG Attack on Kirkuk Police, reproduced in ABF Exhibit

 

“I meet some friends at the exhibit just as the fair is winding down. The collection was memorable, but not labeled; [...] We sit at a low table covered with photographs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; they include themes from “chillin drunk at the base” to “burnt haji corpse on a slab, thumbs up!” photos. [x] tells us that this piece is called “At Ease” and it’s by Lucas Michael, using photos from a now-defunct military website where the enlisted posted all kinds of images from their travails. A small stack of CDs in sleeves offers the audience a thirdhand souvenir, and invites them to distribute the images. It’s a sobering coda to the bookfair, and we take discs to do our bit.- brechett Art of Olive Green

We open this email by reflecting on viKult’s Discrete Power exhibition at the NYC Anarchist Book Fair 2011, just 5 months before the occupation on Wall Street -which kept us occupied for several months more, all the while thinking about power in various public form. Since then new memes about power have begun to resurface… dual power, counter institutions, etc. From discrete to parallel, how many more ways can we configure power?

udson Church with Chinese Couplings

This year we re-emerged to present 2 Chinese couplings, and 3 english pictograms (1 antinomy + 2 variations of an often confusing communist campaign referring to one-hundred schools of thought)… With these coupling and phrases, we invite everyone to try to imagine these the other side of everything, how ever complimentary, contradictory, or arbitrary it maybe…

Evict society from it's place, Settle wild in thier everywhere.

Finally, the summer brings a call to take the square in Berlin, so off we go again to see what this all means…. Was braucht die Kunst in Berlin? …The Berlin Biennale 7… a petting zoo for political art animals? Documenta 13/…Commoning in Kassel? …We’ll be reporting from there in June, keep in touch.

vizKult.org

“The crisis of urbanism is worsening. The construction of neighborhoods, old and new, is obviously at variance with established modes of behavior, and all the more so with the new ways of life we seek. As a result, we are surrounded by a dull and sterile environment.

“In old neighborhoods, the streets have degenerated into highways, and the leisure is commercialized and adulterated by tourism. Social relations there become impossible. Newly built neighborhoods have only two themes, which govern everything: traffic circulation and household comfort. They are the meager expressions of bourgeois happiness and lack any concern for play” – Constant Nieuwenhuis, International situationiste 3 (December 1959) pp. 37-40

RE-INSCRIBING THE CITY:

Unitary Urbanism today.

A vizKult panel discussion held In conjunction with The 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair

Saturday April 9th 4:15-5:45pm

Judson Memorial Church (balcony)
55 Washington Square South
New York City, NY

In the late 50s up until about the end of the 60s a group of artist known as the Lettrist/Situationist International (LI/SI) made a desperate attempt to re-inscribe the city so that it’s inhabitants could break free from the bleak urban routine of work and consumption. During this period several strategies were developed under the name of Unitary Urbanism. This panel reflects on the historical importance of these strategies in order to critically examine how they relate to their own work and the possible uses within society today.

MODERATOR: Antonio Serna
PANELIST: Ethan Spiglan, Adeola Enigbokan, Dillon De Give, Blake Morris, The Walk Study Group, and Wilfried Hou Je Bek (via skype)

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Ethan Spigland received an M.F.A. from the Graduate Film Program at New York University, and a maitrise from the University of Paris VIII under the supervision of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. He has made numerous films and media works including: Luminosity Porosity, based on the work of architect Steven Holl, Elevator Moods, featured in the Sundance Film Festival, and The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, which won the Gold Medal in the Student Academy Awards.

