Text 1 – To Assemble

Guided, goaded, led on by William Hogarth, Samuel Beckett, Ron Silliman, and other latter-day unsaintlies, ‘To Assemble’ introduces some of the themes recurring across the collected texts of ‘Art’s Plight’. It proposes that, across the contemporary arts, to commit oneself to ‘make-for-‘art’ is to assemble whatever-materials around a specific sense of ‘art’s’ ‘difference’ to all other forms of everyday activity: assembling entails a leap towards an ‘elsewhere’ that is ‘other than’ the worlds of everyday life. Making assembles its materials in ways, hopefully, that allow it to gather (to assemble) around this ‘difference’.

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Text 2 – To Plight

Download PDF ‘To Plight’ introduces art’s contemporary plight as the split between the promise and the predicament of making-for-art, some of whose consequences are explored across the subsequent texts. As both verb and noun, ‘plight’ is offered to open up the defining dilemmas of making-for-art now in a global culture of technoscientific representation and knowledge. […]

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Text 3 – To Set Out For

Download PDF ‘To Set Out For’ considers making’s challenge to responsive writing. Hopefully the voice of Blanchot can be heard echoing from the far nearby between the words of this text. Writing is challenged to refuse external models, methods, and authorities in its response to making’s gests. Its defining challenge is two-fold: firstly, to write […]

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Text 4 – To Converse

Download PDF ‘To Converse’ offers a wandering conversation between two voices, one seemingly a maker seeking to hold to the context-specificity and uniqueness of both the event of making-for-art and its resulting gest, and the other trying to articulate the task of a writing striving to write from within making’s interests and commitments while eschewing […]

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Text 5 – To Make Out Under Representation : Technsoscience and the Terms of Art’s Survival

Download PDF ‘To Make Out Under Representation…’ offers making, across the contemporary arts, as a paradoxical struggle to survive while trying to reconcile irreconcilables: how to cling on to elements of the modern arts’ legacy in the face of a general aestheticisation of culture managed according to the interests of global representing institutions. Under the […]

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Text 6 – To Make for Art as a Not-Working That Does Not Take Place

Download PDF ‘To Make-for-Art as a Not-working…’ pursues further the question of making-for-art’s ‘difference’. The focus is on art-making’s paradoxical relations to both ‘work’ and ‘place’ under the representing institutions of techno-capitalism. Cultural conventions about work and play as they are routinely applied to art are suspended here in favour of alternative terms for approaching […]

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Text 7 – To Autonomise

Download PDF ‘To Autonomise’ asks how making’s current plight might engage with the modern arts’ legacy. The schism between the creator’s approach to making’s task and audience response (‘aesthesis’) to it and its upshots (gests) focuses a consideration of making’s response to its predicament. It places particular emphasis on making’s need to cut itself away […]

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Text 8 – To Give… 1) Given : The Pre-Position

Download PDF ‘To Give’ is divided into four sub-sections exploring contrasting aspects of contemporary making’s relation to ‘offering’ and to ‘giving’, and specifically to the ‘gift’ and the ‘given’. The questions turn around what making takes as a ‘given’ with particular reference to interpretations of art’s past (‘tradition’ and pre-positions) and future (making for, extremity, […]

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Text 9 – To Refrain

Download PDF ‘To Refrain’ takes Kafka’s last stories as acute diagnoses of making’s plight under the catastrophic conditions engendered in the emergent continuously self-transforming techno-capitalism. In particular, ‘Josephine the Singer’ is taken as the key bearer of the way the   making-body  –  the small all-too-human body making for Art’s Body  –  is written all over […]

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Text 10 – To Listen Out For

Download PDF ‘To Listen Out For’ proposes that, through an interruptive call that making can’t refuse, would-be performers are summoned to make towards Art’s Body and withdraw from representation. This discussion turns through some of the processes and terms through which makers position themselves in relation to this hazardous leap away from everyday life. Withdrawal […]

