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on resistance and naming the enemy

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from EF who wrote a book on LR’s TRANSFORMER LP to JC & an alternative FEAR from the one on that LP

0:30 Love You So Bad 4:15 Evening Prayer 7:13 Interview 14:18 Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone 16:44 Psalm 151
thanks noah

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24 June 2019: Akasaka – Hakone-Yumoto – Tonosawa – Kowakidani – Hakone Open Air Museum

We leave Akasaka, and Hotel Felice–and it has been–for the Romance Car–it, in fact, is–booked to take us to Hakone.

Reaching Hakone-Yumoto, we have climbed off the flatlands of rice production, and ascended into the cloud and into the hills; the temperature has dropped outside; the time has passed in the concentrated suspension of Japanese rail. Even as it is this time not high speed shinkansen but Romance, it is quiet and the consideration of others on the train is quite tangible, not formal or abstract: and it is not granting to one space to do one’s own thing; it is not the privacy, a vacuole or foyer of private liberty, enjoyed when others condescend to leave us alone; it is not that one perceives of as a conscious choice in the respectful distance some cultures observe, say, for example, in view of, and around the romantic couple–or those who are in the throes of an emotional event. It is like snow, general, this discretion, and in extension. So the time seems to pass quickly, until we are swept up into the foothills not so far from Fuji.

Also the timbre of the train changes–almost as if the Romance Car can change gauges, to climb; and the next rail service we come to, on the platform opposite where we disembark, is the Hakone Tozan Railway, which runs on a single track on the second steepest line in the world, from Odawara, which we have passed through, up to Gora, from which the Hakone Ropeway extends, to Lake Ashi–where there are ridiculous Disney tallships–at the foot of Fuji; or it would extend, were it not closed because of increased volcanic activity around the crater of Mount Hakone.

Snapped above is the black garlic seller, the chestnut guy, at Hakone-Yumoto station. We get some (umi as those we ate on the Spanish Steps some years ago), and negotiate the main road, to catch a bus on the far side–not so easy, but the traffic stops to let us trundle over. The bus is free to Ichinoyu Honkan. Chosen for its onsen, it sits directly on the river, in fact a station up, on Tonzan line, from Hakone-Yumoto, at Tonosawa. Here we leave our bags, impressed by the age and beauty of our ryokhan. The oldest parts of the building are four hundred years’ old. It was established in 1630, has, like most old wooden structures in Japan, either been burnt–more common–or been shaken down–far less common, given Japanese craftsmanship–and rebuilt and added on to: from the snap above of the exterior it seems to jut out of the landscape. It is not only that in fact it belongs. It is that the atmosphere gives a subtle acknowledgement that in fact it does.

Our check-in time is at 3. We descend the hill to Hakone-Yumoto once more, having arrived before midday.

From the map it looks like the post office is beside the railway station. We walk down beside the river, past the weir, the arcades across the river for some reason reminding me of Lake Garda. We are directed back across the river from Hakone-Yumoto, up through its other half. A snap of the interior of the post office appears above. It’s raining heavily. We have our 950yen clear plastic umbrella. We stop in at a marquetry store–seems to be a local speciality in the craft line: different woods cut into prisms, the cross sections showing hexagonal and other tesselating patterns, shaved to micromilimetres, laminated and laquered into trays, coasters, serving dishes, display boxes. The high sheen is almost kitsch but the larger items, beyond our price range, are quite beautiful.

What we are not told is Hakone-Yumoto straddles a fork in the river. We mistake one fork for the other, where our ryokhan is, and get lost in the rain.

When we find our way back downriver to Hakone-Yumoto, our plan is to take the Tonzan line perhaps up as far as Gora. But we change our minds.

At this time of year, the Tonzan line becomes the Hydrangea Train, the flowers in bloom on either side of the track, stalked by photographers, locals making the journey simply to experience the profusion of the hydrangea and celebrate its ephemerality.

Second steepest railway–different from cable, rope or ratchet–in the world, Tonzan, to deal with the canting, has a number of switchbacks, and changes direction. It’s fun to see the whitegloved guard and driver running down the platform to swap ends, their high seriousness, their high polish and human haste.

In recognition of the Swiss source of the new cars using the line, the ads inside, in the curved spaces above the windows, and billboards in the stations, depict not Japan, but Switzerland–a similar train passing over stone bridges, up mountains, in the snow. Perhaps it is the steepest?

