Archive | July, 2011

Spangbergianism Release Today, Impulstanz at Midnight

29 Jul

Shitgoddamn no blog-post today neither, this festival makes me lazy or perhaps the dinner parties and nightly sessions on education etc. in performance beats the shit out of me. Never mind a terrible curse – and I’m a good participant – has hit the dance field. Look – the contemporary notion of nomad was more or less invented by Delueze and Guattari somewhere around 1970 – an excellent concept developed at a time where European welfare state needed heterogenization like dance needs a move. The nomad could be understood as an individual or entity that engaged in self-precarization, somebody that so to say moved out of the city into the desert and thus created an actual resistance to the homogenous state apparatus. The nomad in D/G is connected to the war-machine, a deterritorializing entity that produced a kind of fear in respect of the state. Obviously that state created its own war-machines, yeah “they” were necessary to make the state dynamic enough to produce its own protection against general stagnation. The war-machine showed no mercy, took no prisoners and could be said to be a kind of a mercenary – somebody who fights at the side that pays the best – fuck ideology, responsibility and fair play. The nomad was for D/G a good guy, however in disguise. The nomad fucked things up.
Today the stakes are slightly different. If we agree on the notion that capitalism has become ubiquitous and that there is no possibility for actual resistance but that capitalism today is both the enemy [not in the sense of returning to communism or similar] and the empowering force vis-à-vis emancipation. Or simply where neo-liberalism has become the one and only… that means that the nomad and the war-machine too have become perfect participants in the greater machinery capitalism. To be a nomad today implies to be just what capital wants and the nomad is non other than somebody standing in the middle of that shopping mall where everything is available and it is just a matter of pick and choose. Nomad today is that expansive intensity that capitalism gets a hard on from. Nomad today is nothing else than yet another self-enhancing strategy, nomad today is just a creative son of a bitch, nomad today equals self-employed, project-based, precarious, semi-capitalist, virtuoso, fuckin’ perfect.

Remember, to be an artist today is to be a good citizen. We are not “allowed” to make art because politicians like art, no, it’s because it’s good for something, and that something is general consumption. And by the way you won’t become less of a participant in capitalism because you are poor, have no state subsidy, live at the countryside or are greedy, nope capitalism is not about the degree of participation, it’s all over the place. Capitalism is like a Pollock paintings, all over, not uniformal but all over.

The nomad has no future, not now at least, but if one is interested in some form of resistance a new strategy must be invented, one that is incompatible with capitalism, and the only way around this is to turn to speculation, to say goodbye to correlationism and the oh so tedious anthropocentric project of Kant and the lot.

And by the way this terrible term sharing, with the extension exchange, it’s nothing good with that. Sharing is another word for stock-market behavior [Alice Chauchat I love you] – affordance and investment. Sharing is at best dealing with openness but again who needs openness, openness consolidates what we already know, openness is the very opposite of speculation. Fuck that.

One more thing, stop thinking that non-judgmental is anything good. What does it make, it makes people from San Francisco say: “-You are so judgemental” and what can you say about that. Well, didn’t the shit from SF exactly become two things – judgmental and obsolete, i.e. impossible to argue with? Today, what we need is not openness, liberation, exchange and sharing what we need is positions, we need people, a lot of them, that dare to take a stand, that refuse negotiation but never stops discussing – or better never stop trying to convince.

There was a world where non-judgmental was awesome, yes exactly a world that needed nomads, but today – no way – no way – what we need are clear-cut fuckin decisions. One more smooth space is nothing good, today that is what neo-liberal regimes desire most. Striate yourself and get ready for a fight.

You know why people talk so much about how the piece was after the show, only talking about composition, light-design, professionalism, maybe the solo should have been after the duo and so on – yes, it’s because nothing of such talking can be held against you – you can’t be accountable for it even for five seconds. If you thought that the light was such and such that’s just a matter of taste.
What we need today is political critique, critique of the ideological, political, value etc. that a performance or whatever purports. Do it for yourself if you don’t dare to speak it and you will see that more or less all the stuff that you see today is not even disguised right-wingness, it’s pseudo neo-liberal garbage that by taking the “no” stand actually takes the stand of capital. Shape up, make communist performances.

Yet, there will be no blog-post today but mind you, today is the first release of Spangbergianism the book, at Impulstanz Vienna at midnight. It’s 174 pages and not a single apology.
More over this is just the first release out of ten or so that will happen in Europe and all over the world in the next few months. Too many copies have been printed so come about and take with you a bunch for your friends, enemies, the smiling hippies in your dance community, the right-wing performance makers in your city and start up endless discussions that engage in political critique, in the formations of new or other strategies that dare to stand tall and never give up.

ps. up until right now Spangbergianism has 22.081 views. Do you think that is enough?


