Updates and links

*postings from 2010*


From last class, I asked that you prepare a half-page description of your latest ‘obstruction’ (16×16 installation of your intermedia project).  Please send this to me by November 5th (so I can share them with the rest of the class).


You should be finished reading Ranciere’s The politics of aesthetics and have begun to read The Emancipated Spectator.  I’d like you to also consider submitting an article of particular interest to you (and relevance to the class) as a tip of the hat to the planned but abandoned “Theory Surge” section of this course.  We may read one or two of these articles by the end of the semester.

November 3, 2010: Drive down to Houston

  • 1:00 – 1:30pm:    Meet at the Menil Gallery
  • 1:30 – 3:00pm:    Explore the gallery as a group
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm:   Menil Archive tour
  • 5:00 – 7:00pm:   Free time . . . go for dinner?
  • 7:00 – 9:00pm:   Art & Activism reception

November 10

  • Final discussion of 2nd Obstruction
  • Kobena Mercer and Ranciere

November 17

  • I’ll be at the meetings of the American Anthropological Association
  • This will be a good opportunity to watch True Meaning of Pictures and to consult with your classmates about the progress of your final project.

Links & other stuff

From Elizabeth (Lee):

Asteroid discoveries 1980-2010
The year and asteroid count are in the lower left corner and tick by in “real” time.  Watch for Jupiter along the sides of the video.

Book review of “the trashing of margaret mead”

From Chelsi:


“Transmedia Storytelling”

Daniel Lorenzetti and Juan Garcia

Building on their successful “late break” presentation at SXSW Interactive 2010, Daniel Lorenzetti and Juan Garcia will discuss “transmedia storytelling” and its profound implications for politics, marketing, and all forms of entertainment. Transmedia storytelling uses multiple forms of media and media outlets, concurrently, to advance and enhance a narrative. Done well, transmedia storytelling is a truly immersive and participatory media experience. Join us for an overview of prominent transmedia initiatives that have made their way into mainstream entertainment and commerce.

Daniel Lorenzetti is a digital creative and an award-winning documentary photographer (The Birth of Coffee published by Random House) and writer (The Mercuri Cycle). He has navigated many creative careers from owning an advertising agency to serving as executive editor of a magazine to working for public television as an investigative reporter. He also confused his parents by briefly serving as an Air Force Academy cadet, and earning English and Economics undergraduate degrees. He then completed an expensive law degree and master’s degrees in Journalism and Counseling Psychology. You can find Daniel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tmmatrix

Juan Garcia is an award winning new media producer and strategist focused on the convergence of emergent technology in entertainment and communications. As a New Media Manager for The University of Texas at Austin’s Faculty Innovation Center, he has helped develop and launch a series of digital media campaigns and curricula. He has served on the board of directors for the Austin Museum of Digital Art, Mobile Film School and the Austin School of Film, and currently sits on the Texas Exes Marketing Committee. A born storyteller and passionate futurist, he has previously spoken about new media trends for Apple, CNN, and the World E-Democracy Forum in Paris, France. You can find Juan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGarcia3rd

  • WHAT: The Austin Forum on Science, Technology & Society
  • WHEN:   Tuesday, November 9 at 6:30pm / Get there early! Networking reception starts at 5:45pm
  • WHERE: AT&T Conference Center Amphitheater (Room 204) / 1900 University Ave.
  • COST: Free and open to the public

PARKING: Free parking is available on the street or in the surface lot at MLK and Congress after 5:30pm-about two blocks to the AT&T Conference Center. Garage parking is available at the AT&T Conference Center for $7 (go to Gabriel’s to purchase your $7 voucher). Bicycle racks are located at the AT&T garage entrance on 20th Street; motorcycle parking is available by the Harry Ransom Center on 21st Street.

RSVP: info@austinforum.org

WEBSITE: www.austinforum.org


Aesthetics & Politics

Here are some seminars that you’ll probably not attend but might wish you could. I thought that it might be interesting to see this in context of our reading of Ranciere.

Essex / Brighton Seminars on Aesthetics & Politics 10/25-10/26

:: Curating Resistance :: Aesthetics & Ethics in Social Movement ::
:: October 25th, 2010:: University of Essex ::
:: Room 4.722 :: 1PM – 5PM ::

Participants: Gavin Grindon (Kingston) // Paul Halliday (Goldsmiths) // Antigoni Memou (University of East London) // Matthew Poole (Essex)

Avant-garde and social movement art production has long had a troubled and conflictual relationship with the museum and the archive. The call to abandon the gallery as a space for art separated from everyday life, one that all too often neutralizes the antagonistic energies of radical art, reverberates from Dada through Fluxus, the Surrealists to Reclaim the Streets. But in today’s post-Fordist creativity-fueled economy, the call to end this division rings hollow precisely because it has already been accomplished: the energies of insurgent creativity are rendered into forms of dispersed production for the net economy. The surrealist invocation of the marvelous is today’s advertising copy. Joseph Beuys’ proclamation that “everyone is an artist” has been realized in perverse form as “everyone is a worker,” where relationality is ‘socially sculpted’ through the circuits of an always present network culture as opportunities for capitalist valorization: all YouWork and MyProfit.

