Elaborating on my interest in the mask:
“there can be more truth in the mask that you adopt than your real inner self. I always believed In masks.”
… considering sampling audio from other places not just my recordings. John Cage, Zizek, Faces, the news, ect…
A potential resource:
In addition, I realized that the Inoperative Community is actually a borrowed title from a collection of essays (1983) written by french philosopher Jen-Luc Nancy. Well of course I new about this initially because it’s on the program but I didn’t bother too look into the book. I think it may be a very interesting and relevant read pertaining to the sound piece. I have been thinking about also recording readings of a selected texts as well as sampling talks. or perhaps there could be some live elements.
(I am afraid of being too much like john cage or any other sound artist. Sound is such uncharted territory and yet it feels very easy to be associated with the first break throughs with in sound art.)
I feel that I am working in a similar vain as Dan Kidner however I am using sound not film and making my own recording instead of curating the work of other artists. I think it is just as valid to curate the films than to have made them all and exhibit them in a collection. It is about catalogue, collage, selection, etc.
“Titling anthologies or exhibitions, especially those that range over contested territory, is a tricky business. When settling on Goodbye to London: Radical Art & Politics in the ’70s editor Astrid Proll must have felt that with this she had a title that straightforwardly registered the balance between timely social history and personal recollection that the texts in the book would strike. As it turns out the book tends towards nostalgia, as indicated by the first part of the title, and veers away from satisfactory survey, as promised by the second. Questions about the relationship between the artistic practices of then and now; the legacy of political and social movements of the decade, or the relation of artistic practices to these movements; and the aesthetic consequences of neoliberal policies, all go unanswered… Despite recent exhibitions in London such as The Secret Public: Last Days of the British Underground 1978-1988 at the ICA and Panic Attack: Art in the Punk Years at the Barbican (both, 2007), the history of British art in the 70s is still in some sense to be written, and art’s brush with politics at this time, still little understood.”
While researching the Dan Kidner, the curator of The Inoperative Community at the Raven Row, I stumbled upon some of his writing. The above link is a review he wrote of the book “Goodbye to London” edited by Astrid Proll. The photo is what really got to me somehow. Although according to Kidner the book was a flop, the idea of squats as “hotbeds of political activism, art and alternative lifestyles” really resonates with me. Although I don’t always agree or feel that the most radical things are happening in the communities in which I have moved, I do feel a motion and an agency that has drawn me in from the beginning.
I am very curious about understanding the Left today and the journey it has taken. What is radical?
The article linked below was referred to by Zizek in one of his youtube lectures I watched recently. I am hoping I will have the time and patience to go through it more deeply then a quick skim…
By ‘left’ I mean a root-and-branch opposition to capitalism. But such an opposition has nothing to gain, I shall argue, from a series of overweening and fantastical predictions about capitalism’s coming to an end. Roots and branches are things in the present. The deeper a political movement’s spadework, the more complete its focus on the here and now. No doubt there is an alternative to the present order of things. Yet nothing follows from this—nothing deserving the name political. Left politics is immobilized, it seems to me, at the level of theory and therefore of practice, by the idea that it should spend its time turning over the entrails of the present for signs of catastrophe and salvation. Better an infinite irony at prescrai and maruflicchio—a peasant irony, with an earned contempt for futurity—than a politics premised, yet again, on some terracotta multitude waiting to march out of the emperor’s tomb.
In relation to my project the recordings I have been making. I am interested in Squats for the inside outside dynamic of them. The societal view that forms and ideas of interior and exterior. I suppose it is similar with any underground/subculture though squatting focuses on the physical day to day more than any kind of music or fashion or dogma which is the focus of many subcultures.
00:28 – Lee starts his drunken monologue about life + manhood
02:19 – Sophia enters the room and immediatly interrupts Lee… sophia: emotions are programmed, what is emotion? what is logic? happiness is an idea derived from experience which is programming. happiness is just being
at this point I leave the room to let them do their thing with out me there
05:00 – Lee tells Sophie to shut up and that she’s a nutter
06:25 – timetraveling is discussed
09:11 – Lee: existence fuck.. it’s well confusing
10:50 – Lee tells Sophia to fuck off, she says we don’t need to eat that is just an idea, there are people that feed off the ether
11:42 – Lee is scared to look at Sophia because his opinion on reality is completely different form hers. I find this part the most interesting. I really like this idea that he can’t look at her because her opinion is so different from his
05:36 – Abdi starts describing his experiences w lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis
17:07 – “there is more to this life” … harnessing powers
17:55 – “the life that were living”
19:05 – we’ve forgotten today about this kind of esoteric knowledge
19:51 – these experiences undermine people’s belief systems and scares people
22:17 – demonic forces are about understanding the power inside of us, decision making, questioning etc.
30:26 on wards- “you have to find your own answers… life is a book you can write what you want… everything around you comes and goes… what is the meaning of life? the answer is in the question… people don’t know themselves.. bad things will always happen you’ll just have to get over that… life just always carries on… people get stuck… its difficult and its simple.”
this recording is a bit rubbish because I am too conscious of being recorder and I don’t say anything too interesting. But I thought I would make a recording of myself talking. Perhaps partially inspired by the 5 year diary.
Talking to Steve was great. We were recording back up vocals for his album and when we went for a cigarette break I brought up my sound piece and potentially recording him. I had in mind a conversation we had once before were he described his mirrored social and spiritual journey from a radical youth to an older man who believes that change starts with the self. I was struggling to imagine how I could prompt Steve to repeat this sentiment over a recording. Andrew spoke to me about preparing people/prompting them in order to get the material I want. However, my aim is to make the recordings as natural as possible so the speaker is not self-conscious about being recorded and preparing a speech. I want it to feel more intimate and spontaneous to listeners.
Luckily as soon as I brought it up Steve went on a ramble arriving at the same points and more that I was aiming for. we arranged a date to record him speaking.. which has now fallen through. I will have to record him when I get back from Canada.. even thinking of getting him to record himself but not sure about that.
Notes From Steve:
-the West is not the problem humanity is
-Freedom. these days can only be found in the mind.
-living today doesn’t really feel like living to me or most of the people I know
-Syria, leadership, government structures, real power, politics is a game
I realized while talking to Steve that I am making this piece because I want to understand my own beliefs spiritually and politically. Learning comes from the display of divergent (at times possibly delusional) array of perspectives and stories. Coming of age means sifting through this plethora of lessons and narrative to make something of it all.
In a sense I am the piece is a self-portrait with out the image of the artist. or it is the stuff that surrounds me… my outline.
I considered going to the exhibit at the Zabludowicz so I could write about the political context, but after reading Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel I decided it wasn’t worth it just for an essay.
I went to the Barbican to see the Eddie Peak exhibit at the curve. His show didn’t really do anything for me. It was fun but didn’t really get to me in anyway.
I went to Victoria Miro but the wrong location which really bummed me out because I was so excited to see Kara Walker’s work.
The Inoperative Community at the Raven Row Gallery was quiet amazing. The curation of cinematography creates a collage of sorts and makes me question who the artist is and what the work is. After passing through screenings I settled into one and watched the last hour of the film Five Year Diary by Anne Charlotte Robertson. I’ve never seen anything like it… beautiful, intimate, internal, sad, twisted, experimental.
I don’t even know how to write about it. It is an immense work.
One of the things that caught me attention in the talk was when we began to create a “semiotic chain of language” as we tried to put our thumb on something allusive which only lead us in circles.
Atmosphere. Emotion. Intimacy.
Political. I ‘m Beginning to realize more
and more that I have no idea
what Political means.