MAJEURE : Art contemporain : la recherche du dehors
LE LABORATOIRE POÉTICO-POLITIQUE DE MAURÎCIO DIAS &WALTER RIEDWEG
By SUELY ROLNIK.
The devices of Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg put the world to work. Not any world, nor any work. The worlds in which they operate are located on the fringes of the supposedly guaranteed universe of integrated world capitalism. They are outgrowths produced by the very logic of the regime, which swell every day across the face of the planet: an existence exposing otherness to the open sky. The raw material of the two artists is precisely this radical otherness, present at points where the social fabric unravels, due to unrecognized tensions between incompatible universes. In these devices, micro and macropolitics are articulated into a single action driven by political and artistic affects, which are activated inseparably.
DÉTOURNEMENT DE L’ART ET DES MÉDIAS POUR UNE EFFICACITÉ POLITIQUE L’EXEMPLE DE GRAN FURY
By FLORA LOYAU.
Based on the example of Gran Fury – a New York collective active in the struggle against Aids from 1987 to 1994 – this text analyzes the relation between the media and the art world, to ask the question of the activist tools and strategies developed in the eighties and their possible renewal today. What relations to distribution, marketing, advertising aesthetics, the art world, institutional financing, etc. can be maintained by an activism seeking immediate effectiveness in the social and political fields? How cart one articulate symbolic value and use value in all artistic practice? What position to claim, within the cultural sphere, to support such practices?
By THE YES MEN.
In his speech to an assembly of « corporate citizens » at the conference « Fibers and Textiles for the Future » at the University of Tampere in Finland, Hank Hardy Unruh of the WTO explains all the advantages of freedom and remote labor: After all, the American South, a great producer of textiles in its time, gained nothing from its localization of slavery. But remote labor demands close-up forms of surveillance and therefore creates a new market, for which the WTO proposes a « textile solution » … By passing themselves off as the representatives of an unbearable new world order to which businessmen and technocrats have not ceased to assent, the Yes Men create au extremely effective form of invisible theater, intervening’ in real situations and using various media to deliver their parodic and precise critique of neoliberal ideology.
By JORDAN CRANDALL.
We conceive the development of photography along a horizontal axis: the camera mounted on a tripod, the lens looking out at the expanse of the earth. Cinematographic narrative is based on this horizontal gaze. But quite early on the recording device was transported vertically into the air: Militarized vision, with its own specific narrative mode, begins when the images from above are assembled into a database and analyzed to reveal movements, in order to predict their most probable future course. The aim is to track certain objects, to target then, to destroy them. The arrival of computers and networked communications permits the accelerated development of a form of vision entirely devoted to these processes of tracking and targeting, which no longer offer images for our specular reflection a form of vision which is no longer «for us. »
PERFORMING THE BORDER SUR LE GENRE, LES CORPS TRANSNATIONAUX ET LA TECHNOLOGIE
By URSULA BIEMANN.
The video by Ursula Biemann, Performing the border, explores the living and working conditions of women in the huge industrial backyard of the American economy just south of the US-Mexico border. Taking her departure point from au ad of the Elamex corporation selling female labor for one dollar an hour, the videomaker shows that the social and technical construction of the border extends all the way to the sexuality of those whose « performance » is exalted in the image. Although the story of a « coyote » woman – an expert at illegal boundary crossing- allows one to imagine a possible escape from this control system, it is the account of the serial killings around the Mexican town of Juarez that raises the most disquieting questions about the just-in-tine production of human lives for the assembly of hi-tech merchandise (computers, etc.).
LA MACHINE À DESSINER / ESPACES EN FOLIE
By OLIVIER NOTTELLET, ANTONIA BIRNBAUM.
We tend to dispose of the senses, of the concrete, art redisposes us towards the senses, it hones our attention for what goes unnoticed, unheard, unseen, what stays unread. Olivier Nottellet draws by placing this medium under the sign of a paradoxical reversibility. He brings in mobility, decomposition and the instability of space and of the gaze of those who cross it. Line, volume, contour, sign. Drawing block, white page space, ink black, objects, persons, organic and abstract forms, wall, room, architecture. The workplace of Olivier Nottellet is all the means and elements of drawing through which he frees all these components from constraint.
