Control of the Crisis of Codes Incommunicative Institutional Spaces
Today codes are appropriated and controlled through the repetition of forms in communicative institutional spaces for the benefit of the capitalist flux. As contemporary capitalism operates with the problem of capturing innovation as well as difference in creative collaborations, the ‘unrecognized’ is attempted to be inserted into the cycles of production and reproduction as well. The main objective of this paper is to search how codes capture, (dis)order and transform knowledge, forms and the unrecognized so that the same things end up coded differently by repeating the existing dynamics. This is also a query about the production of codes. To construct the link between production, repetition and codes, first, we will make a distinction about the notion of repetition by using the concepts of ‚bare‛and ‚covered‛ repetition that Deleuze has proposed. This will also create the imperative link to make a distinction between two interlocking production assemblages, which we conceptualize as ‚bare production‛ and ‚covered production‛. Control of the crises of codes in communicative institutional spaces will be discussed by focusing on the artworks of Tino Sehgal within The Modern Art Museum of New York, Guggenheim Museum New York and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Control, art, communication
Öz: İletişimsel Kurumsal Alanlarda Kodların Kriz Denetimi
Günümüzde kodlar, iletişimsel kurumsal alanlarda formların tekrar edilmesiyle kapitalist sermaye akışı yararına mal edilmekte ve denetim altına alınmaktadır. Güncel kapitalizm bir yandan inovasyonu ve farkı yakalama sorunuyla işlerken, öte yandan ‘tanınmayan’ da üretim ve yeniden üretim döngüsü içine sokulmaya çalışılmaktadır. Bu çalışmanın ana amacı, kodların bilgiyi, formları ve tanınmayanı nasıl yakaladıkları, düzenledikleri, bozdukları ve dönüştürdüklerini ve böylelikle aynı şeylerin tekrar edilmelerine rağmen nasıl farklı bir şekilde kodlanabildiklerini incelemektir. Bu aynı zamanda kodların üretimi ile ilgili de bir sorgulamadır. Üretim, tekrar ve kodlar arasındaki bağlantıyı inşa edebilmek için öncelikle Deleuze’ün önerdiği ‚basit ve örtülü tekrar‛ kavramlarını kullanarak tekrar nosyonu ile ilgili bir ayrım yapacağız. Bu aynı zamanda ‚basit üretim‛ ve ‚örtülü üretim‛ olarak kavramsallaştırdığımız birbirine bağlı iki üretim düzeni arasında yapılması zorunlu olan bağlantıyı da yaratacak. İletişimsel kurumsal alanlarda kodların kriz denetimi, bu bağlamda Tino Sehgal’in The Modern Art Museum ofNew York, Guggenheim Museum New York ve Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’teki sanat işlerine odaklanılarak tartışılacak.
Denetim, sanat, iletişim
Today codes are appropriated and controlled through the repetition of forms incommunicative institutional spaces for the benefit of the capitalist flux. With the aim of conserving and sustaining the accumulated capital, production, property and related hierarchical and institutional frameworks,the repetition of the existent codes is produced by the desire and belief for stability and security. By means of codes,social relations and ways of production are developed and transformed. Accordingly,when social relations as well as ways of production change, some codes fail and have to be replaced. But, there is always something that cannot be controlled,captured or transformed in communicative institutional spaces. For this reason, since they have to operate with older and failing codes, they begin to lose their communicative function. This will be considered as the crises of codes in this paper. And, it should be noted that crises can also become the moments of reproducing the prevalent codes in experiencing and interacting with those that have been hitherto considered as ‘unrecognized’. As contemporary capitalism operates with the problem of capturing innovation as well as difference in creative collaborations, it also deals with the conundrum of including the unrecognized into the cycles of production. Therefore crises of codes become the dynamic means immanent to the capitalist mode of production and control. Then, how is the unrecognized attempted to be coded so that it can be included within the control of the communicative institutions, and in turn it can change the social relations and ways of production? Are they controlled merely unilaterally when they are coded? Or, do they also change the coding force, such as the capitalist institution or the state on the basis of ‘reciprocal concessions’?
