Toward a Poetics of Measurement

Friday, April 12th, from 4-8pm at Teachers College (ZB214)

Hello everyone; please inscribe it into your appointment-registration devices: in observation of the 125th anniversary of Teachers College and the 9th issue of ecogradients.com, Toward a Poetics of Measurement will feature presentations/discussions of subversive intelligibilities and/as creative responses to the corporatization of education. Some refreshments will be provided by Teachers and Students for a Public Voice; presentations will begin at 4:30 sharp. Our featured presentations will include:

Gabe Turow, Fear is not for Man ~ on the antinomy between anxiety and education;

Patrick Scanlon, Interruptures ~ accidental curriculae & anti-assessment;

Deneb Valereto, Fear and Loathing in Academicism ~ intellectual emetics and epistemological parasitism;

Michael Kim, Hyperrealities ~ in the education of the returning postmodern veteran;

Paul McLean, If I could learn... ~ incorporation in the era of education.

Looking forward to seeing you all there ;)

Blake Seidenshaw

ecogradients.com

For ecogradients
From Cynthia Dantzic
 
On the Relationship Between Growth (artistic) and Debt (mine):
[[MORE]]
 
As usual, the seemingly enigmatic theme of this issue appeared  impenetrable at first, yet, on further reflection, and spurred by the passing into the great and unknown beyond of one of the iconic figures in 20th Century art at the age of 101, Will Barnet, the relationship between my own growth as an artist and the incalculable debt I owe to him, through his teaching, his work and his unflagging eloquence, made sudden sense.

On the morning of Saturday, the tenth of November this Fall, while I was helping to install the Annual exhibition of the Society of Scribes at New York’s National Arts Club. Will, who resided at the club for many years, passing by in his wheelchair, stopped to say hello and to see what I was doing. I had been a student of his long ago, and had remained in touch with him over the years, even including his work in a recent book, “100 New York Painters,” for which I had made his portrait, and showed a number of his major works, as his style of painting had grown through the decades.
 
Often, when I had works in exhibitions at the NAC in photography, calligraphy or other mediums, Will would stop by and I would make a photograph of him in front of the piece. Recently it had been a large woodcut , “Do Shapes Create Edges or do Edges Create Shapes?” from a book called “What Can You See?”.
This time, I was delighted to show him a new work in Chinese calligraphy, and as he wheeled over to get a closer look, I thought I’d make a snapshot to record the event. Just one more in a continuing series, or so I believed. Will seemed pleased with the work, and said he’d try to come to our opening reception on Tuesday the 13th. 
 
On Tuesday morning, the 13th of November 2012, Will Barnet passed away.
It may well be that the photograph accompanying this brief essay is the last photograph ever taken of him. There is no way I will ever be able to express the debt I owe to this splendid man who was my teacher, my inspiration and a major source of my own growth as an artist and as a teacher. Growth and debt, inextricably bound together, captured for a brief moment in this image.
 
Cynthia Maris Dantzic
ZoomInfo
Camera
Canon PowerShot S100
ISO
6400
Aperture
f/4
Exposure
1/400th
Focal Length
24mm

For ecogradients

From Cynthia Dantzic

 

On the Relationship Between Growth (artistic) and Debt (mine):