MACHINES DE RESYMBOLISATION RÉFLEXIONS À PARTIR DU TRAVAIL D’ÔYVIND FAHLSTROM
By BUREAU D’ÉTUDES.
Mapping the power relations that constitute world capitalism, while lending a figurative twist to precise information : these ambitions are shared by the work of Oyvind Fahlströme, in the 60s-70s, and Bureau d’Études today. In both cases the aim is to support oppositional movements. But the project of a popular university or an alternative parliament that was implicit in Fahlströme’s approach did not come to fruition. Deconstructing the current symbolic order and resymbolizing it differently requires the invention of new, pragmatically effective social networks. On the horizon of their mapping work, Bureau d’Études sees not only an active and transformative critique of « world government » but also the constitution of a productive and cooperative « republic of individuals, » self-organizing on a planetary scale, in exodus from any state sovereignty.
By MARKO PELJHAN / BRIAN HOLMES.
Two short articles recount the concept and program of Makrolab. The idea of a mobile stage that could be used not only for representation but for work with reality came in a flash to the Slovene artist Marko Peljhan one sunny day in 1994 on the island of « Krk, » off the coast of Croatia which was then embroiled in war. The goal was to pursue an artistic experimentation in direct contact with the latest technical developments, beyond the failing frameworks of the nation-state. The Makrolab, a « Laboratory-Theater in Time, » is a nomadic architecture that can be disassembled and transported. It is inhabited by teams of artists and researchers who explore the natural environment, the migrations of animals and humans beings, and the events of the electromagnetic spectrum, conceived as the invisible side of the world political space.
ÉTUDES LITTÉRAIRES ET MULTITUDES : LES CONSÉQUENCES DE DIDEROT
By YVES CITTON.
This article attempts to tie two questions together: how to approach the process that constitutes multitudes into communities? And: what role can literary studies play in the age of Empire? To overcome the abstraction of these questions, the article closely follows the return of the word « consequence » in Diderot’s text, D’Alembert’s Dream. Through the wealth of echoes provided by a few quotes, the literary approach comes to be defined as a coring to light of the programs (to be heard in their IT connotations) which engineer the reproduction of our social life. Depending on its effects (on its « consequences »), the encounter between a text and a brain can play (or fail to play) a significant regulating role in the permanent process of (re)constitution of multitudes into communities. The disarray in which literary critics and teachers alike find themselves today should lead to a redefinition of their activity which would put the multitudes in position to be the producers, rather than the receivers, of tomorrow ‘s literarity.
EXTRAIT DE LA QUATRIÈME MAQUETTE-SANS-QUALITÉ
Moving in between images of prison gates, ancient or absent, here, there, fragments of correspondence with Kurdish women who were indeed re-tried before the State Security Court, after Turkey was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights; the author of this work works and reworks materials of an unrealizable film. Escape, a filin on strike, the poetics and geopolitics of translation between Kurdish, Turkish and French. And always the question of the lost women: the difficult icon of the disappeared.
MINEURE : La créativité au travail
ÉCONOMIE DE LA CONNAISSANCE, EXPLOITATION DES SAVOIRS
By ANDRÉ GORZ (ENTRETIEN RÉALISÉ PAR YANN MOULIER BOUTANG ET CARLO VERCELLONE)
In this interview with Yann Moulier Boutang and Carlo Vercellone, André Gorz elaborates on three crucial points of his analysis of the significance of the mutation inherent in the concept of cognitive capitalism: first, the redefinition of the mechanisms of exploitation and the processes of emancipation, since when labor is no longer measurable in units of time, and when self-exploitation takes on a central function in the process of valorization, the production of subjectivity becomes a central site of conflicts; second the importance of snaking a precise distinction between the notion of knowledge, which is objective and formalizable by essence, and the notion of « know-how » or intellectual capability, which is by essence something alive and experienced; third the subjective and objective reasons why cognitive capitalism appears as a crisis of capitalism, containing the seed of another model of society.
