Friday, December 10, 2010

Parliament Square Protest London 9.12.10 was also about this...








why did it look more dramatic on the news than it actually was?




merry x-mas!

creativity with minor resources, great impact



a friendly atmosphere prevailed, even after dark when the toughest confronts were taking place,



within a few minutes a group of students started a cafeteria...

Sometimes is difficult not to loose reason



the book bloc






Monday, November 15, 2010

we need to fight


Yes, we do need new ways of fighting and resisting, but while we/they think about it we might as well unite.









Sunday, July 25, 2010

FOX POWER 800



Limiar

passagem
soleira
princípio
ombreira
entrada
saída

Espaços liminais, entre o interior e o exterior; o já não e o ainda não; ritual de passagem entre a adolescência e a idade adulta, entre a potência e a realização, vida animal e vida política. As ombreiras das portas são um dos lugares seguros em caso de terramoto, segundos que para a vida em suspenso parecerão uma eternidade.

Eu vivo no limiar da periferia. Onde a cidade perde consistência e o subúrbio desponta, nem residencial, nem industrial, nem natural, apenas entroncamentos.

Eu vivo.
A questão de ser e viver conflacionadas, a questão de ser bios e zoē. Bios é a nossa vida política, aquela que diz respeito à polis, enquanto que zoē é a nossa vida enquanto organismos vivos.

- As ostras estão vivas quando as comemos?
- As ervas daninhas contam como vida?

Essa mera vida natural começa a dizer respeito à polis exactamente na vida moderna, ou democrática por assim dizer, quando a política se transforma em biopolítica, e o estado já não está interessado na vida individual de cada cidadão em particular mas na vida colectiva da espécie, este é o “limiar da modernidade biopolítica”. O Soberano já não é entendido como aquele que tem o poder de to kill ou let live; mas soberania é agora a decisão de make live ou let die; de decidir o estado de emergência no qual a lei é suspensa; suspensão tal que lhe dá a sua raison d’être.

A excepção é também liminal, já não... ainda não, já não é zoē ... ainda não é bios.
Esta vida nua é a vida do ser liminal, sujeito ou súbdito do poder político moderno, do soberano que decide esse mesmo estado de excepção. A soberania é ela mesma uma ombreira que está fora e dentro da lei, que aplica e não se faz aplicar. Lei que está fora de si mesma, que se aplica por não se aplicar. A excepção faz a regra, a excepção justifica a regra. A questão é quando a excepção passa a ser a regra.

William Lyttle cavou quilómetros de túneis em torno da sua casa em Hackney durante 40 anos sem propósito à vista.

O limiar é o espaço da soberania e da vida nua. Aqui e agora toda a vida é um só túnel, que como o da toupeira de Hackney tem-se a si mesmo como propósito.

Os túneis são também liminais, já não e ainda não, longas ombreiras subterrâneas, potência nem sempre actualizada... isto é Rotherhite, já não ... ainda não, isto é Wapping; isto é Kent, já não... ainda não, isto é Calais; isto é o México, já não... ainda não, isto é Estados Unidos da América. A tecnologia para teletransportar corpos de um local para o outro já não é o horizonte insuperável da ciência, é actual, porém, uma questão permanece, quando o corpo se divide à partida na sua mais pequena unidade, como reorganizar o todo à chegada?

Somos aquele mesmo que partiu?

Perante a indistinção entre bios e zoē que é a vida nua, o zombie moderno, dedicado já ao mundo dos mortos e portanto sagrado; cuja vida pode ser tomada sem qualquer penalidade, vida cuja distinção entre lei foi apagada para sempre, como reorganizaremos as nossas monadas simultaneamente em singularidade e comunidade?

No quarto episódio da série Americana The Wire, um polícia tenta desencravar uma secretária da ombreira da porta... um segundo polícia junta-se-lhe para ajudar, e mais dois de seguida e finalmente o tenente. Entre grunhidos e praguejamento cinco homens tentam mover a secretária. Exaustos param para avaliar a situação quando primeiro exclama:

- Assim nunca mais a vamos conseguir trazê-la para dentro!

Perante a cara de estupefacção dos colegas ele volta a exclamar:

- O que foi?

Dentro? Exclamam um após o outro. Cristo!

“Este corpo biopolitico que é a vida nua deverá transformar-se no local da constituição e instauração de uma forma de vida que é totalmente esgotada na vida nua e numa bios que é a sua própria zoē.” (Agamben)



Threshold

passage
groundsill
beginning
jamb
entrance
exit

Liminal spaces, between inside and outside; the no longer and the not yet; passage ritual between adolescence and adulthood, between potentiality and actuality, animal life and political life. Door thresholds are one of the safest places in case of an earthquake, seconds that for the suspended life will seem like an enternity.

I live in the threshold of the periphery. Where the city losses its consistency and the suburb rises, neither residential, nor industrial or natural, rather mere junctions.

I live.

The question of being and living conflates, the question of being bios and zoē. Bios is our political life, the one that regards the polis, while zoē is our live as living organisms.

- Are oysters alive when we eat them?
- Does weed count as life?

This mere natural life starts concerning the polis exactly in modern life, or rather democratic life, when the political becomes biopolitical, and the state is no longer interested in the individual life of each particular citizen but in the collective life of the species, this is the “threshold of biopolitical modernity”. Sovereign is no longer understood as the one that holds the power to kill and let live; rather, sovereignty, is now the decision to make live and let die; to decide on the emergency state where law is suspendend; suspension which gives law its raison d’être.

The exception is also liminal, no longer... not yet, no longer zoē... not yet bios.
This bare life is the life of the liminal being, subject, or subject of, the modern political power, of the sovereign that decides that state of exception. The sovereignty is itself a threshold that is outside and inside the law, that applies and is not applied to. Law that is outside itself, that applies by not applying. The rule lives of the exception alone, the exception justifies the rule. The question is when exception is in itself the rule.

William Lyttle dug miles of tunnels around his house in Hackney during 40 years without a purpose in sight.

The threshold is the space of sovereignty and bare life. Here and now every life is one single tunnel, that like those of Hackney’s mole have in itself its purpose.

Tunnels are also liminal, no longer and not yet, long subterranean thresholds, potentiality not always actualized... this is Rotherhithe, no longer... not yet, this is Wapping; this is Kent, no longer... not yet, this is Pas-de-Calais; this is Mexico, no longer... not yet, this is the United States of America. The technology to teletransport bodies from one place to another is no longer the unsurpassable horizon of science, it is present, however one question remains, when the body is divided at the departure in its smallest units, how to reorganize the whole in the arrival?

Are we the same one that departed?

