Jordan Crandall on Sun, 9 Sep 2007 21:09:27 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Jordan Crandall: Showing


Jordan Crandall
8 Sept - 20 Oct 2007
opening 8 Sept 6-9 pm

Telic Arts Exchange
975 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

"Showing" is an exhibition by Jordan Crandall that takes its form as a
series of events at TELIC Arts Exchange between September 8 and October
20. These events include presentations, screenings, and performances,
along with discursive interventions in various formats. TELIC operates as
a stage throughout the show, with every event being recorded and then
distributed as a catalog series of DVDs.

Presentations by: Julie Albright (on self-transformation, makeover, and
the management of attraction); Scott Bukatman (on attraction, spectacle,
and the cult of the amateur); Gary Dauphin and Josephina Ayerza (on the
"pose" as a marker of identity and social standing); Mimi Nguyen (on the
circuits between star and fan); Susanna Paasonen (on sexuality,
pornography, and affect); John Paul Ricco (on narcissism and the space of
exposure); Theresa Senft (on webcamming, micro-celebrity, and performance
in everyday life); and Glenn Phillips and Catherine Taft (on aesthetic
practice and mediated self-performance).

This exhibition is made possible in part with the support of The Peter
Norton Family Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual

Please check for a complete
schedule of events.


TELIC Arts Exchange, located on Chung King Road in Chinatown, Los Angeles,
provides a place for multiple publics to engage with contemporary forms of
media, art and architecture. For four years the space has been a platform
for exhibitions, performances, screenings, lectures and discussions.
TELIC's program emphasizes social exchange, interactivity and public
participation to produce a critical engagement with new media and culture.



In our cultural landscape of blogs, webcams, profiles, live journals, and
lifecasting, the intimate lives of everyday people are on parade for all
to see. One could say that a new culture of erotic exposure and display is
on the ascendance, fueled by the impulse to reveal the self, and
streamlined by DIY media technologies. In many ways this culture would
seem to be less a representational than a presentational one, where we are
compelled to solicit the attention of others, act for unseen eyes, and
develop new forms of connective intensity -- as if this were somehow the
very condition of our continued existence, the marker of our worth. Within
this new culture of self-exposure, one could say that the dream of
panoptic power has been achieved, or that it has reversed course. Does the
drive to willingly display the self constitute a surrender to the
controlling gaze, or simply a shift in the dynamic of the game? For within
these presentational environments, performance and role-playing reign
supreme, and new forms of subjectivity and identity emerge.

These new cultures of self-display challenge us to reconsider foundational
concepts in film and media theory and, consequently, to rethink the very
conditions of our approach. For clearly these cultures are not necessarily
those of mastery and visual pleasure. They do not resolve easily to
questions of perception, power, and language. They are cultures of showing
as much as those of watching. Instead of a reliance on questions of
spectatorship, representation, and scopic power, we are challenged to
foreground issues of performance, affect, and display. Instead of a
privileging of reception, we are challenged to incorporate authorial
intent or originary motivation. For these new media phenomena are not only
texts to be read: they are solicitations, conductive excitations, embedded
within networks of erotic exchange. There are pleasures and affective
stimulations that motivate these new acts of connection, sharing, and
erotic display, for all players on th e circuits of production and
reception, including both displayer and watcher. Their texts must not only
be decoded but their circuits traversed, in implicated ways that
destabilize any one-way analysis and its deflections of libidinous

There is much to be gained in rethinking the dynamic between voyeurism and
exhibitionism, compensating for the under-theorization of the latter. In
film theory, concepts of "attraction" have provided useful tools in
thinking forms of exhibitionistic address that counter the voyeuristic
orientation of film analysis. In contrast to the mechanisms of maintaining
a coherent narrative world, transporting the viewer into another time and
space, attractions are those phenomena that directly solicit the viewer's
attention in the here-and-now. They can take the form of narrative asides,
spoken in confidence to the viewer outside of the diegetic space; as
spectacles for their own sake; or as shots which exist purely to titillate
the viewer, having no function in the furthering of the narrative. They
prompt modes of apprehension that rely less on discursive flow than on
direct transmissions that arouse or tease the viewer, engaging the
immediacy of the bodily sensorium. In this way they are similar to the way
that affects can counter meanings.

In the case of new media of self-exposure, sharing, and erotic display,
one could suggest that the emblematic "pose" functions as such an
attractor. The pose is a form of exhibitionistic spectacle -- direct
address, performative display, or bodily stimulus -- that stands in
contrast to the narrative or conversational flow of a social world,
whether real or imaginary. It bypasses demands for narrative coherency and
instead conducts transversal operations at the level of both the semiotic
and the sensational, the reflective and the transmissive. It solicits
attention while at the same time functions as portal or conduit for a
reciprocal flow: a conductive excitation geared to develop some degree of
connective intensity.

Since the pose feeds on reciprocality, it can prompt the changing of roles
and positions. In this way it can be seen as a catalyst for
identity-formations. Especially as witnessed in the database-driven format
of the online profile within which the pose is often embedded, identity is
performed through the adoption of specific codes (whether gender or
otherwise). One is called upon to play roles in order to assume symbolic
mandates, to the extent that "impersonation" becomes a core act of
self-identification. Yet the pose does not only operate extensively but
intensively, and such "impersonations" arise equally through the
internalized transmission of affects. Emergent forms of identity arise
through flows of affective resonance that are themselves a powerful social
and subjectifying force.

Such impersonations and internalizations can be understood to be driven by
lack or by abundance. As a performative player, we are driven by a primary
lack at the core of the psychic apparatus. It compels us to seek
fulfillment through the gaze of the other: the elementary fantasmatic
scene of being looked at (validated) by an unseen presence. The imagined
gaze observing us becomes a kind of ontological guarantee of our being. It
serves to put us in our place -- to subject us. In this way, erotic
cultures of exposure and display can be seen as driven by the need to
perform for the gaze -- the Big Other, the symbolic order -- and therefore
to write themselves into existence. Yet at the same time, these insertions
of the self into the symbolic order can be regarded as a way of channeling
or dissipating surplus energy. From such a viewpoint, the connective
intensities that drive these new forms of self-exposure and display are
those of expending excess, and the all ure of showing could parallel that
of sacrificing. The pose, as event-portal, becomes a double-edged

- Jordan Crandall

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