Thursday, 21 February 2008

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Well Done Team!

I'll post properly tomorrow or Friday with images and video.
But I just wanted to say how pleased I was with the way everyone contributed to today's launch.
I think we have a lot to build on...

Giuseppe x

Sunday, 17 February 2008

From Mikhail - Michel Serres and NOISE

Dear All,

I thought you may find the following short text describing Michel Serres's (contemporary French philosopher writing on noise, communication, message, art and science) understanding of noise interesting.

All the best,

"In our usual notions of communication, noise is an unwanted third thing that interferes in what would other wise be a clear connection between a sender and a receiver. On closer reflection, though, noise is more complex. To being with, it always indicates the wider context, or milieu in which communication takes place. Any given message must pass through a medium. The medium generates effects that attach to the message. Noise, therefore, is an ineradicable feature of any communication. Noise is the presence of the medium through which the message must pass. The desire for immediacy that has driven the history of technology is a desire to eliminate the noisy presence of the medium. Each attempt to eliminate noise by filtering it through a new medium, however, in turn generates new kinds of noise. In other words, each new innovation in media promises to minimize noise. But because it has to instate a new kind of medium, it ends up generating a new kind of noise. This battle with the medium is never fully successful because we can never eliminate the space of transmission. There is always a context of communication, an environment and so there is always a noisy third term."


"Michel Serre's book 'The Parasite' has as its generative centre the proposition that there is no message or communication possible without a context or channel. In any dialogue between apparently free and distinct parties, there must be some apparatus, some frame, form of contact which enables the communication to take place; this can be material – a meeting-place, a postal service, or a network of wires – or immaterial - a discourse with rules of functioning. There is never, in other words, what we nowadays so lightly call an ‘interface’, an immediate encounter between communicating parties, nor is there ever passage of what is communicated across a neutral space. Something always happens in the space of traversal to slow, deflect or deform the message; there is always noise on the line, a spanner in the works."


"In The Parasite, Serres asks whether system is a prior set of constraints, or whether, on the other hand, system is the regularity manifest in the various attempts to constitute a system. 'Do these attempts themselves constitute the system?' Serres asks. Noise, we have seen is the system. 'In the system, noise and message exchange roles according to the position of the observer and the action of the actor.' Noise is a joker necessary to the system. It can take on any value, and is thus unpredictable so that the system is never stable. Instead, it is non-knowledge. Systems work because they do not work. Dysfunctioning remains essential for functioning. The model, then, is free of parasites, free of static (as in mathematics), while the system is always infected with parasites which give it its irreversible character. The system is a Turner painting. With his representation of the chance effects of clouds, rain, sea, and fog, Turner interprets the second law of thermodynamics - the law made possible by Carnot. Turner translates Carnot. Such is Serres's poetic insight.

Two figures, then, inform Serres's oeuvre: Hermes and the Harlequin. Hermes the traveller and the medium allows for the movement in and between diverse regions of social life. The Harlequin is a multicolored clown standing in the place of the chaos of life. Two regions of particular interest to the voyager in knowledge are those of the natural sciences and the humanities. Should science really be opened up to poetry and art, or is this simply an idiosyncrasy on Serres's part? Is this his gimmick? The answer is that Serres firmly believes that the very viability and vitality of science depends on the degree to which it is open to its poetical other. Science only moves on if it receives an infusion of something out of the blue, something unpredictable and miraculous. The poetic impulse is the life-blood of natural science, not its nemesis. Poetry is the way of the voyager open to the unexpected and always prepared to make unexpected links between places and things. The form that these links take is of course influenced by technological developments; information technology transforms the senses, for example."

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Rachel's map ideas

A couple of preliminary pictures that Rachel sent me...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008


hello joe,

on the website can you list me as just: Artist
rather than 'visual artist working with text', it might just as well be 'artist working with ideas'!
i work across all mediums and can't stand this trend for qualification ... I'm an artist pure an' simple

(I don't mind artist and writer, if you prefer that, as i do do some writing that is distinct from art)


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Neo-Futurism - a new fascism?

Hola Compañeros
Just about to mail out the dada-south supplementary e-bulletin re neo-futurist event etc.
In passing though, a question, and this is asked with absolute oceans of respect for both you Joe and Rachel as artists, so it's not an attack etc BUT do the neo-futurist group see any need for distancing from some of the dodgier dimensions of il futurismo à la Marinetti - for example :
"We will glorify war - the world's only hygiene - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman."
F T Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto [?]
From my 'just-barely-scraped-a-pass' art A Level of 34 years ago (!), i think I remember that il futurismo despised everything to do with tradition and the past to the point of being absolutely besotted by the ultra modern including science and industry (wouldn't they have loved eugenics) and were ultimately embraceable by elements of fascism, whereas the Dada-ists - while also being anti-art and passionately against bourgeois aesthetics - still had a clear pacifist and anti-colonialist stance.
"[Dadaism] : For many participants, the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity — in art and more broadly in society — that corresponded to the war."
Richter, Hans (1965), Dada: Art and Anti-art, Oxford Univ Press
Wasn't DaDa effectively a rejection of tradition in a far more liberationist way? Another question : how do you think the futurists and dadaists, united by their hatred of tradition, would have thought of being revived? Personally, I also hate the tyranny of tradition so just felt I had to ask these questions. Hope you don't mind.
My personal favourite italian-led art movement of 20th Century was the Hermeticist (l'ermetismo) movement of the poets Quasimodo, Montale and Ungaretti. Ungaretti's 2-worded Mattina (Morning) is my one of my favourite poems:
m'illumino d'immenso