Given the lack of distinction between bios and zoē that bare life is, the modern zombie, already dedicated to the dead and therefore sacred; whose life may be taken without punishment, life whose distinction between law was for ever erased, how to reorganize our monads simultaneously into singularity and community?

In the forth episode of the American series The Wire, a policeman tries to move a desk that is jammed on the threshold of a door... another policeman jumps in to help, and then two other and finally their lieutenent. Between grunts and swearing five men try to move the desk.

Exausted they stop to evaluate the situation when the first exclaims:


- At this rate we’re never gonna get it in!

Before the face of stupefaction of his colleagues he exclaims again:

- what?

In? Exclaims one after the other. Christ!

“This biopolitical body that is bare life must itself instead be transformed into the site for the constitution and installation of a form of life that is wholly exausted in bare life and a bios that is only its own zoē.” (Agamben)

Umbral

Pasaje
Solera
Principio
Jamba
Entrada
Salida

Espacios liminales, entre el interior y el exterior; el ya no y el aun no; ritual de pasaje entre la adolescencia y la edad adulta, entre la potencia y la actualización, vida animal y vida política. Los marcos de las puertas son uno de los lugares más seguros en caso de un terremoto, segundos que para una vida en suspenso parecerán una eternidad.

Yo vivo en el umbral, donde la ciudad pierde consistencia y el suburbio se levanta. Ni residencial, ni industrial, ni natural, sólo entroncamientos.

Yo vivo.

La cuestión de ser y vivir combina la cuestión del ser bios y zoē. Bios es nuestra vida política, en lo que se refiere a polis, mientras que zoē es nuestra vida en tanto organismos vivos.

¿Están vivas las otras cuando las comemos?

¿Cuentan las malas hierbas como vida?


Esta mera vida natural comienza, en lo que respecta a la polis, exactamente en la vida moderna, o democrática por decirlo así, cuando la política se transforma en biopolítica, y el estado ya no esta interesado en la vida individual de cada ciudadano en particular sino en la vida colectiva de la especie, este es el “umbral de la modernidad biopolítica”. El soberano ya no es entendido como aquel que tiene el poder de to kill o let live, sino que la soberanía es ahora una decisión de make live and let die; de decidir el estado de emergencia en el cual la ley es suspendida; suspensión que da a la ley su raison d’être.

La excepción tambien es liminal, ya no… aun no, ya no es zoē… aun no es bios.

Esta nuda vida es la vida del ser liminal, sujeto o subdito del poder politico moderno, del soberano que decide ese mismo estado de excepción. La soberanía es en si misma un umbral que esta fuera y dentro de la ley, que aplica y no se hace aplicar. La excepción hace a la regla, la excepción justifica la regla. La cuestión es cuándo la excepción pasa a ser la regla.

William Lyttle cavó kilómetros de tuneles alrededor de su casa en Hackney durante 40 años, sin proposito aparente.

El umbral es el espacio de la soberanía y de la nuda vida. Aquí y ahora toda vida es un solo túnel que como aquellos del topo de Hackney se tienen a si mismos como propósito.

Los túneles son también liminales, ya no y aun no, largos umbrales subterraneos, potencia no siempre actualizada… esto es Rotherhithe, ya no… aun no, esto es Wapping; esto es Kent, ya no… aun no, esto es Pas-de Calais; esto es México, ya no… aun no, esto es los Estados Unidos de América. La tecnología para teletransportar cuerpos de un lugar a otro ya no es el horizonte insuperáble de la ciencia, es actual, pero una cuestión permanece, cuando el cuerpo se divide en sus unidades más pequeñas, cómo reorganizar todo a la llegada?

Somos aquel mismo que partió?

Dada la falta de distinción entre bios y zoē que es la nuda vida, el zombie moderno, dedicado ya al mundo de ls muertos y por lo tanto sagrado; cuya vida puede ser tomada sin ninguna penalidad, vida cuya distionción entre la ley fue apagada para siempre, cómo reorganizaremos nuestras mónadas simultáneamente en singularidad y comunidad?

En el cuarto capítulo de la serie Americana The Wire, un policía tenía que destrabar un escritorio del umbral de una puerta… un segundo policía se une para ayudar, y luego dos más, y finalmente el teniente. Entre gruñidos e insultos cinco hombres tratan de mover el escritorio. Exhaustos paran para evaluar la situación cuando el primero exclama:

- Así nunca vamos a conseguir meterlo!

Ante la cara de estupefacción de sus colegas, exclama de nuevo:
- ¿Qué?

¿Adentro? Exclaman uno tras otro. ¡Cristo!


“Este cuerpo biopolítico que es la nuda vida deberá transformarse en el lugar de la constitución ye instauración de una forma de vida que esta totalmente agotada en la vida nuda y una bios que es su propia zoē.” (Agamben)


Ângelo Ferreira de Sousa, Carla Cruz e/and Jose Araud-Bello

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the fox


the fox
Originally uploaded by litcha sparletta
Fox power 800, at the Mews, London
with Carla Cruz, Jose Arnaud-Bello and Ângelo Ferreira de Sousa

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Onde comprar //Where to buy: AMIW



A publicação AMIW - Novas Cartas Portuguesas está já à venda (10,5€) nos seguintes locais:
The Publication AMIW - New Portuguese Letters (9£) is now on sale at:

Porto:
INC
Inc. livros e edições de autor
Rua da Boa Nova, 168
4050-101 Porto
(+351) 22 609 55 37

GESTO

Gesto Cooperativa Cultural
Rua Cândido dos Reis, 64
4050-153 Porto
Portugal
(+351) 22 332 09 86

DAMA AFLITA
Galeria Dama Aflita
Rua da Picaria n84
4000 PORTO

Coimbra:
Casa da Esquina
Rua Aires de Campos nº6,
3000-014 Coimbra
(ao lado do Convento das Carmelitas)
(+351) 23 904 13 97

Lisboa:
ZDB
Zé dos Bois
Rua da Barroca
Nº59 1200-047 LISBOA
(+351) 21 343 02 05


UK: London:
MEWS
the Mews Project Space
Osborn Street,
Alley behind the Whitechapel art gallery
London, E1

Sunday, May 16, 2010

demoCRACIA



THE UNSURPASSABLE HORIZON
A project by Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado
No Soul for Sale – A Festival of Independents at Tate Modern, London

No Soul For Sale – A Festival of Independents
May 14 – 16, 2010
10 AM – 12 PM (May 16: 6 PM)

www.nosoulforsale.com


Lisbon, May 10 – The Lisbon-based curatorial collective Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado is presenting “The Unsurpassable Horizon”, a project organized for NO SOUL FOR SALE – A Festival of Independents at Tate Modern, London. This project brings together works by Carla Cruz, Ruth Ewan, Runo Lagomarsino, and Lotte Lindner & Till Steinbrenner. The works on view respond to, comment, and speculate on the potential of the communitarian ideal in contemporary society. This project thus addresses the social fabric in which both artists and non-profit organizations/curatorial collectives operate, considering consider the public sphere as an arena of individual participation in the collective future.

