Michael Szpakowski
Since the beginning
Works in Harlow United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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DISCUSSION

new work - 'An Enemy of the People'


'An Enemy of the People'

A kind of documentary with music based on interviews
with Lukasz Szpakowski, a survivor of Stalin's gulag.

http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/enemy/AnEnemyOfThePeople.html

make sure your sound is on.

michael

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DISCUSSION

Re: Eryk Salvaggio: September 11th, 2001


Ivan
I think you miss a number of connecting terms here.
A necessary but not sufficient condition for great art
seems to me a connection between the particular, the
concrete, and the general ,the big questions.
Actually many people ( statistically quite
unreasonably) probably now do have a deep seated fear
of being blown up in big buildings and actually if
you're Palestinian or Iraqi being blown up in smallish
buildings is unfortunately a fairly immediate concern.
The point is that the particular of Sept 11th connects
with the universal of the themes you list as
legitimate artistic 'big' subjects.
That's what makes good art concrete and living and not
schematic.
And indeed this connection between the universal and
particular is why we can still read Balzac and look at
Greek statues with profit.
The same with the names- I'm sure formally you're
absolutely correct- the point is that in lived human
experience names do matter.
Shakespeare- Stalin- Bush- Ivan Pope-Eryk Salvaggio-
Michael Szpakowski- Leon Trotsky-Frank Black-John Doe
these all carry to a greater or lesser extent whole
constellations of meaning and if you object that the
meanings are purely contingent then of course so is
all human meaning making.
Again there is a rigidity in your thinking over the
question of whether Eryk could have pulled the names
out of the telephone book.
You're right- nothing in the art work tells us he did
or didn't but the circumstances surrounding the
piece's creation and his ( in my view ) appropriately
nervous and tentative contexting of the piece lead me
to suppose very strongly that he did no such thing.
This increases the emotional force of the work for me-
we see that he *worked* to find the names and to make
the piece - he honoured the dead and their surviving
relatives by doing so.
But of course context is necessary for virtually any
artwork that is not immediately of our time - art
doesn't exist in some kind of ideal philosophical
vacuum but is the product of real people in history
working with the tools of human meaning making and if
the Mona Lisa and the nine Beethoven symphonies
diappeared for 100,000 years people would understand
some but not all of them on their rediscovery.
Things change continually and they're mucky and
awkward and hard to fit into neat theory -it's the
nature of things.
best
Michael
--- Ivan Pope <ivan@ivanpope.com> wrote:
> > The use of names is, contrary to what Ivan
> asserts,
> > the thing that make it the most personal, the most
> > connected - a name is of course not at all an
> > abstraction -in the world as we experience it, it
> > stands for everything we are
>
> I have to disagree, agreeably. My name, Ivan Pope,
> is simply a signifier. To
> my family it is intimately connected with me as
> family man. On this list it
> may signify mouthy arsehole. But to the wider world,
> it would signify
> nothing special. My point being that a list of names
> is just a list of
> names. Of course we can create within ourselves an
> emotional response, but
> this is to imagined people, not to the names. As far
> as I'm concerned, I
> have no way of knowing whether this is even a list
> of the people who lost
> their lives. Maybe its just a list from a telephone
> directory or something.
> And that would create exactly the same effect.
>
> > If the point you are making is that there are many
> > events in our world that require memorials and
> many
> > needless deaths then I couldn't agree more
>
> I'm not making that point. Obviously there may well
> be an infinite list of
> events that 'require' memorials. But that's nothing
> to do with this piece.
>
> > Because others have died does not
> > lessen the horror of what happened to perfectly
> > blameless people on September 11th .
> > I for one am pleased that there are artists around
> who
> > don't see art as simply a formal and self
> referential
> > game but as something that speaks to us about our
> > deepest concerns.
>
> I wonder here what our deepest concerns are here?
> That we may be blown up in
> an exploding building? That we may suddenly die?
> That our loved ones may
> die? That none of us are safe? All of these are
> valid subjects for art, of
> course. But the first one is totally specific to
> September 11 and thus
> hardly germane to the human condition. The rest are,
> of course, part of the
> stuff of art for time immemorial.
>
> My point about memorials is that a memorial implies
> an institutional
> response to an event. An artist can of course
> designate a work as a
> memorial, but that doesn't privelege it in any way,
> it just states the
> artists view of the work.
>
> Cheers,
> Ivan
>