I snap where we get off, before Gora, because we spot on the route plan, that this is the stop for Hakone Open-Air Museum. J. has read about it. But nothing prepares us for it.

Look, the people inside the work are cleaning it; and the bronzes are restrained from developing a patina–by a similar cleaning regimen?

The face in the hole in the solid sheet is called Surprise with the Glare by Takao Tsuchida. The monumental bronze figures above are by Emile Antoine Bourdelle.

I have noted before the extreme reverence with which modern art is treated–on Naoshima–in its display, and in its careful preservation. But there is a strange contrast here: is it Donald Keane who writes that the Japanese is one of the few if not the only culture to place such high value on ephemeral and passing things–in the tea ceremony, Sakura, the Hydrangea Train, in ikebana, and as a general attitude to the life of both human subjects and objects? But here timeless art is not allowed to age–no patinas allowed! Would the perspex bubbles of the work snapped above have such care lavished on them anywhere else?

This care is nothing new. At Chiyoda Art Centre a team of grasscutters descended on the small patch of grass, and with handheld shears, like scissors, snipped it quietly down. There were seven of them. Of course we see the same in gardens everywhere–the round topiaries of pines, pom-poming in silhouette, the meticulous care taken with packaging, with presenting food, the growing of melons in cube-frames to give square fruit, the technologies of personal bodily care in onsen culture… But the preservation of artworks in a state of newness, when done in materials which do age, to which age adds depth, gravity… Then is this idea of aging inherited from the Romantic ruin cult? Should we be painting back the colours on classical Greek and Roman statuary? Putting the wigs and merkins back on?

The patching and mending of materials, in boro and sashiko–so the fabric tells its story, patched indigo, in white threads–or kinsugi–joining broken ceramics with gold–or even the elaboration of supports for plants and trees, often with support structures, for prized ones, more extensive than the tree or plant itself, these are not the same as the poetry of aging, fragmenting and deterioration prized from the Romantics on? …Although we would place special conditions on the sorts of aging, fragmenting and deterioration that is prized: let there not be rot, or agents active, like bacteria and fungi, in the materials; but let it show the worming in the wood once the worms are gone; let the bronze brought up out of the sea show the barnacles and patinas–but let their work have finished and not be ongoing and live; which reminds us of the icon fabricators, aging back woods, paints and surfaces, as artfully adding patinas and coatings as Hirst’s fantasia… Although we also have the example of Duchamp’s Unhappy ReadymadeReadymade Malheureux of 1919: the geometry textbook despoiled by weather… , well, done by Duchamp’s sister, Suzanne, on his instruction… The trade in instant antiques–chairs whipped with chains and scorched and splattered with grease–reproduces the effects of aging: but death is kept at bay. The Nihonese attitude seems different.

It has been said that the quality wavers of the works exhibited at Hakone Open-Air Museum but it may be just this aspect of taste.

It ought also be considered that the sculpture park is the first of its type in Japan; the collection was started in 1969. By any standards, it is exceptional.

The snap above shows the hot-spring footbath–an onsen for feet.

The Picasso pavilion was closed for renovation. I snapped it because of its big Hollywood letters. The figure in front, called the flower who walks, La Fleur qui Marche, is by Fernand Léger. Like the Miró, also above, its colours have been kept as bright and clean as if it was just done.

This tower is Gabriel Loire’s Symphonic Sculpture, from which the views of cloud sweeping the hills around above are snapped too.

And the first of the Henry Moores, to be continued… by the biggest collection I have seen anywhere.

Antony Gormley lies prostrate in there too.

The Hand of God — Carl Miles, raising the question, and figuring the raising of the question, of taste.

These are Barry Flanagan’s The Boxing Ones–with a vista behind giving a sense of the scale of the place.

Giuliano Vangi’s Grande Racconto recalls us to the hilltop behind Kosan-ji in Ikuchijima, on the Seto Sea, where the whole hill is Carrara marble, 5,000 square metres of it. It is dazzling white enough to give sunstroke–I had to buy a hat after that–perhaps dazzled with the glare of its title, as it is called Maraishin no Oka, Englished as Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future by the sculptor from Hiroshima, Kazuto Kuetani. Here: at squarewhiteworld

Ryoji Goto’s Intersecting Space Construction recalls us to the imbrication of human subjects–like interlocking rooftiles.

