Just wanting to direct some attention to this. A fabulous project by my good friends Jamie Allen and Bernhard Garnicnig, called My Holy Nacho. Updating László Moholy-Nagy’s Telephone Pictures series (1923) into the realm of networked media. The title is taken from a Chinese whispers confusion over Moholy-Nagy’s name as a productive misunderstanding of communication which constitutes the ecology of online services.
Beginning with one single object, Allen and Garnicnig transform certain fabrication processes via online services and indirect communication through different ecologies of infrastructure. The final sculptural object is then contingently produced after ten processed steps, and forms part of a gallery exhibition alongside the documentation and dialogues with the manufacturers and shipment companies.
To find out more, hit Regine’s interview with Allen and Garnicnig over at We Make Money Not Art: The way they understand ecology is very close to my own: the unavoidable creative (I dare say, Romantic!) mystifications of unpredictability that take place in-between various modes of control:
“There are inherent contradiction in trying to control any process. The more noise there is, in a sense, the more predictable something is: It will always be noise. And processes you think you have complete control over are always the ones that bite back hardest, generating more “WTF” moments and leaving people wondering how someone could not have understood something the way they do. So the process — this kind of ping-pong of process selection that we have embarked on — is in one sense highly specific, and in another sense entirely outside of our control.
Actual collaboration is in many ways impossible. Collaboration is more about the love of misunderstanding and the impossibility of knowing than most people think. It’s not about feedback, but pushing each others ideas and intuitions forward, developing unique things together. Imagine two people cooking together, for example, discussing each condiment and about whether now is a good moment to stir — that’s not really how it works. Someone nudges ideas and materials this way or that, and then someone else comes along and nudges it some other way. That’s just how bodies, brains and time work.”
It reminds of Cavell’s most cited passage from Emerson: that is “the evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets then slip through out fingers then when we clutch hardest,” – of what is the most unhandsome part of the human condition. It’s true for Emerson as it is today.