[-empyre-] soft _skinned space and lurking vs.participating
simon at littlepig.org.uk
Fri Dec 2 01:44:14 EST 2011
This is not a new debate and predates list serves. I remember being at an arts conference, mainly of practitioners, back in 1982 or thereabouts (Artists' Week at the Adelaide Festival) and there were a few (now well known) international theorists presenting as well. It was at the time that post-structuralism was gaining traction beyond its academic origins. One of the theorist presenters used the word "problematise" and somebody in the audience (an artist) jumped up and started shouting about the intellectualising of art and why they saw no good reason to use a difficult word when a simple one would do. The presenter was very calm and responded that they used the term "problematise" carefully and precisely and that there was no other efficient means of saying what they were trying to say. For those of us who had read our Foucault and Baudrillard, to employ a term that is usually a noun as a verb, made sense, rather than having to say an entire phrase, over and over again (he used the term a few times in the same talk). But, for those who were not up to speed on what was then fairly cutting edge theory, such language was alienating. You could see different cultures colliding. In that sense nothing has changed. I don't think you can avoid the collisions - all you can do is collide politely. One of my students emailed me today saying something he'd written hopefully resembled pedestrians bumping into one another, rather than a car crash. I guess you could say we should try to avoid car crashes whilst ensuring we don't miss the happy accidents that can happen when you bump into a stranger (or a friend). If this is the challenge then perhaps the main difference between cars and pedestrians, that we could choose to modulate, is speed?
On 1 Dec 2011, at 09:40, Johannes Birringer wrote:
> dear Yannis and Helene, dear all,
> i believe the critique, offered very modestly by last month's discussion moderators, concerns us all, and is addressed to the those who make or partake or belong to such a soft_skinned community or, to use a less optimistic term, 'space', -and perhaps the critique needs to be discussed, unless others feel there is no need to. I very much agree with Iannis, that "a lot of translation has to happen behind the stage screen," but man of these translations, or the work involved, might get lost, and so the assumption of sharing perhaps also?
> with regards
> Johannes Birringer
>>> Iannis Zannos schreibt
> your "summary review of the project" post is formulated with a sensitivity and thoughtfulness which touches some deep strings at least for me. I particularly appreciate your empathy with the "non-western academic" situation, to which I belong at least partly. I wish to confirm that I felt exactly that while trying to participate in the discussion. It is difficult to adapt to the highly specialised tone, it feels like entering a world (to avoid using the word 'discourse') that one does not entirely belong to. A lot of translation has to happen behind the stage screen. It is partly stimulating, partly disorienting. But your post actually reinstates the meaningfulness and value of the undertaking, by exposing that situation behind the stage, and thus indirectly affirming that we do have things to share in these issues.
>>>> Renate schreibt
> Yiannis and Helene while you may not have heard directly from many of our subscribers in the most distant places of the world,
> I know verifiably that many lurk, reading the conversations from day to day without actively participating. The task of reading long, and detailed posts multiple times a day is sometimes a daunting task. The ebb and flow of empyre discussions are rhythmical.
> I am an optimist and I can say whole-heartedly that Tim and I try to actively engage a diverse group of participants, discussants and subscribers. Our base continues to grow. Ten years worth of archives are available online to anyone at
> One of the things that I have been committed to is to engage more non-academic artists to participate in our discussions. I would like to encourage our guests not to copy long posts of pre-published scholarly writing and instead use a more conversational style that encourages an informal, inclusive style of discourse.
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk
s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
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