We leave Hakone Open-Air Museum having not seen the Picassos, hoping to return perhaps tomorrow… as this substantial collection is being temporarily housed in the gallery where we enter… the one with the big name being closed… and I do not show here the indoor exhibitions, featuring a Giorgio de Chirico sculpture, an Yves Klein blue relief work, with gold figures, Giacometti’s thin woman without arms, Femme Mince sans Bras, captivating, some of which can be seen here: https://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/en/exhibitions/article_reg.cgi?id=829688

The Tonzan back as far as our stop, Tonosawa–the path along the hillside, descending to Ichinoyu Honkan–we check in at last to the most beautiful room we have stayed in, of beautiful humanscale proportions, on the corner of the 400 year-old building, overlooking the river, itself curving around our room, with a private onsen in our room. And we go out searching for dinner. We find a place with the TV on, playing the incomprehensible–to us–reality shows we have seen before–still incomprehensible–and the bowed-over ancient proprietor welcomes us, instructs us on dining etiquette at one point, while his equally ancient, but less bowed-over wife cooks for us. There is for a time nobody else there, but two guys drinking beer and chuhai from enormous glasses, who soon leave. Then a traveler enters in a summer suit with a straw hat and engages the proprietor in a discussion which could as easily have been about the races or rice crops as about the new Emperor.

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Shoshana Zuboff defines:

Sur-veil-lance Cap-i-tal-ism, n.

  1. A new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2. A parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral modification; 3. A rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge, and power unprecedented in human history; 4. The foundational framework of a surveillance economy; 5. As significant a threat to human nature in the twenty-first century as industrial capitalism was to the natural world in the nineteenth and twentieth; 6. The origin of a new instrumentarian power that asserts dominance over society and presents startling challenges to market democracy; 7. A movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty; 8. An expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.

see also: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/20/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-surveillance-capitalism-google-facebook

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highly unlikely

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how many does it take to turn things around?

a billion people

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06.08.2018 Shinjuku, Roppongi

The galleries and the art—you might as well say all other ends—are as nothing to the city. Benesse’s ethically informed and ecological business, putting the engine of capitalism to scaling up a public and cultural interest, are nothing beside the electricity bill of a single district, beside just the electricity bill of Shinjuku.

We went to Mori Art Museum today—again the policing of photography, so few snaps, an exhibition tracing genealogies of architecture in a Japanese cultural context—and the idea of scale was given graphic representation, of human scale: the measurement of a standing body, the reach of an arm, the height of a seat under a seated body, the headheight of one sitting on the floor, the length of a footstep and a stride. But there is also a scale to human dreams; there is a scale to a life: and to the dreams of one living. The question What is to be done? is abstract, purely speculative, beside the question What do you want to do? What do you want to do? expresses a human scale. However What are they doing? What are they doing behind their counters? What are they doing walking in the streets? What are they doing working? What are they doing paying for the service provided? What are they doing looking at the local colour? What are they doing using the subway? What are they doing at the nuclear plant? These are questions that scale up rapidly to encompass other ends: What? What, the energy you draw from the thermonuclear reaction is just for the trains? It is just for the lights? It is just so at night you can carry on selling yakotori at night? (The energy for the hibachi barbecues comes from charcoal … but the charcoal is shipped into the centre of Shinjuku … and so is the meat, as are the vegetables, the drinks. The glasses are from factories. The beer is from an industrial brewery. Consider the size of Asahi: Asahi also supplies streetvending machines; it manufactures peppermints … at least its brand is on peppermints.)

What is every good effort at improving human life compared to the dreams of one living now? Who is not Japanese, serving in Memory Lane, at a yakotori counter barely over a metre wide. But who is Chinese, as are the two women working with her. They are studying at university. What you asked was—put in mind of the women running the ramen place in Kyoto—Is this business yours? The answer given: We are not Japanese. We are Chinese. I am a student. What are you studying? Business studies.

Where do you come from? New Zealand. I would like to go there. To New Zealand? Yes. It is big. It is bigger here! No—more… space. Yes.

To try and get closer to the question: Will you find a Japanese man? No. Japanese man drinks too much. In New Zealand… No. New Zealand men don’t drink at all! Laughter.

Another of the young women was also studying business. In Japan for 4 years, she dreamed of going to New Zealand. This was her dream. She was shy, shy about not having very much English.

Stepping out into the street, after the most expensive meal we’ve had here, we were immediately among the throngs of tourists, all attracted to these few lanes and alleys—Memory Lane!—by a recommendations of others. Look at them, with their cellphones, getting as close as they could to the natives in the area, in their tiny bars, doing their native things in their native tongues, drinking and eating and talking—pressed tightly together in their native humanity. But we are not Japanese.

