Culture erupts in forms, big and small, of exuberance and expenditure. Art is the "profit" or value that occurs when the sum-total of these outward, dissipative, luxurious forces is greater than the inward-pulling logic of nationalisms, identities, collections, or the self-gravity of artists and institutions. CAMP presents a set of expansions on this statement, via an illustrated history of expansion, dissipation, generosity and waste.
The idea of expenditure is part of culture-at-large, in which art is no different from say fireworks or children's toys or weddings or arson. Expenditure extracts itself from the cycle of production, to release resources, with or without returns, with or without justification, as an act of freedom. Expenditure then unleashes a set of forces within a space, with complex and indeterminate effects, enveloping participants and spectators. Expenditure involves risks, and the possibility of entanglements: of being trapped in a death-cycle of the larger and larger gifts of potlatch, of getting caught up in religious fervour, of ending in frustrated or willful destruction.
Art has a peculiar capacity to inform the politics of such expenditure, and to understand its manifestations: generosity, waste, and power.
Art is the art of liberating expenditure, by exceeding, ignoring or exhausting its ideologies, by threatening its controlled and ritualised places with new sites of release. By becoming more than ordinary expenditure, by overflowing its social mores. By expending immediately and incrementally rather than by accumulating indefinitely. By exploiting technological systems to multiply and intensify the acts of release. Or radically, by spending what one does not have, by distributing what one does not possess.
The Nine Mores are presented as a set of four pairs and a final (unreturnable) act.
(The relation with Bataille is one of debt, shared laughter, but doubts about nihilism. The difference is that our ideas here don't rely on a fundamental, metaphysical excess)
Artist talk @ Beginnings with CAMP
Workshop with Students of ERG/Artistic Practices and Scientific Complexity Masters/Kobe Matthys at Argos.
Beginnings is an exhibition tracing some of the conceptual and artistic origins of CAMP. At ARGOS, Brussels as part of new beginnings at ARGOS itself.
Artist talk: Shaina A at Institute for Comparative Modernity, Cornell University.
A film program at Slought, with Shaina Anand /CAMP about surveillance systems, critical documentary filmmaking, subjectivity and distribution, and a screening of Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (60 min, 2011), followed by a discussion with filmmaker Shaina and Deborah A. Thomas.
Ishara Art Foundation
Ashok gives a part-biographical talk at the MMB, Mumbai, as part of the State of Nature series. Himalayan horticultural history, sewage-infused ice skating rinks, potato science and a series of proposals for art.
A 100-foot long branching sequence of cutouts drawing from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper. Cutouts here are a way of reframing existing photographs as new organisms and to create a new boundary or border for the image.