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Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly Interplay of Art and Activism: Art
tobias c. van Veen on Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:59:18 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> The Messy, Dirty, Silly Interplay of Art and Activism: Artivistic 2007


Thanks Lotu5 for these kinds words about Artivistic (!!).

    [ http://artivistic.org/ - FYI ]

> Questions like "how is indigenousness produced
> and maintained?" or "What is our relationship to natural space?" or
> "What are the parts or types of occupation?"

For my part, I saw the question "What is natural space?" reduced to its
whatness because a question like "What is our relationship to natural
space?" already projects a kind of natural space 'out-there', an
externalized 'nature', romantic or resource, to which a 'relationship' would
be or has been established. This takes the human out of nature and nature
out of the human. The idea was to complexify this a bit at the UpgradeMTL
panel 'What is natural space?'. The artists present at the panel already
undermined the nature-human relation in various ways and the q&a led to some
vigorous discussion along these lines. Their practices already create worlds
or intervention within worlds that are alien, interrogative, hybrid or
otherwise indeterminate between the familiar categories of 'nature' and its
multitude of usual opposites....

I'm sure you see what I mean... but yes: good points, to which I would
agree, that more focused questions might change the framework of the
gathering. Of course the criticism is always that if a framework becomes too
oriented, it overdetermines the interpretation and issues at stake that
arise when everyone gets together, so it's always a bit of a catch-22
between general questions ('what is...x?') and oriented questions. I really
like the question "how is indigenousness produced and maintained?" although
you have to realise that such a question would already be quite contentious
-- and perhaps even overstepping certain bounds -- in establishing dialogue
with First Nations in Canada. Presuming that indigenous is 'produced or
maintained' to those who claim indigenuous status by birthright and
historical priority is perhaps not the first foot to put forward, though it
may lead to more constructive (or not?) avenues for collective action.I
remain hesitant about assuming a constructivist stance in this manner.
First, we need to meet each other. Thus questions of 'how' or process have
to take into account the specificity of the process under question...

I am curious as to yr point on 'more local involvement'. What kind of local
involvement would you have liked to have seen? This is always an issue
(everyone is always busy), but with Artivistic there are simply, it seems,
some 'activist' groups who show little interest in gatherings that do not
automatically brand themselves under a political ideology. I only do mention
this as Artivistic had a broader range of 'community involvement' from the
Montreal, Toronto and surrounding regions than I have perhaps yet seen.

best,

    tobias
(UpgradeMTL)
[    http://upgrademtl.org/ ]



tobias c. van Veen -----------++++
http://www.quadrantcrossing.org --
McGill Communication & Philosophy



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