Nihilism Suckers

26 Jul

In David Lynch’s “Wild At Heart” from 1990 Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe end up in a cottage or perhaps a hotel. Trapped in the middle of nowhere, because of some criminal act, Dafoe’s character Bobby engages in a sort of psychological terror, or perhaps it’s just a scene in that hotel room, but for now it’s still in a cottage. Endlessly he approaches Laura who is actually called Lola in the film, forcing him self on her repeating in a whispery voice the same words over and over again: “-Say fuck me… say fuck me…”
It’s intense and there’s a weird double innuendo playing out between them, disgust and sexual tension. “-Say fuck me… say fuck me.” It goes on Dern’s character fights herself but can finally not keep it up any more and with almost no sound the words come out. Bobby/Dafoe pushes away, takes distance from her in a millisecond and with a loud and ultra American accent says: “-Some day baby, but right now I’d better get going…”

This could be a very short blog-post, somehow retelling the scene feels more than enough. The nihilism in Dafoe is so elegant that there’s hardly anything to add. Of course the scene continues, Bobby slams the door behind himself and Lynch makes sure to have Dern perform all possible clichés. But let’s skip that part, let’s stop at the “-Some day baby…” cuz lately this is a feeling that somehow resembles my inner life after seeing some fresh performances. Performances that whisper, not always so elegantly – Dafoe is rather a better actor than most performance maker [e.g. in Impulstanz] – “-Say fuck me… Say fuck me…” from minute one and don’t freakin stop until the applause. There I am and I don’t know if I did say the words like Laura Dern or not, but I have a rotten taste in my mouth, and there is a house full of dance/performance lovers that seem to want to shout the words over and over again. These are performances so full of nihilism, they are not really degrading or humiliating, they are not badly performed or baked up with some pissy dramaturgy no they are simply and deeply nihilistic.

The performer, why not the choreographer or maker, comes on stage and from minute one, any kind of performance is dismissed, it’s self-referential up to the hairline – usually the guy has very little hair [why not shaved] – self-referential in the bad sense of the word, and announce over and over again – on stage one can’t dance, choreography is ridiculous and for children, form and content is bullshit, to perform is simplistic ego-boosting, discourse, though and intellect is garbage remember the audience just wants entertainment anyway, everything you do on stage is a cheap trick that’s already been done, participation is fuckin stupid, emancipated spectators French mumbo jumbo and so on. For an hour, sometimes two I have to endure endless nihilism – life, performance, dance, you, your friend and that girl you kissed in the lounge it’s worth nothing, total indifference, go home, die.

Why, I just wonder, you guys that make shows – why do you insist on making shows, when the only things you want to communicate is how utterly fuckin stupid I am, how incredible naïve I am and how totally banal it is of me to believe in anything at all [besides money of course…]. If that’s what’s on your mind you can also skip making shows, you don’t have to you know. You’re not forced to make dances, performances, shows, exhibitions or collaborate with anybody at all. Stop, it’s okay.

But what makes me even more tired is that this kind of performance has a lot of admirers, complacent young people that don’t want anything more profoundly, than exactly to say it “Fuck me…” even though deep inside they know that Bobby will jump away and say “Some day baby…” Are these people that like cut them selves with a razorblade to feel that they are alive, are these people that have just lost desire for a different world, are these indigo kids that have never experienced hardship, scarcity or social democracy proper and therefore can’t feel the eternal stench of this kind of nihilism – but suck it up as identity boosting. A kind of nihilism that at the end of the show bows and comes back for another one, a nihilism thanks the audience with an outstretched hand, a nihilism that makes itself absolutely untouchable, that dances, sings, acts, flatters and consumes gracefully and with excellent skill. That kind of nihilism, a kind of nihilism that makes others quite, that make those indigo kids’ eyes glow in the dark [“-I also want to be able to do that… No sorry, “-I will also be able to do that, I just have to unveil my inner skills.” HATE]
Of course I’m happy about nihilism but only a nihilism that brings everything with it, a nihilism that leaves nobody and after which there will be no applauds at all. Nihilism unbound, that takes no prisoners and saves nothing.

And mind you, on Friday 29 July Spangbergianism the book will be released in 4000 copies at Impulstanz Vienna, sort at midnight at Casino.

Five Days To Spangbergianism The Book – The Bombshell – release event @ Impulstanz 29 July

25 Jul

It’s Sunday and Spangbergianism is taking a break from inter-disciplinary. “-Oh I forgot” – How inter-, or mature is it for a practitioner of dance and choreography or isn’t it to spend OMG how much time on writing a blog. Do I have to surrender finally and send in my application to the International Inter-disciplinary Association – I like it their meetings must be the most amusing, how do they make decisions not to step on a million toes and kind of go Vervremdungs-effect on inter- everything?) – but are there issues here that might complicate things a little?
First, can you be inter-disciplinary alone or is inter- and trans- conditioned by meetings, relations, sharing between humans, is inter-disciplinary somewhat or genuinely humanistic? If inter- can be alone I’m curious about when and where the line is drawn, what do I have to do to qualify for being an inter-disciplinary artist or what constitutes an inter-disciplinary artwork? I’m just wondering? Do I have to sing and dance, is it like I was trained as a musician but ended up in dance, is it enough that I go see a Frank Stella exhibition to prep for the upcoming project? Or what about Xavier LeRoy who wrote his PhD in micro-biology and in parallel started to dance? Is he one of these special cases of a priori inter-disciplinary artists? I so envy him. Or Tino Sehgal who studied economy at the same time as he was at the Pina school, does that make him tanz-theater – which he obviously is – [tanz-theater isn’t that totally inter-] greedy or inter-disciplinary?

