### if-charcoal-period.if-chp ###
These are notes to do with activities in connection with a residency at Umm el Fahem Gallery. http://ummelfahemgallery.org
The name of the gallery is the name of the town it is at ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umm_al-Fahm#History ). The meaning, the literal meaning of the name “Umm el Fahem”, as far as it seems, is Charcoal’s Mom. The mother of charcoal.
Seems like a fair few years ago, the area was where locals came to get charcoal wood. Hence: "where charcoal comes from". (I think that perhaps Mother/Mom is a metaphor for the Coming-from notion. Not ruling an utter misapprehension probably in the sequence of my fascination with moving From stuff - e.g. Wave, Surf, etc..)
The notes attempt to question certain ideas, and open a possibility of wondering from these questions with other people.
Proposed initial activity streams? (i.e. these proposed elements might evolve through practice into some yet to be imagined activities, or elements.)
To surf the opening between time and space with charcoal.
Hence, the idea is to develop a time based element that is directly linked with space yet allows both (time and space) to remain independent within the activity. Therefore the development could operate as a questioning link between time and space. To try and do that, I will skateboard from the airport to the gallery with charcoal being degenerated by the friction between it and surfaces along the way. (The charcoal piecies will degenerate with pavement and road surfaces.) The sounds of this degenerative process will be recorded constantly. The sound recording and the degenerated charcoal pieces, I think, will make an interlink-able element of spaces and objects made by the rhythms of time.
To be a charcoal piece ready for degeneration, it will have to be Initialised by people making sounds with the piece. These activities will link the pieces of charcoal to contemporary times by focusing on Where, the space, cgarcoal is being produced. Once a charcoal piece is linked to a place, it will be ready to link, through the degenerative time process, with a historical sense of being charcoal. This Initialisation to link with a degenerative time and history sensation, will happen in public transport stations along the way. I will record sounds people at the stops will be asked to do with the charcoal. Sounds to link the charcoal pieces and places of contemporary charcoal production. eg Make sound of Brazil, or sound of Namibia, etc.. Or to make a sound of a charcoal producer breaths, and so on..
In the town of Charcoal’s Mom - Umm el Fahem - the time space linking element will be expanded with local people to develop various wondering to link with History. e.g. linking the charcoal pieces and senses of history as the name of the place derived from where people used to get charcoal from.
These time-space linking operations might take various ways. I think the exact activities will develop while being at the residency.
It is also hoped to evolve some sort of a 4th element in this practice. An element which will question the performativity that is taking place in each of the previous streams. The Charcoal preparations in public transport stations, the performativity of skateboarding from the airport to the gallery, and the performance of direct historical linkage towards and in a place called Charcoal’s mom.
I have to say that am feeling a personal and conceptual rejection towards these performative elements and, while they seem necessary, they also seem superfluous. As if there are some operations being hidden by the very activity which the performativity attempts to conjure. As if the performativity is some sort of a cultural veil/block placed to hide some stuff?
e.g. Why record all the way from the airport? Why not just a recording of some charcoal degenerating some time in some place? Why not a degenerational charcoal algorithm? Or indeed degenerating on its own with no algorithm, sound nor charcoal attached? Why not some degenerational notation which could be applied to metal as well as charcoal? ..and so on..
Perhaps though, the very attempt that seem performative, is in fact a way to go through a performative element in the very imagination of these activities? A sort of a getting through “stage” which once done can allow the veil to be lifted? I am interested in the imagination as its Own body and therefore the activity risks being performing A body for that which is already embodied? Kind of un-acknowledged 2 body creature being mistaken to a single body being?
The idea of the residency at the gallery is part of an attempt, to hopefully, develop a program of residencies in the place. The town is seen as a bit off the main centres, a fact which seem to have ended similar developments in the past. Now, in its 20 year anniversary, the gallery hopes to search for various ways to increase its visibility.
Perhaps am wrong, however, I think there are some very intriguing aspects to the place. I hope to question these instincts and develop some more mature account of how it is to actually live there, interact artistically with people, and develop stuff.
### Points of initial interests?
The gallery, http://ummelfahemgallery.org check the site’s archive, has some interesting exhibitions imho of contemporary - mainly local - artists.
The place functions as a community centre as well, with activities for marginal youth and various free craft courses.
The town itself is a home for a rather marginalised community, within the local region's contexts. This is a community of “Palestinian Israelies”, people who identify as Palestinians but live within the Israeli controled area/state of historic Palestine. This community is taken as some sort of outsiders by both the zionist state and palestinians outside of Israel's internationally recognised borders and settelments zones.
I think this point, of a group being marginalised, is better articulated by Susan Nathan ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Nathan ).
Am mentioning the socio-political and cultural elements as being in-between, as this in my view, makes the whole town artisticaly linked in my mind.
Perhaps though, the link is not similar to how a sense of refugee camp in-between might be linked with art? Perhaps it might have its own particular ways of in-between-ness?
Indeed, Am wondering how the link with the experience of being a refugee, part of which makes the community be a sort of in-between in the minds of other communities in the area, might in itself have its own life?
If someone reading this and might have ideas and/or question regarding the residency in general - or indeed this particular stream cluster - give me a shout?
### Grosz, art, Charcoal, Deleuze, Architecture and time?
* I was checking stuff (http://projectlamar.com/media/groszchaos.pdf) linking with ideas of art, times and sensation. This Checking had to do with questioning ideas which link sensations and aesthetics.
I think the article is wide and fascinating through all sorts of levels. However, here I’d like to pick 2 small elements to focus on:
The idea of a link between art and a conception of nature as some other-than-art category.
