Friday, April 22, 2011

Anthems for Walking

So, after much aggravation and time away from this blog this is what I have to share with you all. It is my thesis and ideological argument for my Contemporary and Modern Art seminar, which the professor has titled The Elsewheres of Modernity. Even though it is completed and submitted for grading (which I am still anxious about) it still doesn't feel like I'm quite finished with it. That said I am quite happy with this introductory bit and I'd like to keep developing the possibilities.

The social experience of the urban can be read as a playlist of anthems pieced together through the interconnectivity of expressions of lived reality. The metaphor of anthems as representative of human subjectivity allows us to compile private walking as the site of the personal. Each anthem however is individual and polysemous in its engagement with both the personal and the public. Walking becomes the act of making concrete the conflation of both personal and public expression and its imposition and solicitation of a public sphere. This paper will discuss the history of a continuing tradition of a praxis of walking through the reading of temporalities of the quotidian (everyday) ritual of walking. The ideological approach to subjectivity as constitutive of social consciousness, both the personal and public, will be applied to an understanding of a contemporary response to society towards conjecture and consensus.
For us to consider walking as an ideology that allows us to occupy the spaces of personal and public consciousness it is necessary for us to regard it as responsive to an ideological approach to Althusserian subjectivity. What I want to clarify in this paper is the understanding of Althusserian subjectivity as constituting the consciousness of individual perspectives not lost to the social totality of the quotidian. As Althusser states in Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, “you and I are always already subjects - of ideological recognition- and we function in the practical rituals of the most elementary everyday life.”

Each of these anthems of subjectivity constitutes the recognition of the personal consciousness. It is in this respect that we are fundamentally unique subjects within the social experience of urban society. By creating subjectivities of social experience we are engaging the personal as an outward expression of anthems of walking in the public sphere.

For the reference to Louis Althusser I referred to a shorter thesis of, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" in The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd ed. ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff (London: Routledge, 2002)

I will be revising this further for my applications to a Masters of Art History, Theory and Criticism/Curatorial Studies. Let's hope in Chicago because seriously who couldn't find inspiration under Anish Kapoor's magnificent Cloud Gate.

Upcoming... Attempts at Understanding Feminist Art, Queering Temporalities (?)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Apologies for the lack of posts...

I am currently working on a larger project on the the experience of the everyday through the praxis walking and it's relation to individual freedom and the construction of "community." I haven't worked out anything definitively but I hope to share some of what I discover with you on this blog.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Artwork Called to Antagonize Me

Just recently I decided to participate in an artwork by Germaine Koh and the Surrey Art Gallery called, "Call." They sent out submissions for people to offer their phone numbers for serendipitous connections.
Having studied Art History as a discipline with the intention of working in the field I am often asked to define the "subject" of Art. And that was the subject of this "Call." Having just woken up my day started off somewhat combative. I was asked to identify myself but my caller was reluctant to give any indication as to who they were. They were immediately irritated that I had even answered my phone because the next question was, "So why aren't you working?" The follow up was "What are you studying?" Of course when I politely asked, "So what do you do?" I was rebuffed (confirming that this was a one-sided conversation). Then came the dreaded, "So do you think this is art?" To which I responded, "I don't think that's up to me to decide." She wasn't satisfied with that. When I gently suggested that she might consider the subject of the interaction we were having in that moment was creating something that might be considered art she was definitely not amused. She evenly insisted that the artist had not "created" anything and therefore this was not to be considered art, then on a dissatisfied note she end our conversation, "Well it's been nice talking to you. Have a nice life." An unwitting artwork with a not-so-sunny disposition.

Upcoming... "The Praxis of Walking in Contemporary Art"
On Hold... "Attempts at Understanding Feminist Art" or "Follow Your Gut: Situationist Vancouver(?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

LV Goes Camp-ing (No Tent Pitching Involved)

I've been putting this post off for awhile and coming back to it because I'm not exactly sure what I mean when I say "camp" or how exactly to define it. What got me going in this direction of exploring camp taste is a quote in the show notes from Marc Jacobs' S/S 2011 show (see it in motion by clicking the link),

“The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated. Camp taste is by its nature possible only in affluent societies, societies or circles capable of experiencing psychopathology of affluence.” -Susan Sontag

The notion of subjectivity and taste is what makes "camp" so frustrating. It can occupy oppositional spaces of vulgarity and sophistication simultaneously. Take a closer look at Kristin McMenamy's closing show look at the far right. I think this illustrates the idea of camp tastes deceptive, it very revealing yet elegant at the same time. I might also add that the wall of purses at the new LV Maison in Vancouver is monumentally grotesque and wonderfully covetable as well. Something to think about.

*** All photo credits via STYLE.COM

Upcoming... "Attempts at Understanding Feminist Art" or "Follow Your Gut: Situationist Vancouver(?), "An Artwork Called to Antagonize Me"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Being Present

I came to this post through an approach to our everyday engagement with interconnectedness. I think it resonates very nicely with the recent popularized work of Marina Abromavic at the Museum of Modern Art working with the concept of "true reality", but I'd like to present it here in a very different context that of speaking and communication. Patsy Rodenburg has been speaking eloquently on this subject for numerous years as it relates to the field of speech and drama most notably in her book The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice (1992) and more recently in her publication The Second Circle: How to Use Positive Energy for Success in Every Situation (2008)

Patsy Rodenburg on being "present"

Broken down I think First Circle is interior, diffident and self conscious while Third is self involved and highly charged. I often times find myself in my enthusiasm imposing my Third Circle energies on others, simply waiting to get my own thoughts out instead of attending to the "now" of the conversation. I think it's important that we be first good listeners before we can become good speakers. Second Circle I believe is the space between indifference and self absorption where we let ourselves connect and appreciate the experience of interaction. Let us all try to inhabit the "presentness" of Second Circle and to continually seek out interconnectedness our relationships in the New Year.

Upcoming... LV Goes Camp-ing (No Tent Pitching Involved)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blogger Anxiety

In an attempt to fund my growing anxiety about writing/publishing and to provide coming attractions for those of you that are sick of checking this blog and not seeing anything new written. I have included at the end of my posts a coming attractions of "spider loves" that I have been working through. Hopefully this will keep you coming back to check up. They are "and/or"so there's no definite promise of what post will be next just to keep you on your toes. Take care!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Photographic Sublime

Paul Mgapi Sepuya

While visually captivating I never really considered photography a medium that seriously communicated more than what was on the surface. My indifference to the practice of photography has been enlightened recently by exposure to the works of Martha Rosler, Jeff Wall and Henri Cartier-Bresson. So it's no surprise that I rediscovered Paul Mpagi Sepuya whom I met as a sophomore in a dorm room at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts on Spring Break of 2001. Since then he has worked closely with AA Bronson of General Idea and also for several publications including BUTT Magazine and I.D. The photographs Paul has done here for DisMagazine. The relationship between the object (the bedding or the models, take your pick) and what is being sold is sensual, playful and alluring. The "sublime" is a good way to explain this feeling of "spider love" as that rapturous sensation of the beautiful. Take a look.

Credit to Colby Keller at for the inspiration for this my first post.
!!!Disclaimer!!! Please visit this site if you like bloggers who write about contemporary art are also gay male porn stars, like full frontal and penis.

Upcoming... "Attempts at Understanding Feminist Art" and/or "LV Goes Camp-ing (No Tent Pitching Involved)"