In one of the most acknowledged books by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperable Community (1982), he sets himself the task of redefining community beyond a cultural, economic and political dimension. To be operative, the community needs a substance, a sense of communion, and this is the intellectual framework that shapes “The Unsurpassable Horizon”. These artists deal with community as something that either has been disintegrated or that is in a process of rebuilding. Their practice thus reflects the entropic current state of affairs that Nancy encapsulates with his reference to the contemporary “unsurpassable horizon” of political, economic, and cultural regimes.



Cruz’s demoCRACY (2010) consists of a typical voting scene: a ballot box and two piles of ballots on each side of it. The ballots have a question addressed to the potential voter: “Would You Like To Participate?” Three possible answers are given: “Yes”; “No”; and “None of The Above”. What is not made clear is on what the viewer would be voting on. In addition, there are no pens available and the ballot box doesn’t even have a slot where one could insert the ballot. Alluding to the mixed feelings of hopelessness expectation of change through the electoral process, the artist examines issues of civic participation and citizenship in liberal democracies.



Ewan presents a series of drawings created between 2006 and 2009 that are available as stickers sold at cost price. These works are informed by a range of sources referencing several British socially radical groups. Among these organizations is The Plebs League, a political association inspired by Marxist ideals founded in 1908 at Ruskin College, Oxford, which attempted to create a brand new educational system, free from capitalist ideology. The drawings were made by young people, aged 12 to 14, as a result of a series of one-to-one workshops done by the artist. In this learning context, she examined how ideas are disseminated and systems of belief are created, thus addressing the ideological dimension of any educational process.

Lagomarsino’s Notion of Conflict, Dance of the Piñata (2004) explores the dynamics of oppression and resistance by alluding to an ancient, popular Latin American game – the Piñata – that was used by European colonizers to “Christianize” indigenous populations. In this video, a blindfolded male character attempts to hit a piñata figure shaped as a human body dressed in a military uniform. After finally succeeding it with extreme violence, the image slowly fades to black, leaving the viewer to ponder what happens after. The work reflects the era of colonization as the institutionalization of state violence and the subsequent means of collective opposition and cultural hybridization that accompanied the de-colonization of Latin America.

Lindner & Steinbrenner’s Start Spreading the News (2010) consists of a printer connected to the Internet continuously printing on A4 sheets of paper everything that is worth being reported by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading press agency. This device is located on top of a ladder, so every minute 2/3 sheets of paper will tumble into the ground, each containing absolutely unfiltered news from somewhere in the world. These are words that have no feedback from the audience, allegorically replicating the way most information is circulated on a global scale. Through the poetic image of “falling news” that they created, the artists question the power of the media in the shaping of the current visions of the world.


NOTES TO THE EDITORS

NO SOUL FOR SALE is a festival of independents that brings together the most exciting not-for-profit centers, alternative institutions, artists’ collectives and underground enterprises from around the world. Neither a fair nor an exhibition, NO SOUL FOR SALE is a spontaneous celebration of the individuals and groups that live outside the market and that animate contemporary art. To celebrate Tate Modern's 10th anniversary, the second edition of NO SOUL FOR SALE, organized by Cecilia Alemani, Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni, and produced by Tate Modern, is bringing together 70 of the world's most innovative independent art spaces and teams to take over the Turbine Hall. The festival will fill the iconic space with an eclectic mix of cutting-edge shows and events on 14-16 May 2010.

Participants in the second edition of NO SOUL FOR SALE include: 2nd Cannons Publications (Los Angeles), 98weeks research project (Beirut), Alternative Space LOOP (Seoul), Arrow Factory (Beijing), ArtHub Asia (Shanghai/Bangkok/Beijing), Artis - Contemporary Israeli Art Fund (New York/Tel Aviv), Artists Space (New York), Artspeak (Vancouver), Auto Italia South East (London), Ballroom (Marfa), Barbur (Jerusalem), Black Dogs (Leeds), Capacete Entertainment (Rio de Janeiro), casa tres patios (Medellín), Cinématèque de Tanger (Tanger), cneai= (Paris-Chatou), Collective Parasol (Kyoto), Dispatch (New York), e-flux (Berlin), Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel - 220 jours (Paris), Embassy (Edinburgh), Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado (Lisbon), FLUXspace (Philadelphia), FormContent (London), Galerie im Regierungsviertel / Forgotten Bar Project (Berlin), Green Papaya Art Projects (Manila), Hell Gallery (Melbourne), Hermes und der Pfau (Stuttgart), i-cabin (London), Intoart (London), K48 Kontinuum (New York), Kling & Bang (Reykjavík), L'appartement 22 (Rabat), Latitudes (Barcelona), Le commissariat (Paris), Le Dictateur (Milan), Light Industry (New York), Lucie Fontaine (Milan), lugar a dudas (Cali), Mousse (Milan), Next Visit (Berlin), New Jerseyy (Basel), Not An Alternative (New York), no.w.here (London), Or Gallery (Vancouver), Oregon Painting Society (Portland), Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong), Peep-Hole (Milan), PiST/// (Istanbul), Post-Museum (Singapore), PSL [Project Space Leeds] (Leeds), Rhizome (New York), Sala-Manca & Mamuta (Jerusalem), Sàn Art (Ho Chi Minh City), Scrawl Collective (London), studio1.1 (London), Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art (New York), The Mountain School of Arts (Los Angeles), The Museum of Everything (London), The Royal Standard (Liverpool), The Suburban (Chicago), The Western Front Society (Vancouver), Thisisnotashop (Dublin), Torpedo - supported by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Tranzit.cz (Prague), Viafarini DOCVA (Milan), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Western Bridge (Seattle), White Columns (New York) and Y3K (Melbourne).


Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado is a Lisbon-based curatorial team that started out in 2004 with the programming of different alternative spaces in Lisbon. They have organized series of solo shows by Portuguese emerging artists that have stirred up the city’s traditional art scene. They have been working internationally since 2009, having shifted their focus from conventional exhibition formats to critically engaging, participatory projects informed by the relationships of aesthetics and ethics within artistic practice.




/////////////MAKING A LIVING \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

AN OPEN LETTER TO TATE

TATE: NO SOUL FOR SALE // ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM // FAIR PAY FOR ARTISTS

"We don't really cherish our artists to the degree we should."
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, quoted in the Evening Standard 23.04.10

As a grouping of national and international artists, we publicly challenge No Soul For Sale (NSFS) at Tate Modern over the weekend of 14th-16th May 2010.