And then the play of lights above, in the streets, the signage, the displays just for the sake of display: the scale of the city.

The press of people is Japanese. Genealogies of architecture in Japan, from Japan, and the Japanese influence on the contemporary world—of architecture and architectural thinking—did not include the press of bodies, the scale of one compressed on the subway. I felt the bones of the short woman in front of me, in the squeeze.

We were trying not to panic. It was the Oedo line, Roppongi to Shinjuku, the return trip from Mori Art Museum, just after 6pm. The first train that pulled up, although we were only three or four people back in the queue, we did not board. The way to board, when the press is so great, is backwards, pushing back first into the others in the doorway cavity. Then, use the door jambs and overhead lintel for leverage to pull in your legs and arms. If the doors can’t close, they will reopen, so you can push harder back, and pull in the remaining foot or hand. You are holding your bag close against you.

The second train came and J. was determined. The price of success was to be squashed tight in the door area—those standing in the aisle protected their space; those seated were safe. We were squashed so tightly I could not raise my arms. And with a righteous indignation that is embarrassing, when the press increased, with one large guy determined to get on, we yelled Hey! This did attract attention. But the large guy, using the lintel to pull his body in through the door, did get on—the skin of his face would have been pressed against the glass windows of the door, like we had seen with the earlier train: vacuum-sealed skin, faces, arms, bodies.

The fear was that at the ensuing stations—we had seven to cover—more people would be waiting, more would squeeze on: and what if the train broke down? Or what if there was some kind of scare and the crowd got spooked? What if we lost our footing and fell?

At the next station, a few got off, and more got on, but we had made our way, like those puzzles where you slide letters around a square with only one space free, to the corner, to the door opposite the one where we boarded. We had breathing space. I could grab the hanging strap and handle. Another gaijin next to me: he was using his back as a baffle and concentrating on his phonescreen.

What we decided we had meant by Hey! was Hey! That’s enough! That’s not how we do things! … And it was really unnecessary. These people, determined to board, to the discomfort of others, would know there would be another train along in minutes. Another question—because once on, J. said let’s get off, at the next station; we didn’t: If we had not got on the train, had known what we were in for, how long would have had to wait before the commuting press subsided? Or would we have walked? Right across Tokyo.

The Golden Gai, like Memory Lane—tourist gaijin prowling, cellphones at eyeheight.

But the snaps you want—the world is not designed for you either.

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you want to be liked I like you & your dissertation linked below

 

Figure 8.6 Sondra Perry, It’s in the Game (2017), screenshot of video demo

 

from Megan Philipa Driscoll’s Art on the Internet and the Digital Public Sphere, 1994 – 2003

© Copyright by
Megan Philipa Driscoll
2018

(shared on Nettime by Cornelia Sollfrank 25.06.2018)

 

abstract

This dissertation narrates the development of internet art, a diverse set of practices united
by their interrogation of the technological, social, and/or political bases of computer networks.
Covering the period from 1994, when “internet art” began to coalesce around the rise of the
World Wide Web, to 2003, when both internet art and internet culture writ large began to
respond to the rise of social media and “web 2.0” technologies, the dissertation homes in on a
select number of net art projects that variously engaged or challenged this period’s most
persistent claim: that the internet is a new, digital public sphere. By studying how these artworks
critiqued this claim, the dissertation uncovers three major models through which net art has
asserted the publicness of computer networks—as an interpersonal network that connects or
unites strangers into groups; as a virtual space akin to physical spaces of public gathering,
discourse, and visibility; and as a unique platform for public speech, a new mass media
potentially accessible to all.

Claims for the public status of computer networks rest on their ability to circulate
information and facilitate discussion and debate. This definition of publicness is rooted in the
concept of the classical public sphere as theorized by Jürgen Habermas. The dissertation will
thus review Habermas’s model of the classical public sphere as well as its most significant
critiques in order to interrogate the terms of a digital public sphere. The dissertation will also
engage Michael Warner’s work on the formation of publics, counterpublics, and the mass-
cultural public sphere; Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s analysis of shared experience as the
foundation of the formation of public spheres and the role of mass media in this process; Henri
Lefebvre’s articulation of the social production of space; and Gilles Deleuze and Alexander
Galloway’s respective analyses of the role of network logics in contemporary systems of control.