Read More

Chris Moffett
511 West 151st Street, A1, New York, NY 10031 646.234.6223 | chris@chrismoffett.com | aestheticrelationalexercises.com
The question is not whether theory can be embodied in a practice or performance, whether theater is up to the task of doing theory. The question is what kind of performance, what kind of theater, has theory always been? Can we do theory with our bodies? Of course. Can we do theory without our bodies? That is, if we may say so, a theoretical question—a question for some body to ask while it is busy theorizing. What does this business en- tail? (And why does it elude us, so that we would have to remember, reclaim or reform it? And conversely why does it feel so odd to notice?) If we catch ourselves, in flagrante delicto, it is natural to look back, sneak a peak, as if to see where we tripped.
[[MORE]]
History through the Tiniest of Holes; tripped, or sprang?
Athena leapt from the forehead of Zeus, fully clothed and fully armored. The dark cavern of his skull was laid open to the light of day by the surgical blow of an ax, relieving the splitting pressure. He had eaten Métis, pure wild thought herself, but only Athena comes out, goddess of Wisdom. A dramatic proto-theoretical tale: old school, with axes. From skull to allegoric cave, Pla- to does nothing more than cleave open, yet again, this story of birth out of the darkness. Another c-section, laying out the scene for inspection, skipping the too narrow opening, he threatens to rend the earth itself:
“Terrified, Hades, the master of those below, leapt from his throne, crying out, fearful that Poseidon who rocks the ground would tear open the earth, illuminating for mortals and immortals the abode below—grim, fetid, abhorrent even to the gods.”
The trap is now set, and despite the allegory’s dismal ending—as if we cannot see it—we embark on a long history of performing education by first recreating these hellish conditions. To learn to think entails navigating the transition between a dark interior and a lit exterior. We go to school to learn about the world. In a room in this school we might learn about Descartes, who, in order to think clearly, stuck himself in an even smaller room. Control the opening. Is this not the giddy promise of the camera obscura? To control the unruly world, just pass it through a pinhole. The voyeurism of knowledge. But this pleasure only works if one gets caught. One never sees an image of a camera obscura itself without the curtain drawn aside, a wall missing. The flooded scene of darkness. The image of the ruined image. Still we imagine the impregnable black box spitting out its forensic signs in the wake of worldly tragedy. A mechanical blind seer: prolific, indefatigable, cryptic.
“Matter triggers ‘vibrations or oscillations’ at the lower extremity of the cords, through the intermediary of ‘some little openings’ that exist on the lower level. Leibniz constructs a great Baroque montage that moves between the lower floor, pierced with windows, and the upper floor, blind and closed, but on the other hand resonating as if it were a musical salon translating the visible movements below into sounds up above.”
“Endowed with their new semiotic powers, [inert bodies] contribute to a new form of text, the experimental science article, a hybrid between the age-old style of biblical exegesis … and the new instrument that produces new inscriptions. From this point on, witnesses will pursue their discussions around the air pump in its enclosed spaces, discussions about the meaningful behaviour of … a cheap black box … standard equipment in every laboratory.”
BLACK BOX, BLACK BOX
What are the recognizable constructs by which we assemble a theoretical discourse, assemble ourselves? Is it possible to make its theatrical structure apparent to ourselves, not by c-section, drawing aside the critical curtain, but by assemblage—by fruition and intensification? How do we find ourselves acting?
One experimental variation:
The audience enters the black box theater. Nothing is set up: there are chairs stacked at random and a pile of material against the wall. They do as they will.
I come in and begin clearing a space and setting up a black box in the middle of the space. Three walls go up, so that you can only see inside from one side of the room. A desk and chair are placed inside and illuminated as the house lights are turned off. The fourth wall is now raised, blocking direct view, but a ghostly image of the interior is now evident above the black box. (See phantasmagoria to right.) Again the audience is left to do what they will.
I can be seen to sit down at the desk where I begin to play a recording: it is the sounds of the room from a moment ago. Over top of this I add a layer of semi- otic utterances accompanied by gestures: an appar- ent commentary. Variations will be added with each loop, quickly building to a wall of pure sound inten- sity, as the ghostly image inversely fades to black.
The sound oscillation abruptly ends….
Equipment:
Stackable chairs and a desk;
Loop machine, mic, and monitors;
Spotlight with barn-doors;
The box: heavy black fabric, five long tubes (pvc or metal), translucent fabric, cable/line/pulleys;
“A crucial feature of these optical devices of the 1830s and 1840s is the undisguised nature of their operational structure and the form of subjection they entail. Even though they provide access to ‘the real,’ they make no claim that the real is anything other than a mechanical production…. One reason for their obsolescence was that they were insufficiently ‘phantasmagoric’….: ‘the occultation of production by means of the outward appearance of the product…this outer appearance can lay claim to the status of being. Its perfection is at the same time the perfection of the illusion that the work of art is a reality sui generis that constitutes itself in the realm of the absolute without having to renounce its claim to image the world.”
Pinhole photograph of classroom, 2009.