The title No Soul For Sale re-enforces deeply reductive stereotypes about the artist and art production. With its romantic connotations of the soulful artist, who makes art from inner necessity without thought of recompense, No Soul For Sale implies that as artists we should expect to work for free and that it is acceptable to forego the right to be paid for our labour.

It has come to our attention that many participants are not being paid by Tate Modern for their efforts. In fact, most are self-funding their activities throughout the weekend. Tate describes this situation as a “spirit of reciprocal generosity between Tate and the contributors”. But at what point does expected generosity become a form of institutional exploitation? Once it becomes endemic within a large publicly funded art space?

Reciprocal generosity is the lifeblood of independent art communities throughout the world. This spirit is not however the property of any one institution, artist or curator and it is complacent for Tate to believe that their position is comparable to ground level arts activity. It therefore seems disingenuous for Tate to claim that their hosting of NSFS is somehow altruistic or philanthropic. Tate publicly has the most to gain, yet we have discovered that Tate’s reciprocity does not even extend to the provision of basic resources, such as the use of chairs and tables for some of the participants in NSFS. Tate will commercially benefit from NSFS through increased audiences and the inevitable increase in the sale of books, magazines, merchandise, refreshments, donations and exhibition entry fees. Is the nature of this exchange really occurring on a level playing field? Is the relationship as reciprocal as it could be?

As many of us in Making A Living have worked with Tate and other major art galleries, we understand that the expectation of free labour and self -funding is not exclusive to NSFS. During our discussions it has come to light that Tate has not paid artists for some exhibitions, workshops and events, including last year’s Tate Triennial, and that this policy has existed over a considerable period of time, long before the current economic crisis became an issue for arts institutions.

We call for an end to this poor practice and manipulation of generosity as Tate Modern celebrates its 10th birthday. We call on Tate to make public its policy in regard to artists’ fees.

If artists continue to work for free, or are expected to pay for their efforts when working with our major art institutions, then we deny opportunities to the great majority of artists who simply cannot afford to take such financial risks. Tate and other major publicly funded galleries risk spoiling their good work by unwittingly limiting their pool of future exhibiting artists to individuals who can afford to pay for the privilege, or who are content or able to work for little or no pay. If NSFS manages to start a productive conversation about this 'elephant in the room' then we think it may yet be described as a success.

M.A.L
(Making A Living: A discussion group of Arts professionals currently active across the UK)
makingaliving@live.co.uk

/////////////PORTUGUES\\\\\\\\



O colectivo curatorial Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado apresenta “O Horizonte Insuperável”, um projecto desenvolvido para o evento No Soul for Sale – A Festival of Independents. Este evento reúne cerca de 70 dos mais inovadores espaços alternativos e colectivos curatoriais do mundo e realiza-se na Tate Modern, em Londres, no âmbito da comemoração do 10º aniversário desta instituição.

Lisboa, 3 de Maio – O colectivo curatorial Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado apresenta “O Horizonte Insuperável”, um projecto desenvolvido para o evento No Soul for Sale – A Festival of Independents. Este evento reúne cerca de 70 dos mais inovadores espaços alternativos e colectivos curatoriais do mundo e realiza-se na Tate Modern, em Londres, no âmbito da comemoração do 10º aniversário desta instituição. Após participações na primeira edição de No Soul for Sale – A Festival of Independents (Nova Iorque, 2009), na Frieze Projects da Frieze Art Fair (Londres, 2009) e na Curators’ Desk da Just Madrid (Madrid, 2010), “O Horizonte Insuperável” é o quarto projecto recentemente organizado por Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado em contextos de excelência internacionais.

O Horizonte Insuperável” inspira-se no pensamento do filósofo francês Jean-Luc Nancy. No livro La communauté désoeuvrée (1982), este definiu comunidade para além da sua dimensão cultural, económica e política. O projecto compreende obras de Carla Cruz, Ruth Ewan, Runo Lagomarsino e Lotte Lindner & Till Steinbrenner que exploram o potencial do ideal comunitário na contemporaneidade. À natureza ontológica de colectivos curatoriais subjaz a relação com o tecido social em que operam, assim considerando o espaço público como uma arena para a participação individual no devir colectivo. Sob esta premissa, reuniram-se artistas que abordam a comunidade como uma realidade tanto em desintegração como em construção. Assim, as suas propostas enquadram as palavras de Nancy, para quem “o testemunho mais doloroso do mundo moderno (...) é o da dissolução, deslocação ou conflagração da comunidade.”

Carla Cruz recria uma mesa de voto; porém, os boletins contém uma pergunta – “Gostaria de participar” – com respostas múltiplas e a urna encontra-se selada, impedindo o gesto democrático. De Ruth Ewans vende-se, a preço de custo, um conjunto de autocolantes com desenhos alusivos a diversos grupos radicais britânicos, incluindo a The Plebs League, inspirada pelo ideário marxista. Aludindo ao popular jogo “pinãta”, o vídeo de Runo Lagomarsino analisa as dinâmicas de opressão e resistência resultantes do colonialismo na América Latina. Lotte Lindner & Till Steinbrenner compõem um dispositivo tecnológico através do qual se imprimem continuamente, em folhas de papel A4, as notícias geradas pela agência noticiosa Thomson Reuters.

Monday, May 03, 2010

CHANTAL MOUFFE’s Democratic Paradox seen through TERRE THAEMLITZ’s Rosary Novena for gender Transitioning – Soulnessless Project.


http://www.comatonse.com/releases/soulnessless/


Assuming, as the Oxford Dictionary states, that a Paradox is a “proposition that, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self contradictory” and democracy is a system of government by the whole population, what is contradictory about the rule of the many? This is the starting point of Mouffe’s analyses, that the Modern Democratic project poses a threat to democracy itself.
By criticizing the supposed essence, i.e. permanent nature, of liberal democracy Mouffe builds an argument for a radical pluralist democracy.

Pluralism as the dissolution of the markers of certainty (a notion that Mouffe takes from Lefort) legitimates conflict and division and proposes equality. The modern liberal democracy accepts pluralism, but this is taken as irrelevant and relegated to the private sphere as differences being mere facts, but Mouffe argues that pluralism is a not a fact but a valuable principle that should be enhanced and not hidden. Nonetheless if pluralism is to be celebrated it is also presented with limits, Mouffe does not defend heterogeneity to an incommensurable point, she proposes a continuous challenging of the relations of subordination but not their extinction, for this relations help us building the “we” which is the construction she claims as holding the political dimension.

