Monoskop

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Welcome to Monoskop, a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.

Monoskop is a repertory of the possible; a repository of things to be read, reviewed, replicated, reenacted, reinvented and put to rest again.

This page shows a selection of the latest additions to the website. For more detailed overview see the Recent, Contents, Index and Media library sections. Updates are also being posted on Twitter and Facebook.

Monoskop supports the open letter In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub.

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The works of Gilles Deleuze (1925-95) and Félix Guattari (1930-92).






Monoskop Log

Dylaby (1962)

“artists gathered from several countries
with the aim to let the public
participate in their work
to let you see, feel, cooperate with them

they start from daily life
the sensations you get
feeling your way through a labyrinth
the surprise when you open a door
the freshness of the coloured world of plastic
the machine that moves
but without practical purpose
the shooting gallery where you don’t destroy
but help to colour the objects …

six artists in seven rooms
created surroundings full of variety
gay and weird, loud and silent
where you may laugh, get excited
or thoughtful

you are not outside the objects
but constantly within them
as part of the whole”
(catalogue introduction)

A visitor to this exhibition “was to navigate a maze constructed by Daniel Spoerri, Per Olof Ultveldt, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Martial Raysse and Robert Rauschenberg. The labyrinth was made largely from scrap metal and spanned seven rooms of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. After feeling their way through Spoerri’s darkened maze, and weathering a number of wooden obstacles by Ultveldt, the participant ended up in a room where paintings ‘hung’ from the floor and marbles ‘stood’ on the walls.

To finish the trail, one had to splash around Raysse’s beach, fire a gun at Saint-Phalle’s shooting painting, turn right at Rauschenberg’s caged clocks and exit through Tinguely’s balloon-filled room. The terms ‘playground’ and ‘funfair’, frequently used by a rather sceptical press, were apt descriptions of what transpired in the museum galleries. Art as conceived in Dylaby required active engagement on the part of the visitor. The exhibition followed in the wake of Bewogen Beweging [Art in Motion] (1961), another Stedelijk Museum exhibition of interactive kinetic art, initiated by Tinguely the year before. The curatorial program was a response to the 1961 ‘a-dynamic manifesto’ of Dutch artists Ger van Elk and Wim T. Schippers, who berated the artistic pretentiousness of abstract expressionism that dominated museums.

The exhibition was a forebode of the ‘happenings’ that would take Amsterdam by storm from the mid-1960s. As the artwork now became a temporary experience that relied heavily on audience participation, its survival relied on photographic documentation. A legion of photographers orbited such cultural figures as Robert Jasper Grootveld and Theo Kley, choreographer Koert Stuyf and frequented the performance stronghold of Ferdi and Tajiri in Limburg.

Apart from the introductory text by Willem Sandberg, the Dylaby catalogue almost exclusively consists of visuals. The double arrow on the cover, designed by Rauschenberg, was mounted on a car tire at the entrance of the labyrinth. Van der Elsken’s photographs reiterated the organised chaos of the exhibition. An image of disoriented visitors was rotated 90 degrees on the catalogue page, making them seem as though they were walking sideways on the gallery walls. Van der Elsken followed Tinguely around the Waterlooplein as he was scavenging for bicycle wheels and other metal scrap for his kinetic sculptures. A handwritten foldout in the catalogue features a timetable tracing the artists’ every move in the three weeks preceding the opening. After the show, the props landed in the garbage dump along with the rest of the labyrinth. What is left is an archive of bewildered press reviews; and this catalogue.” (Source)

Cover by Robert Rauschenberg
Introduction by Willem Sandberg
Photographs by Ed van der Elsken
Publisher Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1962
[21] pages
via Bint Bint

WorldCat

PDF (35 MB)

documenta 12 (2007) [German/English]

“For the first time in the history of the documenta, the major event in Kassel was organized under the direction of a couple: Roger M. Buergel as the designated art director and Ruth Noack as curator. They served only “unofficially” as a two-member directorial team, however, as the documenta statutes do not allow for the possibility of two co-directors. Together, they developed a clearly defined programmatic concept under the banner of “The Migration of Forms.” What that meant was that, over the course of human history, visual culture has had only a limited number of basic forms with which to work—forms that have been used in different contexts and with different conceptual focuses throughout the history of art. Buergel/Noack pointed out that “contemporary does not mean that the works originated yesterday. They must be meaningful for people today. Documenta 12 is concerned with both historical lines of development in art and unexpected concurrences.” In order to bring these “unexpected concurrences” to light, relationships were established between works of art from different decades and cultures in which similar formal patterns have emerged—a process that has led to a “migration” of aesthetic forms across temporal and cultural boundaries culminating in the art of our postmodern world. This formalism was emphasized in the Neue Galerie by walls painted different colors. In turn, this focus on the phenomenon of migration resulted in the selection of a high percentage of artists from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. New to the program was the inclusion of old art, from fourteenthcentury Persian miniatures to global art from recent decades. Artists already long since recognized in their own homelands, such as Nasreen Mohamedi, for example, were not the only ones presented to a broad public in Germany for the first time. The works of several exemplary artists—John McCracken, Kerry James Marshall, Charlotte Poseneske, and Gerwald Rockenschaub—also migrated through all exhibition venues.” (Source)

