We are currently in a situation in which displacement. This permanent displacement provides a location for refusal and collective ennui. The projection of the critical moment is the political potential of the discursive. It is not a location for action, but instead provides an infinite suspension of critical moments—the opposite of performance. This is its “just-around-the-corner-ness”—a permanent interplay of micro-critical expressions within the context of a “setting.” Projects arch suspension and repression are the dominant models. There is anxiety about who controls the reshaping of the stories of the recent past. The discursive framework has been predicated upon the rejection of the idea of a dominant authored voice. Clear-cut, authored content is considered to be politically, socially, and ideologically suspect. However, there is still the feeling that stories get told, that the past is being reconfigured, and that the near future gets shaped. There is a constant anxiety within the discursive frame about who is doing this, who is marking time. The discursive is the only structure that allows you to project a problem just out of reach and to work with that permanent displacement. Every other mode merely reflects a problem, generates a problem, denies a problem, and so on. The discursive framework projects a problem just out of reach, and this is why it can also confront a socio-economic system that bases its growth upon “projections.” In the discursive art process we are constantly projecting. We are projecting that something will lead to something else “at some point.” True work, true activity, true significance will happen in a constant, perpetue realized that expose a power relationship with the culture. They achieve this through an adherence to parasitical techniques: destroying relations of production through a constant layering of profoundly differing and contradictory aims. Somehow it might be possible to bring together small groupings and create temporary, suspended, semi-autonomous frameworks. It is possible that we have seen a rise in the idea of parasitical relationships to the point where they have reached a fluid state of acceptance. We may have reached a moment of constant reoccupation, recuperation, and aimless renovation. Maybe the discursive makes possible a parasite without a host—feeding off copies of itself, speaking to itself, regenerating among its own kind. – Liam Gillick, Maybe it would be better if we worked in groups of three? Part 1 of 2: The Discursive, e-flux, January 2009

one pic thursday. Jenny Holzer

Birmingham Museums Trust has decided to go for “open access”, the first major British museum to do so. In a pioneering move, the trust will make images of copyright-expired works of art freely available to use under a CCO Creative Commons licence. This is the most open form of licence, and essentially means that the images are now in the public domain. The trust has over 800,000 objects, spread across nine sites (…). There is a catch, but I think it’s potentially quite a clever one. The free images will be limited to 3MB in size, at a resolution of 300 dpi. Birmingham will still charge for its highest resolution images, allowing the trust to retain the possibility of raising income from more overtly commercial use of images. Far better, then, to follow Birmingham’s new model, which at a stroke ends all the costly bureaucracy behind image fees. A limit on file size is far more efficient than trying to limit usage or print runs. For most educational publishing purposes, 3MB is a high enough resolution. But if Louis Vuitton want to make more of their Old Master themed handbags, then they’ll need a higher resolution file, and will have to pay for it. – Bendor Grosvenor, Diary of an art historian: at last, some common sense for the abolition of image fees

I believe that the emotional makeup of people is a system not unlike the circulatory system or the muscular system. And if you can make a film that not only lays bare that system but is itself constructed out of those things, it would be an incredible thing to witness and to feel. – Francis Ford Coppola in conversation with Brian de Palma, Filmmakers Newsletters, May 1974

The Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso (1858-1928), one of the few artists recognised by the Futurists as models, began in the late nineteenth century to devote his attention increasingly to photography. He photographed the reproductions of his sculptures over and over again, experimented with photographic paper, photo-plates and enlargements, until only the traces of the original image were left. When he exhibited some of his photographic experiments in Paris shortly before the turn of the century, Degas is said to have cried out: ça c’est de la peinture ! – Michaela Chiriac, The Image from the Image: The Disappearance and Appearance of Images in the Works of Marieta Chirulescu, Kunsthalle Basel, 2010

