current project, Imperatives, nature, social transformation

#nature – resilient

rachela abbate resilience #nature - resilient

resilient |riˈzilyənt

adjective

• (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

• (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin resilient- leaping back, from the verb resilire.

resile |riˈzīl

verb [ no obj. ] formal 

abandon a position or a course of action. 

 

 

current project, Imperatives, translation

open the encyclopédie raisonné

I started to develop the working basis of the project Imperatives. This base has as model Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des science, des arts et des métiers. The illustrated dictionary comprises 166 volumes and was published from 1751 till 1780 in France. I’m excited to connect with this dictionary, which was created and designed in the spirit of enlightenment as an endeavor to use knowledge to abolish authoritarian state power and to strengthen the autonomy of the single and the collective. Valorizing all cultural and manufacture activities, the dictionary is based on the ideal of equal rights and value of every human being on Earth.

It is known as Diderot’s work, but many people were engaged – more than 140 people of all social classes worked together on this project, among them Voltaire and Rousseau – to produce a meaningful tool for freedom, justice, peace, and equality. Ideals which weren’t approved by the censure and the whole dictionary project were doubted to be subversive. Indeed, the Encyclopédie was a project to communicate not only knowledge, moreover, it was a tool of sharing information about political issues, disguising them in between the lines, so to speak. Though the Encyclopédistes were cautious, Diderot was convicted of treason and had to face imprisonment.

These and other aspects I will discuss later by developing the project and single works.

The Encyclopédie model is an ideal format for my way of artistic activity as I work on language, codification, and architectures of knowledge such as mapping and archiving. By Translating those knowledge architectures, like theories and philosophy of different cultures, into artistic works, as for example in Categories on Nature, is produced an aesthetic metalanguage which should reflect on possibilities of raising awareness of the potential of freedom and autonomy, like the authors of the Encyclopédie aimed for.

 

 

rachela abbate C1_page_9-150x150 open the encyclopédie raisonné  rachela abbate C4_page_202-150x150 open the encyclopédie raisonné

rachela abbate C3_page_138-150x150 open the encyclopédie raisonné  rachela abbate C2_page_62-150x150 open the encyclopédie raisonné

 

 

 

 

 

 

current project, social body

starting with the social body

Is there a starting point for a project? A logical one? Thinking on nature by working on civil disobedience, or better, on the search for justice, is an odd objective as in nature aren’t rules we could argue to be unjust, but through history, this was and is an intent to cast a sense of justice in nature.

Does this mean everything in nature is just?

Again, to answer this question diverse hypotheses are seemingly determined by belief systems. Well, therefore, I think we will never know because we are partly in nature and are natural creatures and on the other side we are outside nature – since the paradise exile. Maybe it will be in our knowledge through a form of reconciliation. But now, we are in a suspense and miss tranquility and harmony, and fill the absence with different models and rules, which generate history and press us to believe and live those models as a higher natural order. What remains is the dichotomy between nature and culture.

Though some of those models help us to transform on a different harmony level, similar to idealized nature, remains the struggle as we are caught in the trap of power illusion, an imagined power. Can our brain, our consciousness distinguish between reality and imaginary?

Nature as a social imperative, as for example Rousseau claimed it, is the starting point of our modern disobedience story. Cultural approaches are the indirect way towards divinity in modern history as religion yielded to culture.

Thinkers of all centuries find in nature examples of a moral co-living on Earth. Henry Thoreau, the author of the often-cited Civil Disobedience, did his living-in-nature-experience, reflected in his book Walden. And this is only one famous example in literature in which models of a just and disinterested society are set in nature.

We are using natural elements and qualities as a social model, like the grassroots to describe the activity and success of specific social activities, and the rhizomes as a horizontally structured society are since Deleuze and Guattari a common image.

We are in nature and in society with our bodies. Our body is a bridge, model and laboratory to experience and contemplate on the effects society have on nature, on the body, therefore on our mental processes and vice versa.

The social body has an imaginary content which diverges and meanders in different forms and outcomes, like our inner canals, nerve nets, and blood vessels.

Where to start?  With nature! Or better with the social body!

 

architecture, communication, current project, non-space

commutecture

Commutecture is called a larger work concept dealing with text and language as tools for information and communication. In different work series is reflected on communication structures and organizations, and the interrelation between sign and images, whereby the written language is understood as a tracking and construction device for thinking and its related shifting operations. The so formed structures or architectures of language have a deep impact on social, cultural life, and consciousness. We can therefore say, that language is a basic condition for almost all spheres and levels in societies and cultures.

In Commutecture are the archives, categorizations, codifications, texts, and text organizations protagonists of works with different topics and aesthetic expressions crossing divers media.

Text Architecture

A text is an architecture in which communication and information are structured as codes. This architecture is interconnected with mental activity: a loop-like regulation system. Through corresponding feedback, modifications are in a constant change, influencing dynamics in all realms of human activities. The information system as text is a technology taking effect on mental structures and is a prevalent instrument to build the context of life and activities.

