Harry Burke


First Look: Poetry as Practice


In this online exhibition, six poets approach internet language as a bodily, social, and material process. 

New poetry works will be published every Monday through April 6, 2015. Co-presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look exhibition series; curated by Harry Burke.


Artist Profile: Emily Jones


The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have developed a significant body of work engaged (in its process, or in the issues it raises) with technology. See the full list of Artist Profiles here.


First Water to Tripoli Jupiter Woods London 2014

One recurring motif in your work of late has been your posters, sometimes A4 [letter-sized] but sometimes blown up larger, which usually depict one word or phrases, for example, "earth-cult," "sui iurus, or "we will protect the great river." These are presented in generic, unadorned fonts. Your press releases continue this aesthetic, combining these phrases to form a kind of poetry. Reading the text for your recent show at Jupiter Woods, in South London, we see couplings like "#archive #bank #invest / It is within our human capacity" and "how-to-disappear-in-the-anthropocene / the_love_that_sustains_all_matter.html."

Do these phrases create a taxonomy within your work? Do they give a clue to the way you form relations between different politics, geographies and affects? They have featured in a number of different exhibitions and projects over the last year. Might we say they form the skeleton, or the exoskeleton, of your practice?

The words are anchors or/and buoys in an operating system. When I employ them for the A4 page or a larger poster or banner they gesture towards an attempted isolation which I feel is terrifying for them&us. When words are large and isolated on the page they can be looked at for their surface forms and qualities (the curves and angles of the letters rather than the meaning the word points toward) They are also very poised, like templates, often in complete adherence to the prescriptions of google docs. They have to trust themselves to hold their form despite this uninvited and abrupt isolation. The individual poster is like a shield, armor, or veil. What lies beyond and before language as an orientation system?

 


NewHive: A "Blank Canvas" for the Super-Feed


Screenshot of booty by ana carrete from NewHive.

NewHive is a new service for creative expression online. Founded by Zach Verdin, Cara Buccifero, Andrew Sorkin (who later left the company), and Abram Clark in Seattle, the company launched in private beta in November 2011 with the public launch in 2012. The website describes itself as a "blank canvas" for expression on the web, offering users a drag-and-drop interface to construct anything they like, within the confines of a browser. 

This year has seen certain communities gravitate towards the site, with the new issue of poetry journal Pop Serial being built entirely on NewHive, and a visual mixtape featuring original tracks from a number of musicians launching in September. I'm interested in NewHive, and I like a lot of things that are made on it. I'm particularly interested in the alt lit community's attraction to it, perhaps because it is a convenient platform for people working with text to explore their practice in increasingly visual or hybrid ways. At the same time, I'm skeptical of its claim to be a "blank canvas," which obfuscates the aesthetic and political assumptions that it—that any cultural interface—reproduces.


Art, Bed and Breakfast: The AIRBNB Pavilion


 

Left to right: Bava and Sons, Coast.biz; Jon Rafman, Juan Gris Dream House; Charles Broskoski, Untitled (Iris); David Kohn architects, Carrer Avinyo; Etienne Descloux, Visitez ma tente. Photograph by Noah Rabinowitz.

If Google had a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, who would they exhibit? How would their installation compete against the Artsy auction exhibition? Would a Young Incorporated Artist feel more comfortable representing Tumblr or the USA?

Biennales have long been recognised as vehicles of internationalization and globalization in the worlds of art and architecture. Founded in 1895, with its younger sibling the Architecture Biennale following in 1980, the Venice Biennale is perhaps the most well known of its ilk. Although structured around a thematic exhibition in the imperially-named Arsenale, a significant attraction is inevitably the soft state play that occurs between the national pavilions. But in a world where the certitude of nation states is increasingly coming up against a new dominance of multi-national business, it is perhaps surprising that outright corporate pavilions aren't more of a Biennale mainstay, beyond the aggressive sponsor interests that keep national pavilions afloat.


Constructions of Truth In A Drone Age: "Forensis" at HKW, Berlin


“Threshhold of Detectibility” Top: the roof of a building in Miranshah, Pakistan, that has been hit by a drone-fired missile. the form of destruction is masked in the photo’s pixelation. Source: Digitalglobe, inc., March 31, 2012 Bottom: Still from footage broadcast on MSNBC of the aftermath of a March 30, 2012 drone strike in miranshah, pakistan, showing the entry hole of a missile through the ceiling of a room. Visualization: Forensic Architecture. Page from Forensis program.

Any act of looking or being looked at is mediated by technology. This is true of any scientific process too, where each tool or method of looking is developed with a purpose in mind which influences the data that it produces. This is precisely what forensic investigation reveals: not only the reality of an event, but also the intention of a viewing mechanism and the political weight of that intention once made visible. Representations of warfare illustrate this as successfully as any art object.

As part of the exhibition Forensis, now on view at Haus der Kulteren der Welt in Berlin, Forensic Architecture and SITU Research investigate drone strikes in situations where state-mandated degradation and pixelation of publicly available surveillance footage is a legal regulation rather than a visual constraint, and drones are designed to evade the digital image. Missiles are developed that burrow through targeted buildings, leaving holes that are smaller than a low resolution pixel. Attacking at "the threshold of visibility," the legal, political, and technical conditions equally attempt to remain invisible. The job of forensics is then to recover them.



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DISCUSSION

Parapolitics


Hey Stephan. Thanks for your comment! I appreciate your evoking the recent history/work of Guyton/Price/Joselit etc. Joselit's writing I've been finding particularly interesting at the moment, and I feel more emphasis should be made on this emergent lineage within art history.

I think, however, that my use of the word and idea of refusal was intended to be more specific than it perhaps comes across. Generally, I don't believe we can reduce issues such as these to the binary of inside and outside, of acceptance or refusal, as clearly it is impossible not to participate in many of these networks, or even within capitalism itself, as an economic system and ideology. The interest for me then comes in what way we can shape or alter these systems from the inside. Identifying your complicity within these structures implies a certain amount of responsibility, I feel, in the recognition that they are shaped and continually reshaped by their actors. Opting out is definitely a historical fantasy in this context; but it is also one that can be potentially devastating, as it allows existing relations to persist. So let's keep going, but, yes, differently (and maybe also collectivising on the way) :).

This having been said, I feel that when it comes to internships and other forms of complicity with free labour then it can be more simple. If all interns refused to work for free, then the whole institute of interning would be fucked. Huw Lemmey has talked about the idea of an intern strike, and imagine what a huge political force this body of disaffected workers could be if mobilised. Also this (underappreciated I feel) tweet from David Rudnick: https://twitter.com/David_Rudnick/status/295585165206495232.

DISCUSSION

Bindigirl


it was launched in 1999, right?

DISCUSSION

London Calling


cmd was set up with exactly this intention, although it certainly hasn't yet fulfilled it - hopefully it will. Whilst it does seem funny to be discussing issues of locality surrounding internet-related practice, I think debate can be far more constructive in a seminar style enviroment (ie IRL), which obviously geographic proximity aids. Thus the differing 'characters' from city to city. Hence also the value of Ben's 'social engineering', to cite only one example and repay the compliment. With this in mind I'd certainly support a Cooper Union style reading group (let's make it happen). The discussion in this comment thread is rich, yet could only benefit from the more focused environment.