CRÉER DES MONDES CAPITALISME CONTEMPORAIN ET GUERRES «ESTHÉTIQUES »
By MAURIZIO LAZZARATO.
The transnational business tends to give up its factories, keeping only the functions, services and employees that allow it to create the world where the commodity exists. Advertising agencies invent the spiritual dimension of events, which must be embodied to motivate behavior. But this kind of social relation is contradictory to tie logic of commun goods (knowledge, language, art works, science, etc.). These spring from cooperation, they are indivisible, infinite, they cannot be appropriated: a common good assimilated by a user does not become his « exclusive property. » Resistance to the capitalist appropriation of common goods will only be effective if it recognizes the primacy of cooperation between minds over the capital-labor relation. This is where new objectives and new fields of struggle can be defined.
À DOUBLE TRANCHANT : CRÉER UNE EXPOSITION-PROJET SUR LES TRANSFORMATIONS CONTEMPORAINES DE LA CRÉATIVITÉ
By MARION VON OSTEN
In the current trend of the market society towards an injunction aimed at all citizens to « Be creative, » an injunction which reveals that the individual is being reconfigured as the entrepreneur of his or her own « talent r or « creativity, » this article studies the evolution of the notion of creativity through rite practice of installations. How is the montage of a project exhibition itself an act of cooperative creation? An appropriation of public space? Hone can one outwit or subvert the imperative to furnish content to the culture market ?
LE CAPITALISME À LA SAUCE ARTISTE.
By ANNE QUERRIEN.
Read again in light of the current French social conflict around the part-time theater and cinema workers, the book by L. Boltanski and E. Chiapello, Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, seems to have been quite prescient when describing work as organized store and more through short-term projects. But the lack of social security in this system is supposed by the authors to conte front the artist-critics who were interested mostly in individual freedom
and expressivity, store than from the infrastructural organization of capitalism. Solutions are sought by analogy with the rides that protect salaried workers, particularly the idea of a guaranteed income or social wage.
LES LIMITES DE LA SOCIOLOGIE DÉMYSTIFICATRICE DE L’ART.
By YANN MOULIER BOUTANG.
Pierre Menger’s Portrait of the artist as a worker gives a faithful portrait of the increasing precariousness of the market of artistic labor, in the broad sense. However, the theoretical interpretation lie provides is not without problems. Instead of defining the « metamorphoses of capitalism » as he purports to do, the author construes the values of creation and autonomy as « justifications » of an increased degree of exploitation. The evolution of labor towards an artistic and cognitive paradigm, which could be conceived on the brut; of an evaluation of the mutation of the present form of capitalism, is ultimately missed by his analysis.
AUX ORIGINES DE L’APARTHEID
By THIERRY SECRETAN.
Presenting a series of historical portraits of Bantu, Thierry Secretan recounts his investigation into the compounds that housed the black labor of the gold mines of the Rand, around Johannesburg. The use of a « pass » to control the black miners prefigured the apartheid system. From 1904 to 1939,Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin, an Irish guard at one of the compounds, began to photograph the different kind of people doing the hard labor in the mines. The results were some 7200 exposures and working prints, on 13 /18 cm negatives. Hundreds of enlargements were exhibited from 1925 onward in a gallery in his own home in Kimberley. These photographs were rediscovered in 1998 by Thierry Secretan, who is still attempting to save them front slow destruction: they constitute an extraordinary catalogue of the Bantu cultures.
L’AUTEUR ÉVANOUISSANT OU LES STRATÉGIES DE LA LIBERTÉ
By BRIAN HOLMES.
François Deck is an artist, a teacher, an inhabitant of Grenoble and the inventor of the « question banks. » His work takes the form of debate procedures directly involved in linguistic cooperation; these are used for inquiries into the relations that the inhabitants of a city (or an institution) maintain with the built environment (material or immaterial). This article retraces various projects of collective question that Deck has initiated on the urban territory of Grenoble, in an always problematic relation to democratic decision-making, as ultimately carried out by administrations. Despite the obstacles that spring up throughout this itinerary, constituted authority seems to give ground before the constituent process of a counter-power – or the fluidity of a social game.