What might there be that could avoid these tensions and contradictions, or at least begin to suggest ways to work through and against them? Where does one go when life itself is both a direct producer of value and the substance of artistic production? To a gallery of the streets? Or maybe a university of trash? Is the archive of the undercommons a pile of zines sitting at the back of the infoshop? A pile of fleshy tissue inscribed on by a Kafka-esque writing machine? Perhaps it is all and none of these things. Thus we return to the question of the archive and history not to catalog social movement artistic production for a gallery-morgue or the productivity of the metropolitan factory, but rather to consider what an ethics and aesthetics of developing a living archive of experience and knowledges that can feed back into and through the fabric of everyday life might be.

Sponsored by the University of Essex Management Centre (http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/research/emc).

For more information contact Stevphen Shukaitis (sshuka@essex.ac.uk).

Metropolitan Strategies, Psychogeographic Investigations
:: A Drifting Seminar :: Brighton, October 26th, 2010 ::
Starting @ the Cowley Club, 2PM

The notion of psychogeography (as well as many other ideas of the Situationists) appears frequently within political and artistic discussions. Indeed, they circulate to the point of cliché, in the process becoming almost completely emptied of content. The derive is reduced to a leisurely stroll, perhaps accompanied with some secondary musings about the nature of the spectacle, a dash of literary activity, or perhaps some local history. This is a hollowing out of the concept. Psychogeography for the Situationists was primarily not an aesthetic activity, but more than anything a strategic approach to understanding the forces shaping the city and from those finding points of intervention in it. At times it verged on a nearly military framework, working to gain an intuitive understanding of the territory and its layering of images, affects, and circuits of capitalist valorization.

Today we find ourselves in a condition of ever intensified spectacular sociability: all of life put to work in webs of biopolitical production, overwhelming communicative and media flows, and the reshaping of the metropolis through culture led gentrification. More than ever well-developed psychogeographic investigations are needed to comprehend the shaping of the metropolis and the possibilities this offers for political action. But this is not a task for the carefree wanderings of the flaneur, but perhaps better suited for what Ian Sinclair has described as the superseding figure of the stalker, the one who knows where he is going, but not why or how.

The aim of this encounter is to draw together concepts from psychogeography and unitary urbanism with recent writings on the shaping of the metropolis today. And from this approach to understanding the changing nature of the city elaborate new political strategies. For instance, if the metropolis is a factory, how would it go on strike? If all of everyday life and communication is put to work, how can we throw down our tools? And if capital attempts to recuperate all forms of radical politics in order to turn them into new energies for continued accumulation, is a strategy of concealment or incomprehensibility one way to escape from these dynamics?

This event will not be based around formal presentations, but rather will rather take the form of a drifting seminar. Participants will be asked to read several pieces of text that will form the basis of discussion and exploration.

October 6

The plan for this class is to meet at Cafe Medici at 9am.  The location of this cafe is located at 2222 Guadalupe (across from the Harry Ransom Center).  We’ll meet and discuss Nikki’s story board before heading over to the HRC for 10am where we’ll do a tour of the exhibition “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection.”


  • Clifford, James. 1981. On ethnographic surrealism. Comparative Studies in Society and History 23, no. 4: 539-564. linked download.
  • Clifford, James. 1991. Documents: A decomposition. Visual Anthropology Review 7, no. 1: 62-83.  download: clifford1991.


  • This week we’ll be doing individual consultations to discuss your final project and your skills plan.  These consultations will be organized by appointment.
  • You should be updating your Tumblr site (I’m watching you!) or suggesting an alternative (WordPress, Blogger, etc.) to allow fellow class mates to follow your progress or refer to your project.


Gwen shares a link to this provocative art work…

I thought this artist’s work might be relevant to some of the things we’ve been talking about in class or at least interesting to some of the students.  The artist is Hank Willis Thomas, and he’s taken classic ads featuring African Americans and removed all context clues like advertising copy or brand logos, so in the end it’s just this really interesting exploration of the black male body.
Hank Willis Thomas

September 22

Planning for September 29

  • Read, Aesthetics I:
    • Stewart, Kathleen. 2003. Arresting images. In Aesthetic Subjects.
    • stewart2003
  • Review:
    • Marcus, George. 2009. Traffic in art and anthropology: How fieldwork in Theatre Arts might inform the reinvention of fieldwork in anthropology. In Aesthetics and Anthropology.
    • Laister, Judith. 2009. Acting in heterotropia. Other, third and real spaces in public art and theory. In Aesthetics and Anthropology.
  • Present:
    • Final version of your ‘documentary’

Between Art and Anthropology

Between Art and Anthropology provides new and challenging arguments for considering contemporary art and anthropology in terms of fieldwork practice. Artists and anthropologists share a set of common practices that raise similar ethical issues, which the authors explore in depth for the first time.

The book presents a strong argument for encouraging artists and anthropologists to learn directly from each other’s practices ‘in the field’. It goes beyond the so-called ‘ethnographic turn’ of much contemporary art and the ‘crisis of representation’ in anthropology, in productively exploring the implications of the new anthropology of the senses, and ethical issues, for future art-anthropology collaborations.

The contributors to this exciting volume consider the work of artists such as Joseph Beuys, Suzanne Lacy, Marcus Coates, Cameron Jamie, and Mohini Chandra. With cutting-edge essays from a range of key thinkers such as acclaimed art critic Lucy R. Lippard, and distinguished anthropologists George E. Marcus and Steve Feld, Between Art and Anthropology will be essential reading for students, artists and scholars across a number of fields.