Does the different inter- have to be included in the representation, like in the piece, or is the time of inter- like free of choice. Am I an okay inter-disciplinary artist if I go visit my shrink on a weekly basis as part of the preparation for the new work – I mean does all parties in inter-disciplinary work need to know that they are sort of involved or does it happen automatically – and then don’t mention, more than in the program leaflet, that the work was an inter-disciplinary process shared with a cognitive behavior therapist – yeah, the piece suddenly became contemporary. Give me a break inter-disciplinary is ridiculous everything is inter- or trans- in some or other respect so why don’t we just give this shit up?

I have more questions. Must inter-disciplinary art include an artist or does an inter-disciplinary project between, let’s say, a gymnastics teacher and fighter pilot become art just because it’s inter-? Does it become more art if the engaged are more like a neuroscientist and an archeologist? Yeah, or aha there must be an artist involved and he or she must initiate the project, or no? Oh, it can be initiated by a neuroscientist but perhaps not by an air force pilot? I get it.
This is fairly problematic, I wonder who decides when or what is inter-disciplinary, is that you and me who enthusiastically make art or is that the job of that international association. We can also turn it around, for something to become inter-disciplinary how far apart must the at least two parties be? You know I experience a bigger distance to many disciplines within dance than with individuals in visual-art, poetry, philosophy or science. Do I become more inter-disciplinary then or not if I collaborate with somebody from a foreign discipline within dance? This is weird, and it seems that the boundaries for what makes inter- inter- rather or very vague. I’m confused.

Another option, in the art what is inter-disciplinary? Version one, I collaborate on an inter-disciplinary basis with a visual artist. We discuss and we talk, we perhaps make an excursion together or a trip to a festival and after three months we show something which is me dancing in front or around a number of paintings, objects, installations. How inter-disciplinary is that, isn’t that exactly consolidating the disciplines involved. Perhaps the content was influenced by our conversation but this doesn’t change our respective disciplines.
Even worse, when the inter- is with a poet, and we hear texts written “especially” for the piece is read out loud as part of the soundtrack, OMG. No, seriously I can not think of one single example of inter-disciplinary between different art-forms that doesn’t end up exactly there. Think about Ai Weiwei’s collaboration with Herzog & De Moron (the Beijing Olympia stadium), totally stupid. Or – ohha – anything concerning video art and music. Jezuz.

Version two, I collaborate with a scientist, obviously a neuroscientist – a physicist is also okay – and what happens? Oh yes, the physicist’s contribution, a brief lecture on how endlessly big universe is accompanied by some video projection of eternity, galaxies, and a super nova. The neuroscientist will have to do with just lecturing – of course with a Madonna microphone – since the images might be just diagrams and stats, and the perspective is reversed OMG there’s a universe in my head? [this is turning religious] In the mean time more or less some people dance around more or less freely. It seems that when you collaborate with a scientist the quality of composition and material is not really an issue anymore.
The worst-case scenario is obviously to collaborate with computer geeks, the result, yes your correct – is some dance that is restricted in respect of speed, space and complexity because otherwise the intricate system of sensors will not work properly. And what does that immense computer power do? It produces a mystical colorful and absolutely mind blowing video projection. Oh, yeah, when the dancer moves beyond this or that line the projection goes all red or was it purple or yellow. Well, doesn’t matter it anyways changes color. Fabulous.

We can flip side the proposal, i.e. not the artist collaborating with a scientist but a scientist collaborating with an artist, in this case a choreographer [probably called Wayne] with a flock of dancers. What happens? The neuroscientist now invites us to his lab and inspect us whilst we are dancing – researching not rehearsing. And he observes and observes and observes [nice to have lunch together] and finds out amazing things – like that daaancers must be using some unknown parts of the brain to measure proprioseptive space – they are incredible. At a presentation in Southbank Centre London the scientist recalls the amazing event and shows us a video of a choreographer at work, it’s fabulous. Conclusion, the artists are never doing anything science with scientist but is just a nice little ornamentation for the promotion talk for the institutions funding.
Get this, for scientist there are two reasons to collaborate inter-disciplinary with artist, first because there’s money to be made and second, exactly because it spices up another-wise completely colorless scientific field.
Further, obviously the artists has his reasons to work inter- the same as with the scientist, first because there is money to be made and second to gain further visibility in the field of arts. No, the artist doesn’t collaborate with a scientist in order to change a practice, questions the discipline or similar, on the contrary the motivation is to show that even when contaminated by science dance is autonomous and remains the same. The reason to work inter- with science is to strengthen the discipline dance and hence the identity of the artist, not in any respect to change what dance is, which obviously would undermine the artist’s position or identity in respect of his artistic work – especially in relation to the arts council.
For the artist to be really successful in his inter- work with science he of course integrates a video from the lab into his performance, something that plays on the back wall along with a soothing electronic soundtrack. Have you noticed that when science is involved [inter-] there is no limit to tacky, kitsch or sentimental.

