Earlier this year I was involved in the seminar The Occult Turn. Working from my project The Following doesn’t exist I supplied the seminar with a free and open WiFi by facilitating and allowing people to connect together through the WiFi spots, the project intends to practice generosity and to form an idiorhythmic community of ‘followers’ that, from this digital point of departure, are free to trail off wherever and whenever they wish.
The framework of the podcast platform is modelled after a study into the philosophy of fourth-century desert hermit mystics known as the Ammas or Desert Mothers and after dominant thinking in contemporary feminist methodology. The reason to combine these streams of thinking and put them to use in a curatorial framework was to seek other ways of producing by problematising the universalising inclination of curating itself. In doing so, committing to not only account for curatorial work through language but insisting on a situated and embodied understanding – such as a mystic ‘understanding’.
One of the speakers at the symposium, Kirsty Pattison, specifically addresses the links of ‘intelligent magic’ to Greek Theurgy, the religious ritual element of mid-platonic and neo-platonic philosophy. Theurgy is the practice through which one aims to establish a mystical union with God (‘the one’, or read: that which is bigger than us).
The Amma’s mystical practice grounded for a large part in neo-platonic philosophy – a popular philoshpy in Alexandria in the 5th and 6th century – sought this unification through a life of solitude and ritual in the deserts around Alexandria.
Although most of the research for The Following doesn’t exist focused on the Amma’s methods of living together, as both a small society and as individuals (idiorhythmic) and their ideas about silence and listening, theurgy has formed an important reason to look into the philosophy in the first place.
For the majority in today’s western society, a unification with ‘the one’ is not directly on top-priority on the list of things to do on a daily basis, exactly because God’s death made our daily lives more important to us than our promised afterlives. But as I noted above, ‘the one’ might also be read as ‘that which is bigger than us’ – and there is a whole lot of that still; climate change, the rise of big data and geopolitical turmoil.
Then, the turn to the occult is a combination of embodied forms of understanding while being a way of letting ‘the other’ speak.
“Escape happens”, as Eugene Thacker notes in his first volume of the horror philosophy series.
 That’s Nietzsche obvs.
This point and click game was played while reading a statement called ‘Curatorial Consciousness’ describing the development of personal ideas regarding ‘the curatorial’ thereby being about the curatorial and itself curatorial in the sense that it takes form as a constellation of ideas.
Performed 28-11-2017 at Glasgow School of Art – Curatorial Practice presentations to MFA
Well, I guess these kind of presentations already raise one question.
Are we allowed to show unrealized projects as part of our practice?
Whereas while they may not have been part of an artistic discourse,
They have very well been part of a personal artistic development.
Part of Amsterdam Art Weekend, initiated by Humans of the institution – UiB
Part of Amsterdam Art weekend, Initiated by Humans of the Institution – UiB
On the 23th of November Chapter Thirteen hosted a lecture by Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote. Benjamin Fallon, part of Chapter Thirteen, introduces the intention of inviting these speakers to Glasgow with an explanation on why Chapter Thirteen was founded in the first place, to counter the perfunctory institutional methods and to include new voices in this process. Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote research exactly these processes in what they call the nth field, the non-static complex transcultural exchange.
Wish I could have been there. 20 and 21 November 2017, Ghent
Attended: Wednesday 8th of November
Sarah Pierce (b. 1968) Lives and works in Dublin. Since 2003, Sarah Pierce has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her art. Despite its institutional resonance, this title does not signify an organisation. Instead, it demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, articulated through methods that open up to the personal and incidental. Characterised as a way to play with a shared neuroses of finding one’s place (read complex in the Freudian sense), whether a specific locality or a wider set of circumstances that frame interaction, her art considers forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. (…) The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes highlight a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art: the potential for dissent and self-determination, the slippages between individual work and institution, and the proximity of past artworks. (…) Pierce has described her work as part of a feminist legacy, “deeply committed to a radical turn away from the cult of the artist and individual achievements towards the signs and symbols of a system of art making.”
Text from her website
My reaction to Sarah Pierce’s Lecture:
Continue reading “Sarah Pierce – University of Glasgow (History of Art Research Seminar)”
Send this to my best friend with the comment: ‘This should be a mandatory watch for everyone starting an artistic research Masters.’