Gathering Readings Response
Disclaimer, I haven't read any theory or done any studies about the politics and meanings of "authorship," but I found Mindy Seu's discussion about authorship (alongside how her examples of multi-people projects such as the Cyberfeminism index) to be really interesting, as it moved away from the common perception of authorship as something related to individual ownership of an idea or work of art and towards a definition of authorship that revolves around intentionality and work. Under this light, gathering as art or as a means towards art transforms the concept of authorship into an experience of collective building. I think that on consequence of expanding this definition of authorship for any type of world building/art making is that 1) the essential "purpose" of the art must be redefined to serve more than just one person's thoughts and needs, and 2) that its distribution, consumption (it would be worth deconstructing this term as it relates to viewership/audience-ship as well), critique, and continuous development becomes just as important as the creation process in itself, or rather, they become part of the creation process too!
I really am fascinated by the work of DJ's / set designers. I love how timing plays such a crucial role (changing the song or the mood lighting at the wrong moment can break an entire vibe that takes many minutes or even hours to build up to), and I love how important reading a room, understanding how the people in it are feeling, and using light and sound waves to harmonize with the room's physical set up are to creating a desired "vibe." This vibe is fragile and very sensitive to how not just the artist feels, but the entire room. This is definitely the art of gathering at work. That said, I think that the FruitFul School event example shared in Laurel's lecture is a great example of this type of work gaining a cyber-component to it. Which goes to my last point, which is, with zoom and live streams, it is impossible to accurately gauge how everyone else in the event is feeling, at least not to the level of accuracy that one could in person. That is what makes me cringe a little bit when I think about online projects/gatherings of the type that are meant to emulate pre-COVID events. What I love about web design and the internet space is that you have the freedom to create new ways of building community that could never have existed in the physical world. Trying to emulate the physical world in the web, not that necessarily is the only thing that many of the artists we saw were doing, for me just seems kind of boring and uncomfortable.
- 1 toast