At one point in history inter-disciplinary work was the domain of the artist, the scientist even the fighter-pilot. There was a time when inter-disciplinary produced differentiation and was something that the art council couldn’t incorporate in its frames and budget proposals. That time is gone, today inter-disciplinary work is exactly what the council wants, especially since it is now concerned with that the arts should have relations with corporate economies and what then is not better and easier (on short term basis) to sell than inter-disciplinary – oh yes we can all see how inter- will produce specific knowledge for both fields and how the artists specifically wired brain will unveil conventions, taboos and what not of science. And for the artist, well its just good and if there are expensive machines involved it’s really good.
There is one worse option and that’s when inter-disciplinary enters so to say traditional workspaces such as manufacturing or factories. Now the artist is there to work with the workers, engage them in artistic practices to reflect their work situation, i.e. to make them happier to work in a factory where the noise level is far beyond, but install some musicians and have them work out some sound fluff and the worker involved will not be happy for even a single day but CEO’s can justify another year of slavery – we are good people we invited a group of artists – inter-disciplinary – and you [the workers] are not grateful. Inter-disciplinary has turned into some kind of present day carnival, but today it happens on the factory floor. Easy to surveil and tax deductible.

Inter-, trans-, cross- and multi- has nothing to do with subversion, deterritorialization or anything like it, no it’s bubbles and glitter in the most superficial sense on both art and science, it’s topping on applications and smart talk accompanying the power point presentation. It is the neo-liberal answer to instrumentalization of the arts, and this time not in order to educate kids in he suburb or something like it, but an apparatus to make art effective enough to be inscribed in the economic equation set up by a system of governance that want art to be justified on the same basis as software development, advertisement, consultancy and performance management.
Fuck, Spangberianism forgot to take that Sunday break from inter-

Six Days Left Before Spangbergianism The Book Conquers The World

24 Jul

So let’s revisit yesterdays party but this time the person that addressed you answers to the question on work that his work is project based, like most of us nowadays involved in the artistic field, and mention that his work gains representation in different fields and that he indeed collaborates, informally and formally, with competences from various fields of knowledge. At some point you propose, not very likely but hypothetically speaking, that his work seems to be inter- or trans-disciplinary to which he answers that it is not the situation at all, and that sharing interests, expertise or competence certainly doesn’t make something inter-disciplinary. On the contrary he says, independently of what or who is engaged it is of utter importance to differentiate between media and discipline.

A medium implies a set of circumstances that concerts specificity in the sense of differentiating it from other media. We recall a brief sentence from Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge, off the top of my head something like, we have experienced a shift from what is said in what is being said, to what is said here and now and only here and now. Which I interpret as what can be said only due a certain conditioning of meaning production. What can be “said” through the medium choreography is different than what can be said through poetry, painting, cinema etc. Further, however dubious and important to sort out, we recall Peggy Phelan proposing that performance becomes itself in and through its own disappearance. But performance is not synonymous with choreography… yet, if we deploy choreography in respect of performance it is imperative that it’s act produce itself in and through its own disappearance. In other words performance saves nothing, there are traces but they are indeed vague and radically if not ontologically different in comparison to for example poetry or visual art. Then we can obviously also discuss whereas performance, choreography or visual art are media, considering that one possible definition of a medium, in the sense of media, is that it still is on when we turn it off. In other words something gains the status of a medium first when it becomes an integral part of life, e.g. television – some thing that our present world could not be thought without.

A medium is always inscribed in the world through some or other order, and an order forms a discipline. Perhaps we could describe this in the following manner: a medium is constituted through certain inherent capacities, i.e. axioms. A discipline attached or twined to a medium forms the medium’s structural expression into a determined context. Together these (necessarily) produce representations, or strategic expressions, that for example could result in a dance performance, a poem or a painting (and here it is of importance to stress the “a”, the opposite of a general).

These might seem unnecessary details but consider this in respect of artistic research. Contemplate how a university that engage in choreography, dance and performance, defines their field of research. Something that is important in respect of university structures. The research field is that due which the university can offer diploma to students. If the research field is to be dance, which I consider to be an expression, it becomes impossible to determine e.g. what PhD students can be accepted, it would become possible to apply for a PhD in disco dance, the social implications of folkloric dance in Poland or whatever, exactly because dance, understood as an expression, lacks fundamental structures. If instead the research field would be choreography, which is not an expression but is determined in respect of specific circumstances or dare we propose certain structural capacities, then it becomes pretty easy to determine if or not a PhD proposal can be accepted. Moreover if a jury is to evaluate a PhD addressed in respect of an expression it all comes down to qualities, that is taste, whereas considered in respect of choreography the evaluation can be made in respect of structures, i.e. considerations that are general and equally applicable to all proposals. In other words, yes a PhD dealing with disco dance can be accepted but only and as long as its concern is of structural matters, in this case in respect of the specific circumstances of the medium choreography.

