i love cultural shocks...!

this blog originated in a course:
" Geneaologies of the Experimental "

on Mining Neurofutures

week #14

writing-in-progress

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in response to “In Baring Facts of Train Crash, Blogs Erode China Censorship”

week #12

writing-in-progress

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on Network Aesthetics

week #11

writing-in-progress

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extended reading/watching - Wag the dog

week #10 

writing-in-progress

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making sense or not, why bother?

week #9


The indictments in the 2 assigned films for this week, The Thin Blue Line and Children of Men, against human not-making-any-sense of humane makes most sense to me. 

Below see those questions poped up in my mind after watching 2 films consecutively in one night: 

Human is not human, but baby is counted as (the only) human, seriously?
It is infertility of mankind killing men, or men-killing-men killing men? 
Does all real, genuinely exist, yet vulnerable life weight the same?
So, what is the value of a real, genuine, yet vulnerable life?

I don’t mean to sound Cliché, but what is the point of our existence if we could only prove living by death?

Intrinsically, death is the “biggest simulation” in life. Simulation is not any bad thing in itself. Through simulation, the limiting nature of time and space and physicality and mentality is breached (which is kind of wonderful!). It’s always the matter of how to strike an equilibrium by standing on the threshold (the thin blue line) of simulation and the real (or any two opposite forces/camps/ideologies etc., etc. )

I remembered one of the interviewees of a video project I’ve been working on about Japanese middle aged women, gave a very interesting answer to the question: If you are granted 3 wishes, what do you want?

For her 1st wish, she said, “I want to remember pain. I don’t want a life full of happy moments without painful experience.” (And because of such an incredible and poetic and romantic answer, i forgot completely what her remaining 2 wishes were…)

What she said was so true. BUT, at the same time, ‘a life full of happy moments without painful experience’ is yet another simulacrum per se. 

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You think someone is thinking you’re thinking something, and you don’t want him to think that you are thinking something, so you tell him you’re not thinking that, and in the process of telling him you’re not thinking that, you tell him the exact opposite.

—Errol Morris

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We often think of technology as working against the possibility of intimacy. But there are so many counter-examples. The telephone is a good counter-example. There are things we can say to each other on the phone that we would never say if we were in the same room. You know, “Being there is the next best thing to using the phone…” … It creates greater distance and greater intimacy.

—Errol Morris

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What if… all my Gmail-emails are gone?

week #8

—- w.r.i.t.i.n.g —-

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It is always a question of proving the real by the imaginary; proving truth by scandal; proving the law by transgression; proving work by the strike; proving the system by crisis and capital by revolution; and for that matter proving ethnology by the dispossession of its object (the Tasaday). Without counting; proving theater by anti-theater; proving art by anti-art; proving pedagogy by anti-pedagogy; proving psychiatry by anti-psychiatry, etc., etc.

—Jean Baudrillard

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What about turning ourselves into laptops-laptops?!

week #6

—- writing —- (* in response to McLuhan’s writing by talking about one of Eduardo Kac’s works) 

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Marshall the Martian

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“Artists in various fields are always the 1st to discover how to enable one medium to use or to release the power of another.”

“The printed book has encouraged artists to reduce all forms of expressions as much as possible for the single descriptive and narrative plain of the printed word. The advent of electric media released art from the straitjacket at once, creating the world of Paul Klee, Picasso, Braque, Eisenstein, the Marx Brothers and James Joyce.”

—Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man; pp.54

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The psychiatrist employs the couch, since it removes the temptation to express private points of view and obviates the need to rationalize events.

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

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week #5
A thank you letter (email) to John Cage 
Dear Mr. Cage,This is Jolene MOK from Hong Kong, who is now studying at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, for my Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, specialized in Experimental and Documentary Arts. I have read some of your writings and documents lately for the preparation of a class, titled Genealogies of the Experimental. I am writing to express my gratitude to you for being so generous and thoughtful in textualizing your notions and ideas for sharing. When reading your book <Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage>, I can’t help wondering what constitute your insight and open-mindedness in understanding the experimental. I am particularly fascinated by your inclination to remind people to take action to create and to experiment, sound like it’s everyone’s responsibility to do so - ”We have eyes as well as ears, and it is our business while we are alive to use them.” - which is so beautifully written, and so true. I do create, and I enjoy very much being experimental. However, I find it hard (problematic) to entitle myself in relation to art-making. I have problem claiming myself an artist, as to me, everyone is an artist; so, what’s the point of putting such a label onto myself? But whenever I am asked to elaborate what I am doing, I am summed up as an artist. As said, I make art and I enjoy doing it (a lot) and that’s pretty much what it’s all about. To be precise, I dislike being labelled as an artist, as I am not just an artist. I do many other things as well. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to complain or brag or anything. I only wish that art-making could be opened up as a common/free practice, which belong to the entire people. I sound stupid and naive by saying so, I know…I apologize for inevitably sounding stupid and naive. 
Yours faithfully,
jolene mok

week #5

A thank you letter (email) to John Cage 

Dear Mr. Cage,

This is Jolene MOK from Hong Kong, who is now studying at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, for my Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, specialized in Experimental and Documentary Arts. I have read some of your writings and documents lately for the preparation of a class, titled Genealogies of the Experimental. I am writing to express my gratitude to you for being so generous and thoughtful in textualizing your notions and ideas for sharing. 

When reading your book <Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage>, I can’t help wondering what constitute your insight and open-mindedness in understanding the experimental. I am particularly fascinated by your inclination to remind people to take action to create and to experiment, sound like it’s everyone’s responsibility to do so - ”We have eyes as well as ears, and it is our business while we are alive to use them.” - which is so beautifully written, and so true. 

I do create, and I enjoy very much being experimental. However, I find it hard (problematic) to entitle myself in relation to art-making. I have problem claiming myself an artist, as to me, everyone is an artist; so, what’s the point of putting such a label onto myself? But whenever I am asked to elaborate what I am doing, I am summed up as an artist. As said, I make art and I enjoy doing it (a lot) and that’s pretty much what it’s all about. To be precise, I dislike being labelled as an artist, as I am not just an artist. I do many other things as well. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to complain or brag or anything. I only wish that art-making could be opened up as a common/free practice, which belong to the entire people. I sound stupid and naive by saying so, I know…I apologize for inevitably sounding stupid and naive. 

Yours faithfully,

jolene mok

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an earlier writing of mine in relation to Vito Acconci for your interest

What if one day you run into renowned contemporary artist Vito Acconci on a random street in the city where you live, what then?

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