Publisher Taschen, Cologne, 2007
ISBN 9783836500524, 3836500523
415 pages
via x

Exhibition website
WorldCat

PDF (148 MB, no OCR)

Kim West: The Exhibitionary Complex: Exhibition, Apparatus and Media from Kulturhuset to the Centre Pompidou, 1963-1977 (2017)

This doctoral thesis “studies the new Information Center model of the art museum that was developed by a group of artists, curators, architects, and activists connected to Moderna Museet in Stockholm between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s. Through close readings of Moderna Museet’s unrealized Kulturhuset project, and a series of related attempts at rethinking the exhibition and the museum in relation to new information technologies, systems, and networks, it traces the origins, the critical implications, and the effects of this model, according to which the museum should function at once as a catalyst for the active forces in society, a vast experimental laboratory, and a broadcasting station.

In this study, the museum is understood as an exhibitionary apparatus, the specific characteristics of which are configured in relation to other apparatuses for display, distribution, and interaction, which together form an exhibitionary complex, caught in a process of gradual integration with the expanding network of cybernetic media. The study asks under what conditions the exhibitionary apparatus might preserve its particular modes of social and aesthetic experience, while acting as a transformative force on and through the new information environments.”

PhD dissertation in Aesthetics, School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University
Publisher Södertörn University, Stockholm, 2017
Open access
ISBN 9789187843761
359 pages

DiVA

PDF, PDF

Chris Marker: Silent Movie (1995)

In Silent Movie, “Marker employs five-channels of video, each a thematic exploration of early cinema. Film images disclosing ‘The Journey,’ ‘The Face,’ ‘The Gesture,’ and ‘The Waltz’ occupy four of the monitors while on the fifth (and middle) monitor is a collection of ninety-four silent-era intertitles, ‘telling short, mysterious pieces of unknown stories.’ These moving images travel through a computer interface that assembles an ever-changing array of sequences. At any given moment, each passage is in unique juxtaposition with the other images passing across the surrounding monitors. Coloration, tone, and association are governed by chance contiguities; even the intertitles narrate across a field of fluid relationships.” (Source)

Silent Movie. To give an installation the name of something that never existed is probably less innocent than the average cat may infer. There was never anything like silent cinema, except at the very beginning, or in film libraries, or when the pianist had caught a bad flu. There was at least a pianist, and soon an orchestra, next the Wurlitzer, and what contraptions did they use, in the day of my childhood, to play regularly the same tunes to accompany the same film? I’m probably one of the last earthlings–the ‘last,’ says the cat–to remember what themes came with what films: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on Wings (the dogfights), Liszt’s ‘The Preludes’ on Ben Hur. A touch of humour noir here, to think that the saga of the young hebrew prince was adorned by Hitler’s favorite music, which in turn explains why you hear it more often than Wagner on the German war newsreels–but I get carried away. …”–Chris Marker (book page 15)

Edited by Ann Bremner
Publisher Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus/OH, 1995
ISBN 1881390101
40 pages
via MoMA

WorldCat

PDF
Video excerpt (8 min)

Lynn Hershman Leeson (ed.): Clicking In: Hot Links to a Digital Culture (1996)

“All things digital dominate the discourse of the nineties and inspire opinion that ranges from the outrage of the neo-Luddite to the heady optimism of the digiphile. In this collection, the most provocative voices of the Digital Age grapple with the direction of digital technology and its concomitant issues, including virtual identities and their relationship to the physical self, the collision of commercial and community interests on the Net, the Net threat to intellectual property, and the merger of art, popular culture, and commerce in interactive media.” (book jacket)

Texts and interviews by Sadie Plant, Jaron Lanier, R.U. Sirius, Sherry Turkle, Lev Manovich, Rudolf Frieling, Simon Biggs, Siegfried Zielinski, a.o.

Publisher Bay Press, Seattle, 1996
ISBN 0941920429, 9780941920421
x+371 pages

Review: Steve Jones (Signs, 1999).

WorldCat

PDF (81 MB)