Then in order to understand the importance of conflict she shows the eradicable nature of power. Objectivity, i.e. identity, is perceived always in opposition to something outside itself, and that outside is what makes it perceptible, so is part of its nature, power is identity’s “constitutive outside”. Identity is consequently contingent and therefore no one can claim to represent the totality. Power relations will always be there, so democracy can not be about abolishing power and antagonism, therefore the question is how to transform antagonism and Power according to democratic values?

Liberal democracy by concealing pluralism instead of building institutions that could present antagonism (rivalry) in an agonistic (contestant) way creates a problem, this being the transformation of political adversaries into enemies; and by presenting its institutions solid as real buildings unlegitimates and irrationalizes any possible challenge. Since homogeneity is an illusion and consensus an impossibility, what Mouffe proposes is a continuous and permanent agonistic conflict that instead of trying to erase power, brings it to the fore so it can be challenged.

Terre Thaemlitz is not looking for consensus, he is not looking for political correctness. He affirms boldly in his performance: I hate all religions.
For he is not an atheist that tolerates others belief, he re-asserts:

- I hate all religions. Without exception. Yours too.

Here, in the first part of his project Soulessness: ROSARY NOVENA FOR GENDER TRANSITIONING, Thaemlitz is deconstructing is own religious upbringing, his catholic upbringing.
So when I speak against religion and spirituality, I do so not as a person with the rare luxury of a secular upbringing, but as a person who has struggled to overcome one's own spiritual programming, and who sees others struggling to do the same. I assure you, any harshness to my words rests in defensive panic, not arbitrary aggression. I do not stand proudly before you. I am laying prostrate, an anti-Holy Roller speaking in tongues, trying to catch my breath for one more kick and "Fuck you!" against the endless trample of faiths and superstitions framing my existence in this world from birth to death. I concede the inescapability of religious and spiritual dogma to one degree or another in all corners of life - from extremist religious militarism to the seemingly harmless transcendental pretenses of "soul music," ambient, new age, classical, pop, rock, folk, house... No matter how much I wish for the eradication of spiritual thinking, I have no faith in the possibility of an atheist society or godless world. I am truly without faith. In a media marketplace that demands soulness, I can only offer soulnessless.

Thaemlitz presents this project as lecture performances, directing the narrative in the first person, where theory and facts are interwoven, to a point where it does not really matter the veracity of the facts, they serve to grip the public to his narrative. He stands before the audience in drag, dressed as an old fashion schoolteacher, reading from his notes (which are transcribed in his website). Subsequently he projects a video, where the audio is of equal importance, we should not forget that he is mainly an audio artists. The performance started with this anecdote:

I lived in Oakland, California. Although I did not own a radio receiver, the wires in my studio acted as an antenna, filling the line noise with religious broadcasts from a local public-access radio station.
Some might call them messages from God.
I called them fucking annoying.

The grainy video tells the story of an encounter, or an heritage. A little figurine owned by his grandmother led him to a whole new reading of catholic dogmas, the sinless conception of christ, his death and ressurection. Through the wax figurine of the Virgin Mary displaying a large erected penis to the stained glass representation of the Piéta; Thaemlitz takes us on a journey of individual transubstantiation, not of blood into wine, but of female into male and back again.
The woman that engenders from her own body her sexual opposite, and dies to return to the female form. ROSARY NOVENA is transgender tale.

I use the concept of agonistic pluralism to present a new way to think about democracy which is different from the traditional liberal conception of democracy as a negotiation among interests and is also different from the model which is currently being developed by people like Jurgen Habermas and John Rawls. While they have many differences, Rawls and Habermas have in common the idea that the aim of the democratic society is the creation of a consensus, and that consensus is possible if people are only able to leave aside their particular interests and think as rational beings. However, while we desire an end to conflict, if we want people to be free we must always allow for the possibility that conflict may appear and to provide an arena where differences can be confronted. The democratic process should supply that arena. (MOUFFE, 2000)
I believe Thaemlitz is performing that arena. Presenting us with the affects of such liberal pluralist project that diverts conflict into an underground space, erupting violently on specific subjects, on him.

A limited inquiry into the influences of Catholicism in my own life would be a safer topic to discuss here, since anything less subjective could be labeled culturally insensitive, bad karma, anti-Semitic, demanding fatwah, or any number of other curses bestowed upon outsiders. I wish to limit the potential for such curses because I have already endured acts of verbal and physical violence at the hands of Christians, and suspect that fanatical followers of the other great religions of the world are no less capable of the same.

Thaemlitz voices dissent, he does not play the general tolerant model, that “forces the participants to leave aside all their particularities and interests.” (Mouffe, 2000, 87), the democratic tension is ineradicable and Thaemlitz performs it. Critic of spiritualism and the patriarchy society, he uses the symbol of the Virgin Mary, but has he states, not only as a possible feminist icon, but beyond that, as a gender trouble. Extremely critic, as well, of sexual transition through surgery, because in the end what happens is that we all conform to the old same binary of male female. The same old roles, the same old play. Thaemlitz ends the video with a hymn, sung to medical footage of vaginoplasty operation.

On that resurrection morning
When all dead in Christ shall rise
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life
Won't it be so bright and fair
When we meet our loved ones there
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life

I'll have a new home of love eternal
Where the redeemed of God will stand
There'll be no more sorrow (No more pain)
There'll be no more strife
Raised in the likeness of my savior
Ready to live in paradise
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life

When ol' Gabriel blows his trumpet
And we walk the streets of gold
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life
No more pain, worry, sorrow
In this wicked world of sin
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life

I'll have a new home of love eternal
Where the redeemed of God will stand
There'll be no more sorrow (No more pain)
There'll be no more strife
Raised in the likeness of my savior
Ready to live in paradise
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life

Oh dear brother are you livin'
For that day when Christ shall come
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life
Graves all burstin'
Saints a' shoutin'
Heavenly beauty all around
I'll have a new body (Praise the Lord)
I'll have a new life

This sex change, for her, levels down the necessary complexity of gender identities, and the tale of desire to embody the idealized shape is counter posed with the compulsory sex change that homosexuals have to go through in Iran when stating their homosexual preference openly.