From another perspective, if the research field is dance, we need a definition for what dance is and as dance lacks fundamental structural capacities what dance is, is what looks like dance, i.e. something based on experience, in this case ocular experiences. In other words the definition must be based on conventions not rule. In that case, say a research proposal addressing e.g. architecture can not be accepted. On the other hand if the field is choreography the architect can be accepted on the basis that the project addresses circumstances that coincide with choreography as a set of structures.
What initially then appears as narrow minded and exclusive ends up on the other end of the scale, namely as opening and allowing.

Research is fundamentally based on that each specific research project should offer itself to be compared with “every” other research project in respect of that field. This initially has three implications, first that it offers a ground for methods of assessment and, second that each individual research project can be utilized and critiqued by every other proposal in the field, and thirdly that each research project contributes to a solidification of the field on the basis of structures. If a research field is formed in respect of an expression and its representations, such as dance none of these three capacities can be nourished.

We can thus conclude that a research field preferably, or necessarily must be considered on the basis of media-specificity (choreography) and at the same time, and therefore, can be open to any expression, in lack of better terms becoming inter- or trans-expressive.

Thus first of all, what we should struggle for is media-specificity [not in the modernist sense of the word, but rather in order to localize “research” fields in respect of the above mentioned Foucauldian sense of the term], and inter-disciplinarity, in the popular use of term, is the very opposite of such, precisely because it weakens the medium and at the same time strengthens discipline. Yes, inter-disciplinary strengthens the discipline – the structural expressions, i.e. the visible/conventional – and not the other way around. A superficial note, it is after called inter-disciplinary not disciplinary-inter.

To turn inter-disciplinary to a positive and reversed notion it has to be approached on the basis, that two or more fields don’t come together, i.e. like a dinner party where what we do is to through conversation strengthen our initial status and position, but instead engage in establishing a third, or new field, which implodes both or all perspectives strongholds. Inter-disciplinary ordinarily implies to come together and share in order to produce a hybrid, i.e. two fields meet to produce a new known out of two already know knowns. For inter-disciplinary to have any interest it has to work the other way around, namely we come “together” to produce something already defined which non of the engaged parties has any stake in, say a choreographer and painter to produce a piece of music. In other words something due which non of the engaged parties have anything to lose, something that is incompatible with all engaged parties modes of performing power. Then inter-disciplinary turn disciplinary-inter, thus questioning not the modes of sharing but the modalities due with a discipline configures itself vis-à –vis a medium. This is the first step to produce an amorous relation to Foucauld’s proposal: What can be said here and now and only here and now.

One Week To The Release of Spangbergianism The Book 29 July @ Impultstanz

22 Jul

Yeah, it happens like at 23.00 hours at Impulstanz Vienna. So come check it out at Casino and get your free copy.
Spangbergianism isn’t exactly published by Routledge – nope, it’s published through a series of release events at dance festivals and venues over the next six or so months. Yes, the book is for free and it is there to be used, abused, fucked around with and hopefully make you, as one of the comments on the blog proposed, to engage dance in the practice of saying fuck you.


You’re at a party, not one of those where you know everybody and feel like centerfold – “It’s been so long, we really should have lunch…” – but one of those that is half obligation and the other I’ve forgotten cuz it can’t have been pleasure. Anyway you’re there sort of checkin’ mails too often and having a very good idea on time – can I pö-lease leave soon and the food is so gluten and dairy that you can’t eat nuttin anyway [you’re so contemporary]. In one of those moments a person addresses you and cheese Louis it’s not a total dread. The conversation is running it’s path, it’s nice, you check the person out realizing that something less appropriate might be appropriate… As happens with every conversation it has to enter the domain of work, finally it’s time for… |work] you have already elaborated on your projects, multiple and overlapping job descriptions and you pass the ball to… “-Oh, you know I do a little bit of everything… Yeah, kind of here and there, in between sort of.”

Now, what do you do? Are you still talking to the dude quarter of an hour later? Are you asking for further explanation with a comment such as “This sounds very confused and is almost incomprehensible for me. Could you be a bit more concrete, for example which conception of the body are you talking about?” Or do you offer the guy your card and with a smile look forward to further conversations perhaps over a coffee, as you really share interests? Do you politely excuse yourself and go to the toilet to vomit? No, you run, not just for your life but for life in general – you might just be the only survivor – this is Armageddon.

Yes, I mean it is my answer to your face announcing that I’m judgmental and should be a bit more tolerant. Go to hell. A person that doesn’t know how to articulate what is going on eight to fifteen hours per day in his life, is pretty much insane and beyond reach. “But maybe he doesn’t want to…” you say, and I roll my eyes, give me a break if you don’t want to, at least do with a bit of elegance or avoid the questions, but SV-fuckin-P don’t even imagine that there is something provocative, attitude, cool, anti-capitalist in doing a little bit of everything.

