Bits Of This And Some Of That…

By Freek Lomme

From Between Forms of Representation and Interpretation, catalogue published by Onomatopee, Eindhoven, 2012

What happened to being at the end of modernity? What’s the last person left with? Commercially producing, lost in a web of the multi? What is or might be our purpose in being (teleology) and what might be the being of being (ontology)? This, specifically explored as technocracy, goes beyond our intrinsic being: our intrinsic, ideologically framed and socially motivated early modern purpose to being became dictated by technology as a technocratic, extrinsic purpose to being. How can we live within this being?

Where we are

Modern reconstruction drove us into constructions of feasibility. A world we imagined to be tangible, through this very feasibility, summed up the will of the multitude: their various constructive specializations and contributory efforts. It is within this sphere that our purpose in being became dominant, our world narrowed to the single, anthropocentric perspective of souls.

The web spins the wheel. Physical particles circulate through abstract complexity. What once was analogue became digital, real connections became virtual ones. From metal to bits: what seemed to be tangible ended up being a work mode of the alienated production of being. The bigger picture, on the being of being, lost track of our framework. Things weren’t so simple anymore; we were unable to leave the chain of being dictated by purpose.

Post-modernism introduced the confusion of being by accepting the deconstruction of our intrinsic purposes and responsibilities and by playing with and enjoying the extrinsic diversity of particles. Ideology failed, fundamental being fell into neglect and we hid in scenarios. A booming scene of technology nerds along with unstable, electronic/digital media and seemingly endless ranges of coded forms playing with the parameters of the scope of the absolute. These technological endeavours were often brash and barely managed to infect the intrinsic being of our lives, but they infected our extrinsic sensations of the technocratic unknown. This was very apparent in the 2011 GLOW light-art festival, which coincidentally included work by Andrés Ramírez Gaviria. As was evident here, people at ease with their take on purpose don’t bother with intrinsic quests for materialisation, but they do crave extrinsic technological promises by technologically dictated matter when they are overwhelmed by them. Meanwhile, a scene of alternatives, including many artists, lined up to voice the inherent fruits of the intrinsic via craft, material tactility and the recent rise of the amateur’s call to direct, sincere and low-end egalitarian anarchy.

The intrinsic is at play here: if our imagination’s responsibilities are neglected we cannot exploit its productive mode. Our intrinsic sense of purpose is circulating around the lure of deconstruction and anarchy, conservatively turning to analogue being, while our extrinsic one is becoming digital and technocratic. Basically this adds together a production of being through emotional confusion and epistemological deviation.

Between Forms of Representation and Interpretation

We’re surrounded by data, wrapped up in bodies of interpretation. As utterance, forms are primarily speech acts. They manifest themselves (locutionary acts). As such, right there at that moment, objects formed by humans – artefacts – first of all relate. Like any other artefact, the physical nature of Andrés Ramírez Gaviria’s work releases a voice through production: it suggests meaning and activates interpretation. The signs of this body can be read beyond the implicit and the sense of what so far has been unconscious, turning it into an embodiment that is conscious and aware (illocutionary act).

Although we might be lost in translation, puzzled and unable to read the algorithms or reach out to the presumed absolute of the motives that produced the artefacts in the first place, we enhance our sense of belonging within this very body, without reaching the level of dominance.

I’ve always been greeted with a feeling of frustration when I’m faced with Gaviria’s work. He doesn’t allow the logic of the algorithm, the programmed texts, variously coded in his works (hidden behind intensely flashing light bars in between forms of representation and interpretation) to speak out, to reveal their message. I’m more practically inclined and feel I need to be left with a tangible result (perlocutionary act). Nevertheless, the complexity of the locutionary act in these works is too complex to read – except perhaps for the technocratic autistic. Only the implied idea of meaning, an intention of communication manifested artistically, a voice that acts via the senses of the body of technology comes through. But that is actually the artist’s intention: you’re not relating to any message, you’re relating to the motives that leave you between forms of representation and interpretation.

Where to go, in here?

It takes courage to tackle the challenges thrown up by this state of disorder. It requires the ability to speak in between languages of the intrinsic and the extrinsic beyond the analogue and the digital, ignoring both coded and un-coded communication but voicing the relation that is the sum of this being; to release the particles not through themselves, but to position them in themselves. To hold a mirror up to this scene that is neutral to both intrinsic and extrinsic purposes, accessible for both to grasp, requires being sound in this sum. Highly political, beyond the order of what we are and how we’ve made our being, into a void of the unknown, Andrés Ramírez Gaviria’s work allows for ontological dynamics, relying upon technological poetics and people’s ability to situate themselves within this being’s settings through responsive sensory capacities. When aware and adoptive, both intrinsic and extrinsic acts can expand our being through them. This would run through our being instead of through operating: altering the purpose of acts into processes of sensibility. Did we just commute our extrinsic… Is the connection made?

Damn…I really have to buy that Ipad to access and see for myself: I don’t want to be such a dreadfully conservative, art-minded sicko…