I use the Internet a lot. I would even think of oral communication as a technology and a dissemination tool. When the work is just the beginning of a speculation (some sort of private rumor) it doesn’t matter what medium carries it. In that sense, if we think the Internet now possess some sort of credibility -although we all know that its not necessarily true all the time-, it has become a great broadcasting vehicle, just as the museum is. – Jonathan Monk in Jonathan Monk catalogue, Lisson Gallery & Galerie Yvon Lambert, 2003

June 1999. When artist Adam Chodzko was invited to make a piece of work as part of this off-site programme, he questioned the notion of an identifiable ‘public’ and the possibility of producing an ‘accessible’ work. His intervention, Better Scenery (2000) consisted of two signs, one located in the Arizona Desert and the other in the car park of a new shopping centre, the O2 Centre, in Camden. The plain yellow lettering on the black face of each sign gives clear directions of how to get to the other sign. Both sets of directions end with the phrase: ‘Situated here, in this place, is a sign which describes the location of this sign you have just finished reading. – Jane Rendell about Adam Chodzko, Better Scenery (1999)

Art Without Rules, Texte Zur Kunst, No.109, March 2018

Money is a festering excuse, often used to block transformation. But in a way, I believe that capitalism (which is still in its infancy) helps keep institutions from getting too comfortable. Like democracy, capitalism needs constant engagement, and I prefer the growing pains that come with this process to any alternative. Humor is one option to sweeten the pill. – Rita McBride in conversation with Mitch Speed, Mousse 62, February – March 2018

Speaking of Tintoretto and then of the Impressionists, Eco talks about painterly marks creating a state of animation and aliveness: a cacophony of information wherein the sign becomes “imprecise, ambiguous. But not so the forms themselves.” [The Open Work, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1989, p. 85] Thanks to a degree of formal composition, the eye of the observer can still recognize Monet’s cathedrals as cathedrals, even as they are on the verge of “liquefaction, of dissolution.” In this state of near obscuration, the “open work” remains inexhaustible, as we are unable to access it in its entirety. In doing so, the work enacts the fact that we do not operate in a well-controlled world based on universally acknowledged, totally graspable laws. We exist in a state of almost collapsing movement, where norms (from cathedrals to music scores to governance) must be negotiated, questioned and made strange. In this sense a key feature of the open work is enacting and creating defamiliarization. Defamiliarization might occur when a subject disengages herself from her dominant normative vision of the “bounded-self” and starts to think in ways that connect her, complexly, to others. This is what Rosi Braidotti maintains, and it’s a part of her methodology of posthuman critical theory. Put simply, defamiliarization teaches us to think differently. – A Not So Sad September, Cally Spooner on Umberto Eco’s ‘open work’, Flash Art International, Issue 308, May 2016

Pyongyang Elegance: Notes on Communism by Amalia Ulman for Affidavit.art, February 12, 2018

The Task (2017), directed by Leigh Ledare, on view at True/False Film Festival, Columbia, Missouri, on March 2-4, 2018

Kunsthalle for Music, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 26 January 2018 – 3 March 2018

I love the idea of context, and also how you make people look at things, of, you know, things that they take for granted. And I remember, when I was a kid, there was a tree on the street that had blown down; it was, like, enormous. I remember being shocked by its size except when it was upright. Every day you walk past it, you never even see it. You know, with the Pharmacy installation, I wanted to get a pharmacy and put it into an art gallery, but one where you actually think you are in a…you know, in a pharmacy. Then, you know, just to… not even confuse you, but it just makes you question everything, but, also at that time, I was thinking about the…I wanted, like, you to believe in art. I wanted, you know, quite desperately for people to believe in art in a way that I believed in it, and I remember being aware that they totally believed in pharmacies, but, you know, walked into art galleries, and went, you know, “All that kind of modern art is rubbish.” I remember thinking that, you know, an art gallery and a pharmacy, you know, there’s no difference, really. It’s just a white room, and you know, they just function differently. One of them is trying to sell you art, the other one is trying to sell you drugs. – Damien Hirst, transcription from Channel 4: Damien Hirst 360 Private View, April 2012

Michael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, San Francisco, November 18, 2017 – February 3, 2018 via contemporary art daily