dear Alan, Ana, and all

I am very sorry if I tried, unsuccessfully, to combine a great respect for the 
seriousness of the issues raised here,  the lived experience reported here by 
you Ana in memory of the time of incarceration and torture, and for example 
Alan when you talk about the dying of your mother, and when you, Ana talk about 
your re-immigration to a less 'glamorous' southern city, Montevideo, and the 
artwork shared with us here, like Alan's haunting homage to Barber and Droste, 
and the poem you write to it, so if i tried to combine that with a sense of 
weary irony, and a glance at some questions raised by the work that I am trying 
to understand as gestural (Monika's). I found your video not dis/tracting at 
all, Alan, but on the contrary. I thought that was obvious, sorry if it wasn't. 

 in fact these historical traces now mingling with the discussion (of  the thin 
lines you speak about, at historical moments in the last century, already 
evoked with bitter ambivalence, perhaps, in Monika's reference to Zygmunt 
Bauman's "garden state") are important for the interrogation of contexts I 
propose. 

Re:  "garden state";   i found a very critical text on Bauman, and pondered it. 
 If you like to read it:  http://shaunbest.tripod.com/id11.html

with regards
Johannes


[Alan schreibt]

On Fri, 5 Oct 2012, Johannes Birringer wrote:

> [strangely I am trying to re-read them while watching Alan's machinima
> on Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste, now that is a very strange
> dis/traction to the 1920s and the queering of Berlin's underground &
> performance, cabaret and film scene)

Those performances were incredibly complex, and spoke to issues of
suffering, addictions, and death, as you know; I don't see this as a
distraction any more than any other past history is. These people - I'd
include Valeska Gert - were walking a very thin edge, and some of them
escaped and some didn't; some escaped themselves and some didn't. So here
are performances that are recorded at best in film and with Berber hardly
that - yet through text and images, they're uncanny.

Why wouldn't empathy or affect work through video etc.? I've seen video
from films shot at safaris for example which still haunt me, as well as
Martha Stewart's video she made for PETA, which I assigned students (yes,
it's _that_ Martha Stewart). My own work (which you'd probably find a
distraction here) is very much concerned with these issues online - that
was the basis of my Eyebeam residency.

> Grave matters here this week. After Alan, may I also dis/tract you by
> passing on to you a brief message just received from Argentine friend
> asking me about the camera work in Madrid during recent public unrest
> and protests, when drones?/surveillance helicopters?  flew over the
> city, like angels, taking a look at the wounding?
>
- Alan

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