[-empyre-] The city as a skin
agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 20 04:40:26 EST 2012
Dear Teddy, Spanish should be spoken as widely as English to equilibrate
the North-South relationships! :)
I change often during the day between my three languages, Swedish, Spanish
and English, a very exotic mixture of languages, I agree :) and I am always
happy to be able to change skin (to quote Sabela, as much as I change
Dear Johannes I don't full agree with you regarding the provocation in
Alicia's post, it was more a constatation than a provocation.
I wrote before than I was a typical child of 1968's revolt (it gives away
my age :) and I feel that was the last time the North and the South shared
a common agenda. Workers and students occupying together factories and
schools, universities and hospitals, it felt as a really revolutionary wind
changed many things.
But we, the South, we were more severe punished, we paid with generations
of us maimed, killed and missing, in prison or in exile. From 1968 to 1990
this whole continent lost hundreds of thousands of people. Argentina lost
their tradeunion leaders, Uruguay lost student leaders and intellectuals,
Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras lost thousand peasants and indigenous
I come to Uruguay after 34 years of exile and I am meeting my old
jailcomrades, we have been discovering bodies buried in clandestine
cemeteries in the middle of military compounds, the latest one was found
only a week ago.
It's logical the agenda from the North and from the South are different now
since their common grounds floated away.
The expoliation of the South for the North is still as strong as before,
only paliated by some measures aimed more to change a bit to keep the
status quo, as Tomasso di Lampedusa wrote in Gattopardo.
Brasilien, the biggest country in this continent, is working to diminish
the number of poor but the sacking of the Amazona's forest and the killing
of environmental activists is still going on.
And regarding my nostalgy I don't see the difference between what Sabela
writes and my own formulations: I live here now and I have an active
nostalgy as opposite as the paralyzing nostalgy.
I am reading these days a magnificent novel written by the Austrian writer
Christoph Ransmayr. The novel "The last World" is about Ovidius, who was
sent by Rome to exile and who died in exile. Ovidiio's writing about
belonging missing an identity and the impossobility to settle down when you
are outside your own context is still one of the most powerful writings
about exile and otherness I know.
On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 6:21 PM, Teddy Cruz <cruzroe at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Dear Johannes,
> Just a brief note to clarify... some of the pieces of text you attribute
> to Brian in the post below are actually pieces from the post I wrote last
> week... Brian highlighted those pieces in his own post to contextualize the
> excellent comments he added. Anyway, I know it is not important -after all
> what is wonderful about these conversations is the ideas embedded in them,
> not their origin- but just wanted to mention this so the vantage point of
> the comments can be better located...
> I am looking forward to follow yours, Alicia's and Brian's comments in
> Spanish this morning! I did not know Brian speaks Spanish! what a Cultural
> On Mar 19, 2012, at 8:15 AM, Johannes Birringer wrote:
> > dear all
> >> How are we to re-organize as artists, communities, to perform a more
> effective project that can enable institutional modifications? ...
> >> -Can conflict itself become a tool to enable a more critical debate
> >> beyond our clichés and the clichés of the other, as well as the
> >> retooling of artistic practices?> (Brian Holmes taking up Teddy Cruz
> > Excellent questions.
> > "We need to be the developers of our own housing" , Teddy Cruz suggests
> - and thanks for this very poignant post you sent (your referenced Jean
> Genet? thinking of "The Balcony" or "Prisoner of Love"? and the image that
> Ricardo had evoked:
> > "This then as a reclaiming of the space and skinning its concentrated
> power-formation by some other that is impossible and yet force that is more
> than - in the crossing of two
> > invisible ruins under the visible trees.")
> > "We need to be the producers of new political processes and economic
> models (the site of intervention is the very politics and economics that
> have perpetuated a selfish urbanization in our time),
> > -We need to be the enablers of new models of political representation
> and participation (the site of intervention is education itself and the
> very notion of community: who represents who during this period of
> > (Teddy Cruz)
> > to add a small note, the comments in my last post also echo the
> insightful critique sent by Brian Holmes:
> >> -What I mean is that while we debate the ‘differences’ between
> ‘resistance’ and ‘resilience,’ capitalism has stolen those terms from ‘us’
> already, a long, long time ago. -And I say ‘stolen’ because those and many
> other terms in the last two decades initially emerged from the ‘left,’ in
> our attempt to ‘resist’ binary thought: ‘fluidity,’ ‘multiplicity,’
> ‘hybridity,’ ‘self-organization,’ ‘anti-centralization, and beyond.>> (is
> this part of Ricardo's concept of "reclamation" or did his post on
> reclaiming, March 06, imply that such reclamations of space – and of
> concepts – are in fact futile since impossible?)
> > If we are threatened - and I definitely feel threatened, not so much in
> career opportunities ('cause I have no career) but on some more basic
> level of human potentials - then maybe it's necessary to figure out why
> so many terms can be "stolen from us." (Brian)
> > yes, they all can be stolen, and by implication, restolen, but I am not
> sure what affect or power or conceptual effect they then still have, and
> that would bring me back wanting to understand the "tattooing" festival in
> Montevideo a bit better, as it was evoked by Sabela, or what Cuban artist
> Tania Bruguera could have possibly meant by suggesting it is time now "to
> restore Duchamp’s urinal back to the bathroom."?
> > Brian's conclusion is very poignant, and think very true, when he says
> that "The problem is: we no longer have a unifying philosophy to express
> what we are for and what we are against. Crucially, we cannot properly
> define where the powers of government should be limited and how the
> techniques of redistribution should be modified and perfected."
> > This was the point that Zizek also tried to make when he argued that the
> OCCUPY movement can only "occupy" public space for a transient time, not
> knowing what it is occupying for.
> > regards
> > Johannes Birringer
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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