ZoomInfo
Chris Moffett
511 West 151st Street, A1, New York, NY 10031 646.234.6223 | chris@chrismoffett.com | aestheticrelationalexercises.com
The question is not whether theory can be embodied in a practice or performance, whether theater is up to the task of doing theory. The question is what kind of performance, what kind of theater, has theory always been? Can we do theory with our bodies? Of course. Can we do theory without our bodies? That is, if we may say so, a theoretical question—a question for some body to ask while it is busy theorizing. What does this business en- tail? (And why does it elude us, so that we would have to remember, reclaim or reform it? And conversely why does it feel so odd to notice?) If we catch ourselves, in flagrante delicto, it is natural to look back, sneak a peak, as if to see where we tripped.
[[MORE]]
History through the Tiniest of Holes; tripped, or sprang?
Athena leapt from the forehead of Zeus, fully clothed and fully armored. The dark cavern of his skull was laid open to the light of day by the surgical blow of an ax, relieving the splitting pressure. He had eaten Métis, pure wild thought herself, but only Athena comes out, goddess of Wisdom. A dramatic proto-theoretical tale: old school, with axes. From skull to allegoric cave, Pla- to does nothing more than cleave open, yet again, this story of birth out of the darkness. Another c-section, laying out the scene for inspection, skipping the too narrow opening, he threatens to rend the earth itself:
“Terrified, Hades, the master of those below, leapt from his throne, crying out, fearful that Poseidon who rocks the ground would tear open the earth, illuminating for mortals and immortals the abode below—grim, fetid, abhorrent even to the gods.”
The trap is now set, and despite the allegory’s dismal ending—as if we cannot see it—we embark on a long history of performing education by first recreating these hellish conditions. To learn to think entails navigating the transition between a dark interior and a lit exterior. We go to school to learn about the world. In a room in this school we might learn about Descartes, who, in order to think clearly, stuck himself in an even smaller room. Control the opening. Is this not the giddy promise of the camera obscura? To control the unruly world, just pass it through a pinhole. The voyeurism of knowledge. But this pleasure only works if one gets caught. One never sees an image of a camera obscura itself without the curtain drawn aside, a wall missing. The flooded scene of darkness. The image of the ruined image. Still we imagine the impregnable black box spitting out its forensic signs in the wake of worldly tragedy. A mechanical blind seer: prolific, indefatigable, cryptic.
“Matter triggers ‘vibrations or oscillations’ at the lower extremity of the cords, through the intermediary of ‘some little openings’ that exist on the lower level. Leibniz constructs a great Baroque montage that moves between the lower floor, pierced with windows, and the upper floor, blind and closed, but on the other hand resonating as if it were a musical salon translating the visible movements below into sounds up above.”
“Endowed with their new semiotic powers, [inert bodies] contribute to a new form of text, the experimental science article, a hybrid between the age-old style of biblical exegesis … and the new instrument that produces new inscriptions. From this point on, witnesses will pursue their discussions around the air pump in its enclosed spaces, discussions about the meaningful behaviour of … a cheap black box … standard equipment in every laboratory.”
BLACK BOX, BLACK BOX
What are the recognizable constructs by which we assemble a theoretical discourse, assemble ourselves? Is it possible to make its theatrical structure apparent to ourselves, not by c-section, drawing aside the critical curtain, but by assemblage—by fruition and intensification? How do we find ourselves acting?
One experimental variation:
The audience enters the black box theater. Nothing is set up: there are chairs stacked at random and a pile of material against the wall. They do as they will.
I come in and begin clearing a space and setting up a black box in the middle of the space. Three walls go up, so that you can only see inside from one side of the room. A desk and chair are placed inside and illuminated as the house lights are turned off. The fourth wall is now raised, blocking direct view, but a ghostly image of the interior is now evident above the black box. (See phantasmagoria to right.) Again the audience is left to do what they will.
I can be seen to sit down at the desk where I begin to play a recording: it is the sounds of the room from a moment ago. Over top of this I add a layer of semi- otic utterances accompanied by gestures: an appar- ent commentary. Variations will be added with each loop, quickly building to a wall of pure sound inten- sity, as the ghostly image inversely fades to black.
The sound oscillation abruptly ends….
Equipment:
Stackable chairs and a desk;
Loop machine, mic, and monitors;
Spotlight with barn-doors;
The box: heavy black fabric, five long tubes (pvc or metal), translucent fabric, cable/line/pulleys;
“A crucial feature of these optical devices of the 1830s and 1840s is the undisguised nature of their operational structure and the form of subjection they entail. Even though they provide access to ‘the real,’ they make no claim that the real is anything other than a mechanical production…. One reason for their obsolescence was that they were insufficiently ‘phantasmagoric’….: ‘the occultation of production by means of the outward appearance of the product…this outer appearance can lay claim to the status of being. Its perfection is at the same time the perfection of the illusion that the work of art is a reality sui generis that constitutes itself in the realm of the absolute without having to renounce its claim to image the world.”
Pinhole photograph of classroom, 2009.
ZoomInfo