(I fill with light of immensity)

Besos y ricuerdos and hope yer all well

Joe McConnell (DAO) x

A reply from Giuseppe Marinetti

Dear Joe,

Thanks for opening up the debate - it's a question I have been asked a lot and one that I have asked myself, as to whether the work of the futurists has any validity in the light of their conspicuous flirtations with fascism, via Marinetti's personal invitation from Mussolini to sit on the central council of the, then fledgling, Fascist Party in Italy. As it happened this formal association was short-lived as Marinetti objected so strongly to the Catholic Church being invited to join the caucus forming around the Fascist Party that he resigned in disgust. He hated all institutions and the church in particular...

So I think, sometimes, you have to dance with the devil - because as we know, the devil has all the best tunes...

My particular interest in Futurism stems from the fact that it is the first modernism (maybe even the first 'ism' of our modern age...) and that the raw energy and optimism of modernism has a particular relevance for our environmentally challenged and terrorised planet. We have succumbed, as a culture, to despair, and I have therefore looked to the futurists for inspiration with particular regard to
The Art of Noises manifesto (Russolo, 1912) and its call for the radical transformation of URBAN NOISE.

We are surrounded by noise (in all its' visual and aural forms) on a daily basis - traffic, road works, mobile phones, airplanes, radio, the internet, junk emails, street advertising, blogs, health and safety warnings, reality TV... The list is endless. Our challenge is to find a way to embrace this noise, to celebrate it, rather than to try and block it out. When we walk through a city, how many times do we actually open our ears to
listen to the everyday sounds around us, rather than plugging ourselves into an mp3 player or escaping into our own thoughts?

Russolo was right - either we embrace noise as a positive force or we will be drowned by it. No amount of laws can save us from
UNWANTED SIGNAL, it is a part of life itself; for there is no life without sound - even if we can't hear it...

You will find that when our manifesto is finally unleashed upon the world on February 20th, (a draft of it is online in this blog), that it has particular references to Dada and the Tristan Tzara manifestos, which in the current climate read like the fragmented language of junk emails. So, through the writing of the manifesto, Rowena Easton has tried to combine these aesthetics and
TRANSFORM this form of visual noise into something USEFUL and BEAUTIFUL.

Finally, why
Neo Futurism - shurely shome mishtake... Well, it's a joke of course, there can't be a new futurism, it's an oxymoron. So, it's nod to a time when the world seemed simpler, when the optimism of modernism and the benefits of technology went unchallenged. Too much of our current thinking is about self-loathing and nostalgia for innocence lost, that we need a way of looking forward again, of embracing our future. Hence Neo Futurism.

Hope this explains my position.

Joe Y.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Friday, 1 February 2008

final draft?

20th February 2008 – Brighton

1. This exaltation of urban noise (in all its visual, aural, gustatory and olfactory forms) is for use by the addressee(s) only. If you are the intended recipient, please notify us immediately.
In the dead of noise all we can hear above our heartbeats is the screaming silence of the swarm.
Mutation and recombination.
Every throng is all and constant.

We have crawled sclerotically into the near present. Terrorised by our own futures, denying our own song.
Feverish cities.
We must embrace the virus. Disease and risk. Multiply. Feed the urban appetite for collapse.

We intend to proclaim our anxiety, our failures, our fears, celebrate self-loathing, and joyously affirm our lack. We will set ourselves up to fall ¬– blissfully.

Our barbarous beauty is swathed by a utility fog – the artist must throw up the hard yellow veil of health & safety: Danger’s song will be sung. NOW, now we intend to holler our passion for vigorous incompetence. We have pre-put ourselves. Clamour for the irregularised space of unaccountability, where we are free to open ourselves up to dreams and deliriums.

Do not tolerate. Nothing should be tolerated. Repressive tolerance leads to stress, stress leads to conflict. Tragedy, pain a human becomes or peril Unrequited, further enduring.

Deals await you or your Gold. We are all disabled by our lust. Be inspired by the dysfunctional consumer. He cannot help himself.
We don’t know what we wished, we have no vision, we only see the searing colours.
We reject the quest for redemptive purity in this age of environmental apocalypse,
and magnificently wrestle our own filth in the wet labs of executive swamps. Ours is a dirty revolt.

We will enchant the passage of the dragging route.
Delight the creeping pace of travel.

Each gesture serves to commemorate the last.
A celebrant’s training montage: Sound-bitten-interactivity-niche-sexuality-architectural-vanity-project-creative-quarter/hub/cluster-regeneration-inclusivity-choice … We urge you to cry your own.

Art will not save the world.