Painting and Performance, NOtes on Interview With

Amber Bemak


Human experience through consciousness, as well as the world in our perception, can't be viewed as acycle of representation. This is because the idea of representation necessitates an original referent. This conception results in problems of "the real" that plague art practice, asking that it either become its own referent, discard its referent, or apologize either for its inherent uselessness or shadowy, imperfect and altogether lesser than quality when compared to its referent.

I have dispensed with this idea in favor of one that seems to describe things more accurately, which is a set of connections. Production can't be inherently derivitive. Material in the form of bodies and things animals plants chemicals simply touch each other and respond to each other's touch.

This different conception of human experience through consciousness as well as the world in our perception reinforces notions of the power of the body, especially when a body is in action.

A body in action is constantly touching and relating to things animlas, plants chemicals, other bodies. The more its acts, the more it touches.

It is observable that human activity often has a measurable and massively harmful effect on its surroundingsss. Examples include world wars and climate change. It is harder to perceive the helpful effects of human activity, which often appear useful, healing, kindly, communicative, but which, consciously or unconsciously, serve some dark purpose. For example, a diligent student of chemistry falls in love while in grad school, gets married, and has a family, who she adores. She uses her schooling to get a job with a pharmaceutical company that makes a drug with a lethal side effect. She keeps her job to care for her family. This example shows how a good action may be connected with an obviously bad action.

Its is also impossible not to act. Even when we remain totally silent, still, and when we become totally removed from society by what ever means, we continue to effect the world. If we have not left loved ones to wonder about our well being, and if we have not left responsibilities to the care of others, we still sit on a patch of grass. Even if we starve to death and wither away, we effect the things and plants and microbes and dirt around us. We die on a patch of earth, and there we leave an imprint.

The relationship between action and harm is exponential, and at a greater rate when occuring in close proximity to ther bodies. Bodies have faster acting potential. That is, if i sit on a plant and kill it, the manifest effect of the plant's death on the ecosystem in which it is involved will be slower than the manifest effect of a bullet passing through the head of my boyfriend's ex-wife. The action of bodies is often rapid and cataclysimic in its effect not only on the designated players within anthropocentric narratives, but for lives and existences of other substances, chemicals, plants, bodies, etc.

It should be difficult to determin when to act for this reason.

In terms of art, it is easy to see how objects and particulary images contain action.

The body is inherently powerful in that it effects its surroundings. One use of consciousness is the differentiation between possible actions based on what those actions will effect, and then the choice of whetehr to do them, that is assuming we have a choice. Often it seems that we act and destroy, then we are still and preserve.

Our perceptions of good and bad, positobve and negative, harm and not harm aren't logical. That is, some things that seem bad turn out to be good.

At this point, I began speaking with Amber, noting her comments on my thoughts as we spoke. Dashes indicate elaborations or further musings on her points.

Amber Anything that you make or do has a referent. As an artist the desire to detach can be irresponsible. Could an artist make art that exists in the vaccuum?

--the denial of a referent isn't a denial of source. It is actually a denial of hierarchy, and a critique of derivation.

Going into the physical

--I am reluctant to think that there is any part of the universe that isn't physical, however there has to be a place for potential action, and this is what I think of as the virtual, after Brian Massumi. I see the virtual in both the human mind and in massive structures of information dissemination, particularly in digital media, computation, and the internet.

Simulations Baudrialld

--I think the idea of simulacra is where I started in my thinking, without knowing that this was its point of origin.
Simulacra differ from representations in that they have no original, but the idea I have been operating on says that there is no such thing as an original, or, at least, proposes the notion of a a world without a first cause, in which things beget things, and resemblance is an illusion. Resemblance, in fact, is the illusory problem that causes us to believe in the notion of an original, when really things only change form, often resembling each others forms. simulation versus representation cinematic discourse media vague group is the referent for making to give credence and power to images that arent part of that big machine resistance through acknowledgement as reference oppression, dictatorship oppression, self-regulating media is designed to keep us away from acknowledgement process makes things lose quality--model for media up until so recently food and the digital film on a format would Hito Steryl in defense of the poor image.
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