I quite like the idea of therapy- admittedly this is a highly cathartic conversation/project for myself and I do hope this is reciprocal in its nature. I believe we share a common want to change something, even if it is unclear how and what form it may take. Yes, I concur with the ‘no fixed rules’. I think my task is not to specifically define the collective, but to draw out nuanced characteristics with which we can begin to gain a greater understanding and to ultimately legitimise practices (and thus languages) which seem logical to artists and creatives within the sector, such as ourselves. This is not to co-opt ‘what we do’ into conventional institutionalised art history, but in fact, to contribute a small change in new knowledges of social art history.
It’s interesting that my introduction to your work was through the Rome exhibition and your meta-project "Turbulent Times. Nothing happens in Nice Weather". I immediately recognised a deeper criticism of our current times it’s what set that work apart from the rest of the exhibition. Also, yes by ‘play’ I was referring to a general aesthetic rather than the actual notion that we can entirely be at play, as artists, all of the time. I think that the aesthetic of play is really important in our times as its at once relatable (somewhat satirical in form) by the audience/viewer. However, it simultaneously reveals the interplay between the personal and the political (political, in the broadest sense of those friction points) intention in your work.
Yes, I couldn’t help but think of Walter Benjamin when you positioned images as non-singular, it’s about circulation, hit rate and sharing, this is the other side of collectivism which I’m reticent to spend time on as it is probably a whole other PhD. However, it does of course play a role and cannot be ignored. I suppose a post-structuralist would argue that the relationship between text and image creates the illusion of a single meaning.
We are in fact now beginning to witness a mass deconstruction of binary oppositions (in the tradition of western metaphysics) exacerbated by the proliferation of the internet. Even though they are, on the surface, still constantly being reaffirmed. Derrida would love the now! I like your distinction between core -author intention- and the subjective view of the audience. It’s bring us full circle to my visit and interpretation of your work and hence to this very conversation.
Your tracing of agriculture and this deep discursive thread within western metaphysics is something I myself ruminate upon frequently, I would be interested to know if you have read ‘Anthropocene or Capitalocene’ by Jason Moore? It’s a collection of writings but essentially it questions the distinction between humanity and nature- It’s a one among many. If not it’s a good read, not anywhere near bringing any answers to the fore but it quite eloquently speaks to what we are talking about here. I particularly enjoyed reading your assertions on this problematic or set of problems we collectively face. I share this view even though I am perhaps less convinced overall that there aren’t a set of cracks appearing in the smoothness of the hegemony. I’m thinking the ‘alternative’ economies of migrant workers savings banks in the India, the slum towns in South America, gift economies etc. These of course are not positive or negative but are simply occurring. Of course they too can readily be co-opted back into the flattening global capitalist hegemony. I would say though that there is some resistance or perhaps friction which is almost imperceptible but nevertheless observable.
I agree about ‘the hive mind’ I wanted to instigate your thoughts on it as I cannot see it fully operating in that way. I agree we need to reflect! As Google and the global unregulated are rushing into post-humanism without a thought for the consequences!
I read more and more instances of this happening in the daily stream of visual and textual non stop inertia. Art is obviously immersed as much as everything else. I do however, think it plays a vital role in uncovering the mechanics of the system and really ‘good’ art provides a head space to generate thoughts and ideas which may in time help to tackle these issues.
I want to come down or up or sideways from this thread now and direct the conversation, again back to you and your specific cultural ecology. Just a simple question for now, I know you probably don’t have typical days, but would you mind indulging me in a specific day you might have recently? How did it pan out? Just on a basic level nothing to in depth. I’m also interested to hear about the ‘scene’ in Milan or Italy in general?
Here in Leeds the scene is dominated by the educational and municipal institutions of art. However, there is more and more graduate retention in the city and my friends and I and many other collectives, studio groups, facilitating organisations such as East Street Arts are creating a growing artist-led culture within the city which will hopefully re-address the hierarchical ‘visible core’ of art within the city. Its hard in the north of England to make a living in the sector, most go to London but there are movements afoot. It’s all very siloed still though with the obvious art market driven glitterati still holding the majority of the big bucks.
‘It's an osmotic entity that welcomes contributions and tries to understand how to build a fertile exhibition model that can't be reduced to a list of artworks without any relation with the space or among them’.
This is fantastic – my hypothesis and argument within my phd is that artist-led collectives are creating heterotopias, spaces for new forms of curatorial and artistic hybrids to occur. They almost erode or erase the very terms I am using. I’m fascinated with Poiuyt as a meta-project.
Do you have any future plans for Poiuyt? I know from what you have said, and my own experience of these ‘type’ of projects that they are often develop entirely through the social relationships within a group (we can perhaps extend this to all discourse) and don’t conform to a specific organisational structure. However, I wondered if you had an practical plans on your next steps?
I may have more for you, but for now enjoy.