Adeola Enigbokan. Artist, researcher, writer and teacher based in New York City. Her work is about the experience of living in cities today. Her work has been presented in several diverse venues: at the ConfluxCity Festival, Anthology Film Archive in New York, The Royal Institute for British Architects, London and the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. She teaches courses in Urban Studies, Media Studies, Sociology and Anthropology at several universities in New York City. Currently she is completing a doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York. Website: http://archivingthecity.com

Dillon de Give started Lah an annual walking project that commemorates the spirit of Hal, a coyote who appeared in Central Park in 2006 and died shortly after being captured by authorities. Lah illustrates how a coyote might find its way into Manhattan with a reverse human journey out of the city: a hike retracing a potential coyote-like path through greenspaces. Citing examples of juvenile coyotes that have made long dispersal trips, the walk averages around 50-60 miles. Website: implausibot.com

Blake Morris uses walking as a core way to engage ideas and space, and also to create community. His last project was a yearlong exploration of the public works of Robert Moses, called The [Robert Moses] Walk Project, which resulted in over 50 walks throughout the NYC area. He also created the [untitled] Walk Project, and is working on Walking up an Appetite, an exploration of walking, food and technology. Currently his work can be seen at the Superfront gallery in LA, as part of Detroit: A Brooklyn Case Study.

The Walk Study Group is New York City walking group formed by Blake Morris and Dillon De Give. Each week case studies of strategic walking practice and theory in art, politics, ecology, and philosophy, are combined with specific short walks. The course will result in an understanding both theoretical and practical and culminates with a group walk constructed by the class for the public. Website: http://www.implausibot.com/walkstudy

William Hou Je Bek Wilfried is a ‘culture hacker’ who develops generative psychogeography. Inspired by concepts of drift (dérive) from Romanticism and, later, the Situationists around Guy Debord, Wilfried uses algorithmic routes to explore a city in non-intuitive ways. Hou Je Bek organizes dérives, where people walk through a city by taking computer code as a guideline, using the body as a means to perform software. Website: http://cryptoforest.blogspot.com

Antonio Serna is an artist living and working in New York. With art as his tool, he is constantly comparing and contrasting the human construct of progress with the animal instinct of survival. The results of which have been exhibited in New York, Spain, Mexico, The Netherlands, and Texas. Antonio has also taught and lectured at Parsons School of Design, St. Johns University, and at Brooklyn College as a teaching fellow. Outside of his studio, Antonio Serna enjoys rummaging through the social anthropology of art and visual culture. Website: http://www.antonioserna.com

 

Optional Texts:

October issue 79: Guy Debord and the Internationale situationniste [PDF 7.8mb]
A Special Issue. Guest editor, Thomas F McDonough. Winter 1997
table of contents:
Rereading Debord, Rereading the Situationists – Thomas F. McDonough
Why Art Can’t Kill the Situationist International – T.J. Clark and Donald Nicholson-Smith
AsgerJorn’s Avant-Garde Archives – Claire Gilman
Angels of Purity – Vincent Kaufmann
Lefebvre on the Situationists: An Interview – Kristin Ross (1983)
Situationist Texts on Visual Culture and Urbanism: A Selection:
Guy Debord – One More Try If You Want to Be Situationists (The S.I. in and against Decomposition)
Guy Debord – Theses on the Cultural Revolution
Mich̬l Bernstein РIn Praise of Pinot-Gallizio
Constant Nieuwenhuis – Extracts from Letters to the Situationist International
Editorial Notes: Absence and Its Costumers
Editorial Notes: The Sense of Decay in Art
Constant Nieuwenhuis – A Different City for a Different Life
Editorial Notes: Critique of Urbanism
Editorial Notes: Once Again, on Decomposition
Raoul Vaneigem - Comments Against Urbanism
Editorial Notes: The Avant-Garde of Presence
Th̩o Frey РPerspectives for a Generation

In Conversation Raoul Vaneigem – Hans Ulrich Obrist, e-flux article 62, 2009 [PDF 1.1]

 


About vizKlut: This panel is part of vizKult, a loose band of artist and writers exploring the ‘cult of vision’. This group explores the ways in which the visual operates in our society and the mechanism which manufacture, shape, and control the world around us. In this sense VizKult’s emphasis is on the process rather than the products of our contemporary visual condition. http://www.vizkult.org

