In the way of being (Journal of Visual Culture & HaFI, 3)
This is the third instalment of a collaborative effort by the Journal of Visual Culture and the Harun Farocki Institut, initiated by the COVID-19 crisis. The call sent to JVC’s editorial board, and a wide selection of previous contributors and members of its extended communities, described the task as follows: “There is a lot of spontaneous, ad hoc opinion-making and premature commentary around, as to be expected. However, the ethics and politics of artistic and theoretical practice to be pursued in this situation should oblige us to stay cautious and to intervene with care in the discussion. As one of JVC’s editors, Brooke Belisle, explains: ‘We are not looking for sensationalism, but rather, moments of reflection that: make connections between what’s happening now and the larger intellectual contexts that our readership shares; offer small ways to be reflective and to draw on tools we have and things we know instead of just feeling numb and overwhelmed; help serve as intellectual community for one another while we are isolated; support the work of being thoughtful and trying to find/make meaning…which is always a collective endeavour, even if we are forced to be apart.'” TH
in the way of being
by Teresa Cisneros
i am writing because i have no other way
to digest interactions over the last few weeks.
i have lots of questions
about what practice looks like
when my main mode of interaction is in person with people physically
not on a computer or via the post or a video.
i can see the person but i cannot feel them.
i can see their facial expressions but i cannot read them.
i can see their words but i cannot decipher them.
i can hear their voice but i cannot understand the intonations.
how and where am i supposed to read the nuances by which i understand the world
through the political
through the bodily
through the feeling
it’s like my intuition is temporarily put on hold or if it’s slightly being broken.
when you no longer use something, what becomes of it?
i can no longer tell when i upset someone or say the wrong thing.
this not physical space feels like anther form of colonising my body
my body colonised by the machine
by the separation
to dull my senses
to dull my beingness
and where does my collective feeling go when i am separated?
i guess i am grasping what this means, at this point in time, when i have to continue to labour, communicate, perform.
Teresa Cisneros, curandera/administrator, Wellcome Collection
April 18th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
On Friday, April 6, 2021, at 8 p.m., Akademie Schloss Solitude will host a Zoom event with former HaFI Residency fellowship holder Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible” (2017). Moderated by Doreen Mende. To register, click here.
April 14th, 2021
The magazine MONOPOL currently features an interview (in German) with Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible,” which she conceived and shot during her HaFI residency in 2017.
April 14th, 2021
Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”
Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”
Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”
November 7th, 2020