If this dude was making art I tell ya one thing, he’d be working inter-disciplinary, perhaps using the oh so sexy term multi-disciplinary. Exactly, people that waste their time with multi-, inter- or trans-disciplinary projects, situations, research thingy-things they are like the Armageddon at the party. When you meet one of those run for the survival of the human race. Correct, people busy with inter-disciplinary shit are not human, but in the bad sense of the word [they are so incredibly naïve that they still think they are human].

To confess that you work inter-disciplinary is like a major disaster. First you confess to the fact that you have absolutely no idea what you are up to. I work inter-disciplinary, or OMG – I’m an inter-disciplinary artist… What’s that supposed to mean, how does that look – I’m familiar with painting, poetry even interactive installations [even though I hate them with every cell in my body], but inter-disciplinary how does that look? Don’t be stupid, you respond – no, but isn’t the fact that you say inter-disciplinary either because you can’t make you mind up [you’re probably notoriously unfaithful to your wife too, and every time it happens you’re like surprised], or because you have no freakin’ idea what you are dealing with, what your project is or what constitutes you work. Secondly, you confess to the fact that your work suck major and that you are so mediocre that you need help from somebody across the street. But mind you, deep down you know what, the ones that you will ever inter- yourself with are equally mediocre. Not a good situation, and here comes one more, once inter-disciplinary – there’s no way back. You will be riding scum-class on the artistic train, a train where Scott deLaHunta is the conductor – suck on that.

For your upcoming project you hook up with a visual artist, a psychoanalyst, a poet and stop it… you come together and discuss – it’s so interesting, so inspiring, such amazing people, and you work in the studio together and the closer to the premiere [cuz that’s of course obligatory] it all gets less and less exiting – and not so unlike the emperors new clothes it ended up as much a dance performance this time as any other.
Get this, inter-disciplinary is only acceptable under one condition and one condition only, and that is in applications. Inter-disciplinary is for art what glutamate is for Chinese food.
And remember show no decency when it comes to them – applications are not supposed to reflect your work they are s’posed to make you rich. Let’s try for a second to get out of the terrible innocence that artists are interested in inter-disciplinary. They are not, they are interested in anything that promises extended resources. Inter-disciplinary engage you in order to secure their own comfortable position [salary] not yours.

Thirdly, you confess to the fact that your idea of contemporary is coinciding with Ingmar Bergman’s – and you know who admires him… yes, Woody Allen. Get that right.
Check it out, can anybody recall when inter-disciplinary was invented, must have been about the same time as Joseph Kosuth and Charles Manson. Exactly that’s the shit, inter-disciplinary shadows a desire to kill not because of revenge, anger or hate but a desire to be seen. You know the serial-killer is just an identity sucker that actually just wants to be caught. That’s you Mr Inter-disciplinary.

Fourth, you confess to so much more that it’s impossible to bring you out of the jungle – it’s over.

Inter-disciplinary, when was it now… 1969 – yes, exactly that’s when it felt fresh, or almost. Paris 68 is around the corner, social-democracy is deep, Thatcher doesn’t exist yet, this is serious Fordism and self-precarization is still awesome. The early seventies needed inter- anything, or perhaps this it is exactly the moment when inter- anything stops – in favor of specific inter-, trans- or whatever. In August 1970 the president of the USA abandoned the gold standard, and the world as we know it became radically floating. From there on value is whatever we decide it to be, and over night the understanding of difference necessarily transforms. Suddenly difference is all we have. In other words, inter-disciplinary is pretty much amazing exactly until then, and from there on it’s only investment. How does that make you feel, you’ve been passé for forty fuckin’ years.

In 1970 inter-disciplinary could be said to have value in itself, not because of its expressions but because its deterritorializing intensity. Today that intensity is null and void and instead another word for tolerance, and what obviously has happened is that inter-disciplinarity has turned into representation, either in respect of expression or in relation to artistic research, but never mind, inter-disciplinary doesn’t exist as long as it is not visible in the product.

An inch more graphically, until 1970 inter-disciplinary was radical and worth while, not only because of the art, no it was a gesture against a society fundamentally based on discipline, a gesture that potentially threatened business as usual. But that’s not here and now, we live in a society where disciplinary has been exchanged for control and where what have to fought is openness, exchange, sharing, availability – inter-disciplinarity has turned into exactly what is desired by capital, it is the very modus of capital – open yourself to any kind of exchange and you’re a good guy. When inter- once was a matter of turning against dominant discourses it is today what the dominant desires. This is not a matter of promoting some mumbo jumbo modernist desire for essence, no it’s the awareness that media-specificity needs to be articulated yet not in respect of expression but due structural, strategic and tactical levels. That my friends is the only path towards an autonomy of knowledge.