A code is simply a repetition of some process. Since ‚a code is inseparable from a process of decoding that is inherent to it‛ (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004: 59), it is possible to follow the axis where code, decoding and repetition intersect. Decoding, as the basis of capitalist control of accumulation, unlocks the economic value of repetitive processes in the moments of crises in which the desire and belief for security and stability drastically increases. Same things are demanded to be repeated for stability and security. But at the same time, economic and political stability ensure the continuity and conservation of hegemony and dominance that are executed by the provisional alliance of heterogeneous and progressive flows of power. It seems to us that for this reason, the capitalist control of accumulation and conservation is focused mainly on maintaining and determining the (i.e.economic) value of repetitive forms and processes. Yet, on the other hand, crises give rise to spontaneous actions and‚ rhizomatic‛ relations as well. It is at this stage that codes assume functions by decoding appropriated to the crisis situations within innovative relationship sand creative collaborations of personified capital (experts, curators, artists, collectors,exhibitors who develop horizontal relationships through openings, galleries,museums, fairs, the discipline of art history and art criticism, auction houses, art journals and websites). Codes are put to work for inserting the unrecognized into the consumer/productive citizenship for the benefit of capitalist flux.
Within this framework, the relationship among contemporary artworks and art institutions can help us exploring how codes operate by repetitive processes in economic,political and social contexts. The art museum as a communicative institutional space and artworks as repetitive processes thatre produce collective and creative social interaction allow us to question the control of the crisis of codes in communicative institutional spaces of capitalist societies. But at this point, it is a vital task to ask the right question for investigation. Since the question that Deleuze has posed to an artwork is not‚ What does it mean?‛ but rather ‚How does it function?‛ (Smith, 2003), this question allows us to raise our fundamental research question with regard to codes. Instead of asking what codes mean, we ask how codes function.
How do codes capture, (dis)order and transform knowledge and forms so that the same things end up coded differently by simply repeating the existing dynamics? For instance, how do the artworks and the art museum are coding and, in turn are coded and decoded within the control of capitalist flux?
In this respect, first, we will examine the crisis of the institutional cultural production. In order to construct the conceptual connection between production, repetition and codes, we will use the concept of‚ repetition‛ that Deleuze (1994) has developed. This will also create the imperative link to make a distinction between two interlocking production assemblages, which we conceptualise as ‚bare production‛ and‚covered production‛. Whereas bare production will be examined with the communicative institutional space of the museum, the covered production will be argued by focusing on the creative collaboration of the artworks of Tino Sehgal with The Modern Art Museum of New York, Guggenheim Museum New York, Muséed’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Crisis of the Institutional CulturalProduction
As an institutional older form, the state is no longer a regulatory monolithic power; rather today the state is a capitalist state. And the demands of the new urban citizen are more cosmopolitan, dynamic and consumerist in nature. But today communicative institutional spaces, such as museums that have been formed by the relationship with the older form of the state and citizenship are still operating with same and failing codes. For this reason, communicative institutions call for this line of transformation as well. If one examines how things are coded, it is possible to assert that political, economic and social contents are defined, fixed and coded as meanings (i.e. public opinion) in the cultural assemblies. As one of the assigned cultural assemblies of the modern age, museums and artworks not only become operative in transmitting the messages, meanings, values and signs, but they also function to create and transform the public opinion as well as the unilateral relationship between the state and the citizen. Nevertheless, today art as well as art institutions, with their ability of raising our imagination, consciousness and awareness, lost their power of refreshing our thoughts and emotions, mainly because they became mechanical repetitions of older and failing codes.
Whereas a code establishes a systematic communication between the elements of different signifying and explanatory systems, decoding changes the ‘form’ of communication and it enables transformation. For example since the 18th century, signifier-meaning oriented paradigm has been operating by means of objects from different cultures and historical stages so that the difference of meanings and values in a unified communicative institutional space can be coded through various signifier material objects. Using the coded difference of material objects, dominance and hegemony were established and sustained through explanations, definitions, categorisations and descriptions. Therefore, material objects as well as the institutions that provide a space to communicate their coded meanings and values have a highly recognised use value. By controlling the contents and meanings of the so called ‘common’ cultural values in this way, it also became possible to control the populations as well as the flow of capital.Those who share so called ‘common’ values would produce and consume in the same vein and this made it possible to increase the exchange and intensity of the flow of capital.For example, the museums as communicative institutional spaces that decoded the monolithic state power to a great extent since the 18th century have become institutions in which artworks are exhibited, conserved, collected and displayed. In other words,museums were social, economic and political forces that have been creating and controlling the meanings and values in favour of the state and the hegemonic groups who control the flux of the capital. They repeat the prevalent and orchestrated meanings and values as ‘codes’. Stability of preservation and repetition of codes conserved and repeated the stability of the dominance and hegemony of (coded as) ‘Western’ capitalist episteme through cultural production. And cultural production was towards either for the bourgeois citizen or for the lower rank citizen who desires and believes to access the prospects of higher level citizens. In other words, cultural production is a way for social,economic and political mobility. Within this respect, the museum has become an institutional space that communicates both the desires and believes of the citizen through the coded and coding meanings and values,and the expectations of the state. According to the primary values and codes of modern society, the museum, as a communicative cultural institution, offers space and time to the citizen to reproduce her/his link and mediation to the meanings, values and codes of the state via material objects. As an institution which conserves these primary meanings, values and codes through the accumulation and the conservation of artworks, the museum reactivates these codes in order to maintain the dominant forces of power. And this was creating the zones of comfort of those who govern the codes of capital. However, this meaning and object-oriented paradigm has changed especially since the 1990’s.