For example, the usage of nature in art. This is brilliantly shown to be Colours, Stone, etc which are taken from the earth and being applied in art linked
objects like sculptures, paintings, etc.. (In fact, some cave painters used charcoal to help hold pigments together. They used spit as well, which throws
another possible linking with “culture” and “nature” and the naturality of culture?)
Taken further, might it be fertile to imagine art as a practice which foreshadows the anthropocene? Each art bit as a beat of mini-anthropocene that progressively engulfed the planet as a whole? Perhaps imagining the so called ecological time we are in as an artistic crisis? In a sense of an un recognised massive, planet scale, art practice.
Perhaps this element links with point #2 for the non binarity of art/nature culture/nature - their intrinsic sense of unity without being One. ie a unity on a string, on a time sequence?
This idea of Earth materials “Jumped” because of the link with Charcoal’s usage in stuff like art linked drawings - again a material linked to the earth.
In this context, I think it might be worthwhile to mention that the use of charcoal in the process has to do with a stream of various elements which might differentiate it from other materials. However, it also seems, as separations/gaps tend to offer, an opening to do perhaps linking practices with materials like rocks and paints, etc..??
The idea that Deleuze advanced regarding architecture being the 1st art. Perhaps am over simplifying his idea, however in my mind it seems like Deleuze advanced the idea of architecture for its framing of territories.
Making a separation, a difference from other “bits” of “nature” as a possible momentary infinite.
However, in my view, it seems that processes to do with charcoal technologies can provide a different perception of the art question, and another sort of historical narrative of artistic evolution.
This does not come to claim Deleuze is/was wrong, but that he came into this focusing on territories, planes, spaces - while this if-chp? practice comes from Time and period as elements that offer space its places to Be.
It might be a wrong idea in scientific way, however seems at the moment, fascinating in terms of a way to imagine. No, not even imagine, but simply wonder?
From this sequence, Charcoal making, as a very early technology ( eg http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ie0207919?journalCode=iecred ), is an idea of art as an interval, an in-between that is self reflexive. ie by being an interval, the practice becomes something other than an interval, a link. However unlike architecture, with charcoal its in time? A link interval in time?
In that sense, Charcoal, apart from Being an interval-link between a human’s hand and drawn surfaces. Or being an element in a practice that at times can be perceived as an interval between functional activities - ie drawing/image-making-for-its-own-sake. Charcoal can also be taken as an interval from the process of Desiring to have charcoal.
As a material that allows a steady release of energies. A material that offers transportability of energy source in time - and hence in space - to when a person might require it. As such, charcoal is in itself a time interval of energy - I might argue, sensations - which are activated when required.
In that sense, I think, it might be argued, that offering a beginning for an idea which places artistic practice as stuff of sensations (hence energies).
As such we get streams of movements, of sequences that need not be different in general categories as in nature/art, but can offer more complex differentiations of sequences. e.g. tree-fire-cook, tree-fire-water-charcoal-food+images etc.. This example attempts to differentiate functional and dysfunctional while maintaining the sense of interdependent links between.
Might we take various material formations that died because they offered dysfunctional propositions without a corresponding environment? e.g. perhaps the formations of discontinued early chemical structures are in effect the 1st art, or a 1st artistic impulse? Perhaps even, crude as it might seem, a 1st artistic wondering? The chemicals might have wondered how they might be together, they came together, perhaps via some sort of contingency, and what came up is a wondering interval, something that can Be in time, in this example, only via dysfunctionality? The focus here is on the sensuality in the wonder regardless of its historical trace-ability. Lets wonder as senses of dysfunctional chemical strings? Like we need not a historical McBeth to have a sense of that Being's tragedy, yes?
### Charcoal, time, place, materials, art, nature, entertainment and performance.
Charcoal - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcoal
* Places of contemporary charcoal production.
http://www.charcoalproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1_Ghilardi_Steierer_Global_stats.pdf (ie page 7)
There is an interest here to have an element of time-countering.
The Umm el Fahem place was used for charcoal production to keep alive.
Nowadays, with charcoal produced on industrial scale, many people die for others to make BBQ. Perhaps this sounds crude, however there is a question whether lives shortened and some straight linked deaths from industrial charcoal production, have absolutly nothing to do with people enjoying the BBQ entertainment value?
This is a sort of element that will offer an added wondering dimension, that of the opening between necessary functionality which prompted people to make charcoal, the needed desire of charcoal’s visual mark making qualities which prompted people to develop charcoal usage for stuff like drawings - and the evolution of charcoal for entertainment value. In fact, it might be argued that entertainment is using charcoal more than ever before.
This making of time gaps which counter each other, might perhaps offer another aspect for the thinking linked with materiality of art, entertainment, senses of performativity and naturality.
It seems that perhaps when considered evolutionarily, the BBQ entertainment practice is a performative relic from the practice which necessitated burning
charcoal. That early charcoal practice was to enable a betterment of living conditions - still is in many parts - via the provision of a certain energy usage proficiency.
In that way, the practice feeds back energies into the life of elements connected with it.
However, the entertainment version seems dead, at least by comparison. It takes the energy, provides an experience that seems functional but is not (ie we need not cook via BBQ), and yet turns this question into a function that operated only performatively. The BBQ is a performance of coming together around fire/energy without either acknowledging/questioning the performativity, nor the historical and cultural materials used. In that way, BBQ keeps attempting to provide a feel good that lives only while its other natures are kept away.
Here perhaps there is a sense of nature-art and nature-entertainment streams that might be evolving from such time countering?