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<nettime> Re: Signals, Statistics & Social Experiments
Rene Gabri on Tue, 23 Nov 2004 00:26:25 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Re: Signals, Statistics & Social Experiments


Dear Brian,

As I occasionally do, I visited Nettime and was happy to see your text. (I 
am posting this, because others may find it useful)

I enjoyed reading your text and I think it resonates a lot with our 
Homeland Security Cultural Bureau (hscb.org) story and the closure of 
Whitebox and all of the story which unfolded after

HSCB is still as a government agency.
http://dir.yahoo.com/Government/U_S__Government/Executive_Branch/Departments
_and_Agencies/Department_of_Homeland_Security__DHS_/.

Having gone through that entire process though, I think Ayreen and I 
experienced/learned something quite specific, which was that as long as 
thi= s sort of jamming happens to an "outside" force, things are, at least 
within the art context, all ok, but turned inside out, blurred, and when 
the art context itself is implicated within a certain matrix, the reaction 
against such a thing can be quite fierce and un-accepting.  I think this 
lack of openness is a rare find for a field that attempts to dictate its 
terms through a language of openness, experimentation, ... Things you also 
allude to and raise questions to but worth considering within the terms I 
am suggesting.

I think an ongoing question which cultural producers have been asking 
themselves is how radical or critical is something when it can so easily 
be digested and utilized in the service of Empire.  I know, it sounds 
quite grand, possibly na=EFve, die-hard-revolutionary and I know we are 
each trying to find the institutional folds to work within or through, but 
I think this is a central question to ask oneself, no?

I mean I too participate in the festivals and biennials that are of 
interest, and we mobilize our thoughts for/with/in relation to, energies, 
i= n the best instances use the resources available or given by the 
inviting institutions, work with the curators or organizers, who can and 
often are themselves very sympathetic to the aims you may have.  And all 
of this is quite general I know, but I wonder how this also plays out 
within the kind of interventionism you are suggesting.  I wonder what the 
ethics are of implicating one's own field within the matrices of power, 
construction of "reality", appropriation of resources, etc. etc.

Anyway, somewhat unformulated, but nevertheless, enough food for thought, 
I hope.

Best, Rene


__________________________________________________
Rene Gabri
16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 5th fl.
New York, NY 10004
email: rene {AT} 16beavergroup.org
phone: 212.480.2093

visit:
http://www.16beavergroup.org
http://www.16beavergroup.org/radioactive
http://www.hscb.org
http://www.operationhow.org
http://www.e-xplo.org







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