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As requested, please find above the full audio recording from the last meeting with Grant KESTER. While we did not adhere too closely to the text this time, several common interests/curiosities, those inevitable questions and quite a bit of editorial juxtaposed with self-reflection from an optimist, a “former” artist, a cynic and several foodies provided interesting insight into politicization as a viewing mechanism, “multiple art worlds”, “nomadic agents of critique”, “spontaneity (not) as stupidity” and the weakness of opposition, among other flows…

We’ll continue with the fallout of relational/dialogical practices with a reading suggested by Michael EDDY—Claire BISHOP’s latest book entitled Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. Chapter 8, “Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity”, was suggested, but seeing as this book has been in wide circuit since its publishing and given our tendency to stray, perhaps another experiment could be attempted for each participant to read a chapter of interest and then introduce it to the rest of the group, as once attempted during the also relevant meeting “Modes of Activism“. What do you think? If you are interested to join this session of Happy Friends, to be held on

Sunday, 2 December 2012
18:00 at HomeShop

please send us an e-mail or leave a comment to this post in order to receive a copy of the reading, and let us know which of the following chapters floats your boat:

  1. The Social Turn: Collaboration and Its Discontents, p 11
  2. Artificial Hells: The Historic Avant-garde, p 41
  3. Je participe, tu participes, il participe . . . , p 77
  4. Social Sadism Made Explicit, p 105
  5. The Social Under Socialism, p 129
  6. Incidental People: APG and Community Arts, p 163
  7. Former West: Art as Project in the Early 1990s, p 193
  8. Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity, p 219
  9. Pedagogic Projects: ‘How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?’, p 241



5 Responses to “late harvest, from the last Happy Friends and into the next (Artificial Hells)”

  1. sportsbabel

    “How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?”……..oooooooooooooooohhh.

  2. c

    Don’t get too queasy from the title, sb, it goes both ways:

    “Significantly, however, Guattari is insistent that the ethico-aesthetic paradigm involves overthrowing current forms of art as much as current forms of social life. It does not denote an aestheticisation of the social or a complete dissolution of disciplinary boundaries. Rather, the war is to be waged on two fronts: as a critique of art, and as a critique of the institutions into which it permeates, because art blurring entirely into life risks ‘the perennial possibility of eclipse’. To protect against this threat of art’s self-extinction, Guattari suggests that each work of art must have a ‘double finality’: ‘[Firstly] to insert itself into a social network which will either appropriate or reject it, and [secondly] to celebrate, once again, the Universe of art as such, precisely because it is always in danger of collapsing.’ Guattari’s language of a double finality speaks to the double ontology of cross-disciplinary projects we are so frequently presented with today, pre- eminently among them art-as-pedagogy. Like all long-term participatory projects, this art must tread the fine line of a dual horizon – faced towards the social field but also towards art itself, addressing both its immediate participants and subsequent audiences. It needs to be successful within both art and the social field, but ideally also testing and revising the criteria we apply to both domains. Without this double finality, such projects risk becoming ‘edu-tainment’ or ‘pedagogical aesthetics’. These latter will never be as compelling as Summerhill and La Borde – examples that establish their own institutional frameworks and operate in ways that continue to trouble the parameters of existing social structures. If artists ignore the double finality, viewers may rightly wonder whether Guattari’s question should in fact be reversed: how do we bring a work of art to life as though it were a class-room?”

    Granted, there are always causes for dyspepsia..

  3. sportsbabel

    not dyspeptic here, actually quite excited by the title and the potential….but of course all things must be tempered, i guess, the writers want to rush to the critique, not waiting to see what might proliferate……or maybe i need to read the article. :)

  4. c

    I think I misread the oooooooohhhhh as a groan.

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