After the dissemination of economic, social and political mobility and intellectual criticism of ‘Western’ hegemony, codes that have been operating in imperial and colonial mode have been started to be called or coded as ‘global’ or ‘transnational’ for the redistribution of the capitalist flow. In other words, although decoding of the modern ‘Western’ state as ‘global’ or ‘transnational’ for the redistribution of capitalist flow has initiated by the adoption of post-fordist production, the artworks as well as the power relations that they imply within the museum (or the gallery space) had problems about capturing the aspects of non-object-oriented art in capitalist control societies. Therefore, although there were artworks that do not obtain the meaning-oriented paradigm since the 1960s (or even before),the institutions which function to communicate this perspective could not capture the unrecognised, thus kept repeating the older and failing codes.
This is considered as the crises of the control of codes operating by the communicative institutional spaces. The notion of the museum which has coded the monolithic and unifying state power through the objects lost its validity as new and migrant urban citizen do not identify with the objects that are displayed in the museums to any further extent. Since objects are an association of the history, the culture, the politics and the economy of the dominant power, the new urban, migrant, global and transnational citizen could not communicate with them. This also had an impact on the museum as well as to its communicative institutional aspect. The museum seemed to have a crisis of functioning with older codes. As the social production of the relationship between the new citizen and the state has been reintroduced to have a transnational,cosmopolitan and global character, it needed to be decoded too, so that the control of citizens could be immanated within capitalism and capitalist state. In other words, prevalent codes of the existing but older dynamics had to be reconsidered,replaced and transformed. So, given that the state today is a capitalist state, the museum had to function differently and the relationship between the state and the citizen needed to be decoded by inserting productive and dynamic relations that work without objects. However, it has not been ‘hitherto’ possible to appropriate artworks that function without objects in the museum due to the close link among art, artist, art institution and object and most importantly meaning oriented paradigm. Although the museum kept functioning in an association of intermediary agencies (such as artists,galleries, curators, press releases, companies, non-governmental organisations, associations, universities, banks, individual entrepreneurs and so on) that are working within the provisions of liberal economy and politics controlled by transnational or global capital, it could not welcome the contemporary mode of production.
Precisely speaking, one can assert that the art world, from a macro perspective, seemed to sustain the dominance of the hegemonic ‘Western’ episteme and related dominant groups. The art world became an industry that functions with the strong link among diverse agencies and their strong institutional, organisational and even psychological link to the hegemonic ‘Western’ episteme and related practices for the sake of their ‘raison d’être’. This is a massive association that exists by functioning with the older meaning-object oriented paradigm. Of course, it can abruptly be opposed to this view by stating that since the late 1960s’ experimental processes and experiential practices that do not include objects, such as performances or happenings, have been included in the museum collections. But, one should also seethe account that these art practices have been conserved and displayed in the museum merely with their related or remaining material objects, such as photographs and videos of the events, therefore kept repeating the same old hegemonic (neo) imperial and(neo) colonial meanings and values as well as codes via the objects. One can also argue that non-object-oriented artworks were notput into action to produce any material forms to serve these ends too. Yes, but if one considers the relationship between the capitalist state and the citizen through the communicative institutional space of the museum, it would not be possible to further this discussion due to the fact that these leftover objects can not fully capture the knowledge and forms to repeat today’s‘ immaterial labour’ as Lazzarato (1996) proposed, and related social relations of the new paradigm for conservation and display.The new paradigm can be considered as ‘unrecognised’ from this perspective. As codes of production has changed with post-fordist associations that focus more on immaterial labour, such as service and relations rather than objects, the museum could not fully integrate the contemporary modes of production. For this reason, by concentrating on the crisis of the communicative institutional spaces, we shall ask how codes assume functions by decoding appropriated to the crisis situations within personified capital,innovative relationships and creative collaborations.
