The Archivist Speaks ... [1]

In the weekend of 9-10 April 2011 researchers and artists meet at V2_ to discuss the fundamental theoretical division between "living" and "non-living".

The Archivist Speaks ... [1]

Sponge: Membrane (2004)

The Vibrancy Effect is an expert meeting organised by Chris Salter. Some of the invited researchers and artists – for instance Andrew Pickering and Tagny Duff – have never been at V2_ before. Quite a few have presented projects at V2_, or have spoken at V2_ on several occasions. Of course this is the case for Arjen Mulder – as already for years he is an editor and writer for V2_publishing, and is involved in the organisation of the Dutch Electronic Art Festival.

Dmitry Gelfand & Evelina Domnitch are the creators of the wonderful installation Camera Lucida which was exhibited at V2_ in 2007, and Maurizio Martinucci (TeZ) performed his Anharmonium piece during Perform! which was also curated by Chris Salter. Sally Jane Norman has visited V2_ numerous times, for instance already in 1999 when she was part of the string-festival String 'em Up.

What captured my attention while browsing the archive and searching for links between the expert meeting The Vibrancy Effect and earlier events at V2_, is the presence of an earlier co-operation between Chris Salter and Joel Ryan in the group The Sponge – which also included Harry Smoak. As The Sponge they developed the installation Membrane, also a research into interaction, gesture and immersion. It was exhibited at DEAF04 in 2004, and they curated an evening programme too (The Evening of Sponge). There's a short bit on Membrane in the text Of Communication, Interacticity and Intimacy in the publication Feelings are always Local (2004). Joel Ryan works at STEIM, teaches at the Conservatory in The Hague. He is a musician and a physicist – actually he became involved with computer music and live electronics through his background in physics.

It's not a surprise to see they did co-operate already in 2004, but I simply had forgotten about it. There are many more links between the expert meeting and earlier events and research at V2_. The interest in biology, the question of the agency of non-living things and even vitalism can be traced through many publications of V2_. Most recently in The Politics of the Impure and for instance the interview with Lynn Margulis. But one can also go back to 1997 and this essay by Manuel DeLanda: The Machinic Phylum, published in TechnoMorphica, a collection of essay on the merging of technology and nature. Of course those were different times – people were using words like 'Cyberspace' – and the theoretical interest in the technology - life interface cannot really be compared to the topic of The Vibrancy Effect. Or can it? I guess there are some interesting cues in the text of DeLanda.


[AA / 0411]

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