join me on zoom to meet the neigbours at 8pm https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2382797999
Building an alternative reality hut should be undertaken as an imagination experiment. Imagine for a moment that things are real in the same way that you and I are real. Imagine that they have an actual, material existence that only partially coincides with our experience of them. Pretend for a moment that objects have material capabilities other than the use designated by humans. Play along with the possibility that a thing is an entity, a being of sorts that is dissimilar from ourselves. Now that your thing is an autonomous entity, you can allow yourself to will feel the kindness of things. Let’s play.
Who: of all the things in your home which ones will you call on to construct your alternative reality hut? Do you want a soft draped blanket hut (blankets, bedsheets, drop cloth, tarpaulin) or a planar construction from rigid sheet objects (cardboard, MDF, an old door, a sheet of corrugated iron.) Do you have unrefined organic things you can invite in? (A tree branch, a large potted plant, some bamboo, some autumn leaves.) Should this alternative reality be brightly coloured and patterned or soothing with soft colours and dim light?
What things have you got that could make a structure: an outdoor umbrella, a ladder, some brooms, a rope between door handles. A pile of boxes, a bicycle, the sofa, a bookshelf. What things in your home might enclose or form walls?
How: Will your hut be freestanding, or will it hang from the ceiling, the wall or a tree? Will it be low so you have to crawl in, or do you want it to be somewhat lofty see can lie down and look up? Angular? Rounded? Or maybe domed like a tent.
Where: is your alternative reality hut going to be in the middle of a room filling the space or tucked into a corner? Might it include others – a sofa, your bed or a tree?
Today, rest with your objects and contemplate the quiet kindness of things.
idea shares: some huts I have made over the past few years
I Don’t Know…. sequence at different time points in the 15 minute loop
Link to video of I Don’t Know if the trees know that I Breathe their breath sequence
Link to video of I Don’t Know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea sequence
Levi Bryant’s thinking-in-progress is hugely relevant to my Conversation Pit project. particularly his articulation of the dynamic process of thinking, the complexities of navigating the thing-structures and thought-structures we inherit. and then a great bit at the end about our ‘disavowed heritage’ of discarded things.
For weeks I’ve struggled with how to compose this post because my thoughts feel all chaotic and jumbled. However, the name of this blog is “Larval Subjects”. This blog is a place for the development of half-formed, perhaps ill advised or poorly conceived thoughts. For no thought can be thought before it is thought, and thinking a thought has a certain element of materiality to it, found within speech and writing. Contrary to Aristotle’s Peri hermenaias, where speech is a sign of thought and writing is a sign of speech, such that thought is conceived as an origin or spirit that precedes speech and writing, there is always something nachträglich in thought. One never truly knows what they think until after they have done, said, or written it. Thought is not what precedes our action, speech, and writing as an arche or origin, but is what will have…
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i would like to have a conversation about this
It seems to me that one of the greatest ethical challenges for thought is to encounter the world as being enough. While ontology ought not be evaluated on ethical grounds (i.e., we shouldn’t let a set of ethical and political commitments determine what is or isn’t ontologically true), it is nonetheless the case that how we think about the world has practical consequences for how we relate to the things of the world. And like James Bond, one of the repeated trends throughout the history of philosophy is to treat it as if it were not enough.
This treatment of the world as not being enough can be situated in terms of Graham Harman’s concepts of undermining and overmining. As Harman writes,
1. Undermining. You can say that objects are a shallow fiction of common sense, and that the real action happens at a deeper level: whether it be…
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Thanks to Yasmina Giles, Hannah Potbury and Mark van Wetering for test-driving Conversaton Pit with me.
The provocation for the first Conversation Pit was from Timothy Morton in Conversation with Verso Books focusing on the sections in which Morton introduces his term Subscendence and the possibility that ‘the whole is less than the sum of its parts’ and how this might impact on community and collective(1:31 – 12:15)
Supported by the (semi)practical provocation; if we were to accept this thinking into life, how might it lead us to re-imagine cohabitation in day to day living?
The ‘pit’ for this conversation was the Renovation-Room Conversation Pit a retro styled space in our mid-renovation study, at my home in Mt Albert.
Curated by Linda Cook, Water invites thirteen artists to respond to this fundamental liquid. The result is an eclectic mix of media and visual languages which trace our complex relationship with this essential liquid. details of the work and the contributing artists can be viewed via the e-catalogue
Thanks Linda, it is a great show. interesting and diverse.
my work for this show is titled Urban Waterfall #1 and is part of an ongoing project Urban Water in which I am observing impromptu water-ways that spring up in the city as rain seeks sea.
I have titled my new art project Conversation Pit in romantic retro–speculation for the 1960s and 70s architectural phenomena of the conversation pit. Romantic because my knowledge of it is predominantly formed through Hollywood-mediated fiction; there was not a whiff of the conversation pit in my own rural New Zealand 70s era childhood. Retro – Speculation because I speculate lines of causality and influence in my retrospective view from the 21st century.
my retro speculation:
Occupying the small durational and psychological hiatus between the radical thinking of the 60s and the TV years of the 80s the conversation pit was a physiological and psychological acknowledgement of the intrigue, intimacy and downright sexiness of the shared activity of thinking and talking together. It was a particularly 60s/70s notion to embed such a space in the home and the fabric of living. The predictably sanitising 80’s response was to take them out again. I question, was such a reversal purely architectural or was it ideological as well; to restore clear demarcation between the realms of the sensual, the sexual and the intellectual?