understand ability

via nika dubrovsky fb post:

Great speech by Philippe Pirotte at the Document 15 conference.

Think about it: The word “understanding” literally means “to stand under,” or “to be let down.” Or, as David used to say, “interpretation work is always done by the oppressed.”

And what is the etymology of the Russian word “understand”?

language as control/enclosure et al

notes/quotes from 25 min talk (from 5-25 min) by philippe @PhilippePirotte [An art historian, critic and curator, Pirotte has been rector of the influential Städelschule in Frankfurt since 2014]:

7 min – quote: ‘it is precisely in this public domain where the effects of power are most manifest.. and any analysis based exclusively on the public transcript is likely to conclude that subordinate groups endorse the terms of their subordination and are willing .. even enthusiastic partners in that subordination’

other quote: ‘if subord discourse in the presence of the dominant is a public transcript.. i shall use the term hidden transcript to characterize discourse that takes place off stage.. beyond direct observation by power holders.. the hidden transcript is the derivative (?) in the sense that it consists of those off stage speeches/gestures/practices that confirm/contradict/inflict what appears in the public transcript’

3rd quote: ‘what is certainly the case however is that the hidden transcript is produced for a different audience and under different constraints of power than the public transcript.. by accessing the discrepancy between the hidden and public transcripts we may begin to judge the impact of domination on public discourse’

8 min – last and most important quote: ‘i believe that the notion of a hidden transcript helps us to understand those rare moments of political electricity when often for the first time in memory the hidden transcript is spoken directly/publicly in the teeth of power’

9 min – that’s a bit of context.. go back to 50-60s.. had to imagine nations.. imagined communities.. as they needed to formulate understandable frameworks in their fight for self determination.. understandable for who.. that’s the kind of like double bind.. of this imagination of nations.. they have to formulate understandable constructions like the nation state in order to imaginable for empire.. so a very interesting problem.. in order to become independent and to force independence from empire.. they had to formulate themselves as nation states.. via notion of nation state

ongoing problem of same song.. perpetuated by ongoing whalespeak et al

10 min – the double bind.. in order to be ‘understood’ you have to talk in the language of those that hold power.. t


language as control/enclosure.. why we need ie: idiosyncratic jargon ness.. via self-talk as data.. via a means to undo our hierarchical listening

11 min – having talks not be in english.. is a way to kind of not enforce this double mind of empire..

it is a move away from understandability

and that’s very important if we talk about the word understanding.. because in order to be understood.. there should have been negotiation with the institutional artistic frameworks in power.. be them financially/organizationally.. in terms of logistics/resources/etc.. but as we know negotiation is counter productive when dealing w empire.. the revolutionary inserts himself among the people w/o noise.. read/writ (?).. outside the noise of mainstream media.. this formulation is very important.. but because it’s so casually understated (revolutionary inserts himself among the people).. it’s kind of like an understatement.. its myriad (?) implications risk to escape realization.. because the casual reader of the mainstream media would not read/see that

12 min – amar cabral: ‘in the revolutionary process the desire for visibility is a problem.. it’s a teething disease and the insurrectionary yearnings before the oppressor/empire make no sense because it’s a begging for understanding

of course there is a huge problem with the notion understanding.. it literally means to stand under.. to subject oneself to.. somehow something difficult when one deals w a radical re thinking.. t of what oliver marshar calls a documenta haga money machines (?).. multi perspectival learning in an ongoing process must propose there’s a way out of this problematic of subordination in a relation to a sharing of knowledge

13 min – .. but when regroupa and the artistic team/community show the preparedness to learn.. i am wondering what it means/shows/exposes when this preparedness.. this attitude was answered w an authoritarian eagerness to teach

yeah.. oi.. any form of m\a\p.. ie: people telling other people what to do

14 min – this double bind of who subords to show.. more i’m convinced there is an old fashioned class struggle at work.. in german language there is even a way of apologizing that implies/constructs this class difference.. it betrays an absolute amise (?) with apologizing.. ich bitte um verstandnis .. literally it says.. i ask for under-standing.. so while apologizing it is still a way to subordinate.. ie of where empire transpires in semantics and the way the language is constructed

15 min – so then we come to discours ivity.. which is also a problem.. the criticism that lumbung 1 lacks discursive complexity.. normcrom (?) is a neuroculture.. we need to talk.. nomcrom (?) has families in the world called (?).. it’s a strategic way to stay out of the struggle of holding power over interpretive/discursive frameworks.. those frameworks that become self congratulatory reahms (?) that often censor because it’s something that starts from a false discursive activity and has repercussions on logistics