The dissertation begins with a chapter overview of the emergence of computer
networking during the second half of the twentieth century and the different ways in which
artists experimented with it to explore new modes of communication, collaboration, and
exchange. With the appearance of the web in the mid-1990s, and with growing art institutional
interest in its novelty, these experiments crystallized into what we now know as internet art,
bringing with it challenging questions regarding the viability of the internet as an unprecedented
digital public sphere.

The second chapter turns to this emergent field of net art and how some artists tried to
define the terms of a new public sphere as an interpersonal network that allows people who are
not in physical or temporal proximity with each other to form publics. The chapter explores
Douglas Davis’s The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994) and Heath Bunting’s Project
X (1996), two works that use the strategy of accumulation to make visible the collective presence
of internet users, either as a reading public formed through the circulation of discourse or as a
public united by the articulation of its members’ shared experience. The third chapter introduces
practices that challenge the presumed universality of the digital public sphere by foregrounding
gender and race issues, which are often obscured in dominant discourses regarding computer
networks. The chapter focuses on Cornelia Sollfrank’s Female Extension (1997) and Mendi +
Keith Obadike’s Black.Net.Art Actions (2001 – 2003), demonstrating how these works help to
define the counterpublics of the digital public sphere by circulating marginalized discourses on
the web in opposition to the mainstream.

The fourth chapter examines the spatialization of computer networks and how the
internet’s communication platforms have become conceptually analogous to ancient forums or
seventeenth-century coffee shops. Through analyses of Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s Listening
Post (2001) and Natalie Bookchin and Jacqueline Stevens’s agoraXchange (2003), the chapter
attends to both utopian and skeptical views regarding the viability of the internet as a (virtual)
space of public gathering and discourse. Chapter five further interrogates the idea that the
internet is a theater of visibility, where actions are public because they cannot be private. The
first artwork in this chapter, RSG’s Carnivore (2001), critically addresses computer networks as
a surveillance technology and part of a system of social control. The second work, Eva and
Franco Mattes’s Life Sharing (2000 – 2003), explores what happens when internet users embrace
this condition of (hyper)visibility, freely sharing not only their personal information but also
their intellectual property, thereby eliding spatial and juridical notions of public domain.

The sixth chapter addresses the notion of computer networks as a new mass medium of
public speech, a platform for publicity that is also a site of struggle to exert influence on the
public sphere. Homing in on the work of net art collective ®TMark, the chapter follows how the
collective uses parody to challenge institutions that seem complicit in the commercialization of
ivthe network and the suppression of individuals’ access to the network’s platforms for public
speech. In the seventh chapter, the dissertation turns to artists’ responses to a legal challenge that
threatened their speech rights on the network, a set of actions known today as Toywar (1999 –
2000). The chapter also contends with how etoy, a collective of artists involved in the litigation,
took up corporate branding as artistic practice to reframe internet communication platforms as
tools of mass publicity in a mass-cultural public sphere.

The final chapter concludes with a reflection on the changes in the forms of net art and its
place in the field of contemporary art that followed the first phase of net art, the central focus of
the dissertation. While acknowledging the transformation of the online environment brought on
by social media and other “web 2.0” technologies, the chapter argues that the question of
whether computer networks can function as a digital public sphere remains an open and
contested one. The dissertation as a whole thus provides an historical account and critical
analysis of internet art that encompasses not only its technological evolution but also its
confrontation with the claims of publicness upon which our understanding of computer
networks, and the art made on and about them, are founded.

 

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production of the fold is critical not only for resistance but for new possibilities from the event of bio-, neo- or neuroliberalism

…Deleuze picked up the notion of the fold from the Baroque and Leibniz, but it is Foucault who helped him develop a politically enabling understanding of the concept. In his book on Foucault, Deleuze discusses the way Foucault’s understanding of the fold developed after the first volume of the History of Sexuality and took shape with the subsequent two volumes. Recognizing how, after his first book, Foucault found himself at an impasse regarding how to find a relation to oneself in relation to power and knowledge, Deleuze sees how Foucault began to move beyond this impasse in subsequent books. In the second volume he begins to develop not a theory of the subject, but a theory of the fold as a force of subjectification, as a force bending in on itself, creating points of resistance. This folding enables resistance, as it produces ‘a specific or collective individuation relating to an event’.

— Frida Beckman, Gilles Deleuze: Critical Lives, Reaktion Books, London (2017), p. 63

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the window is open a crack; but I will not sober up and shut it.

The Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic sniffs the breeze and smells the austerity on the breath of Ardern’s Labour Party.

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