IMAG-E-NATION the political & philosophical arts initiative blog

(re)imagining the political and philosophical in the 21st century

The Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative is interested in the ways in which people interact with and compose political and philosophical ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. Participants in PAI seek to explore the ways in which poetry, literature, music, photography, performance and other creative arts interleave with the political and philosophical life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorization, intervention or activism.
The Imag-e-nation blog is a forum for interested parties to share stories, images or other contributions. Contributors range from students and faculty to artists and musicians to professional and casual commentators. Pieces can be short opinions, re-postings of appropriate materials, or original compositions. In addition, the PAI at LUC will make a selection of relevant or provocative news items each week for (re)publication here.


Site-specificity: soundscapes for Blueprint and terra nullius

Two new exhibitions open in The Hague this coming weekend: their respective interrogations of space and place promise to conjure visual rhythms and sonic imagery to accompany the recreative imagination of the artists and their audience.

New Zealand collective et al. presents a new site-specific installation on Saturday 14 March, with an opening performance at 17:00 in collaboration with composer Samuel Holloway, detailed as follows in the press release of this exciting exhibition:

In its new installation at West, the document evolves as expanded references on the dialectical object as sites of neutrality and engagement, transparency and opacity, art and non-art.  Gathering together a rich complexity of reflective documents within stylistic devices of audio-visual film, video, montage, and installation, the project looks at nonutopian, or other spaces, within culture.  Here, the installation becomes a potential site where fixed beliefs can come undone, where the ground rendered is unstable. 
Increasingly, land and ideological ‘occupation’ are invalidated through displacement, hypocrisy, and surveillance. et al. probes these issues, in For The Common Good, through real-time streaming of Google Earth, where the viewers can witness how time and space can be reinterpreted and reimagined.  The non-site and terra nullius (land belonging to no-one) are marked out through models and drawings of actual and envisaged sites reflecting models of community that seek to improve-upon current social conditions and create communal prototypes that aim to minimize the destructive impact on the earth.  et al. references return to the land movements, urban and intentional communities, and sustainable co-operatives including mobile homes & trailer parks.      

The evening of Friday 13 March brings an experimental exhibition project to life.  Engaging the sonic and spatial potential of GEMAK, Justin Bennett and Pascale-Sophie Kaparis collaborate with each other and with invited musicians--including electroacoustic ensemble MAZE, vocalist Marie Guilleray, and cellist Semay Wu for the opening performance at 18:30--to enhance experiences and understandings of cityscapes.  Whet your appetite with this excerpt from the exhibition announcement:  

Central to Justin Bennett’s presentation is the film project-in-progress Blueprint. Blueprint, made in close collaboration with a number of improvising musicians, combines hand-drawn animated city-maps and stenciled texts with a live soundtrack. Blueprint asks questions to the musicians and the audience about the links between social, urban and musical structures.  The context of Blueprint is widened by the inclusion of two older works.  City of Progress is another animation, this time accompanied by a spoken text which touches on the roles of architects, developers, artists and the military in urban planning.  Stimmung is a sound installation documenting the intervention of the audience during a Karlheinz Stockhausen concert at the Holland Festival of 1969.  We hear the music being interrupted as the audience “join in” with the musicians.  The concert is stopped but then a discussion starts over music, politics and audience participation.  Around these three audio-visual pieces, Bennett shows a selection of sketches and related source material for Blueprint and the other works.

Here's to an aurally and visually stimulating weekend ahead!



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