Posture should be considered gesture at its most molecular level.
Posture should be considered gesture at its most molecular level.
In order to consume more signal, we must consume more noise as well. The apparatus of the Machine can filter out most of this noise, but human agency is still required to filter out the last bits. Politics occurs in this residual noise. This demands that we continue to interface with other human bodies as well: What parts of the body do we allow the other to touch? Do we touch in sex or sport or anger? When do we introduce a prophylactic layer to any of the above, and when do we not? (June 2009)
craig le blanc
please use me
wood hockey stick, acrylic urethane
We have data intimacy with everyone. It is via the network with emails and chats and mixtapes. It is in person with words and fashion and gesture. But we only have physical intimacy with certain individuals. This is haptic rather than optic, a knowledge of and through and located in the flesh. Which begs the question today: Are there things we cannot map? More importantly, are there things we do not want to map? As Michael Hardt suggests, love is a political concept. (June 2009)
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, p.13:
"A remarkable factor in the experience of enveloping spatiality, interiority and hapticity is the deliberate suppression of sharp, focused vision. This issue has hardly entered the theoretical discourse of architecture as architectural theorising continues to be interested in focused vision, conscious intentionality and perspectival representation. … Unconscious peripheral perception transforms retinal gestalt into spatial and bodily experiences. Peripheral vision integrates us with space, while focused vision pushes us out of the space, making us mere spectators."
sportsBabel, June 2009:
Instead of making plays, one must now embrace the challenge of making play, rescuing it from the seriousness of industrial manufacture and the factory production model. To make plays, one blocks out the noise of the crowd and visualizes the task at hand. To make play, by contrast, one embraces and engages the noise of the crowd, sensing one's self in space as an affective body, athletic and full of creative potential.
Find the points of intersection between binary, circular and linear forms. Ride the interference waves in the oscillation between signal and noise. Make play. Flow. This constitutes the tactile burden of all playmakers, regardless of their material habitat: to feel the heaviness of the body at the same moment one feels the lightness of its liquidity. To move, perform, create, liberate.
Is the body liquid?
(concept for installation inside a squash court, november 2008)
THE SQUASH COURT is presented as a unique site of aesthetic and political engagement for a critical sport art work. Not only does this site of sport resemble a traditional art gallery space with its sparse orthogonal shape and stark white walls, but it also belongs to a political genealogy that dates back to the earliest days of the Manhattan Project.
D S NFORMAT ON interrogates this nuclear genesis with an installation whose elements explore themes of body, surveillance, spatiotemporality, race and representation. The artwork is on display outside the privileged space of the gallery or museum, while the privileged activity of binary sporting competition is challenged by the recoded use of this space.
AS ONE ENTERS THE ROOM a surround-sound system plays poetry written and spoken by Etan Thomas, slowed down to 40 percent of its original speed to create a densely-laden atmosphere. The irregular muted echoes of squash balls striking the walls of surrounding courts offer punctuation points to the low drone inside the room.
ON THE TWO SIDE WALLS are two series of pictures, hung alternately from one series to the other. The first series, taken from Creative Commons-licensed work on Flickr, represents moving bodies as they negotiate various types of waveforms in public space, such as the street skater who fluidly contours the urban architectural field. The second represents similar imagery, but which has been leveraged as part of the spectacle industry. The images are all the same size and mounted in identical silver frames with white matting. They are spaced as if the wall was the x-axis of time and the two series formed the intersection points of cosine and sine waves, respectively.
ON THE FRONT WALL is a third series of pictures, this one representing instances of the linear as they may be found in the varied landscapes of sport, such as the chalk line of the baseball path or the running lanes of a sprinting track. They are irregularly-sized and mounted in frames of assorted shapes and colours. They appear to proliferate from both above and below the service boundary at the centre of the front wall: line, sine, cosine.
ON THE BACK WALL, mounted over the entrance, is a surveillance camera that looks directly toward the centre of the court.
