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Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 10:54 am
I, slenderly, like to be dirty

This is a photographic approximation of my first column for Japanese art magazine ART-iT, which recently migrated from a paper to a web publication. To read this on the ART-iT site you have to go through a rather tedious one-off registration process, but considering it makes the magazine available worldwide for free, it's a small price to pay.



One of the peculiarities of the ART-iT site is that the magazine -- which has been bilingual from the start -- uses mechanical web translation for its contents. So if you click the Japanese / British flag at the top of the page, your English text automatically goes into Japanese, and vice versa. Just for fun, I google-translated the Japanese version of my column back into English, and came up with the following. I've picked out a few "found poems" in bold:

I, slenderly, please give the event a collection of art and MAKARETA Map dilapidated buildings. I am a happy person. Or Not Museum dim pure white cube for me; I like to be dirty but my art venues. I, And peeling wallpaper, the accordion by crush, and prefer to feel a bit damp and wet and that they are. I The Kerameikos in Athens was abandoned as the district office, county amended plots between the two events Perez recently called They are inherited in the same place for the Gallery project, we prefer to be re-occupied.

Event Type Art gives you a map to the art if not bigger - and, in revised county parcel, it marked a significant And elephant - no longer a winner even if the cluster of buildings to explore unfamiliar. Glass display case for a temporary art And over the entrance was converted into apartments or workshops, adventure amazing city break a padlock of a forbidden I want the house.

2006 was a big city adventure biennial Berlin; Maurizio Cattelan and his co-curator, the re-building of the upper and lower. The art was, it was necessary to match the wallpaper a basin and discard them inspire Auguststrasse Residential flat used by the stables, mobile utility shed, a Jewish school for girls and older people. I sense In addition they were inside the two-day, 48 hours Neukolln I held near Berlin, as part of the event called Last weekend to explore as I SHAGAMIKOMI meager.

Tokyo is the closest ever to arrive, the town was building Shokuryo-Saga. "Site of emotion" - former U.S. cooperatives -- Is this for Ishii and KOYAMAGYARARI home earlier than 10 years, to inspire. It was taken in 2002 RI has been paid. However, Omi Biwako bee man as a biennial event, since they use the old movie tradition, the living to hold a sake museum and tea house at a factory.

However, there is a risk. Last year, I collect old streetcar repair shop in the Berlin district of north-filled immigrants to marry I saw the show was first called KYANPUBERURIN. It is a dialog between the artist and from Berlin Been thought, but for me to Hiroshima, it is the tram shed full of atmosphere and it became more store art Like the charisma of the competition. The building won.

31CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)

not for me the pristine white cube

Hmmm, is this the same Momus who only a few months ago wrote:

A white-walled, evenly-lit space with a simple form factor puts me at ease. I like how it brings the focus to the people in the room, giving them the status of works of art. I like what it does to colour. I like how there's no traffic noise in there, no radio.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)

By golly, you're right!

I like how my readers keep me on my toes!

I dislike how my readers keep on my toes!

They're contradictory, and they're both true!

I think this probably has something to do with dialectics, and something to do with appetite, and something to do with the way the moment you state one position forcefully, the opposite position begins to seem more true and more attractive. Because life isn't as clear-cut as semantics.

The contradictions are probably resolved by The arrow and the frame: "let's bracket positionality for a moment. Let's say the most important thing is the frame... Maybe -- just maybe -- it doesn't matter whether you're anti-gay or pro-gay. What matters is that you're looking at gay topics."

Replace "gay" here with the pristine / patina binary.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 11:55 am (UTC)

Interesting article in yesterday's Japan Times by Andrew Maerkle:

ART iT transforms into digital forum

Maerkle also looks at the translation system:

"Continuing the magazine's commitment to bilingual publishing, the site provides bloggers an auto-translate function between Japanese and English , with plans to eventually add Chinese and Korean. Contracted to a third-party developer, the function is in its initial stages and has had trouble recognizing artist names and art-specific terminology.

"For example, when art-film distributor Tomo Suzuki posted a blog entry about American artist Matthew Barney, it converted the Japanese phonetic rendition of Barney's name into the English phrase, "Matthew the bunny." An English post by Bangkok-based writer Brian Curtin also took on new significance, with the word "gay" being auto-translated into its literal counterpart, "youki," meaning "cheerful."


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)

Not for me the pristine white cube or the sombre museum; I like my art venues dirty.

Actually, I want to say more about this as a statement. First of all, the "me" in the phrase "not for me" is a journalistic convenience, a place designed to accommodate both the writer and the reader, and to evoke appetite for something. It's as if you're saying "Come, reader, and join me in these photographs, these experiences. This text both recreates an experience you didn't have, and provides an experience you can have." The me becomes, in context, an us, and the apparent statement of fact a proposal.

But it's not just the writer and the reader, joined at the hip, who walk together through this landscape, agreeing to agree on the delightfulness of it all. It's also that the consumer of an experience like ReMap2 is temporarily constituted and constructed by "the ReMap experience". Just as every book makes its own ideal reader, so an art event like ReMap2 encourages you to enjoy its vices (shitty, shabby buildings) as virtues. That's how it frames itself, and it's pretty difficult to dissent. Or, rather, you lose out on possible pleasures -- the pleasures that would justify your coming in the first place -- if you dissent from this contextual understanding, this frame.