Thaemlitz finishes her video presentation and opens the performance to questions from the audience. Again we can sense the opening up of that space for articulation of antagonism, but is society prepared to voice differences and still be able to break some bread afterwards? For Mouffe the goal is to transform antagonisms into agonism. “This requires providing channels through which collective passions will be given ways to express themselves over issues which, while allowing enough possibility for identification, will not construct the opponent as an enemy but an adversary.” (MOUFFE, 2000, p.103)

How can we construct society on this model, against the liberal notion of being a mere collection of individuals and interests groups? For Mouffe “the prime task is not to eliminate passions from the sphere of the public, in order to render rational consensus possible, but to mobilize those passions towards democratic designs.” (MOUFFE, 2000, p.104) We can hint the open up of that place of encounter, of dissent in Thamelitz work, but how will the democratic institutions that could embody society agonistic play, in large scale, look like? Thaemlitz is very pessimistic; she does not believe that there will be any substantial change, even though we can witness this change in her performance; so while not believing in change she is already performing that very same change. And even though we cannot envision the agonistic institutions that Mouffe argues for, where ‘conflictual consensus’ can be achieved, Thaemlitz is voicing out loud all that remains hidden, all that can be only uttered as private (here I mean as non public therefore almost as non political). Hers, as many other projects, is maintaining this possible agonistic pluralism, and therefore keeping “the democratic contestation alive” (MOUFFE, 2000, p.105). Thaemlitz performs democracy, but could it really be institutionalized, as Mouffe believes, in order to save democracy as a form of government and society, or is democracy something else, or better, lying somewhere else, ‘below and beyond’ state policy.

Mouffe argues that the common good is always something unreachable, is “a vanishing point, something to which we constantly refer when we are acting as citizens, but that can never be reached.” (MOUFFE, 1992, p.379) While for Rancière democracy is not a form of government nor a type of society, but egalitarian relations “that are traced here and now through singular and precarious acts,” is there is where we can spot democracy. (RANCIÈRE, 2006, p.96) Somehow their positions do not seem very different, but while Mouffe believes that change, even if precarious, can be achieved through governance, Rancière alert us to look at all that we consider today as democratic achievements, and how they were actually achieved outside the state framework, through people’s struggles and isolated acts.

My queries are these; what could an agonist democratic institution look like, and is it really necessary, or could democracy maintain itself on these temporary agonistic platforms, such as those provided by the arts? Moreover if democracy will never be a form of government but precarious single acts between equals, what is the role of organized social struggle and how can we envision different forms of community? What it seesm to happen in Thaemlitz work, for example is the possibility of different forms of community and empowerment within our oligarchic societies, done with the belief that nothing susbtancial will change, but it must be done anyhow. Although, I might accept that potential for change can be found in that articulation, I am still puzzled with the possibility of a truly democratic governance. But maybe I am down in the belief trap that Thaemelitz so violently urges us not to fall into.


NOVENA PRAYER (FOR NINE DAYS)
Hail, O Lady of Gender Transitioning, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, my hope!
To Thee do I send up my sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
O Holy Mother, in this age when feminine napkins are sold by South Korean transgendered celebrity Harisu, as Your imitators we beseech Thee for humility.
Forgive her envy of menstruation as that which she is "jealous of and wishes to do as a woman," and forgive my envy of sexual reassignment surgery as that which I am jealous of and wish to do as a "man."
Bless me, as You have blessed her, in granting faithful imitation and homage to Thine sacred womb, to give birth to my gender opposite.
Bless me with Thine beauty and grace.
Bless me with the heavenly riches necessary to complete such a transformation.
May the financial success of this audio project serve as the sacred seed of my own menstruation, an idillic flow like that seen in tampon commercials, a holy blue flow reflecting the plasticity of gender transitioning, draping my legs like Your blessed blue robe, that I may follow in Thine image.
O Lady of Gender Transitioning, pray for this sinner now and at the hour of my death, and receive me in my resurrection. This I humbly pray in Your name. Amen.



CHANTAL MOUFFE is a Belgium political theorist, knowned exactly for this notion of the pluralist agonistic democracy. From her vast work she is better known for have writen Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics with the Argentinian political theorist Ernesto Laclau in 1985.

TERRE THAEMLITZ is “a multi-media producer, writer, educator, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. His work combines a critical look at identity politics - including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race - with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. This diversity of themes is matched by Thaemlitz' wide range of production styles, which include electroacoustic computer music, club oriented deep house, digital jazz, ambient, and computer composed neo-expressionist piano solos.”

http://www.comatonse.com/thaemlitz/gigs.html

Thaemlitz is both addressed as male and female throughout this paper both because his own appearance in drag in the performances and her self address in her website are always in between male / female binary, therefore I used the hymn of gender transition to do the linguistic change on Thaemlitz, in lack of a better tool to convey her own gender troubling in a society where one can still not be gender neutral.


MOUFFE, C (1992) Feminism, Citizenship, and Radical Democratic Politics. In BUTLER, J. and SCOTT, J. W. 1992. Feminist Theorize the Political. Routledge.
MOUFFE, C. (2000) The Democratic Paradox. London, New York. Verso.
RANCIÈRE, J. 2006. Hatred of Democracy. Verso.
THAEMLITZ, T. (2009) http://www.comatonse.com/writings/becoming-minor.html (01.05.2010)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ON SPINOZA’S POLITICAL TREATISE


Emanuel de Witte 1675

The world cannot have been created for any purpose other than which it fulfils by being that it is. To say that it has been created for the good of man, or for any similar end, is to indulge in grotesque anthropomorphism. (XXV)

Spinoza (1632–1677) was a contemporary of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and pretty much influenced by the latter. Hobbes thought of humanity as self-interested and always struggling for power and, in his 1615 Leviathan, set out to understand why and how can men actually cooperate and trust each other despite their nature. Hobbes idea, as pointed out by David Held in Models of Democracy, is that to be able to escape a lonely, hard and most certainly short life men have to come together. So society is better than natural state, and as Spinoza would argue, in choosing between two goods or two evils one goes for the greatest of the goods and lesser of the evils, and this could almost be an universal truth, and the reason why men are willing to “surrender their rights of self-government to a powerful single authority” (Held 1996), for the sake of security and self preservation. Hobbes theories were the beginning of the need to establish “both the liberty of individuals and sufficient power for the state to guarantee social and political order.” (Ibid) Hence he thought that the perfect state was absolute but with the consent of the people. “A multitude of men, are One Person, when they are by one man, or one Person, Represented” (ibid – Leviathan p. 220). A sovereign, therefore, is someone or a group of people who has been given the right of governing through the social contract.

But before engaging in his own definition of the perfect government Spinoza will spend a considerable time convincing his readers, in his Theological-political Treatise, that the Bible “leaves reason absolutely free; that it has nothing in common with philosophy, in fact, that Revelation and Philosophy stand on totally different footing” (p. 9); demonstrating that there is no contradiction between being religious, i.e. obedient, and scientific experimenting and thinking. If we are looking for empiric knowledge we won’t find it in the bible. He always sought to “separate philosophy from theology, and to show the freedom of thought which such separation insures both” (p. 200) and having done that he could concentrate on the pursuit of the ideal state.