Additionally, in conjunction with the 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair, vizKult is presenting DISCRETE POWER, a group exhibition on display during the book fair weekend. Opening reception April 9th, from 6-8pm on the Judson Church balcony. For more info visit: http://www.vizkult.org/propositions/discretepower and http://www.anarchistbookfair.net

BEDLAM

SAT NOV 13TH- JAN 13th JAN 8TH
7PM – 10PM

@ BANK IRAN, 113 LEROY ST NYC

anthony titus • eric fertman • david sena • john furgason • laura napier • nichole van beek • carlos little • cy amundson • boveda • jeremy williams • rebecca haskins • antonio serna (B.C. 2010) • patricia gaeta • philippe arman • max miller • jeremiah stewart • kim reinhart • serban ionescu • kathryn lynch • erin krause • kora manheimer • brent owens

- – -

Bank Iran is pleased to present BEDLAM, an inaugural group exhibition in the new Bank Iran space.

An old new 8000 sqft space in the West Village, Bank Iran partially opens it’s doors and concrete and lending. Bank Iran includes the studios of Kathryn Lynch, Philippe Arman and Carlos Little and artist in indefinite residence John Furgason, as well as an exhibition space. Several artists have submitted to BEDLAM: Nichole Van Beek and Kora Manheimer paint keratin,  Serban Ionescu and Jim Dreitlein devise an air raid, Eric Fertman plants a blue forest, Max Miller mixes vegetable starch with paper water, Patricia Gaeta installs a curtain wall,  Kimberly Reinhardt brings a subway car, Jeremy WillIams puts light in a box, Carlos Little makes masks with crumbs, David Sena makes Swiss cheese, Anthony Titus paints a window, Erin Krause keeps a secret, John Furgason turns the lights off,  Philippe Arman brings ice from Iceland,  Rebecca Haskins paints a sculpture garden, Laura Napier calculates MTA fair hiking boots,  Cy Amundson discovers alien fossils, Kathryn Lynch goes to the dog park, Antonio Serna makes some Pruno, Jeremiah Stewart turns the floor into the wall and Boveda play the forecast.

BEDLAM is organized by Carlos Little.  Also exhibited are new works by Little & Sena, Little & Furgason, Little & Ionescu, Little & Moore and Little & Serna.

BEDLAM will be on view by appointment November 14th,2010 through January 13th, January 8th, 2011.

In a few minutes I will be participating in an Urban Foraging tour in Brooklyn. The tour will be given by Ava Chin and “Wild Man” Steve brill, two well know foragers in NYC area. The event grew using The Public School (NYC)

My interest in urban foraging began while working on art project on plants and plant knowledge… Ava is here…more later!

Kara Walker, An Army Train, 2005

The first task of the colonizer is to map out the land. To cut it up, make it easier to negotiate.

It’s a curious thing that the idea of the colonizer popped into my head yet again at the New Museums’ lecture series. The first time was when Kara Walker made a proposition about the painter as the colonizer, the painting the colonized. I didn’t contribute to the discussion, but I had very strong feelings about her presentation, specifically because in evolving from the metaphor of a painting as being colonized, nobody brought up, or had the courage to bring up the idea of history, specifically in her work, as what is being colonized -the body that is bought and sold. This makes Walker the colonizer, claiming so boldly what is “hers”. Why didn’t anyone put this question forward?

