Posted by Christina McPhee | Wed Nov 1st 2006 11:37 a.m.


November 2006 on -empyre- soft-skinned space:


Please join Michelle Kasprzak (UK), Hamed Taheri (DE), Miguel Leal
(PT), Maria Moreira (BR), and Johannes Birringer (UK)

subscribe at


Seventy years ago, Walter Benjamin wrote his insightful essay on the
impact of technical reproducibility of art on the way we perceive,
receive and
understand the concept of art in itself. Few articles have had such a
impact on debates about the relations among technology, art works,
and culture as Benjamin's masterpiece.

Trying to take advantage of some of Benjamin's insights, but assuming
we are now under a radically distinct social and cultural landscape,
-empyre- welcomes some guests' insights on "the work of art in the age
of a noiseless world", and the alternatives we may have for the work
of art as a practice of perceptual guerrila.

If we assume that technologies are - even if for war purposes, as most
of the digital apparatuses have been -, developed taking certain
notions of a "better life" as its goals, they carry with them a
certain utopia,
related to the knowledge matrix and values from which they emerge: they
intend to help to build such a world. We ask if there is - and if
so, what it is - the
utopia embedded on digital informational technology. The cybernetic
paradigm aims a world of perfect informational flux - that is, a world
without noise. We are faced with the puzzling paradox that, in
such a context, even a significant field of art-works and art-activism
developed as "social noise" are forced, in order to circulate through
digital networks, to formalize themselves in noiseless terms - those
demanded by digital apparatus.

Please join our guests for conversation on "the work of art in the
age of a noiseles world" at

----->Michelle Kasprzak is a curator, writer and artist. Her work in
these three areas
has featured in numerous exhibitions, publications, and on radio
and television broadcasts syndicated worldwide. She actively
maintains her
web presence at and She
is currently Programmes Director of New Media Scotland.

>Hamed Taheri, born in 1975, in Iran, the son of the poor teacher
and radical leftist militant
Ahmad Taheri and the young woman MAMA who suffered from a neurotic
disease after the revolution in Iran. He writes, "That devastating
spasm in he
tongue, jaw, face and powerless doctors in the face of this blocked
mouth. Electro-shock therapy; She was on the electro-shock chair,
jolted by
the electric shocks, and screamed. The mouth refused to open. There
are guests who enter through a door underneath this image as a
suspended sign that sways in the breeze, a door behind which I
practice my T H E A T R E."

>Miguel Leal (1967) works and lives in Porto, Portugal. Visual
Artist. Graduated in Visual Arts - Painting at ESBAP,
Porto (1991); Master degree in History ofArt from FLUP, Porto.
(1999). He is currently working on his PhD thesis, investigating
chance operations and blind imagination
on contemporary art practice. Develops, since 1997, several ongoing
collaborative web projects. Founder (1997) and co-director of Virose,
an interdisciplinary non-profit
organization dedicated to art and media technology (
Assistant professor at FBAUP (, teaching studio and
contemporary art classes.

>Johannes Birringer is a choreographer and artistic director of
AlienNation Co
(, and co-founder of atelematic
performance collective (ADaPT). He has directed numerous multimedia
dance, and digital performances; collaborated onsite-specific
installations, and exhibited work at film and video festivals. Author of
Media and Performance (1998), Performance on theEdge (2000), Dance
Technologies (2007). Founder of Interaktionslabor (http://,
and co-director of DAP-Lab, Brunel University, where he is
Professor of Performance Technologies. http://

------------------>Maria Moreira is a visual artist from Rio de
Janeiro, working with ideas
of non-oppositional conflict and parallel competence. She has an MA
Fine Arts Goldsmith College, and in 2004 completed a PhD at Central
Saint Martins College of Art & Design, researching on installation
art as a mode of address that articulates tactics of dispersal to
the world as multiplicity. She exhibits since late 80's and since
2004 she is an Associated Lecturer to The University of the Arts London
and Thames Valley University, Reading, in UK, and now to
Universidade Candido Mendes, in Brazil.

Sergio R. Basbaum (moderator)

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