Production and Repetition: How Crises areControlled by Codes
Codes are repetitive processes. Since museums still exist with object and meaning oriented artworks, it is inevitable to ask whether the function of the production that the museum as well as the artwork change by the codes of repetitive processes. In other words, right in the process of repeating the existing and the older codes, we must better examine the process of producing transformation and innovation as well. If we follow the axis of the distinction between the two conceptions of production which are in operation simultaneously today, we can better understand how codes operate in order to control the crisis for the benefit of capitalist flow. The first one is that of the main stream and more conventional production which reside with the history of capital, market and ideology is what we call ‚bare production‛.The second, ‚covered production‛, is a processive and an innovative approach that internalises, envelopes and passes beyond the cycle of the history of capital, market and ideology. Where as bare production is operating with meaning-object paradigm,covered production can be defined as a strong act of generating transformations and plural epistemologies not by merely resisting to but by being involved in the capitalist flux operating rather with ‘repetitive and processive actions’ than sheer material objects.
At this point, Deleuze’s questions about repetition can be used to identify whether work and action maintain or transform existing and older orders, thoughts, actions and understandings. According to Deleuze (1994: 27), ‚the first repetition is repetition of the Same, explained by the identity of the concept or representation.‛, and this is ‘bare repetition’. Bare repetition is contrasted with ‘covered repetition’ that ‚includes difference, and includes itself in the alterity of the Idea,in the heterogeneity of an ‘a presentation’‛ Bare repetition is negative, static and ordinary. It builds horizontal relationships and it involves equality, commensurability and symmetry with what it mechanically repeats, whereas covered repetition is affirmative, dynamic and intensive. It is grounded in inequality, incommensurability and dissymmetry. Although, at a first glance,covered repetition can be considered to have similar characteristics with bare ways of repetition, it is operating with a different decoding logic which should be discovered and interpreted in detail. It is conceivably useful to note that the two repetitions are not in dependent because in order to have covered repetitions, one has to encompass bare repetitions (Figure 1: 181).
This can be difficult to discern at a first glance. There is externalising as well as internalising set of actions in covered repetitions and that is mainly the reason that they should be interpreted. Since ‚…covered repetition is not hidden by something else but forms itself by disguising itself; it does not pre-exist its own disguises and, informing itself, constitutes the bare repetition within which it becomes enveloped‛ (Deleuze, 1994: 27) Covered repetitions can first be perceived as bare repetitions because they disguise and they are also usually qualified as odd (because they cannot be coded immediately) due to the fact that they instead become what cannot be easily defined, categorised and identified. In other words, since they cannot be recognised due to their differences and heterogeneous elements, they can be defined and categorised with the existing definitions,classifications, identities and so on. But, this would also foster critical and polemical debates since they can’t fit into these predetermined structures. For this reason,they are somehow found useless, weird,dull, meaningless, uncanny and inexplicable.They cannot be coded with regular settings.Or, they are covered in the mechanical repetitions of the Same definitions, categorisations, descriptions etc. by ignoring their rupturing partial parts. Following this theoretical framework, first, we will examine the kind of production which (re)produce the same and older meanings, functions and commodities, which is ‚bare production.‛
After elaborating bare production with the museum in relation to codes, we will discuss what is innovative in ‚covered production‛ by focusing on the artworks of Tino Sehgal within The Modern Art Museum of NewYork, Guggenheim Museum New York and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
The Museum as a Coded and Coding Communicative Institutional Space
In order to discuss bare production, we foremost need to examine how codes operate within a communicative institution specifically. For this reason, we will focus on the institutional character of the museum.Conventionally the museum, as a confinement is the institution that there presentation of a community and its highest meanings and values can be governed by mechanically repeating the accumulation and the conservation of the displayed objects. The classification of the artworks that the museum conserves and displays is communicated to the public about what specific frameworks and codes are in charge. In other words, the museum is considered as a communicative institutional space where the production of normality(this can be called sociality) is operated through these codes. As Deleuze and Guattari (2004: 266) stated that‚ Our societies exhibit marked taste for all codes‛, the museum becomes an institution where our coded tastes are exhibited and communicated through the objects of art.From this perspective, it becomes possible to give the museum a way to be a link and a mediator of the codes of power. The museum has been characterised by many scholars as a ‘Western’ Enlightenment institution whose power to collect and display objects, and whose power to form individuals is exercised through the careful and ordered deployment of commensurable knowledge within an institutionally controlled and publicly monitored space (Hooper-Greenhill, 1989, 1992, 2000; Bennett,1995; Pearce, 1992; Crimp, 1983; Luke, 2002).In this way, the museum acts as a coded figure to unify the power of state by simply repeating the forms and knowledge that are strongly linked and mediated to the hegemonic episteme. As the museum collects, conserves and displays objects (artworks) which represent the accumulated and conserved knowledge, values and meanings attributed to the regulatory monolithic state power, it also provides communicative space and time for diverse agencies (art institutions, artists, curators…) to maintain their strong links to the codes of state power through these material objects.There is a flow mediated and linked to a single centre of authority. It was 1869 thatArnold (cited in McClellan, 2003) had foreseen this view by stating the art museum’s challenge, though contributing to a society joined as one by a common culture,was making art a means of ‚unification‛ rather than an engine of social and class distinction.