The text codification is an alphabetical, sequential, and hierarchical architecture, mirroring culture, socio-history and authority beliefs of western societies. The linear text-architecture was understood as higher developed and civilized, not only in confront of the non-European cultures, but also in Europe itself, specific local text codifications were nearly or in large parts eliminated by an all-over implementation of the text system. The identification with technologies – as with text as information and communication technique – conforms to decisions and criteria of keeping hegemonies’ stability. Mirroring the globalization we could say that the alphabetical information and communication is architected in a super-text.

Human beings live corresponding to their material and spiritual constitution or principles. In capitalistic hegemony, the material aspect is fortified and enhanced. Instead, the spiritual aspect is a prime condition of autonomy and self-consciousness.

In the last decades, a paradigm change of the text-mental regulation in our society took place. Through digitization, among other things, the information and communication system is codified differently: horizontal, non-linear, non-hierarchical. The mental processes hereby are more net-like, abstract and process oriented. This changing allows a dynamic in information and communication systems towards transdisciplinarity. Different codifications of information and communication are reviewed under new evaluations as a different possibility of knowledge and mental processes. This new approach to net-like thinking and acting has an influence on all strata of human life. The con-text is changing, because the mental operations are changing and in consequence apperception and concept of space. Different forms of communication create a complementary form of community.

On the base of this paradigm change, it is to investigate how text architecture can be used as an aesthetic strategy of autonomy and authenticity, in its formal aspect as well as implementations in public spheres.

Here some excerpt from the work Categories on Nature (more to follow)

• Categories on Nature (more to follow) reflects on different philosophical and anthropological approaches in conceptualizing nature and human in nature. In Western traditional concepts, the thinker and her position in nature have to be defined, making out perceptions and imaginations.

Categories on Nature (more to follow) is based on the idea of a book as an important tool in western thinking and archiving. Therefore, the book model is composed of 370 sheets with combinations of diverse philosophical texts and a black line code generated by the artist. Furthermore, this volume contains illustrations of nature and is has a classical page structure with headers and chapters.

 The text combinations are built structures whereby the readability gets lost. The header text, taken from one of the first botany books we know, The Book of Plants by the Arab Al Dirawani, is well readable and in alphabetical order. So is the header text of the illustrations out of Jaques Derrida: Archive Fever, A Freudian Impression

The other texts are by Giordano Bruno: Cause, Principle and Unity and Essays on Magic; Claude Levi Strauss: Savage Mind; Giorgio Agamben: The Open: Man and Animal; Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason; Jaques Derrida: The Animal That Therefore I am

Thinking is a process of categorization and judgments tracked mainly in written language. Archives are hereby architectures of collection and control. The text combination is playing with referring and differing issues which never reach original meaning; reflecting on dependencies between perception and structuring thinking.

autonomy, communication, current project, encyclopédie raisonné, Imperatives, knowledge, text

Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné

Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné

 

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 1788

 

Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné is an interdisciplinary long-term project on aesthetics of autonomy comprising a series of a researches and artworks concerning the communications of knowledge systems in relation to artistic strategies for social change and practice of civil disobedience in the contemporary political crisis.

 

rachela abbate Althusser_4_web Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné
Education #1 – State Apparatus, 2017, digital prints, texts and images with gold color monoprints, 12 x (21 x 15 cm) @Rachela Abbate

 

Civil disobedience ranges between subversive and aggressive, peaceful and passive. Societies all over the world are differently formed, however, context and history of civil disobedience pronouncements have to be examined. The results will be organized in different formats and projects crossing media and collaborations with organizations and artists.

The subjects of my research are the visual aspects of writing practices as knowledge organizations of Western and non-Western societies and the implementation of artistic strategies of autonomy in political activities of diverse social groups. Both issues are conceptualized in social and political terms as an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné, based on the model of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des science, des arts et des métiers by Denis Diderot.

This artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné, partitioned in three main strands – History, Beside History, Nature – is a frame or container for the organization of the research material and artistic works relevant to the political imaginary and the knowledge communication architectures, which describes content and forms of civil disobedience as manifestations of autonomy, for the single as well as of the collective being.

Civil disobedience ranges between subversive and aggressive, peaceful and passive. Societies all over the world are differently formed, however, context and history of civil disobedience pronouncements have to be examined. The results will be organized in different formats and projects crossing media and collaborations with organizations and artists.

Diderot’s Encyclopédie, on which I refer to, is a classic example of political knowledge communication tool and archive. Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, published from 1751 till 1780 in France, is an illustrated dictionary and comprises 166 volumes. This dictionary was created and designed in the spirit of Enlightenment using knowledge to abolish authoritarian state power and to strengthen the autonomy of the single and the collective. Valorizing all cultural and manufacture activities, the dictionary is based on the ideal of equal rights and value of every human being on Earth. It is known as Diderot’s work, but many people were engaged – more than 140 of all social classes worked together on this project, among them Voltaire and Rousseau – to produce a meaningful tool for freedom, justice, peace, and equality. Ideals which weren’t approved by the censure and the whole dictionary project were doubted to be subversive. Indeed, the Encyclopédie was a project to communicate not only knowledge, moreover, it was a tool of sharing information about political issues, disguising them between the lines.

