Archive for the ‘random’Category

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02 2011

Art as Social Practice: Mapping New Relations Within The Social Interstice

[This is a recent research paper & is a foundational exploration in issues, theories, & history of art as social practice.]

In his 1998 essay, Relational Aesthetics Nicolas Bourriaud wrote about the theoretical concerns of a new form of contemporary art that addresses issues of the relational, that is, art that directly takes into its praxis particular socio-cultural concerns, and that situates itself out of the privatized spaces of the gallery and into the public sphere. Such a movement toward art as social practice shifts the understanding of art as object into one of encounter. In introducing the term relational aesthetics, Bourriaud wrote:

The possibility of a relational art (an art taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space), points to a radical upheaval of the aesthetic, cultural, and political goals introduced by modern art. To sketch a sociology of this, this evolution stems essentially from the birth of a world-wide urban culture and from the extension of this city model to more or less all cultural phenomenon (14).

Bourriaud frames his treatise on this new possibility of art within a political and historical context, broadly tracing the origins of the modern political era to the Enlightenment period and then into the rise of modernity and the twentieth century avant-garde, specifically pointing to Dada, Surrealism, and the Situationists. Already within this brief passage, Bourriaud alludes to key factors, which not only organize and contextualize the world in which we in the capitalist West experience, but also the practices, production, and consumption of contemporary art – namely, economies, geographies, and socio-cultural divisions, specifically within an urban context. To trace this historical trajectory, we understand modern and contemporary artistic practices within a geopolitical context of conquest and power relations, wherein which the Enlightenment project of the 18th century and the anti-authoritarian avant-garde movements of the 20th century ultimately fell short of their emancipatory aims. Bourriaud writes, “Instead of culminating in a hoped-for emancipation, the advances of technologies and ‘Reason’ made it that much easier to exploit the South of planet earth, blindly replace human labor by machines, and set up more and more sophisticated subjugation techniques […]” (12).   Read the rest of this entry →


12 2010

On the Way to Mara-do

click on image to play.

Link to video.


05 2010

images from the week…

insa1 North Insa-dong


subway6 on the train….



Things are slowly progressing. Language courses begin next week, thank God. And I will begin attending a course taught by Aeju Lee (이애주) at Seoul National:


Last week I met with Dr. Choong Soon Kim, a former professor of anthropology and now President of Korea Digital University. A man with an interesting experience of migration and cultural border crossing. He left Korea in ’65 for the US, subsequently raised a family, received his Masters & PhD, then began teaching and conducting fieldwork in Tennessee and other parts of the US South. He worked with the Choctaw Indians as well as with poor pulpwood workers. He did not return to Korea until ’81, and describes this journey back to his native land as one of profound alienation – the country had changed so drastically in during all of that time, and some family members were very ambivalent about how to receive him. In the years to follow he did end up returning to do fieldwork in Korea as a Fulbright scholar, writing an ethnography on Korean family dispersal and the televised reunions on KBS. In 2001 he came back to Korea ‘for good’, accepting the Presidential position at KDU. His books are published in the US, and I highly recommend them.

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09 2009

What shall I sing here?

They say I should learn one Korean song for the 노래방 (no rae bang = song room = Korean Karaoke). Maybe I’ll try this one.


08 2009

a new look

After some feedback from a very important person, I have changed the look of this vlog.

Enjoy the squeaky clean-ness!


08 2009

The Wonders of Programming


06 2009

Weekend Sky Show Starts With Moon-Venus-Mars Grouping


06 2009

from the berkeley archives


06 2009