September 03, 2006


Next week I am off to Japan for 3 weeks, attending while I am there the Metronome Think-Tank at the Mori Museum. Here are the questions we will be talking about:

"Firstly, mobility (impermanence and variability) within new types of institutional structure that connect art and education; and secondly, mobility in the movement of ideas, transported by artists and art practice that will affect the future definition of faculties of knowledge.

First session: Offering a distillation of key characteristics that define the conceptual and organisational make-up of new small-scale associations, these presentations will encourage discussion on mobility and impermanency within the actual structure of new forms of institution.

a) Can knowledge be mobile? What forms of knowledge travel, who shifts them from one place to another, and how does their content alter? What forms of knowledge do not travel or translate and why?

b) Why are artists coming back to the question of education and under what conditions can art colleges and universities generate autonomous dynamics of research and production? How do we assess the artist’s articulation of a combination of activities that include private gallery shows, large-scale global events and ‘activist’ education?

3. How do we articulate differences in concepts of research and in the methods of acquiring knowledge? Moving schools: is this classical romanticism (e.g., the peripatetic thinker and artist), and if not what it required to make itinerant academies into a reality? "

Invited for initial thoughts, I have written this:

The inverse geometry of contradiction is the dominant direction of travel, by-passing the demand that maps (originally concentric) serve as aids for accurate measurement.

Place (as a continuous function) and Placing matter little and. Geography, landscape, location, the quaint, the steppe and desert surpassed; for clarity, for mobility, for certainty, the heresy lays inside dedication to the vertical axis.

In April 2002 the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) attacked the city of Nablus. The assault was ‘inverse geometry…the reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions’. Troops moved across the city though hundreds of metres of ‘overground tunnels’ carved out of the dense and contiguous urban structure, using none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation’, redefines inside as outside, and Euclidean structure as thoroughfare.

‘Walking through walls’ revels in a conception of the city as not just the site but also the medium of passage – a freeform, axial medium that is contingent to intent and in flux. Extending to the hierarchy of mediations which is the urban global network, infected with the conditions of production (the default category of the room), the artist-poet-curator, radiating their Hill sphere, can be a Glass Bead Game player, within intervening quasicrystalline space, inventing language and (wearing protective clothing) institutions.

Fluents, freeform and homotopic within the actual structure of oldnew forms of institution operate in phase-space/action. Phase-space/action as knowledge. In a language of situations, fluents (propositional pseudogenes within situations) and actions (labelled transitions between situations), we are not told about the fate of fluents not affected by actions. A relation between situations allows you to say how close they are to each other; the result of an action is closest to the starting situation plus an extra ingredient: closeness measured by how many fluents change. Ramification is the problem of dealing, not just with the direct effects of an action, but also with the educational cascade of changes brought about by events triggered by the direct effects.

An artistic paradigm retaining renormalization processes but based on differential calculus, “which is concerned with the instantaneous rate of change of quantities with respect to other quantities, or more precisely, the local behaviour of functions”. To this education will be an integral calculus, “which studies the accumulation of quantities, such as areas under a curve, linear distance travelled, or volume displaced.”

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