The concern of philosophers have been to understand what is the aim of the state, and how can a state secure that aim, but even before focusing on what is the goal and goodness of a state, the question might be how can men live together?

According to Spinoza “every individual has sovereign right to do all that he can; (p. 200) so the individual who does not “yet know reason” will act “solely according to the laws of his desire” as the wise man will live according to the laws of reason … “the natural right of the individual man is thus determined, not by sound reason, but by desire and power.” (p. 201) But men, he continues, that do not live in community and by reason “live most miserably”, as argued also by Hobbes, therefore “men must necessarily come to an argument to live together as securely and well as possible if they are to enjoy as a whole the rights which naturally belong to them as individuals, and their life should be no more conditioned by the force and desire of individuals, but by the power and will of the whole body” (p. 202) deciding by doing so to be guided by reason. The question is, how to keep men under human law? If everyone was led by reason, they will keep the social pact for the sake of the good of the state, but according to both Hobbes and Spinoza this is not true. Spinoza believed that mankind is drawn away by pleasure so we are only restrained by the hope of some greater good, or the fear of a greater evil.

Balibar, in Spinoza and Politics, explains how Hobbes argues that in order to establish security, “natural right must be replaced by civil right” (Balibar 1998) which can only be imposed by a higher force, the state, and through the acceptance of the social contract, the natural state is replaced by the “body politic”. But Spinoza rejects this distinction between “natural right” and “civil right”, for him freedom of thought lies beyond the reach of the state.

Having come together in society men are giving away part of their rights and power, but this, argues Spinoza, would not enslave them, because the individual might be less free but the state is the freest; the subject “obeys the orders of the sovereign power, given for the common interest, wherein he is included.” (p. 215) Here we can see how he differs from Hobbes, for men remain as they were in the state of nature, equals, because no one transfers his rights absolutely, one still has a voice. Furthermore even in acting out of fear for the state, men act according to their own thought, “obedience does not consist so much in the outward act as in the mental state of a person obeying.” (Ibid)


Security or common good have been seen as the aim of governance but for Spinoza the true aim is liberty. The best government allows “freedom of philosophical speculation no less that of religious belief” (p. 263) and this is why we went to such a length defending freedom of thought in the Theological Political Treatise. Freedom of speech was of extreme importance to Spinoza, which saw no contradiction between the liberty of saying what one thinks and the authority of the sovereign power.

Spinoza, as Hobbes, desired an absolute state, but, unlike the latter, he believed that it could be in the hands of the multitude, i.e. it could be a democracy. In a democracy “everyone submits to the control of authority over his actions, but not over his judgment and reason (ibid)

As Balibar exposes, all of Spinoza’s arguments, in the Political Treatise, are to prove that the closer a state is to democracy the stronger it will be. “The basis and aim of a democracy is to avoid the desires as irrational, and to bring men as far as possible under control of reason, so that they may live in peace and harmony: if this basis be removed the whole fabric falls to ruin.” (Balibar 1998) Moreover that his democratic propositions are strongly connected to his belief in equality and freedom, freedom of thought as mentioned above and equality between all citizens, which can “exist by the joint result of institutions combined with collective praxis” (ibid)


But Spinoza’s argument, weaved in the Political Treatise thought the analyses of different political regimes, was left unfinished in the middle of the democratic regime, for he died before being able to conclude it, but as Balibar points out, in all regimes’ analyses we see the tendency to democracy “the less sovereignty is physically identified with one fraction of society… the more it will tend to coincide with the people as a whole, and the stronger and more stable it will be. But at the same time, the more difficult it will be to imagine its unity (its unanimity) and its indivisibility (its capacity for decision), and the more complicated it will be to organise them in practice. (Balibar 1998) The question left unanswered then, and still threatening contemporary democracy is, how can the multitude govern its own passions?

“[E]very individual wishes the rest to live after his own mind, and to approve what he approves ... reason can ... do much to restrain and moderate the passions, but ... the road, which reason herself points out, is very steep...” (p. 289) Reason will then refrain the passions, but it does not mean that it destroys them; and passions, Balibar argues, create forms of dependency to others.


To better understand Spinoza’s preference for the democratic rule we follow his own path: what is the best Dominion?

“Where men have general rights, and all guided, as it were, by one mind, it is certain that every individual has the less right the more the rest collectively exceed him in power; that is, he has, in fact, no right over nature but that which the common law allows him. But whatever he is ordered by the general consent he his bound to execute, or may rightfully be compelled thereto. This right, which is determined by the power of a multitude, is generally called Dominion.” (p. 297)

He continues by saying that if the rule, which is decided by the multitude, is entrusted to a “council composed of certain chosen persons” we are facing an aristocracy; if to a sole man, then it will be a monarchy, if “to a council, composed of the general multitude” (ibid) then the dominion is a democracy. But what is the best, i.e., which one can ensure individual’s liberty? Spinoza thought that the best and most independent would be the one “founded and guided by reason” (p. 313) and he added... “a free multitude is guided more by hope than fear” (p. 314). Hope is then the bond between individuals and of those with the state. Hope in Liberty?

How can a Monarchy ensure a good governance and freedom? According to Spinoza, a monarchy is always, in fact, an aristocracy; for no man can “by himself hold the supreme right of a commonwealth.” (p. 317) Moreover, because normally aristocrats are more interested in securing their lineage and plotting against each other, than governing for the people, their subjects will be under worst conditions. Nevertheless, and because from his perspective politics is the science of preserving the state, Spinoza will articulate how could a monarchy persist. First a monarch should be careful of is own inconstancies. “Every law be an explicit will of the king, but not every will of the king a law.” (p. 328) And he thought that the multitude would be willing to hand to a king that “which it cannot itself have absolutely within its authority, namely, ending controversies” (p. 330) and regarding that the king is surrounded by many counsellors that can express the multitude’s interests, “the multitude may preserve under a king’s an ample enough liberty, if it contrive that the king’s power be determined by the sole power, and pursued by the defence of the multitude itself.” (p. 344)


What about aristocracy?
“A king needs counsellors, but a council like this” as we said before, composed of chosen people, “doesn’t. Kings are mortal, but councils are everlasting” (p. 346) Here the multitude is under no consultation and the only reason why aristocracy is not absolute is because the council fears the multitude, therefore the multitude retain some liberty, even if only by a tacit agreement. Spinoza’s conviction was that “aristocracies were formerly democracies… that augmented with foreigners…” (p. 351) and since those could not become citizens of full rights a class of patricians was formed. Spinoza states that if “the nature of patricians was that they were free from all passions (in choosing who his or not a citizen) and guided by mere zeal for the public welfare in choosing their patrician colleagues, no dominion could be compared with aristocracy.”(p. 387) but has said before, reason can refrain passions but never extinguish them.


