ProjectProposalOutline

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On Partial Wholes and Absent Centers

My work is influenced by artists who try and not just puncture the topographies of exhibition spaces, but of the larger world as well. I’m most influenced by works that employ collaborative and interdisciplinary strategies and work with other ‘non artistic’ activities. One of the most influential books that opened up the conversation as to what art could be and how it could exist was “Postproduction. Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World” by Nicolas Bourriaud. In it he talks about the artist as a DJ figure, a curator of sorts, who remixes and remakes. A type of work within this paradigm might ask: is it possible for a watermelon juice factory, a notable house music dancer and Alfred Hitchcock’s dream diary to coexist? Although, I wouldn’t consider myself totally inscribed within this paradigm I admire many of the artists discussed in this book and their interest in working collaboratively with people, things, methodologies from non-artistic fields such as the natural sciences, psychology, fiction writers, actors, etc. I also am interested in if art can ‘participate’ outside the exhibition space and engage the ‘bystander’. It is an age old question, but to me one of the ultimate tests of art, it’s survival or visibility in the ‘real world’. I think of a lot of my works as situations- almost like experiments or attempts to enter into this conversation in a mechanism somewhat akin to a revolving door: letting things outside enter in and letting things inside exit out. My general attitude towards the way I want my art to function in this context is not overdetermined, it is not one of providing a mirror or showing an under-structure of a environment, but instead more about the possibility of operations that could take place within a particular setting. They are not medicine (curing,treating, diagnosing) but instead more like bacteria-feeding, coexisting, contaminating.

The terrain I plan to sketch out over the course of the thesis will have to do with an elaboration of my ideas concerning the space of interzone. What is it? What could it be? Where could it exist? For me the interzone is a place of becoming, it is temporary and morphing, much like a living organism. The territory is articulated, but doesn’t necessarily have to resolve itself. The space is a processual one, not sedimentary, but in flux. Some of my past projects have been explorations of documents or images of the past that I attempt to reify or re-explore through taking those things and putting them back into an operative space, through processes such as speech and action. I hope my works in this way maintain a certain ‘operative’ or ‘processual’ quality. The space of the interzone for me is a lived space and in this way maintains a certain autonomy, the interzone inherently means ‘multitextual.’ Within the multitext there is not a single author, but multiple. It is not claimed, or owned but negotiated. Authors exist, but I’m not sure if owners do. So I see this thesis operating as a series of parts that create a whole, but autonomous as parts as well, distinct but related. I sympathize a lot with Susan Hiller’s definition of her practice as ‘Paraconceptual.’ Dr. Alexandra Kokoli describes it thusly: “the prefix 'para' -symbolizes the force of contamination through a proximity so great that it threatens the soundness of all boundaries.” Also Hiller often uses un-artistic methodologies, such as the scientific, for things other than scientific ends, absurd categorizations. In my practice this has been explored in works such as “The Following Piece” in which I hired a Private Investigator to follow Vito Acconci around the streets of New York for one day and documented his activities, or a recent video where I asked my father, a biologist to draw still lifes of fruits and vegetables sourced from some of the first United States Plant Patents. Another recent video has more subtly addressed these issues surrounding representation and imagination, it is a montage of photographs sourced from the internet of flamingos, the soundtrack is taken from a youtube video of a scuba diver exploring an underwater terrain. Overlaid on top of some of the images of the flamingos is a schema-like black illustration, they are in a way maps to read something, but what they read is always situationally specific, for this work they break down certain flamingo images into segments, or chart the image but what the charting does is open to interpretation. In the video I was attempting to create a space that can’t  completely resolve itself, but in doing so became generative or producing because of its irresolvable nature. All of the elements in the video are somehow representations of travel, perhaps even the exotic such a a flamingo which many of us know through representations of that thing versus witnessing the actual creature. We learn so much through representations and in a way these representations just don't stand in for the actual thing but can live and breath as well. The video, ‘Dream Disc’ also has a second, more tool like function as a device for dreaming, the viewer can experience the work in a waking state, but the second layer of the work can only be experienced by a flamingos appearance in one’s dream state. Last year I made a series of maps that were made up of bits and pieces of actual maps, they were silhouettes and produced on the computer so the cuts became seamless, these impossible places for me became instead psychic portraits of association and disassociation of 2 dimensional geographic locations. This type of psychic-spatial geography was alluded to in titles such as: "The only China I've ever been to is on Canal Street and East Broadway" or "The only Crab I’ve ever held is a lygia clark sculpture."