When Foucault (1970) evaluated the 19th century’s museum as an institution which moved from document to monument,he also investigated how institutions and their practices fit in to discontinuous epistemes so that the difference and progress of unified (coded as) ‘Western’ cultures can be communicated in the museum.
Nevertheless, in order to transcend the essentialist view of the museum, it may be useful to work with code characteristics which are 1) indirectness, 2) qualitativeness and 3) limitedness (Deleuze and Guattari,2004: 268). If we follow these characteristics we can explore the reasons of describing the museum not only as a coded but also as a coding figure. Firstly, we can see that there are indirect relations of codes with the museum because the museum becomes a mediator or a link between the state and the citizen. The museum as an institution functions to shape individuals’ thoughts and actions insofar as ‚the museum is a ritual place where citizenship is reflected.‛ (Sehgal cited in Coburn, 2007) Making a distinction between public and private art museums,Duncan (1998) stresses the importance of‚ the museum is a civilising ritual which has certain goals‛ and these goals can vary from classifying objects and related meanings and values to organize people’s thoughts and actions. Museums classify objects and the individual being as part of a collective whole in a specific time and space. A visitor in a museum then can exercise her/his individuality by communicating affirmed meanings, ideas, values and social identities that are recognised by the unified collective power of the state through the artworks. The approval and recognition mechanism was operating with a single centre of authority and this function was distributed and attributed to the communicative institutions.This explains the reasons of selecting the museum as a coded figure, which in turn has the power to code the relative position of individuals as citizens within a state. Since it is the coded institutions (and the objects,datas and knowledge that are strongly linked to these institutions) which enable the mediation of individuals and things to the existent codes to operate, one should also realize that these institutions (and their mediations) have also the power of becoming coding figures ‘indirectly’.
As a second remark, it should also be noted that the ‘qualitative’ relation of code with the museum is related with the link of the citizen to the state. The qualities that have been predetermined by a given structure,that is the single authority of either the state or the hegemonic ‘Western’ episteme, are channelled through the museum to the individual at a molecular level. Being good or bad, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly and so on, these predetermined qualitative aspects are transmitted and communicated to the individual through the artworks in the museum. It should also be asserted that the qualitative relation is also linked with capital, as “Capital is not a thing but rather a definite social production relation, belonging to a definite historical formation of society,which is manifested in a thing and lends this thing a specific social character” (Marx, 1974:815).
Things collected, conserved and displayed in the museum are the manifestations of the mediation for the written or coded formation of society. Therefore those who possess that knowledge would also possess the capital for the social production of this relationship.Those whose identities and class positions that the museum fully approves and recognises through the bare repetition of secular values and approved cultural memory become also the ones that are strongly linked to maintain the existing structures, organisations and ways of doing things.The reason behind this conservative motive can be understood if one acknowledges the desire and belief of holding the dominating and governing power by imitating one another, which makes ‘society’. The museum then becomes a communicative space where the ‘quality’ of the social relations, mediations and links between the individual citizen and the state is produced.
Nevertheless, this would also take us to the third characteristic of codes that is ‘limitedness’. If we merely support the idea that the museum is a passive entity that transmits the values of the governing and the dominating power, we would find ourselves mechanically repeating the power of the old codes too. As Deleuze (1990) stated ‚ we’re in the midst of a general breakdown of all sites of confinement prisons, hospitals, factories, schools, the family‛. Here we can add the museum, as such, as well: These institutions are in more or less terminal decline. It’s simply a matter of nursing them through their death throes and keeping people busy until the new forces knocking on the door take over‛ (Deleuze, 1990).