Therefore we arrive at the third dominion; democracy, which differs from aristocracy mainly because the latter “depends on the supreme council’s will and franchise only, that this or that man is made a patrician, so that no one has the right to vote or fill public offices by inheritance, and that no one can by right demand this right as is the case in the dominion whereof we are now treating.”(Ibid) Thus, a man can claim the right to vote and fill public offices, and even if the supreme council might have fewer citizens this shall still be called a democracy, “because in them the citizens who are destined to manage affairs of the state, are not chosen as the best by the supreme council, but are destined by law.”(Ibid)

That the rule is chosen by lot is the main characteristic of democracy, how it can be, as Spinoza wished, an absolute government is what he did not succeed to explain. Therefore the only clue given has to why he thought this would be the best dominion is what Balibar points out when we says that in the analyses of the former dominions, they are best as they approach a more democratic governance.

But then, how can the multitude govern its passions when one knows that every man thinks the other should live as he does? Can state institutions distil the multiple opinions into a common opinion? Although true equality does not exist and can only be achieve through the action of the state, as true independence does not exist, and citizens have to establish relations of dependence between each other and between them and the state; it is this state and their institutions who should “distil a single opinion, and thus a choice, out of the fluctuation of minds” and to produce a union around a common purpose. Then, as Balibar states, it is imaginable that the multitude might rule itself “on the basis of the dialectic between these two forms of rationalisation of the State, one of which begins by privileging equality, and the other, freedom”. (BALIBAR 1998)




BALIBAR, E. 1998. Spinoza and Politics, Verso.

HELD, D. 1996. Models of Democracy. 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press.

SPINOZA, B. 1951. A Theological-Political Treatise. Dover Publications.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

ANGEL SQUARE #3 // PRAÇA DO ANJO #3



354kg, 118€

“The Porto’s Court of São João Novo ordered yesterday, X, to a prison sentence of four months on charges of receiving stolen goods, the only unlawful act proved in trial”; wrote, in november 2009, M. Claudia Monteiro in the Newspaper Notícias. As an urban tale remains the story that the alleged thieves withdrew energy – to power the equipment needed to shred the bronze sculpture – directly from one of the Clérigos Shopping abandoned stores. The female angel, created by the sculpture José Rodrigues, valued at 200 thousand euros, is the thread to the history of this square. Initially called Angel Square, as the legend tells that the wife of D. Afonso have fallen there from her donkey, and the king ordered that a chapel should be erected on the place. It was after an outdoor market and later, when Porto wanted to appear as a truly European city, that it became Lisbon Square and Clérigos Shopping.
In 2006, none of the refined stores remained open, the space being used only as access to the underground parking. And more specifically, in December 22nd, thieves, who were neither members of an international art trafficking network, nor bearing Zorro’s masks, decided to strike the final blow to a space death at birth.
How many more similar spaces will arise in the city to fall, not under the thick cover of a great cataclysm such as Pompeii, but due to the rapid erosion of the negligent planning of our leaders?
Association of Friends of the Angel Square, Porto 2010.




354kg, 118€

“O Tribunal de São João Novo, no Porto, condenou, ontem, __ a uma pena de prisão efectiva de quatro meses, pelo crime de receptação negligente, o único acto ilícito provado durante o julgamento.” Escrevia M. Cláudia Monteiro em Novembro de 2009 no Jornal de Notícias. Como mito urbano ficará a estória de que os presumíveis assaltantes retiraram a energia – necessária ao equipamento para retalhar a escultura em bronze – directamente duma das lojas abandonadas do Clérigos Shopping. A anja, de autoria do mestre José Rodrigues, avaliada em 200 mil euros, é o fio condutor à história desta praça. Inicialmente denominada Praça do Anjo, pois conta a lenda que a mulher de D. Afonso aí terá caído do burrico, terá então o rei mandado erguer uma capela. Foi depois mercado ao ar livre, e mais tarde quando o Porto se quis dar ares de cidade europeia, transformou-se em Praça de Lisboa e Clérigos Shopping.
Em 2006, nenhuma das lojas de mercadorias finas restava aberta, sendo o espaço apenas usado como acesso ao parque de estacionamento subterrâneo. E mais precisamente a 22 de Dezembro, uns ladrões, que não seriam membros de uma rede de tráfico internacional de arte, nem possuidores de mascarilha, resolveram dar o golpe final a um espaço moribundo à nascença.
Quantos mais espaços semelhantes se erguerão na cidade, para caírem, não sob o manto espesso de um fantástico cataclismo como o de Pompeia, mas, devido à rápida erosão de um planeamento negligente dos nossos líderes?
Associação de Amigos da Praça do Anjo, Porto 2010.


Carla Cruz and Ângelo Ferreira de Sousa at Sousa Ribeiro shop for the Troca-se por Arte event, Porto.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

at Brno - czech republic


Trying out some arguments on public space, participation and collaboration of the audiences at Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Fine Arts.

The worst question I can ever be asked is: “You’re an artist! What type of art do you do?”, I can’t answer straight and I always seem to stutter.

...

And if public sphere, or public space was always connected to politics, or, lets say, it was a way of measuring the pulse of our democratic society, to attest its health, it seems to be less and less part of the political and philosophical discourse, as if of a cadavre we are talking about, and there is nothing much we can do about its situation, than just to forget.

“Participatory practices presumes that there is a difference between the producer and receiver, but the focus is on the latter, to whom a significant part of the development of the work is transferred”(Maria Lind, 2007)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Notes#022

"POWER2010 has entered the final few days of its public vote - where anyone can go online and vote for the changes they'd make to British democracy. Of the 29 ideas in the vote, themselves submitted by members of the public and then endorsed by a Deliberative Poll of a random selection of the population, only the top five come midnight on Monday will make the cut as a set of people's proposals for democratic renewal." quoted from opendemocracy.net
POWER2010 enter site to vote

Notes#021


"Michael Landy transforms the South London Gallery into 'Art Bin', a container for the disposal of works of art. As people discard their art works the enormous 600m³ bin becomes, in Michael Landy’s words, “a monument to creative failure”.
where to apply to discard your work

Notes#020

...thinking of CRISTIANA ROCHA's work when reading Agamben's comming community, specially the idea of the inessential character of the whatever singularity ... not that I fully understand why.

In 2007 at the massive participatory even "Serralves em Festa", at Porto's contemporary art museum, Rocha invited the audience, according to some specific characteristic, to come together at a particular hour of the day at a particular time, and only them the commonality appeared...

see more here

 
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