Chris Moffett
511 West 151st Street, A1, New York, NY 10031 646.234.6223 | chris@chrismoffett.com | aestheticrelationalexercises.com
The question is not whether theory can be embodied in a practice or performance, whether theater is up to the task of doing theory. The question is what kind of performance, what kind of theater, has theory always been? Can we do theory with our bodies? Of course. Can we do theory without our bodies? That is, if we may say so, a theoretical question—a question for some body to ask while it is busy theorizing. What does this business en- tail? (And why does it elude us, so that we would have to remember, reclaim or reform it? And conversely why does it feel so odd to notice?) If we catch ourselves, in flagrante delicto, it is natural to look back, sneak a peak, as if to see where we tripped.
[[MORE]]
History through the Tiniest of Holes; tripped, or sprang?
Athena leapt from the forehead of Zeus, fully clothed and fully armored. The dark cavern of his skull was laid open to the light of day by the surgical blow of an ax, relieving the splitting pressure. He had eaten Métis, pure wild thought herself, but only Athena comes out, goddess of Wisdom. A dramatic proto-theoretical tale: old school, with axes. From skull to allegoric cave, Pla- to does nothing more than cleave open, yet again, this story of birth out of the darkness. Another c-section, laying out the scene for inspection, skipping the too narrow opening, he threatens to rend the earth itself:
“Terrified, Hades, the master of those below, leapt from his throne, crying out, fearful that Poseidon who rocks the ground would tear open the earth, illuminating for mortals and immortals the abode below—grim, fetid, abhorrent even to the gods.”
The trap is now set, and despite the allegory’s dismal ending—as if we cannot see it—we embark on a long history of performing education by first recreating these hellish conditions. To learn to think entails navigating the transition between a dark interior and a lit exterior. We go to school to learn about the world. In a room in this school we might learn about Descartes, who, in order to think clearly, stuck himself in an even smaller room. Control the opening. Is this not the giddy promise of the camera obscura? To control the unruly world, just pass it through a pinhole. The voyeurism of knowledge. But this pleasure only works if one gets caught. One never sees an image of a camera obscura itself without the curtain drawn aside, a wall missing. The flooded scene of darkness. The image of the ruined image. Still we imagine the impregnable black box spitting out its forensic signs in the wake of worldly tragedy. A mechanical blind seer: prolific, indefatigable, cryptic.
“Matter triggers ‘vibrations or oscillations’ at the lower extremity of the cords, through the intermediary of ‘some little openings’ that exist on the lower level. Leibniz constructs a great Baroque montage that moves between the lower floor, pierced with windows, and the upper floor, blind and closed, but on the other hand resonating as if it were a musical salon translating the visible movements below into sounds up above.”
“Endowed with their new semiotic powers, [inert bodies] contribute to a new form of text, the experimental science article, a hybrid between the age-old style of biblical exegesis … and the new instrument that produces new inscriptions. From this point on, witnesses will pursue their discussions around the air pump in its enclosed spaces, discussions about the meaningful behaviour of … a cheap black box … standard equipment in every laboratory.”
BLACK BOX, BLACK BOX
What are the recognizable constructs by which we assemble a theoretical discourse, assemble ourselves? Is it possible to make its theatrical structure apparent to ourselves, not by c-section, drawing aside the critical curtain, but by assemblage—by fruition and intensification? How do we find ourselves acting?
One experimental variation:
The audience enters the black box theater. Nothing is set up: there are chairs stacked at random and a pile of material against the wall. They do as they will.
I come in and begin clearing a space and setting up a black box in the middle of the space. Three walls go up, so that you can only see inside from one side of the room. A desk and chair are placed inside and illuminated as the house lights are turned off. The fourth wall is now raised, blocking direct view, but a ghostly image of the interior is now evident above the black box. (See phantasmagoria to right.) Again the audience is left to do what they will.
I can be seen to sit down at the desk where I begin to play a recording: it is the sounds of the room from a moment ago. Over top of this I add a layer of semi- otic utterances accompanied by gestures: an appar- ent commentary. Variations will be added with each loop, quickly building to a wall of pure sound inten- sity, as the ghostly image inversely fades to black.
The sound oscillation abruptly ends….
Equipment:
Stackable chairs and a desk;
Loop machine, mic, and monitors;
Spotlight with barn-doors;
The box: heavy black fabric, five long tubes (pvc or metal), translucent fabric, cable/line/pulleys;
“A crucial feature of these optical devices of the 1830s and 1840s is the undisguised nature of their operational structure and the form of subjection they entail. Even though they provide access to ‘the real,’ they make no claim that the real is anything other than a mechanical production…. One reason for their obsolescence was that they were insufficiently ‘phantasmagoric’….: ‘the occultation of production by means of the outward appearance of the product…this outer appearance can lay claim to the status of being. Its perfection is at the same time the perfection of the illusion that the work of art is a reality sui generis that constitutes itself in the realm of the absolute without having to renounce its claim to image the world.”
Pinhole photograph of classroom, 2009.
ZoomInfo