I think the main struggle within my practice right now is between being invested in more traditional research driven work and then producing work based upon that research such as the Plant Patents or the Acconci performance and second just doing things, fantasizing and playing. Maybe these are not separate projects, but right now I feel there is a tension between explicating different histories, appropriating certain methods and just going with my appetite. Two pieces that might reflect this later attitude would be ‘Dream Disc’ and also a work I made this summer called ‘Contact.’ “Contact” was a work that was produced for an exhibition space in Torino, Italy called GUM. I decided for this exhibition to work with the drop ceiling of the space. I placed jars of honey upside down above the panels of the drop ceiling and punctured small holes in the ceiling itself so over the course of the opening honey would slowly drip from an invisible source above the ceiling onto the floor below. For this work I had a vested interest in honey, but less historically and instead more viscerally: it’s status as something half living and half dead, it’s materiality and of course it’s fluidity, a mediator between two realms. So right now I’m wondering, can these two methodologies work together? I will later elaborate more upon this tension in my hypothetical graduate exhibition outline.

As far as the structure for the thesis goes I have a few thoughts. In the ‘Uncategorized Notes and Meandering’ section below I've articulated more loosely some of the important topics I would like to talk about in the thesis such as - affects and effects - going live - inhabiting (outsides and insides) - psychospaces - machines and ecosystems. I’ve hinted at a possible structure that might develop through my different interests and lines of thinking. One way the text might ‘work’ could be through a sort of associative coming together of different strands of research, which would not necessarily be grouped together. I was thinking that one way these different strands could be categorized other than through a strictly chronological method would be to color different parts of the text that I feel have distinct relationships. So one could read the text linearly and experience something slightly akin to a cut-up, but also read the text through the different strands or topics which would be colored accordingly, reading all the pink text first, green second, hazelnut third, and so on and so on, in this way the text would become more space based. One of my favorite types of books when I was younger was the ‘choose your own adventure’ stories, this idea of a book that has endless variations is really interesting to me and perhaps some of this spirit would be introduced into my text as well. One of the things I like about the ‘choose your own adventures’ is that it’s format is more akin to a machine than a book, a machine that produces realities, or variations on a reality rather than creating a single reality unto itself. A second layer to this associative logic would be the inclusion and possible equation of words and images so that in certain places in the thesis the images and the words form sentences.

  • Alexandra M. Kokali, 'Susan Hiller's Paraconceptualism,' in Technologies of Intuition, ed. Jennifer Fisher, (Toronto: XYZ Books,2006),119-139.


Uncategorized notes and Meanderings, an attempt at re-structuring:

Note: All words in bold are topics I plan to discuss and elaborate on in the thesis.


“Brief Description: Square shape. Light orange flesh. Smooth, juicy, and appetizing flavor. Extremely sweet with suga”

-Mr. andyopilus Prasetya (currently offline)

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Bruce Nauman is psychotic. He creates psychospaces. Arto Lindsay is an Anarchist. His parades are operative anarchorganisms. Jean Tinguley is Frankenstein, a mad scientist, each sculpture a new Monster.


Bubbles upon bubbles in a vase shaped as a tree on a wooden table shaped as bathtub.


What are the tools in which we maneuver the Interzone ? Migration Translation Exchange


My mom was a flight attendant for almost twenty years. She has spent more time in high altitudes than most astronauts. These mobile, migratory birds carry all sorts of bacterias and viruses. Just a shell, the interior lined with columns and rows of polyester and cotton pockets - each with its own organism. The skin of the subjects is exceptionally smooth, thereby heightening the striking color effect. The internal membrane is self regulating. The tops are globular in shape and of large size. Portions of the surface may be any shade between pale yellow and deep red, thus tan and orange shades are present on nearly every subject. My Father is a biologist, he explores the routes and networks of these organisms operating systems.


I want this live and uncut. Bring this thought to life, living and breathing. communication through operation. Broadcastin.


The most profitable way to make porn these days is not making a recording, but making a live show, where people contribute to watch (and manipulate?) an experience taking place as they view it. The reason it works is because the record from the event is useless, the activity and interest in the phenomenon is in it’s unfolding.


Composition as explanation: It is cuz it is, stupid. But what is it?


It's is happening while I’m happening. That’s what gets me off. Anything could happen.


