|Notes on to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two, 2011
13 February 2011
to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two, 2011, a work shown in the 2011 Yale sculpture M.F.A. thesis exhibition, attempts to demonstrate the alteration of commodities through the application of a different use-value than their exchange-value. Screens become blinds, blinds become mirrors, mirrors become screens and screens become fabric. Each of these becomes reversible. The work becomes a representation of the difference between exchange-value and use-value, although to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two has no (political) importance other than its appearance.
to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two has no (political) importance other than its appearance since what is political has no appearance in aesthetics as such. This is not to say that there is not a politics to aesthetics but to say that the politics of aesthetics lies in the appearance of sensibilities that have been made to disappear. I prefer to use appearance as a measurement of things that are disappeared. The dissemination of images that offer different sensibilities by their appearance also becomes a trajectory of a disappearance of different sensibilities. The different disappeared sensibilities become reversible through the tracing of the different sensibilities offered by images.
thesis statement for presentation of to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two, 2011
16 February 2011
Thank you for coming.
There are several responses I would like to give to things that I think are critical of to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two.
to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two streams live-stream video from four cameras placed on walls facing opposite sides of two doorways. Live-stream video from two cameras that are placed on opposite sides of a doorway project onto two blinds that are covered with mirrors on one side while video coming from two cameras facing a different doorway project onto two blinds that cover mirrors placed on an opposite wall. The projections reflect onto a fabric partition according to the movements of the doors which rotate the blades of the blinds.
to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two is part of a number of works about the partiality of ways of inscribing some sensibilities. This becomes a way of making work about the heteronomy of attempts towards claiming the work’s autonomy. It also becomes a way about making a work about movement and how different sensibilities become inscribed differently at different locations.
Issues involving surveillance have appeared in this work and a previous work I did called to think unthought thoughts is not unthought thinking, 2011. Much of this discussion centered on the surveillance implicit in projecting video from cameras that are some distance from the projection. The discussion became reminiscent of the discussions about the state in which the state is perceived as omnipresent. It seems that the paranoia about the cameras had to do with a feeling that the projections somehow represented an all-seeing aspect of contemporary society, much as how some see the state as an entity that can think on its own and control everything. I am trying to demonstrate in these works surveillance as a mechanism that is partial to differences in location and that simultaneously erases and traces whatever sensibilities are being inscribed. Surveillance cannot think about its subject since its subject is disseminated according to the absence of what is surveyed.
The title to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two refers to the reversing of the roles that capitalism seeks to ascribe to classes. The work is about the reversal of the subject of surveillance to demonstrate that two subjects participate in the constitution of classes. The location of to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two can represent the custodial staff, administration and students as well as visitors to the exhibition whose identities are not known. These visitors whose identities are not known become known temporally in the work, and, in turn, can only be seen by someone else who may also not be known. Thus the title has “(lose/ac)count” since the work demonstrates the impossibility of knowing all those who make the work other than that there are always already two subjects in the work.
The movements of the mirror blinds become many different horizons across which the projector’s image sets like the sun reflected many times.
Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.
What occurs in the moments wherein the self—as perceived by oneself—and the self as simultaneously perceived by an unseen, but felt, (O)ther converge in a single consciousness? What are the contours of the certain disjuncture between self-perception and the projected self as perceived? And, finally, what do these questions reveal about the traffic of identification between the State and its subjects? Such are the inquiries proposed by Stephen Garrett Dewyer’s latest work, to the poor oligarchies and the wealthy poor: to (lose/ac)count by two, which is part of a series of works through which he addresses sensibilities that are explicitly linked to the apperception of constant and inevasible surveillance by the modern cum postmodern cum modern again, contemporary subject. Dewyer seems to be theorizing the slippage between the subjection of Subjectivity to the all seeing eye of the State based on a human-driven panoptical model and modes of State policing wholly understood as technologically motivated mechanisms of surveillance that undermine any personal resistance to being seen.