Chris Moffett

511 West 151st Street, A1, New York, NY 10031 646.234.6223 | chris@chrismoffett.com | aestheticrelationalexercises.com

The question is not whether theory can be embodied in a practice or performance, whether theater is up to the task of doing theory. The question is what kind of performance, what kind of theater, has theory always been? Can we do theory with our bodies? Of course. Can we do theory without our bodies? That is, if we may say so, a theoretical question—a question for some body to ask while it is busy theorizing. What does this business en- tail? (And why does it elude us, so that we would have to remember, reclaim or reform it? And conversely why does it feel so odd to notice?) If we catch ourselves, in flagrante delicto, it is natural to look back, sneak a peak, as if to see where we tripped.

Read More

Measures Treasures: A letter from learner.

by ps scanlon

Dear Research Prof,

Read More

The following is a fragmentary rewriting of Martin Luther’s famous 95 Theses undertaken by a graduate student at Teachers College, sometime in the early 21st century, but never completed due to lack of funding…

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Statu Quo res erant ante bellum: “in the state in which things were before the war.”

           Do not force feelings of any kind, least of all the feeling of conviction.

                         -Sandor Ferenczi, Notes and Fragments

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“If I could learn…”

by Paul McLean

“For my people your (so-called) education is the rags of bondage.” – White Buffalo, modern-day Mayan prince, deceased

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Debt & Taxis: Call for Submissions!

Bill Gates recently released the latest of his annual letters, reporting on the status of of his massive philanthropic organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The subject of the letter is ‘measurement’, and it begins by discussing the various challenges that the Gates Foundation has overcome in its attempts to improve health care globally, eradicate polio, and etc., with a focus on “innovations in measurement”. Gates confides in us that, despite the simplicity of the basic concept of effective measurement (“you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal-in a feedback loop”), he finds it “amazing … how often it is not done and how hard it is to get right.”

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6debt, taxis, large,

-