The Politics of the Dialogic

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Previous: Beyond The Literary Theories of Dialogism and Intertextuality; or from Text to Event


General Focus of Barcamp Presentation Questions Raised in Discussion Dialogic Strategies Questions, Comments, Concerns
This chapter aims to: Discuss different ways of coming together - negotiating known others and otherness and unknown others and otherness

(1) Begin with T Hirschhorn's distinction between "Doing art politically" and "doing political art" as a segue into the whole question of decision-making in the context of the artwork.
(2) Acknowledge this relates to authorship and agency - identity how certain structures condition certain types of engagement - participation, collaboration, collectives
(3) Case Study: Compare and contrast two projects by Critical Practice - Ecoes and (ideally) Parade - identity their different approaches and how they engaged with third-parties differently

  • Ecoes: Internally incoherent - not flexible/robust enough to engage with unknown others - structure couldn't accommodate different points of view in a meaningful way - very useful, however, for CP as the immediate audience - is this a viable approach? A group of practitioners making artworks for one another? What happens when it's externalised? In this case it imploded.
  • Parade: Similarly a platform approach - but the contributing constituency is comprised of people inside/outside of the group - and this combination is part and parcel of the project's terms of engagement

(4) There's a call/invitations for contributions but there is no vetting of these contributions in advance (focus is placed on the contributor instead of his/or contribution and not on "the work of art" as is often the case in art exhibitions--the obvious exception being performances) (5) Observe the significance of hospitality and reciprocity as a form of responsiveness on the part of the facilitator/hosts - and this is what makes it dialogic - so it's about working with various types of Others

Question: So do these artworks operate like "events" and/or "performances"? This seems to be a different model of dialogic practice from the the idea of the account proposed earlier. Is this correct? Or is Parade, for example, about creating some kind of realtime account--an index of sorts?

Response: That's an interesting question because it raises the whole issue of producing constituencies (make the distinction between a constituency and a congregation). One might say that in this approach, the event is about creating a temporary constituency comprised of weak ties. There's still, however, the possibility of tracing these weak ties after the event through a sustained practice of utterance and response. There's the event in realtime and then there're various accounts after the event - a critical mass of accounts - so engaging with these accounts is not about creating a master account, a master narrative. Instead it's about a distributed engagement across the accounts - this model of dialogic engagement can be understood as a form of dynamic annotation concerned with aggregating different perspectives--different voices. Of course, what I'm proposing is supported by web 2.0 technologies. And granted: this assumes that people are reflecting on/logging the event online and that's perhaps a problematic assumption as it suggests a target audience for the event in advance and/or a privileged set of perceptions in retrospect... But the point is, and this is something that was expressed in the previous presentation, there needs to be some kind of inscription at some point--even if it's under erasure and/or contested. In fact, I would argue, that's really about contesting different accounts and accounts contesting accounts...One can imagine creating what's been called today "a portrait of event" after the fact by aggregating these various account into a network of links and then proposing multiple paths through these links, where the juxtapositions between them actually served to dialogize their content. This seems very close to the idea of intertextuality identified above...but again to echo what that presenter said, it's not so much the texts that are important as the voice/perspectives/languages inscribed in the texts. This is about acknowledging (different) contributions and, in the process, distributing social capital...
Question/Comment: Invite someone in Ecoes to give a very different reading of this project...

Play with the practice of reported accounts by inviting someone who was actually involved in Ecoes give a response - I'm thinking here of Jem, Cinzia, Michaela or Corrado. Forthcoming

Presenter Biog Rationale for selection

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