Spangergianism The Book – Release Event 29 July @ Impulstanz Vienna

22 Jul

“Today I’d like you share something with you.” As if I hadn’t already in approximately every blog-post I ever wrote, every piece I, you or somebody else produced, presented and gave an artist’s talk about.
Sharing lately has gained some mystical status as being unconditionally good [implicitly signing up for the most, yet void articulation, liberal position –considering that any ideological position engages in the imposition of power from the outside and liberal regimes operating on the basis of minimal intervention of power yet maintaining productive behavior thus annihilating proper critique], but why did sharing suddenly become something necessarily positive. Also the most demonic choreographer is sharing, even the most talkative and categorical type character is sharing as soon as something is communicated. Sharing is not something good it is rather a condition that we humans can not avoid creating and reproducing however charged with positive or negative characteristics.
But in dance especially in relation to teaching – yes, that is the word the is used which indeed connotes already established hierarchies [teaching considered from a holistic view of sharing is the absolute opposite of openness]. When you’re “teaching” you have already set up strict hierarchies depending on conditions, and are by proxy reproducing them. Teaching implies that there are asymmetries at stake – the teacher knows more, teaching something implies to pass over a consolidated package of information that is already valued to somebody who is considered in need of exactly this. Something that that you possess, why otherwise pay you for giving a workshop.
So if sharing is something we wish to engage in we have to abandon the term teaching. You know, as we all do, that there is a major difference in facilitating knowledge (teaching) and producing knowledge, which necessitates certain and specific protocols for exchange in which all involved parties must give up something of what their previously have considered a knowledge that they possess, or own. Any situation involved with the term teaching evolves around sharing, but if a sharing is to be understood in some more radical sense it disqualifies teaching and tends towards something that for example could be called knowledge experience.
Somebody says, I just want to share… is an idiot, one can not just share, sharing is always by necessity involved in something more than “just” – not only because it can always be boiled down to economy and investment, which obviously doesn’t make the one or the other better or worse, it’s just a matter of acknowledging that sharing is more complex then “just”.

I just want to share, yes but hey you give a class where you stand in the front of twenty people younger than yourself and give instructions, how sharing is that? How sharing is the implicit do-after-me that every technique related dance and movement class implies? Sharing is just a disguise for not taking responsibility for the power you are given, an excuse for the fact that you don’t know how and under what regimes you execute the power you have been offered.

If you want to share in some radical sense stop teaching, stop giving instructions, stop telling the group to come together, let’s start, stop preparing you Ipod in order to know what music to use for the exercises you have planned, or be cool with the fact that sharing here means to household with power in a smart way. You, as any teacher, workshop leader, education director are certainly sharing but before you use the word it is time to sort out what it is that you mean, cuz right now you just seem to think you are open-minded. Oh, yes you are tolerant but it is you that instigate tolerance, and that makes you exactly not open. Why not instead stand up to the fact that you have something specific you want to share i.e. convince somebody of the importance of… – and that that something is of importance to you. Sharing suddenly sounds dubiously like manipulation. And I say “Yeah” that exactly when it starts to be interesting.

To the same extent that sharing has acquired some unconditional good, manipulation is almost exclusively understood as negative. That’s what fascists does, communists, anybody dealing with totalitarianism or whatever fanatics, but isn’t that exactly what you are – a fanatic of your practice. Oh yes, I heard you underline the importance of genuine, passionate, authentic, devotion and as far as I know those terms totally neighbor fanaticism. Fuck it, realize that any of such claims will make you poor. Hey, why should I pay somebody that is devoted, if he or she is really devoted then he or she will do the job without getting paid? Art is something that we do, keep devotion, calling, passion, necessity, out of the boardroom. Art is something that we do, and, at least in that respect, don’t make the mistake of mixing art and life. But isn’t, hand on the heart, that exactly what you do when you teach or when you engage in other people, because of sharing was not conditioned what would be the reason behind doing it. Sharing in other words is the softies version of manipulation. Why don’t you instead stand up for it and realize that the reason for anybody to take your class or workshop, participate in your education or whatever is conditioned due the collective agreement that you possess specific. Allow yourself to be the fanatic that you are.

You say you just want to share some thing but what about the way you treat your children.
“-Daddy Daddy, why can’t I have an ice-cream?”
“-Because I say so!”

How much are you sharing with your kids? Sharing is the coward’s way out of taking the difficult responsibility of possessing something valuable.

If you we want to produce or engage in change, i.e. participate in the development [which is not an easy term] of our practices sharing, as unarticulated concept, is not an option. Change is created by differentiation not through some small town version of openness. Or if you really want to share, the first thing you have to do is to give up your positions, and without positions the only thing you can by definition create is more of the same. The first and last circumstance for differentiation is to stand behind that fact that you produce vis-à –vis a position, but at the same time if you are up for change the first thing you have to engage with is the annihilation of that very position.
In other words you don’t really want to share you just don’t want them others to realize that you simply want to secure your comfortable position being the one that knows.
Flip the argument around. From the students position, your insisting on sharing makes your power position obsolete of any critique. “I just want to share…” yes, exactly, meaning you don’t want to jeopardize your positions. Stand up for it, have an opinion about everything and implicitly you give your student [read opponent] the possibility of emancipation.