Rather than focusing on the function of the museum as a coded figure to keep people busy in mechanically repeating and imitating the given codes as well as one another (that is precisely what makes museums social), we argue that the museum is in the process of changing it’s mode of production because today the museum becomes the space in which codes are ‘limited’ to communicate. In other words, since today the state is a capitalist state which encompasses not only the single authority of ‘Western’ dominant groups, but also ‘non Western’ forces of power, the meanings and values that have strong links to the imperial and colonial episteme is extremely limited to any further extent. The limitedness creates a space for filling this gap by eluding control. Then, the desire of resistance and transformation is based on actions as well as Ideas that involves the labour of codes. If the post-fordist capitalist state does not merely operate through the objects today, how can the institutions that simply repeat the codes of hegemony though materialistic production and labour function(or survive) by meeting the demands of the capitalist state and its relation with the new or migrant consumer/citizen? How do codes operate at the institutional level in contemporary contexts?
Bare Production: Repetition of Existing and Older Forms and Relations
Since the definition, categorisation,commodification and archiving of art objects as well as art events correspond to the efforts of collecting, conserving and accumulating the existent coded knowledge, experience and perspectives, one should keep in mind that this is realized basically with the bare repetition of existent and older codes. If were call that the bare production is based on the mechanical repetition of the Same, then it becomes possible to assert that the existent coded knowledge, experience and perspectives can be conserved simply because they are considered to have a ‘recognized’ value. However, this recognized value has been constructed on the symmetrical comparisons of commensurable knowledge,experience and perspectives which have been coded, defined, categorised, and commodified in the modern institutions such as the museum. This is why conventional art making can be seen as repeating the Same(concepts, values, forms, materials, ideologies, problems…) and regressive today since it does not affiliate itself with transforming the political and social assemblages due to its strong link to the repetition of the recognized and affirmed practices. It also does not pay most of its attention to search for critical, self-reflexive and innovative approaches – though it may undoubtedly be asserted that it does and we will discuss this later.
In consumer societies where accumulation is realized by spending, the art object as well as the art event turns out to be commodities which can satisfy the desires, believes and hopes of those who wish for reassurance through bare repetition as a form of recognition. Nevertheless, a major motive operating behind the code, the repetition of the Same or bare repetitions should not be over coded too.
Even art has left the spaces of enclosure in order to enter into the pen circuits of the bank. The conquests of the market are made by grabbing control and no longer by disciplinary training, by fixing the exchange rate much more than by lowering costs, by transformation of the product more than by specialization of production (Deleuze,1990).
Artworks and art events, which are regarded to have certain symbolic, historical or exchange meanings and values become mediators and links in building and maintaining the collaboration of personified capital (experts, curators, artists, collectors,exhibitors who develop horizontal relationships through openings, galleries,museums, fairs, the discipline of art history and art criticism, auction houses, art journals and websites). These also can be considered to be the dominant groups in the world as they maintain and control the linear continuity of the modern ‘Western’ hegemonic thought and practice. For this reason banks, companies, non-governmental organizations, foundations, gallery owners and individual entrepreneurs underpin the bare repetition of artworks and art events that have been coded in accordance with the commensurable episteme of the ‘Western’ social, political and economic assemblages.Therefore, the multiplicity and the multitude of modern artworks have become mediators and links to maintain and disperse a homogenous hegemony of ‘Western’ episteme within the communicative institutional space of the museums.
Cultural production, then, has been instrumentalized with the aim of creating a so called ‘shared’, ‘homogenous’, ‘common’ language for those who access to interact socially economically, politically. It becomes important on one hand to accumulate the bare production by simply and mechanically repeating the existent and older forms because the institutions and organizations,as the spaces of conservation, accumulation and communication, also conserve,accumulate and communicate the dominance of certain social groups and their practices as well as routines via the bare repetition and production. But at the same time, in order to maintain and restore hegemony and dominating power, the new cultural hegemony must incorporate the demands of the new urban, immigrant,consumerist citizen. This of course means to working with the (coded as) unrecognized and different as well. With this objective,collaborations of personified capital may well desire and believe to control the unknown and the unrecognized by over coding (or fetishizing) Democracy, Progress and Development In other words, those who control the capitalist flux are neither entirely ‘Western’ nor have tendencies to maintain the ‘Western’ hegemony and they do not have a homogenous cultural character to any further extent, but we know that to some extent they incorporate heterogeneous aspects by appropriating the dominating modern meanings, values and practices.
If we talk about multitude, multiplicity and accumulation, then perhaps, at this phase of the discussion, we should concentrate on the notion of ‘intensity’ rather than ‘quality’.Because it is the ‘intensity’ (strength/weakness) of the links and mediators that one is concerned with the questions of knowing who or what controls the nature of action, not the quality.
Instead of a great divide between Us and Them… we would be better off introducing a number of small divides between those who are attached by one such set of particular entities and those attached by another such set of particular entities (Latour, 1999: 30).
