Friday, 1 May 2009

Notes to future self

Ryuichi Hirokawa, Al Ram checkpoint, West Bank, 2002
Guardian, g2, p. 25, 30/4/2009

... really for in five years, but maybe also already in two?

I gave a research seminar on Wednesday and was talking about youth policing, workfare and the making of criminalised selves. Much of what I was initially interested in with my academic work revolved around questions of social control, discipline and importantly the practices, policies and experiences that make a responsible and disciplined citizen. Much of these original questions had gotten a bit submerged in the interim with a much stronger focus on policy and governance but after the seminar I ended up talking to two colleagues who have, though in different fields, maintained a keen interest on such disciplines of the self.


Longwinded, half-baked... it links up with some of the abstractions I am intrigued by, again and again, and which require a much fuller set of art skills, techniques, and experiences that I currently have. - Questions over person-making, the stuff that happens inbetween, outside, elsewhere or in the middle. Well: the stuff that matters.

When I was talking to my two colleagues about what art I do and would love to do, I for the first time made those links between academia, knowledge production and painting quite explicit. Well: I do tell people at university that I love the kinds of questions and problems a piece of art poses in its production, and how it is necessary to let it provide its own answers - that no will of my own can make that canvas into something finished.

And I do enjoy the way in which this undoes what so much academics perceive the individual ingenuity of the lonely, fabulous, young academic who raises, on the basis of his own achievements to intellectual and professional heights. - well: remember the snake fights?

But, the discussions with M. and E. took me back to Foucault's Discipline and Punish; they also provided links to some more recent work on the making of entrepreneurial selves in thoroughly flexibilised and casualised labour markets.

On the way home, I saw this in the paper, took it with me, scanned it and it's here now as a reminder. That look, locking the police officer in its stare, defiantly. Now: I love that kind of photography, holding, maintaining a moment which radiates outwards, captures stuff (incidentally or purposefully) beyond its immediate reach. For whatever I'll do in two or five years? We'll see. I doubt that it will be photography, and I doubt it will be figurative, but: who knows?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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