Found at Smokers Paradise
F.O.M.O. Are you familiar with this term? I suppose I am a bit slow on the pick-up of trendy acronyms, as I was introduced to it just last week. But it is instantaneously familiar and useful. In the event you are not already in-the-know, I will ensure you will not longer be left out. e.g., my recent introduction to the term: “She seems to have a penchant for surrounding herself with charismatic...
Specters, David Levine
David Levine, Spectator, Paul McCarthy, Los Angeles, 1971, 2010 The main characters of David Levine’s series, Specters, are not camera-ready. They are incidental evidence of this formative moment when the visual arts cannibalized all art disciplines and called it, Performance Art. Levine says, “The idea is to think about the audience, who are at once constitutive of the main event—this was the...
Reciprocity, Anxiety and the Aesthetics of...
When uncertainty and anxiety are the driving forces of my art practice, it is exciting to see entire exhibitions devoted to the subject, such as “Uncertain Spectator” at EMPAC and “Publics and Counterpublics” at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo. What follows is a brief excerpt from an essay on the conceptual tactics of anxiety that drive my art practice. …….. Anxiety is a...
This Week’s Guest Blogger: Caitlin Berrigan
We are pleased to announce our guest blogger for this week, Caitlin Berrigan. Caitlin Berrigan is an artist who works in sculpture, video, and participatory actions to open a space of potential for confronting uncertainties within the context of social issues. She was an Agnes Gund fellow at Skowhegan and artist in residence at PROGRAM in Berlin. She holds a Master’s in visual art from MIT (2009)...
Medium of Exchange
As one of the first official acts of 2011, Virginia created House Resolution 557 which proposes the use of alternative currencies should the Federal Reserve go bankrupt. Although the Financial Crisis is said to be over, a great deal of insecurity remains about the solvency of the Federal Reserve. A few clauses from the resolution: WHEREAS, in the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other...
In the Shadow of the Sign
Responses to Anthony Discenza’s signs that have cropped up: Leo Strut It Will End in EARTS, from Julia Alsarraf, Curatorial Intern Sign on 8th Street
Anthony Discenza's signs on Rensselaer's campus
A few images of Anthony Discenza’s signs on Rensselaer’s campus on a sunny November day:
Installation Photographs of Uncertain Spectator...
Installation photographs of Uncertain Spectator by Kris Qua Marie Sester, Fear, 2010 in the Lobby Susanna Hertrich, Reality Checking Device, 2008 on the Mezzanine Claire Fontaine, Change, 2006 on the Mezzanine Tue Greenfort, Die Dynamic der Autoren, 2000 on the Mezzanine Kate Gilmore, Main Squeeze, 2006 on the Mezzanine
Installation photographs of Uncertain Spectator
A few installation photographs of Uncertain Spectator by Kris Qua: Graciela Carnevale, Action for the Experimental Art Cycle, 1968 on the Mezzanine Anthony Discenza, A Leave-Taking, 2010 commissioned take away poster on the Mezzanine Jesper Just, A Vicious Undertow, 2007 in the Video Gallery SUPERFLEX, The Financial Crisis (Sessions I - IV) and Lost Money, 2009 in Studio 1 ...
Images from the Uncertain Spectator opening
A selection of photographs from the Uncertain Spectator opening on November 18, 2010 with a performance by the Troy Chainsaw Ensemble (Jack Magai, Andrew Lynn & Bobby Gibbs, conducted by Sam Sowyrda). Photographs by Travis Cano (November 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org). Mezzanine at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Tue Greenfort’s Die Dynamik der Autoren (2000) ...
Crises of Capitalism
A illuminating animation by RSA Animate in which David Harvey, a leading social theorist, traces geographical movement of the financial crisis and asks whether there might be a better system than capitalism. - Emily Zimmerman, Assistant Curator
Kierkegaard III: uncertain salvation
The French philosopher Jacques Derrida has reflected on the Greek word ‘pharmakon’, which appears in Plato’s dialogues. The pharmakon can be either a poison or a cure. Like our English word ‘drug’, it expresses a fundamental ambivalence: drugs can be life-threatening or life-saving. The hemlock that Socrates drinks when he is put to death exemplifies this dual quality, for it is a poison that...
Kierkegaard II: learning to be anxious
On the question of anxiety, as on other questions, Kierkegaard inclines towards the paradoxical. Although anxiety is a problem for us, the solution is not to stop the anxiety, but to be anxious. At the end of The Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard writes: ‘In one of Grimm’s fairy tales there is a story of a young man who goes in search of adventure in order to learn what it is to be in anxiety…...
Kierkegaard I: finite and infinite
In 1844 Søren Kierkegaard wrote a book called The Concept of Anxiety, where he suggests that the experience of anxiety isn’t just a response to external circumstances, but rooted in the very nature of the human being. We exist, therefore we are anxious. Even when there’s nothing to worry about. Why might this be? According to Kierkegaard, the human being is a spiritual being: not just a...
This Week's Guest Blogger: Clare Carlisle
We are please to announce our guest blogger for this week, Clare Carlisle. Clare Carlisle is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, UK, where she teaches courses in the philosophy of religion, ethics, and the history of philosophy. She is the author of three books on Kierkegaard, and the co-translator of Felix Ravaisson’s ‘Of Habit.’ She is currently working on her own book on...
"He raged at the hypocrisy of the aristocracy...
I found an article on lexical > gustatory synesthesia, a rare form in which words conjure up a strong companion taste. Most manifestations of this seem obvious in a Pavlovian way, but James Wannerton states that “Whenever I hear, read, or articulate (inner speech) words or word sounds, I experience an immediate and involuntary taste sensation on my tongue. These very specific taste...
Nervous Eating/Nervous Abstaining
“As a sensory experience, taste operates in multiple modalities—not only by way of the mouth and nose, but also the eye, ear, and skin. How does food perform to the sensory modalities unique to it? A key to this question is a series of dissociations. While we eat to satisfy hunger and nourish our bodies, some of the most radical effects occur precisely when food is dissociated from eating...
Holiday Uncertainty Syndrome
For me, the official onset of The Holidays marked by Thanksgiving yields a shimmering metaphysical nervousness. Amidst virtual duck fat, bourbon & pecans, and the confusions about agave syrup, I will (do my tryptamine best to) focus my posts on food, gratitude, and performance in all their merry, mangled forms. Things to feel anxious about this week: 1. Being Grateful Enough Today I received...
This Week's Guest Blogger: Marina Zurkow
We are pleased to introduce our first guest blogger for Uncertain Spectator(s), Marina Zurkow, artist and associate teacher at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Marina Zurkow makes psychological narratives about humans and their relationship to animals, plants and the weather. These take the form of multi-channel videos, customized multi-screen computer...
The Anxiety of Curating
I find myself in the paradoxical position of being anxious while realizing an exhibition whose subject is anxiety. Kierkegaard maintained that anxiety arose in the face of possibility; his now famous image of anxiety is that of a man standing at the edge of a precipice who is terrified by the fact that he could choose to throw himself over it. In keeping with this spirit of Kierkegaard’s thought,...
Anxiety often manifests as an obsessive need to prepare for the possibilities that the future may hold. This is particularly true during times of international military tension, when such anxieties become socialized, coming into contact with one’s national identification. During specific periods of societal crisis in United States history, citizens have pointedly been asked to adopt an anxious...
Uncertain Spectator responds to the culture of anxiety that has become so much a part of the political, economic, and media climate in which we now exist. This blog is a place for invited cultural theorists, philosophers, artists, and curators, to reflect on the manifold manifestations of anxiety within contemporary culture, whether that be through timely events, currents in philosophical...