It's a bit like RFID tagging. You walk through an environment and pick up the information necessary to enjoy it. Once you've passed through the environment, you pass out of range of the RFID transmitters, so their temporary structuring of your persona -- the persona necessary to enjoy the environment -- ends. You can see how this would militate against the idea of consistent opinions, constancy of personality, "hypocrisy", and so on.

Maybe Aki Sasamoto's idea of the "judgmental hopper" is a much better model for this than the idea of the "hypocrite" who is "contradicting himself". Or maybe we just need to quote Eno again:

"I don't have any embarrassment about what I like. It doesn't threaten what I've liked before even when it appears completely inconsistent with it. I don't mind the tension, and I don't think I have to compromise my whole theory of life to accept this thing. If I'm attracted to something, I immediately surrender to it. I offer no resistance to being seduced. Because I offer no resistance, I think that I sometimes touch things more quickly than other people do."

Edited at 2009-07-04 12:14 pm (UTC)


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magick_temple
magick_temple
magick_temple
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)

So can we summarise your six replies above as 'I changed my mind'?


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)

This arrow/frame argument is a nice rhetorical device to explain why you opined one thing last October and its exact opposite today. But when you get to opinions that actually matter because you or someone else is going to act on them, then it becomes a rather nihilistic "frame" in itself. After all, how does it "not matter whether you're anti-gay or pro-gay" if you're formulating social policy? If you're teaching or bringing up children? Etc. Because there are actual gay people out there, you know, who may or may not be discriminated against depending on whether people are anti-gay or pro-gay.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)

That's a good point, and the "nihilism" of the arrow/frame argument is of course mainly polemical, and dialectical. It stands in deliberate, provocative opposition to the received, established idea that opinions matter.

But consider the difference between the early days of identity politics and its later institutionalisation in the form of political correctness. Now, you may prefer PC as a state in which everyone is "pro-gay", and anti-gay talk is stifled and silenced, branded as "hate speech". In the age of PC, gay people marry just like straight people.

Now, whereas in the heyday of identity politics (IP) there was a dialectical process, a struggle between pro- and anti-gay groups, an argument which resulted in the increasing visibility of an alternative way of life called "gay", the PC period considers such conflicts at an end. Gay people are "just like everybody else" and deserve to "be left in peace" to "get on with their lives", and so on. And my question then would be, but what if the conflicts of the PC period were generative? What if gay identity were not static, but something constantly in flux, created by the social context? Might there not be a way in which the PC period was actually a subtle way to erase and eradicate the whole sense of "being gay" that was fought for during the IP period?

To put it another way, to be classified as "just like anyone else" is also to be discriminated against. No-one is arguing for a return to actual hostility and harm towards gay people, but without conflict there can be no identity. And people underestimate how conflict is actually a way of being inhabited by the otherness of the other (like those Norwegian fascists who turned out to be so well educated about Islam), and how harmony is actually a way of denying the otherness of the other.

As I say, this isn't a way of thinking I'd recommend become dominant, but it works as a provocative alternative to the smug idea that we've "got difference about right". I don't think we have.


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illyich
illyich
illyich
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)

God forbid someone likes their museums and bedrooms to feel different.

Also, where you pick out "I like to be dirty," I kind of prefer "I like to be dirty but my art venues." In the absence of commas it could mean all sorts of things.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
i love gays

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8132726.stm


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klasensjo
klasensjo
klasensjo
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Found poems

I, slenderly
in revised county parcel, it marked a significant And elephant
bee man as a biennial event


Those are really nice. Google translator is a little too smart to produce excellent "found poems". Babelfish was better and then there's always Mark E Smith.

Smile
Tight faded male arse
Decadence and Anarchy
He said, he smiled
Something to dance to
A certain style
SMILE
Meat Animals
SMILED
Patchwork jacket from the top of his ears
Shaved
Relation with fellow age group, and opposite birds
SMILES
Wants anarchy
SMILED
The club nerve and poses
Physical awareness
Smiles
Take the chicken run, take the chicken run
To the toilet
In the above, designed from above club
Makes ginger
"Go on, you can do it!"
SMILE
SMILES
Wants anarchy
SMILED
Is the fungus damp in the cellar?
Positive G.B.H.
SMILES
With his friends, ask for cigarettes
SMILES
Sparks off
Repeal gun laws in my brain
Sparks off
Give us a gun if I got one
DAMN!
Grin
Damn
Grin
UP UP UP UP UP UP UP UP UP UP
SMILE!
SMILED!
Would ask for a lager in the town of Auschwitz
Smiles
Desires travel
Well fed in a welfare way
SMILES
SMILED
SMILES
Lousy celebrity makes joke record
Lick-spittle southerner
Waiting for next holiday by gas miser
SMILES
Positive G.B.H.!
Roar, encore, special vexation process
Tight faded male arse, decadence and anarchy he said
He smiles, SMILE? SMILED
Well fed in roman nero way like the way you imagined
In the roman and nero kodak films ..........


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
blood type?

Registering for Art-it I was reminded of the seemingly odd japanese obsession with blood type - what gives? I want to read an online magazine, not bleed on it or have a transfusion or procreate....


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Re: blood type?

It is weird -- although no more weird than "marital status", perhaps -- but it's not compulsory.

Nice to hear people are registering!


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jul. 5th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
Re: blood type?

It is more weird as most people should know their marital status without a lab examination.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jul. 5th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
Re: blood type?

It is more weird as most people should know their marital status without a lab examination.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Jul. 6th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)

I love Engrish.

http://www.engrish.com//wp-content/uploads/2009/06/chunkily-penised-boys.jpg


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