Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Commoning and Art Practice" @ Nonsite Collective

Here are some preliminary reflections before my talk at Nonsite Collective, a week from this Sunday.

How can the Nonsite Collective, in coalition with sister organizations such as The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Ocean Earth, and 16 Beaver be a think tank for rethinking strategies for practical resistance and aesthetic inquiry towards an emergent commons? If the commons is utopian (of no place) or polytopia (of many places) and has historically tended to emerge at critical points of struggle and antagonism, how can art contribute to and critically reflect conditions of commoning? How can art model the commons — which is to say, how might it provide experiments in the practical organization against anti-democratic social hierarchies and the expropriation of labor, land, and natural resources?

I have many questions, and they all filter into my approach to the topic of commoning: how can we reach out to lawyers/legal advisors to test the law through art/performance/co-motion? How can we channel resources to practical projects whether in the form of private or public funding? How can institutions and apparatuses of education become better sites for resistance to expropriation and social hierarchies which prevent democratic behaviors? To what extent can commoning counteract behaviors both toxic to democratic practices as well as ecologically sustainable existences? To what extent should the body—or bodies in common—become a site where, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., we may once more “make our bodies the case” before the conscience of local, national, and global authorities? If the body is a frontier for expropriation of our rights to exist, what are the consequences of once more making the body a site of vulnerability and contestation, a visible wound by which emergent social formations or subjects may express their common will and concern?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Burning

"...setting fire to the unjust state of things instead of burning the things themselves."
--Gilles Deluze, from Cinema 1

If we were ignited
The things themselves would not burn
The world would touch me not
It would touch me with a wound

Making visible the appearance
Of the we the semblance assembling us
Who lay their bodies down like
They was a case for every one

Hollering for the fire
As it carried them down
Hollering a reverse phoenix a kind
Of homage to sundown

To a black sun the shafts of which
Cannot arrive nor hold
Us up to any other remaining thing
The ash in reverse the slipping still

Arranged like witness singing
Rupture into innocence
Writing codes switched just as suddenly
As dark as they are ideal.

Poems & Pictures Opens Tomorrow!

Poems & Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book (1946 - 1981)
July 7, 2010 - September 11, 2010

Organized by Kyle Schlesinger

Image above:
Negative, 1973
Phillip Guston & Bill Berkson
Poems & Pictures examines relationships between visual and language art. The exhibit features over 60 books produced between 1946 and 1981, as well as paintings, collages, periodicals, and ephemera. Poets, artists and collaborators include Wallace Berman, Joe Brainard, Robert Creeley, Jim Dine, Johanna Drucker, Philip Guston, Joanne Kyger, Emily McVarish, Karen Randall, Larry Rivers, George Schneeman, and many more.