Compass (with apologies to Bruce Nauman)

Compass (with apologies to Bruce Nauman)

Idea for a Conceptual Art Project, No.22:

1. Stage lights are hung from the ceiling in a grid-like formation.

2. The array of lights is programmed to illuminate the artist primarily from the back side, such that a shadow is thrown forward in front of the body.

3. The artist walks in the direction of the shadow.

4. Using certain chance elements in the lighting program the intensity of the luminescent field slowly modulates. The shadow begins to "come around" the side of the artist's body, such that the magnitude and direction of the thrown shadow vector is continually in flux. A topological architecture of light is created.

5. The artist also modulates course and continues to walk toward the direction of the shadow, not allowing its magnitude to become overly shortened (or captured).

6. The artist's head is bowed, looking straight ahead toward the shadow at all times. A camera affixed to a pair of glasses captures what the artist sees while tracking the moving shadow. The video from this camera is played live on a projection screen and also serves as documentation of the performance.

Process Transduction

Process Transduction - Department of Biological Flow at Nuit Blanche

Walking is In(di)visible

Department of Biological Flow
at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

October 2, 2010

(down the rabbit) holey space

a breath of fresh air, redolent of vuvuzela blossoms

there was a public outdoor screening on a restaurant wall a few nights ago at the end of the street where i live: "bangladesh defeats england in historic cricket victory." it was not projected through the partition but rather reflected upon the building’s facade. closer, yet further away.

oh, i *do* remember our identity tourism in tucson. there were cast-iron sculptures of lisa nakamura's body on every building, just like antony gormley in london. "inverted post-colonialism," i think, was the vogue.

context is not only a spatiotemporal phenomenon, but a (matrixial) psychic phenomenon as well. context suggests an increasing tendency towards harmonized (and dare we say synchronized?) co-resonance. it seems to me that context itself constitutes the stasis of monotony and that the coming-into resonance of and through alterity is what creates the openness.

did you know that amsterdam is the steampunk version of second life? delanda said they created this shit back in the 1400s! and then at some point lewis carroll wrote a virus and messed up the code. the game still plays in my console, but the graphics are a little distorted, you know?

how does third place, the "runner up in the exceptional case," change the relation between numbers one and two ("the best winners")? the ontogenesis of the third is an alter-accomplishment in its own right, no? how do we understand the third in terms of multitude and the very being-in-language of which virno, agamben and nancy speak? how does the third come into resonance of and through alterity? is openness created?

children both shy and fearless; translation, mistranslation, smiling without voices; does it really matter? tonality, don't think in terms of romanization! a new iron curtain; public, private, third spaces; be a switch; but it wouldn't be a very honest emotion if you could turn it off like a switch.

or am i flailing?

crushed blossoms in a vase of water

Memories of Venice

"Intuition is neither a feeling, an inspiration, nor a disorderly sympathy, but a fully developed method." (Gilles Deleuze)


Inspired by the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark and her artworks featuring relational meshes, moebius strips and moving bodies, the artist locates the basketball mesh as a canvas upon which to explore a program of research-creation.

The mesh is actually a symmetrical grid whose striations link together at every knotty intersection. The immediate intuition is to cut it vertically down one side and lay it flat on the table, before giving the half-twist-and-reconnect required to form a moebius strip. The basketball mesh has now become a moebius mesh.


Since the mesh is mass-produced in Taiwan with fibres made of synthetic nylon, the act of reconnection is accomplished by melting the severed ends together with a disposable butane lighter. Most cuts are treated; the ends are charred; bits of hot liquid nylon stick to the artist's fingers. The air is toxic.

Consider this intuitive operation to have been a stainless steel incision and cauterization inflicted upon a moebius topology that recognizes scant distinction between subject and object positions. Consider it to have been surgery.


The artist acquires a second mesh canvas upon which to experiment. This time, however, the intuition is to take a spool of brightly coloured thread and begin to wrap it around the synthetic nylon fibre. Around and around, always in a clockwise fashion around the girth of the mesh.