As once can notice, this view is related to the question of how we can live with our differences together. ‚Us and Them‛ refer to the ‘quality’ of relations. But as Latour takes us back to the question that Deleuze has posed around the function (of the artwork),we can assert that the quality of there petitions make us simply repeat the notion of a single authority that has the power of making the judgment about who or what can socially, politically and economically be recognized and excluded from the production lines.
But it should be noted that those who are strongly mediated and linked with pre-determined and recognised meanings and values, which maintain the existent codes of hegemonic forces are not concerned about who or what controls their action and thought any more, instead, they are voluntarily willing to abandon their self to the performativity of predetermined and existent codes. They search ways for abandoning self because the control of capitalism operates through subjectivities.Since modern institutions that the individual is associated do not generally operate with the contemporary mode of production, it becomes the personal crises of the individual to find ways to get over this rupture. As one can notice here, ‘consent’ plays a critical and vital role here as it is operating for one to abandon self to the ruling and dominant power voluntarily not coercively. And in this context, meaning-object oriented cultural production becomes eminent means of creating strong links and mediations among those who use their individual wills to collaborate with the desire and belief of abandoning self to a dominating power because the aesthetic judgment (good/bad,right/wrong etc.) create commonalities, and the recognised always provide a comfort zone of regularity and normality for the sake of society and sociality. But what is generally lost here is that the ‘quality’ of productions and collaborative relations mechanically repeat the power of the hegemonic groups,actions and thoughts. And, this is mainly the reason that we have to consider the intensity of the links (strong/weak) to the hegemonic ‘Western’ modern episteme rather than resisting or opposing to it.
Let us try to elaborate this by focusing on the art world. In order to make exhibitions,happenings and performances, artists and curators are linked with the collaborations of banks, companies, non-governmental organisations, foundations, gallery owners and individual entrepreneurs etc. This is also a massive association that communicates through ‘homogenous’, ‘same’ or ‘common’ codes because the surplus value of labour can only be made operational through these shared codes in capitalist flux. By simply repeating and multiplying coded and coding flows of meanings, values and protocols,these artists and curators may become strongly linked to the fixed identities,histories or representations which enable the sustainability of their practices as well as the older political, economical and social hegemony. In other words, this hegemonic cultural production which can be defined as the bare production of existent and older meanings, values, ideas, techniques and soon are maintained to be recognised by dominant groups that still run the art world.These bare productions are represented as if they are shared and common cultural values so that it gets easier to make exchange through the ‘common’ cultural features.
For example, especially in the 1990s, in line with the identity-oriented multi cultural politics, the discourse of difference is instrumentalized by affirming and recognising the difference of those that code themselves or coded earlier by the ‘Western’ hegemony as different. Even meaning-object-oriented critical works that deal with this problem were captured and simply repeated, thus indirectly confirmed the older codes, which enabled the operation and bare production of the older codes. Although today the art works that have strong links with older codes indicate political, social and economic crises (i.e. migrants’ exclusion,ecological disasters, women’s rights etc.) they generally repeat and reassert the existing hegemonic codes which are the sources of these problems. Passive and lame complaints as well as forms of mourning and grievance about social, economic and political crises are multiplied over and over again in many forms in the name of criticism. Ironically criticism sometimes has become a way of bare production because no difference that fostered transformation is produced at the end of the critical whatsoever activities.
And, what is more striking here is that in these activities, which assert to have a critical quality, tremendous efforts and anxieties appear for increasing the intensity level of the perfection of the mechanical repetition of the older codes in the name of criticism because only in the condition of repetition the hegemony is considered to be possessed. Having strong links with the current socio-economic and political agencies, bare production simply repeats the existing codes through material-meaning oriented forms by abandoning control to the existent and older codes, meanings and values attributed to the authority of the history of capital, market and ideology.Therefore, it is vital to note that such works do not have a transformative and an innovative character despite they claim that they do because otherwise they would lose the essential cause for their existence and action. This is mainly the cause of the collaborative initiatives of individuals, institutions, organisations, documents,discussions and actions that owe their existence to the bare production. Thus, we can assert that art is suffocated in the limited, qualitative and indirect boundaries of modern and essentialist notion of society,aesthetics, multicultural identity-politics and popular entertainment. As stated earlier, the fundamental reason for this view is that those who ‘share’ ‘common’ and ‘homogeneous’ values would produce and consume in the same vein and this makes it possible to increase the exchange and intensity of the flow of capital. Nonetheless, we always have to keep in mind that‚ a code is the condition of possibility for all explanation‛ (Deleuze and Guattari,2004:86).