Diderot’s Encyclopédie online

 

rachela abbate images_005-1-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate images_004-1-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate images_003-1-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate images_007-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate images_006-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate images_005-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate Herstellung-eines-Kupferstichs-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné  rachela abbate Classical_orders_from_the_Encyclopedie-150x150 Imperatives – an artistic Encyclopédie Raisonné

collaboration, current project, food, social art practice, social transformation

social soups

Social Soups is a platform project for aesthetics of social activities regarding the social implication of food.

in collaboration with Maria Rebecca Ballestra

Social Soups is a program for social transformation through art focusing on food as an elementary component. The project Social Soups combines artistic and social activities regarding the cultural and social development in specific contexts of urban areas, which hosts cultural and social diversities. Furthermore, the project aims to include aspects of food in relation to territory, science, and environment as well as to call attention to socio-political topics. Social Soups intend to be an open and free participatory and disposable platform with which can be collaborated spontaneously. The project invites artists to “prepare a social soup”; artists who focus on their researches and artistic operations on food and formulate diverse social, cultural, economic, environmental and political interpretations. By using food and through multiple techniques and expressions the artists deal with important subjects related to nutrition: from food as means of survival and dependencies to food as a condition of social injustice and obsessions.

The mixture of different cultural approaches, problems, and destinies are like a soup in which diverse ingredients have to amalgamate in order to offer everyone the opportunity to be “fed”. Through food can be realized strong and multi-sensorial relations with the audience and the territory. Beyond feeding our bodies, food enriches our minds and – when becoming an instrument of artistic operations – is an agent through which the audience can make the acquaintance with cultural and traditional aspects as well as customs of other countries. Furthermore, the artists create a strong relationship with the audience, which becomes actively part of the artistic operations. Based on their knowledge and personal research, the artists reflect through their own poesis on the multitude of critical relations moreover as result of exchanges the contemporary human being has with its habitat.

Public engagement is a core issue of Social Soups aiming to address artistic activities directly to the citizen as audience as well as an active participant in order to increase awareness of social justice and foster critical regionalism.

We are living in times in which societies undergo massive changes caused by the economic and environmental crisis, geopolitical conflicts as well as by new technologies and capitalization of resources. Societies and urban areas are signed by mobility and agglomeration built by different interests. The refugee flow and the occurring humanitarian crisis are the most eminent facts communities have to envisage, moreover urges to react and to reconsider policies as racism and xenophobia are enhancing through activism and politics. Artistic activities of the Social Soups project aims to invite the audience to overtake an active role pointing to democratic values within the well-being of everyone. This can happen through artistic operation as they are an expression of critical position and driven by utopia mission regarding the social, spiritual, natural and intellectual aspects of human life. Therefore art becomes an antagonistic space in societies, a turning point of awareness towards social and environmental issues. As the specification of the artistic operations is food, which is a universal “language” and part of human life, Social Soups is able to create a platform where different activities of social life can meet, be reflected on, communicate and elaborated. With the Social Soups projects can be created models of community policy, which are showcased by different means.

rachela abbate pentola social soups

Art as possibility of social transformation

Famous artists use food to reflect on social engagement asking those questions. Artistic operations instigate transformation processes through new and unusual combinations of elements and through realization of visions. Because of that, the expansion of interactions between artist and society becomes more and more important. Social Soups tries to go a step further by creating platforms of public engagement through art by using food. Food as aesthetical concernment put a light on various aspects of ethical, psychological, cultural and political attitude. Thus exploring food issues can be a commencement of changes for the single life and for the environment in general. For this reason a “social soup” is a metaphor depicting the necessity to gain awareness that food function in social practices. The project Social Soups includes aspects of food preparation, the territory of its origin and consequently aspects of food in relation to migration, envisaging the building of new social agglomerations and new socio political possibilities especially in the urban area as the world population became urbanized. Hence the artists see a possibility of public engagement as the project aims furthermore to collaborate with communities in order make a social transformation practicable.

The above-mentioned artistic practice highlights the core meaning of culture: understanding “the other”. Social practice is intrinsically linked with cultural practice and therefore artistic operations are of vital importance especially as crisis urges single and communities to undergo massive changes in the social apparatuses. Like in the urgent situation of migration flows is moreover given a chance for regional criticism and self-regulation of communities in order to create a real social and livable environment instead of functionalize people and environment as it happen in capitalistic hegemonies. The inclusion of artistic operations in the social life opens the possibility to understand co-existence and importance of the “different” – the Other – as condition to foster solidarity and constructive modifications.

Merken