THE CENTRE OF THE COURT, where the short line dividing frontcourt and backcourt intersects with the line dividing service areas, is the position of power in squash. At this point stands a regulation ten-foot basketball net whose stanchion and backboard are painted white to match the walls of the court. The rim is freshly painted orange. From the rim hangs a full body suit of skin, similar to a wetsuit, fashioned from some type of Hollywood f/x latex. The skin has a pair of long basketball shorts and wristbands sewn onto the appropriate points of the body, and is inscribed all over its surface with a number of tattoos. It hangs from the rim by large hooks whose points pierce through its stretched back, not unlike as if Stelarc had been a basketball player.
i woke up one morning to find out i had been cloned.
it was painless, really. a few bits of data lying around had suddenly been reconstituted into a new me. clippings whose sum value approaches zero as the replication approaches infinity, the baudrillard-image might suggest, xeroxing their way across the ecosystem.
i didn't feel a thing…
'Replication has also long been manifest in the sportocratic imagination, its genealogical roots reaching back at least to the mechanical reproduction of baseball cards and bubblegum. But these flattened, lifeless representations lack sufficient dynamism for a culture hell-bent on its own immortality, and so we begin to animate the images by repurposing the data stocks and flows generated as a derivative of baseball's industrial production process. At the cusp between biomechanics and the age of simulation, Strat-O-Matic becomes the link in the helical chain connecting Branch Rickey and scientific management in baseball with Billy Beane, the sabermetric revolution and the third wave eugenics of baseball performance.'
'Though the vector of flow is clearly directed towards an obsolescence of the body, the question is if we will continue to see periodic eddies in the current, in which we "retrieve" the body or parts thereof for one purpose or another.'
* * *
Bodies without organs.
Bodies without bodies.
_____ without _____.
Fill in your own fucking theory.
'This identity constellation of corporate consumer control is marked by its architecture and interface, and it obscures its bodily remainders in the process. In navigating multiple identities, on the other hand, one explicitly acknowledges the remainders, indeed embraces them. The former is an administered, metered and exchanged passage into the skin, while the latter offers a contingent and outward invitation of the flesh.'
January 30, 2010
'The gestural body is a moving body, and is thus always already a political one as well. The logic of skin tectonics suggests that such a moving body will never be fully captured by the tightness of its spectacular skin, for there will always be a slippage between integumentary layers. And it is this slippage that constitutes the contemporary zone of opportunity, of resistance, and of indifference.'
Boris Groys, 'The Weak Universalism', e-flux:
"Today, in fact, everyday life begins to exhibit itself—to communicate itself as such—through design or through contemporary participatory networks of communication, and it becomes impossible to distinguish the presentation of the everyday from the everyday itself. The everyday becomes a work of art—there is no more bare life, or, rather, bare life exhibits itself as artifact. Artistic activity is now something that the artist shares with his or her public on the most common level of everyday experience. The artist now shares art with the public just as he or she once shared it with religion or politics. To be an artist has already ceased to be an exclusive fate, becoming instead an everyday practice—a weak practice, a weak gesture. But to establish and maintain this weak, everyday level of art, one must permanently repeat the artistic reduction—resisting strong images and escaping the status quo that functions as a permanent means of exchanging these strong images."
(to laura dean, for fanning the flames)
Norman Bethune College, York University
(thank you to those in the sport, "race" and popular culture class at york university. after creating our own peculiar bunker archaeology over these last months, we slowly emerge into the sunshine … what do we do now?)
The reference is from George Lucas' epic 1971 movie, THX 1138, in which a state-controlled intensification of communication processes manages every facet of daily life in a futuristic society, regulating the flux of all human subjects in work, leisure and love.
Though the Department exists in homage to Lucas’ vision, our consideration of biological flow seeks to reinvigorate the agency of the human subject in its negotiations with economic and political structures both material and immaterial.