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Empyre over ‘Pharmakon’

Terwijl ik hier maar met vijvertjesboutades sta te zwieren, worden achter mij om de bronnen van de Nijl  gemapt en gelinkt:

Het invloedrijke discussiepanel Empyre – A soft-skinned space heeft het dezer dagen onder de hoede van (mijn facebook vriendje*) Christina McPhee,  met onder andere Kristen Alvanson (een ander Facebook vriendje van mij*, deelneemster aan het KLEBNIKOV CARNAVAL afgelopen zomer,  samen overigens met de beruchte Reza Negerestani ( óók mijn Facebook-vriendje*, & Kristen’s échte vriendje – auteur van het baanbrekende werk CYCLONOPEDIA, waarvan u nog een bespreking te goed hebt) over hetvolgende ( ik citeer de intro van Christina & de ‘opening post’ van Kristen- gosh, mijn leven stikt van de Christus-meiden ):

In december =empyre= turns to magic, spells, recipes, antidotes, talismans, poisons– in short, ‘pharmakon’.

A library of pharmakons is assembling under the influences of some
artists and writers who’ve been giving me  images and text for a
virtual (and physical) library.  The first launch was at the New York
Art Book Fair last October.

Please welcome Kristen Alvanson as our first guest– she is writing
from Iran.  We’re having some server issues with COFA (not related to
Iran, just to linking our pages to Sydney)– so in the meantime I ‘m
just forwarding on her opening comment.

Kristen Alvanson (born in 1969 in Minneapolis) lives and works in
Shiraz, Iran. She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
Science and Art
in New York and holds a degree from Sarah Lawrence
. Alvanson has exhibited in shows in both the United States and
the Middle East. In 2008 she participated in group/solo shows in
Tehran, London, Istanbul and Belgium, including a solo exhibition of
her work at Azad Gallery in Tehran and participation in the
International Roaming Biennial of Tehran. Her writing and artworks
have been published in Collapse: Journal of Philosophical Research and
Development, New Humanist, Frozen Tears III, Cabinet Magazine and

Kristen writes,

“I’ve always been interested in the occult not as a mystic reservoir
for solely personal experiences but as a map for occluded socio-
political currents which are essentially collective. A number of
people have said that the drawings and paintings I was doing while I
was in New York had a strong occult line running throughout and I have
to agree. But it wasn’t until I was researching middle-eastern
talismans about three years ago that I began using ‘spells’ in my
work. It started with a project called ‘Maskh’ which was 100 drawings
dealing with my metamorphosis – not in a narrative manner but in a
cartographic way. I saw spells as occult maps for certain concrete
socio-political processes which surface in the domain of collective
desires; spells show transitions and metamorphoses of these desires
from the collective to the individual sphere. That’s why spells
usually incorporate themes like abrupt transformations of identity and
possession. Middle-eastern spells are mostly created in the form of
diagrammatic bodies formed by abstract components such as numbers,
letter curvatures and geometric elements which are ideal skeletal
frames on which to build new spells. The spells I created for the
Maskh series mainly had to do with the events leading up to my leaving
the US and moving to Iran in 2006.,  , Once in Iran I continued to
work with spells. I was able to see current examples of Persian
calligraphy around Shiraz (in books, on walls and other places) as
well as see many examples of old talismans. I was able to actually use
locally made Persian ink which is a much richer and darker substance
than what I could find in the US. I also learned how to work with
Persian calligraphy pens which created so many types of lines. These
pens create such limitless forms of curvatures and lines which I think
are perfect for narrating the transitions of desires and
transformations of identity through different expressions of intensity
and ink tonality. Most Iranian calligraphers use the pens and ink in a
very traditional way,  but I tried all sorts of techniques with the
pens…for example,  scraping and using them on hard paper opposed to
traditional glossy surfaces. I worked on a second ‘installment’ of
maskh drawings and over the past couple years I’ve continued to work
with spell making. The ‘Poison-in/Poison-out’ drawings I created for
the ‘Pharmakon’ project is a continuation of this work.,  ,  ,
Best,  , Kristen”


* Ik zeg dat niet om te ‘stoeffen’,  alleen maar om aan te duiden dat die Facebook buiten ’n dikke ellende (verderfelijk, privacy-ondermijnend, nieuw, zondig,belastend, tijdrovend…) ook een  belangrijk medium is geworden waardoor gelijkgezinde creatievelingen makkelijk internationale contacten uitwisselen en zo, op de kap, of beter:  onder de kap van een commercieel medium,  de schijnbare almacht van de commercieel bepaalde media doorkruisen, het kapitale systeem maakt zichzelf poreus, zou Negerestani zeggen, misschien, wacht, ik vraag het hem effie.

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