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DISCUSSION

Re: Eryk Salvaggio: September 11th, 2001


<I am considering
removing the introduction page.>
hmm....well of course it's your piece but I'm not
convinced you should...its tone is very much of a
piece with the work as a whole and in a strange way I
think adds to it...or *prepares* us for the work in a
quite proper way.
Showing us your nervousness is a human and a warm
thing which in my view adds to the complexity and
reach of the work.
Of all the Six Rules ,although I absolutely understand
why it's there, the no introduction page one is the
one I feel most ambivalent about, for the reasons
outlined in my posts directed to Ivan's response.. of
course it's a massively abused thing ( and not just in
net art- sometimes as I wander about galleries in
particular the over contexting, often tendentious, of
work in the little wall panels makes me want to
scream)..but to touch on a larger issue again the
enormous merit of the Six Rules for me is not in the
specifics but in the gesture, in the idea of adopting
a rather fertile self restriction and also of choosing
to reject or downplay the simply fashionable.
regards
michael

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DISCUSSION

Re: Eryk Salvaggio: September 11th, 2001


I wasn't going to post anything on Eryk's piece since
everytime I do it seems to be along the lines of how
great the work is and I feel that may be getting a tad
monotonous.
Nevertheless I am a signed up member of the Salvaggio
fan club for the reason that there always seems to me
something deeply human at the heart of the work.
This piece is no exception.
Of course it has technique and bravo for that but the
point is surely that the technique is at the service
of and works together with the content to produce
something that is both shocking and moving and however
much Eryk dislikes the word, is art ,and art of a high
order.

The use of names is, contrary to what Ivan asserts,
the thing that make it the most personal, the most
connected - a name is of course not at all an
abstraction -in the world as we experience it, it
stands for everything we are ( and if I had lost
someone then to see their name up there would fill me
with grief-I can quite understand why Eryk would feel
a little nervous about posting the piece.)
If the point you are making is that there are many
events in our world that require memorials and many
needless deaths then I couldn't agree more ( there's a
piece to made about all those murdered in the
Palestinian refugee camps, or the Iraqi kids who died
through bombing or sanctions) but that is not what
this piece is about. Because others have died does not
lessen the horror of what happened to perfectly
blameless people on September 11th .
I for one am pleased that there are artists around who
don't see art as simply a formal and self referential
game but as something that speaks to us about our
deepest concerns.
And I don't mean by that that I think our time should
simply be taken engaging with tragedy - I thought the
recent haiku piece and the town portrait both human
sized and joyous works, (not to speak of the gnomes).
regards
Michael
--- Ivan Pope <ivan@ivanpope.com> wrote:
>
> > I would appreciate feedback on this piece if
> anyone would like to
> > provide it. I have mixed
> > emotions concerning it, the way I do with every
> piece of work, but
> > obviously the subject
> > matter here is potentially larger than maybe I
> should have attempted to
> > grasp.
>
> Eryk,
> I really like the work, in the way it abstracts time
> based imagery and raw
> data listing and recombines them into a recognisable
> time based work.
>
> This is my personal view. There is so much hysteria
> surrounding the events
> of September 11th. I have no desire to be drawn into
> that hysteria. But,
> from an art/artist perspective:
>
> ... to connect those images of 9/11/01 to the actual
> lives that were lost
>
> I cannot interpret this. What does it mean, 'the
> actual lives that were
> lost'? I mean, I think we all understand that it was
> real people with real
> lives that died. But I can't connect that to a huge
> listing of names. That's
> not real people, that's about as abstract as it
> gets. I can't help watching
> the piece with a sense of 'cor, that's clever, how
> did he do that' and
> 'look, the 'plane' is made up of Xxxx's name. Does
> that mean anything?' etc.
> It is not really possible to connect names (which
> are surely abstract
> symbols) to 'actual' people (and what indeed is an
> un-actual life?).
>
> ... this is not intended to be
> a piece of work that you look at on a website and
> then move on; this is as
> close as I could create, to an online memorial, and
> I think the people who
> were killed deserve to have this piece looked at
> with contemplation as
> opposed to blind clicking.
>
> I do not think you can say that, that you can impose
> this view on the
> viewer. Honestly, people who are dead do not
> >deserve< anything. Dead people
> are just dead people, there are a hell of a lot of
> them about. Do you really
> think it is your role to create a memorial? And if
> you do, surely the work
> will stand or fall as that in its own right?
>
> To sum up, let the work speak for itself. Do not try
> to protect it by
> building a wall around it. Unless you are a
> commissioned state sculptor of
> course.
>
> Lovely piece of work though :)
>
> Cheers,
>
> Ivan
>
> +
>
bostoniscoolerthannewyorkbostoniscoolerthannewyorkbostoniscoolerthanne
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DISCUSSION

Re: Unfinished Haiku in Mpeg Format


beautiful!
smart, witty , totally modern yet with a sense of
continuity to a tradition, engaging, not about
computers or code...oh and moving...
more please.
--- Eryk Salvaggio <eryk@maine.rr.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> http://www.one38.org/mpeghaiku/
>
> Mpeg Video as Two Line Haiku.
>
>
>
> -e.
>
>
>
> + Madam. In eden, I'm Adam.
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> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set
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> Membership Agreement available online at
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