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Text 11 – To Perform

Download PDF ‘To Perform’ considers some of the implications of a sentence by Celan juxtaposing the self’s imposing and exposing as they bear on the tensions of making. Following Celan I suggest that making has no option now but to lay itself open, become abjectly patent. But simultaneously its tactical astuteness has to find ways […]

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Text 12 – To Gest

Download PDF ‘To Gest’ takes performing’s relation to language as its recurring concern. The outcomes of performing’s infinitely varied gestures are offered as ‘gests’ that are cast towards a region  –  Art’s Body  –  where such a variety might just find ways of surviving techno-representation’s means. In modernity’s nascency it was Alfred Jarry who recognised […]

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Text 13 – To Mobilise for Dislocation

Download PDF ‘To Mobilise…’ considers whether performing’s task now turns around the challenge of making something that the representing cultural machinery cannot recognise or place. Is this what the leap towards Art’s Body requires of performing and its gests? The text proceeds via a brief consideration of Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk  – ‘total work of art’ – […]

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Text 14 – To Risk … Caution! Hazkult! Waste!

Download PDF ‘To Risk…’ proposes that making-for-art, as a not-working aside from both economic and aesthetic valuing, risks itself to wasting  –  it wastes itself away. Performing is offered as a ‘decreation’ that is always enacted at extremities where conventions of value and valuing are set aside and substituted solely by the hope for and […]

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Text 15 – To Leap

Download PDF ‘To Leap’ proposes leaping  –  saltation  –  as performing’s necessary and defining move. The leap’s aim (its identifying drive and purpose) is to take the performer away from the machinery of representation and general aestheticisation. It attempts to make towards that ‘outside’ where it has already projected and gathered Art’s Body. It performs […]

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Text 16 – To Leap Fictively Under Electronic Representation

Download PDF ‘To Leap Fictively’ focuses specifically on a selection of writers (‘novelists’) whose writing is driven by a questioning relation to the everyday life of language as it is inhabited and ‘used’ in a culture saturated by media-representation and the construction-dissemination of information. In making-for-art they have recognised that they have to find and […]

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Text 17 – To Affirm Art’s Potential For Intimate Difference Under Digitisation : Re-Gathering Performing’s Relation To Medium

Download PDF ‘To Affirm…’ considers aspects of performing’s relation to its ‘medium’/‘media’ in the light of its permeation by and involvement with the endless mutation process characterising contemporary techno-representation: the conjunction of electronic power and digitisation constitutes the contextual demands faced by performing. But an essential element of the modernist legacy stands as a continuing […]

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Text 18 – To Confront Technoscience’s Mutation Of Embodiment

Download PDF ‘To Confront…’ explores some of the possible implications for making-for-art of the fate of ‘embodiment’ under the rule of technoscience. The text focuses particularly on those performers gathering themselves around matters/materials/processes other than written/spoken words. How might the technoscientifically re-modelled ‘body’ be brought (if at all…) into a hopeful relation with Art’s Body? […]

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Text 19 – To Pass Through Technoscience On The Way To Art’s Body

Download PDF ‘To Pass Through…’ asks how a hybridised  performing, now partially integrated into a machinery for the systematic production of commodities, might make its way through technoscience and pass into the hinterland of Art’s Body.  Moving in the obscure zone between ‘culture’ and ‘art’, where decisions about a gest’s ‘difference’ are made, Warhol opened […]

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Text 20 – To Sound Out Music’s Art-Full Possibilities Under Reproductive Representation

Download PDF ‘To Sound Out…’ explores the challenge of reproductive representation to those musical projects that have art  –  Art’s Body  –  as their desired destination. Suspended between chaos’s ‘noise’ and Language’s ‘meaning’ those musical performances seeking to make-for-art have to live with and find ways of resolving the challenge of music’s defining difference  –  […]

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Text 21 – Codetta

Download PDF ‘Codetta’ returns to ‘Art’s Plight’s’ guiding theme: how making-for-art across the contemporary arts makes its way through the challenges posed to it as it struggles to create paths through the institutions of a culture organised around the representing machinery of capitalised technoscience. The intertwining of ‘power’ with ‘electronics’ under the rule of ‘technical’ […]

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