9 Days to release of Spangbergianism The Book – Impulstanz 29 July

20 Jul

Correctamundo – the book is released – 4000 copies to be spread over the world as fast as possible. Release-events in a city close to you through out the autumn. Yepp, it wont costs ya 24€ – it’s yours as long as you read it and push a second copy on your boyfriend or somebody else you don’t exactly like.

Here we go…

The notion of contemporary in dance seems to have gone wild lately, or nah – it’s been out of sync for hellufalong time. Nothing new in dance not event the notion of contemporary, and perhaps this is or not very favorable.

I sign up to a series of concerts at the philharmonics and when I look into the program I realize that the music is not exactly now now but composed more or less over three quarters of a century. But those composers have something in common when they were active they broke ground, changed the notion – however little – of what music could be.
When I open the program to this summers dance festivals what strikes me is that every piece presented is fresh, no more than three quarters of a year old, but as much as the stuff is fresh almost nothing seems to operate in it’s time, seems to be contemporary, or open new perspectives, and the larger the format the more foreign contemporary.

Aesthetics is political, the choice of aesthetic regime resonates of political conviction, and more over aesthetics, by God, operates in time and expires sooner or later – hopefully sooner.

I don’t get why some people throw away totally functional milk because the expiring date runs out – knowing fully well that the provider is making money on okay milk poured down the sink – and at the same time leaves a ketchup bottle in the refrigerator door for two decades.
“-Alright, this mayonnaise is contemporary with Greatful Dead.”
“-Stir it, and it will be all fine.”
Nah, contemporary doesn’t work like that, and however dance business likes to overuse preservatives on its artists, aesthetics no work like that.

At some point I visit the contemporary so and so museum in this and that city and clearly aesthetic paradigms are defined: Mondrian is not mixed up with Tracy Emin is contemporary and her aesthetics resonate with our present time both concerning form and content. An artist flirts with fascist aesthetics as a way of addressing image production in respect a certain ideological position – it’s articulated. Somebody presents realistic painting of the local flora and fauna in a near by commercial gallery, and what is contemporary is only the fact that the dude is alive. Henrik Håkansson is also obsessing about birds but his aesthetic paradigm lets him into the Eden of contemporary.

In dance life is different, here contemporary operates though some other and I’d say wow mystical qualities. It certainly has nothing to do with aesthetics. No, in the contemporary dance festival I’m catapulted between post Rancière-ian emancipated spectatorship, Broadway aesthetics, high modernist formalism (mixed with an esoteric take on global climate change) and fairy-tale aesthetics – and I don’t mean the text part but rather the illustrations. Experiencing the last Jan Fabre creation reminds me of, no it is, a mix of characters from Harry Potter and a press conference with Hell’s Angels – which is really quite awesome until the whole crew shows up in black body paint and playboy bunny ears hysterically chanting Hare Chrisna. This is just too good to be true, either dance has hit the roof of artistic diversity or the foundations of aesthetic awareness has finally lost any contact with society, reason, media, Facebook, the future, art history, politics and everything else. Except: “-But you know, it’s not that I mean – but our audience…” precisely, but how do you know? What makes you so sure that your audience is keen on Goblins and vintage S/M aesthetics? For you aesthetics is not an issue, you program names and as they were big already last year the audience numbers are secured. Great.

In the contemporary art museum, the music program or even in the local poetry magazine the political subtext to aesthetic-experience and expression is clarified, researched, discussed, debated and fought over. A curator in visual art that doesn’t position her self in respect of all above mentioned – society, reason, politics etc. – is a dead person, out of work or an expert in sleeping with the right somebody – which indeed also is a talent [not exactly explored in dance business], but in dance. Here the curator/programmer rather is doomed if he shows any attitude towards anything at all.
“-I look at shows you know, not for politically opinionated artists. I don’t need that – if something is good it’s good.”
Excellent, that’s like voting for a political candidate because of her physical appearance, kind a contemporary but is it a good idea?

Perhaps we can turn the argument around? Yeah, when contemporary art still is busy with cleaning up their Marxist past, theatre has ended up in impossible institutional structures and everybody complains about budget cuts, dance has suddenly, or not so sudden, turned into some kind of wild west state beyond lawless, everything is up for grabs and nothing is stable. Fear is all we have to lean on – at any moment you can be torn out of your studio, stand on the street or be elevated to a place at the main table [which isn’t that main but at least four star] – so what are we waiting for. There’s only one thing to do get down to business, stop going home with the tale between your legs, and instead jump on the “easy” task of making it happen. It’s not a matter if you don’t want to, if you think the big guys are okay or whatever, it’s your damn responsibility to not let Mr Upstairs rest in his comfortable situation. Not because of your personal fame and fortune [I don’t care…] but for the future of our art form. As long as those motherfuckers is there nothing will change.
For how long are you about to let somebody obsessed with Goblins, spirals, German sentimentalism, I Ching, deconstruction or shaking sit at the royal end of the table. Kick ‘em out. Kick ‘em out now.

Over the next two weeks Spangbergianism does correspondance from Impulstanz Vienna. No mercy.