And now today I am reminded again, of the colonizers and their “maps” when Hans Ulrich Obrist spoke about “Maps for the 21st Century”, spoke about his latest project. Though the idea of the colonizer isn’t as heavy and as direct as in Kara’s predicament, it’s still an interesting angle to see it from. First of all the “Maps” project is customary of Hans Ulrich’s process, that is to say it has been mapped-out before, most recently with his “Formulas for Now” book. It all begins with one idea, a minimal idea, this sets off a whole chain of events: idea/minimal guideline -> a call to the top artist -> artist respond -> eventually a show -> then a book, next project. It’s seems very complete and contained, which, despite the fact that he did mention some ideas never make it that far an others go on, has a life span and follows a well known route, it is mapped. But does it have to be? (…more on the map, what is a map and what is not, later)

The first map showing the Americas by Martin Waldseemuller, 1507

According to Hans Ulrich Obrist the initial idea for these projects does come from an unmapped terrain, in his introduction he spoke about the Oulipo Group and how their experiments in writing were an inspiration for the way he sets up his curatorial projects. And that he was also interested in this element chance, that sometimes these experiments can fail, see his “Experiment Marathons” project. So why is it starting to feel very mapped out? I wonder if it has anything to do with the “colonizer” aspect. That value is a big part of this picture, that creating culture, or converting culture to value has a lot to do with how far his projects get. So everything has to be mapped out, no unpredictable names in his books. Chance was a lie, it’s getting harder for his projects to fail. Museums and publishers bank on this. It all get’s checked off rather methodically.

Before I go on I have to say that -if you don’t know this already- Hans Ulrich Obrist uber-prolific, it is beyond human the amount of books, projects, shows, events, that he has put-out or helped with or whatever. I heard a rumor that he only sleeps 4 hrs a night- yeah, that kind of a guy. And of this output, I really only know of about a sliver of it. I probably can’t even imagine all that has worked on, both realized and unrealized, (see his “Unbuilt Roads” project). I can almost bet that there must be a handful of his projects that shatter my “colonizer/map” thesis here.

None the less, I have to say, that if a curator of the 21st century wants to take the role of the instigator -as if artists no longer have the capacity and power to do so- then he/she should be willing to go as far as an artist to see that these ideas get pushed beyond their expected life, beyond what is on the map. Just as the world asks the artist to be brave and stand outside of their comfort zone-even if it means starvation, so then too an artist can ask the same of curators, critics, and museums. Much like we found the work of Henry Darger – pages and pages of exploration into his world- so should we find of a curator of the 21st century.(Alright, I’ve already been getting comments that Darger isn’t the best example for what I’m trying to say, if there is a better one let me know. Or if it comes to me later, I’ll revise this post.)

Henry Darger's Studio, photo by Lerner, 1972

An example of a Hans Ulrich Obrist project that I thought broke the mold was a project that sounded courageous, but not in an overly heroic way like his marathons, but rather courageous in it’s simple gesture. His Brutally Early Club is a salon style event that happens all over London- simple as that, the brutal aspect is that it happens at 6:30AM -which I think is great, not because I’m a wanna be morning person, but because I think it’s important to get that out of the way, just before going into the studio, not after. Night events have the tendency to drag on, or morph into some dunken dance party. So what of the night artist? Guston and all those Ab-Ex-Men? Simple, they can stay up working all night and come to The Brutally Early club afterward, go home sleep, repeat. Another big plus is the sunrise, when was the last time you saw the sun rise?

“I always have coffee and porridge for breakfast. My breakfast happens very early, at 6.30am, because I wake up early. I founded a club, which is called the Brutally Early Club. It’s basically a breakfast salon for the 21st century where art meets science meets architecture meets literature. The reason why I decided to do my club at 6.30am in different cafés, which are open so early, is because in 21st-century cities it’s become very difficult to improvise. Everybody has a schedule and it becomes really difficult to decide from one day to the next to gather for a meeting. You have to plan it weeks and weeks in advance. It’s so important to have improvisation in cities. Most people are free at 6.30, so that’s the idea of the Brutally Early Club and I have done it ever since I moved to London.” -from The Q&A: Hans Urich Obrist at MoreIntelligentLife.com.

I noticed on The Brutally Early Club website that they have one in New York City. Anyone know where that is? Or want to establish a New York chapter with me?