C.O.P.S. Class notes: Audience as wind-up monkey 08/13/11

I'm a blank image because this stupid WP layout is stupid and makes an ugly forced image if I'm not here

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.]

  • blank.org
  • 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.