The artist stays in one segment of the basketball mesh, between two knots, for an indeterminate number of revolutions until it is felt time to move on. The thread is then wrapped around the knot and into the next segment, and so on until that particular spool is exhausted. Another colour begins and the psychogeographical drift through the segments of the mesh continues. The surgical cut is not permitted.

Sometimes the thread is wrapped loosely while at other times it is pulled tight, perhaps too tight. Interesting patterns of coloured thread and synthetic fibre begin to emerge. The girth of the meshwork is transformed with every turn, while trails from the end of a spool hang loosely in suspension. At other times the different coloured threads blend together, the beginning of a new colour overlapping where another had previously been.

As the process continues to unfold different techniques emerge, each with their own unique outcomes: thicknesses begin to grow; strategies to anchor a thread are developed; tensors attempt to leap across the chasms separating the various mesh segments. The architectural platform around which the threads are bound modulates its shape in reply. The relational tempo is slowed down dramatically, gesture becomes more pronounced. Consider this intuitive process to have been shibari.


The artist has the sense that the first piece remains incomplete. A long piece of brilliant ruby thread hangs from the second. Part of this excess is cut off with a pair of scissors and snipped into smaller segments, which are then tied into tiny tourniquets just above those cuts on the first mesh that remain untreated: brilliant ruby red bows complete the first sculpture. The severed thread on the second sculpture is not cauterized, meanwhile, its trauma remaining open-ended instead.

Black Star

Courtesy of Wikipedia

It is an odd relationality that constitutes this place we call time. I am always learning something.

Did you know that Telstar was the first satellite to relay a live transatlantic television feed? Did you know that Adidas created the official match balls of the 1970 FIFA World Cup, also named Telstar? Did you know that the black and white panels of the soccer ball were designed such that the ball would be more visible on black-and-white television? Did you know that the Telstar ball is designed in the shape of a truncated icosahedron, topologically transformed by the addition of air? Did you know that the truncated icosahedron also provided the lens configuration used for focusing the explosive shock waves from the detonator of the Fat Man atomic bomb? Did you know that Coleco introduced a videogame console designed to be connected to a black-and-white television, also named Telstar? Did you know that the Coleco Telstar used the AY-3-8500 chip manufactured by General Instrument, which dedicated pin number 21 for its soccer game?

the troubled words of a troubled mind
i try to understand what is eating you

i try to stay awake but it's 58 hours
since that i last slept with you
what are we coming to?
i just don't know anymore

blame it on the black star
blame it on the falling sky
blame it on the satellite that beams me home

(radiohead, "black star")

I didn't know either. It is an odd relationality that constitutes this place we call time.

walking, surfing, bowing

The Peripatetic Deleuze: Biological Flow and Walking as Knowing

(submitted by sean smith and barbara fornssler to the 3rd international deleuze studies conference in amsterdam)

We approach as if wasps forming a rhizome with the orchids of Deleuzian thought. Or, we thank you in advance for legitimating our presence and granting us the power of voice. Nomads or agents of the state, we are not certain as to whom we should address our conference submission, but we shall initiate a politics of approach that errs on the side of the former. And is this not to a certain degree the politics Deleuze and Guattari advance in their admittedly undertheorized concept of holey space: the ability to surf at the threshold between the ever-contingent striations of state authority and the myriad subjectivities and contexts we may understand as nomadic?

DoBF, minus one

Perhaps this offers us a metaphor for our ability to move through public and quasi-public corporatized spaces: the surfer who rides at the break-point between the wave's signal and its becoming-noise, who stays slightly ahead of the movement in order to glide stylishly to the beach. Located in the urban context at the threshold between surveillant optics and smoothing gestural haptics, we will present three artworks from our program of research-creation — Gait Surfing, Kino-Gait, and Natality (Ingrid) — and discuss them with reference to work from Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Massumi, Manning, and Agamben.