16 min – ie: on entering castle of empire via discursive legitimation.. lumbung 1 never acknowledged that castle.. if discourse is a way to make things understandable.. to be incorporate/subordinated into a framework.. then it cannot be directly questioned/contested as oral speech can be.. because it’s in an immediate kind of like uttering with its author.. it’s still kind of close to its author.. because the discursive speech has been detached form its author

so what comes to mind here is a criticism of what stefano harney called the sovereignty of the concept.. a concept that is detached from its author.. a concept.. a way of thinking.. a discursive way of thinking that becomes currency.. something that you can trade with.. that is what is refused in normcom et al

17 min – stefano harney writes about this concept which is abstracted/abducted.. weaponized in strategy and stolen into ownership

stefano harney..

but the refusal of that kind of sovereign authorship.. and here we come into the other criticism about curatorial responsibility.. which is kind of like attached to authorship.. but there is no refusal of responsibility per se.. there is a refusal of the myth of responsibility of the self improving individual

18 min – the self improving individual is the modern notion of the individual artist and later the curator.. that came to being in 18th cent europe.. alongside econ improvement of property.. including human property and they were the authors of sovereign concepts

long quote of stefano harney: such individual is characterized ‘by the quest to prove one can improve oneself and by so doing be quantified to supervise the improvement of property and of others.. the rise of the self improving subject who needs only himself to improve.. to be self altering.. self sufficient.. is a truly genocidal and geocidal figure.. this figure has been threatening since the birth of european colonialism.. but this figure really takes hold w the combo of improvement in commercial and plantation agri.. and the improvement ideologies of the enlightenment.. and then.. this figure becomes the factory owner.. this figure claims to self sufficiency.. to being self made.. and disclaims are as ludicrous and dangerous as the idea that the colonial fort was sovereign and self sufficient.. of course it was relied on the land/people it was built attack continuously for their resources.. so too w the self made self improving bourgeois subject.. he too requires massive resources to pronounce himself as self sufficient.. resources this figure can never acknowledge.. beyond all the social productive labor of women/children/elders/servants.. he requires these supply chains and the labor on them.. and the assembly line and all the labor on that.. and behind this the massive exploitation of the earth upon which that system is based.. that’s the self sufficient bourgeois subject.. and i’m afraid the self sufficient bourgeois subject has no friends.. of course the proliferation of these modern subjects chase those who reject the idea of that type of individuation all around the globe.. the situation becomes more volatile than ever.. continuous improvement only barley holds the line against continuous revolution’

20 min – so the not yet incorporated who reject the idea of such individuation has a false promise of freedom.. make the corporation go ballistic.. even hysterically afraid.. and so the not yet incorporated are framed as primitive or uncivilized by the actual corporation run empire

21 min – it’s happening more and more structurally.. that cultural protagonists (artists) are there to be content providers in a pre given structure.. nobody touches the framework.. t

aka: sea world ness

so what they really bring about.. protecting its own context on their terms from either being crushed or optimized or used as extractible source material as the institution needs what they bear but cannot bear what they bring … in a sentence of fred moten

fred moten

22 min – abduction is a combo of being taken and sent away at the same time.. hence.. not any more document 15 than lumbung 1.. hence.. make friends not art.. make friends not art is a lumbung slogan that has been mocked as a refusal to think the question of art today.. but maybe ‘not art’ could mean.. don’t make the kind of object based on the extraction of resources that end up in latrines (?) lamenting the loss of resources.. maybe it means.. don’t make those strategized sovereign concepts in suspension of time/space.. in the suspension of matter reality and relationships.. maybe it means.. don’t make those things that seemingly have a sovereign existence in a vacuum (?) .. ‘make friends’ can also mean considering or indeed making artworks as friends.. as part of social relations as part of a society of friends..

23 min – so it’s not about being enfranchised as an art object.. becoming an art exclusively from the standpoint of being discussed at a parameters of art theory/market/world.. no on contrary.. it’s about giving art a life in a society and the related web of social obligations.. here i think of attributing intentions (?) to statues.. think about sebastian morales finn

it’s an appeal conscious of the fact that we need each other to live.. friends and art as friends in mutual support.. as alfred gil (anthro of art) propounds ‘artistic manifestations are the social relations in the vicinity o persons.. objects/activities which mediate social agency.. artistic manifestations are the equiv of persons.. or more precisely social agents.. or in human language.. friends..

24 min – this involves the radical affirmation of the personhood of artistic manifestations and at the same time a radical defamiliar ation or a relative ation of the notion of persons.. i mean the notion of those individual authors

in spite of centuries of colonization and enclosures.. the ideal of individual freedom still can’t get hold on many parts of the world

so.. none of them

25 min – read – joyful militancy.. ‘freedom and friend shared same root.. free.. msaning love.. unrestricted.. a friend among loved ones.. a shared power’

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/society ie: tech as it could be




paul know\love law