To contemplate a maneuver, like that weird neighbor upstairs who bangs on the floor seven times each night to the sound of their parrot’s best imitation of the seven banging sounds.


The space of the interzone, is it a space outside ownership? Is it a space within authorship? The  interzone is an irresolvable space. Can it be traced? Outlined? How long can it last?  Is it inserted or removed? Promiscuity, confusion, time-based interzones, space-based interzones, 


John Giorno’s “Balling Buddah” is an amazing book of poems. It is a sensory book. It affects, and effects. The pages transition to each of the colors of the rainbow as you move through the book. So the first sixth of the book is purple, the second blue, the third green, the fourth yellow, the fifth orange and the sixth red. Each page is loosely divided into two columns, which are sometimes offset by one row. The columns contain the same exact words arranged in such a way that a line is formed between the two columns of words. The words move outwards from this invisible line forming somewhat of a reflection, except offset. Here is an excerpt:


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Filterstef.jpeg

Colorless, green, and red photographic filters as imaged (“perceived”) by digital camera


“Color vision is the ability of an organism or machine to distinguish objects based on the wavelengths (or frequencies) of the light they reflect, emit, or transmit. Colors can be measured and quantified in various ways; indeed, a human's perception of colors is a subjective process whereby the brain responds to the stimuli that are produced when incoming light reacts with the several types ofcone photoreceptors in the eye.”


Mantis shrimp from front.jpeg


Humans see trichromatically, or through three different spectral receptors: red, green and blue. The most complex color vision system in animal kingdom has been found in stomatopods (such as the mantis shrimp) with up to 12 different spectral receptor types thought to work as multiple dichromatic units.


“There’s a ghost here there’s a presence, there’s a power” El-P - 4$ Vic/FTL (me & you)


"Packaging & Delivery Packaging Detail: export standard packing Delivery Detail: immidiately Specifications Mantis shrimp size 30 c.m. for alive 4 pcs / kilogram can alive 36 hour after packing we can support 170 kg / week”


-Mr. Somchai Rakthai (currently online)


Don’t look for the operating system because it’s not there, but what does it produce?



References and Interests:

1. Arendt H (1958) The Human Condition "The Public and Private Realm" University of Chicago Press

This division is something really interesting for me and important in my work. Can art approach the outside? what sort of visibility does it have? What does the outside look like inside? What does the inside look like outside? So there are two ways: to bring something in, a system, an object, a language, which is not located within art and the second way is to push something from art outwards, out of a space  thats coded as an art space. Also, what could an art encounter feel like or look like in the outside world? Who would the audience be?


2. Lefebvre, Henri (1974, trans. 1991) The Production of Space Oxford


3. Burroughs WS, Gysin B (1978) The Third Mind The Viking Press (also Naked Lunch)

“BURROUGHS: I don't know about where fiction ordinarily directs itself, but I am quite deliberately addressing myself to the whole area of what we call dreams. Precisely what is a dream? A certain juxtaposition of word and image. I've recently done a lot of experiments with scrapbooks. I'll read in the newspaper something that reminds me of or has relation to something I've written. I'll cut out the picture or article and paste it in a scrapbook beside the words from my book. Or I'll be walking down the street and I'll suddenly see a scene from my book and I'll photograph it and put it in a scrapbook. I've found that when preparing a page, I'll almost invariably dream that night something relating to this juxtaposition of word and image. In other words, I've been interested in precisely how word and image get around on very, very complex association lines. I do a lot of exercises in what I call time travel, in taking coordinates, such as what I photographed on the train, what I was thinking about at the time, what I was reading and what I wrote; all of this to see how completely I can project myself back to that one point in time.”


4. Crary J (1988) Techniques of the Observer MIT Press

Viewing positions, Epistemology, Conversations about Representation


5. Deleuze G, Guattari F(1980) A Thousand Plateaus

ideas about the territory.Also the reconfiguration of different zones of thought within one text, the fusing together of different vocabularies, different fields of research, different life forms


6. I would like to include one work of fiction in addition to 'Naked Lunch' which might be 

‘if on a winters night a traveler’  ‘The Castle of Crossed Destinies’  or ‘Invisible Cities’ by italo calvino  

‘Ficciones’  by Jorge Luis Borges 

‘The Investigation’  or ‘The Chain of Chance’  by Stanislaw Lem, 

I have only read the Borges book, so I am curious if anyone could make a recommendation within this bunch, I also plan to look more into them on my own.