New Aesthetic Paradigm and theRecognition of the Unrecognized
Today the production relations have changed and there is an increasing demand for the recognition of co-existences of heterogeneities. This also reminds us ‚the new aesthetic paradigm‛, which Guattari (1995) proposed, as the ontological expansion of art towards to the unknown,and the beginning of the recognition of the unrecognised. According to the new aesthetic paradigm, the first fold composes a process, and the second, begins to generate a processive art that started to emerge in a rhizomatic way. This means, there are two sets of interlocking simultaneous actions.One is structured; the other is open to change. Bodies, whether be an artwork, a museum, a citizen or an artist, open themselves to other bodies and the unrecognised is started to be immanent. In order to incorporate the immanence of the unrecognised, first, bodies become aware of and present the otherness inherent in them.They become self-reflexive.
In order to become self-reflexive and present the otherness inherent in one’s self, one should be aware of the intensity of its link to a particular set of entities. Since having a strong link enables an abandoning of control to the existent and older codes and values attributed to the hegemonic history of capital, market and ideology, one cannot act autonomously and become aware of and present the otherness inherent them because the otherness is fixed, defined, categorised,described according to some certain various criteria and methods (i.e. binary oppositions) by the hegemonic episteme. By having a strong link, one also internalises the fact that the judgment criteria do not belong to self and to singular but rather to a single and transcendental authority of pre-determined,approved and recognised external collective such as the state, the society, the religion etc.On the other hand by having a weak link, one acquires the flexibility for the competence of reproducing, innovating and transforming itself together with the other body that it associates with within a process. In this way,then, it becomes possible to pass beyond the bare production of fixed identities,definitions, categorisations and descriptions.And, this opens a way to create intersections with other bodies and it generates a condition of living with our differences together. These intersections can be interventions, interrogations and experimentations such as exhibitions, performances or rather smaller daily interactions such as conversations.Therefore a new definition of the body is being asserted not as an end- product but ‘in’ the process of production.
Through a shifting, various and instable movement, the auto poietic (the process whereby an organisation produces itself) sections of partial parts that work and are put into function, operate the body within the double infinity of both the active and the passive. This is also why one single object or body cannot fully represent another entity to any further extent today because the immaterial nature of the object cannot have this dynamic feature. In other words, one wants to leave its dysfunctional or passive parts and interact with one another so that it can transform, activate, refresh and innovate itself as well as the body that it associates with. In these kinds of dynamic relations among bodies, each one leaves its partial closeness such as prejudices, fears,incompetence etc. and unfolds. And art becomes the field in which this new aesthetic paradigm functions the most and this is mainly the reason we have focused on the contemporary museum and the contemporary art in this paper. When ever these kinds of bodies are recoded, defined,explained and categorised through the existent codes, they deviate from the bare repetition of forms and contents of the collaborative relations in which they have been involved according to their experience,knowledge and intuitions not only to resist but to criticise, to transform and to exist in anew space and time. That is what makes them creative and productive ‘in the processes of consumption. They refuse and depart from the identities, definitions,categories, tasks, functions which have been attributed to them by the institutions of modernity. Without appropriating the existing codes, but often working ‘with’ the unrecognised, excluded and marginalised,they are open to develop innovative and collective actions and protocols. They deviate from residing with the organized meanings, behaviours, norms and forms,which are codes. Within the process of interacting with codes and codings, the change them and, in turn, they are changed.
Covered Production: Replacement of theFailing Codes and Control of the Crises of Codes
One should note that, it is the capitalist axiomatic which replaces the failing codes ‘in the processes of communicative actions.Then, our task is to explore how replacement of the failing codes is operated ‘in the processes of decoding in communicative institutional spaces in capitalist control societies. And, this is precisely the reason that we have to examine critically by distinguishing the art works due to their intensity level (strength/weakness) of their link to the hegemonic paradigm as well as the content of their production(bare/covered). Since we are currently experiencing post-fordist relations that concentrate more on immaterialism rather than meaning and material object oriented paradigm, we have to focus our attention to the artworks that do not incorporate any kind of object-material in the communicative institutional space of the museum. In this way, we can explore the control of the relationship between the citizen and the state through the replacement of older and failing codes in capitalist societies. It is also noteworthy to consider that the older and failing codes are replaced especially in the crisis situations. For these reasons, we will examine the artworks of Tino Sehgal to reveal our relevant discussion.
In 2003, there was a strike of media industry workers on short-term contracts in Paris.Without being under the control of any kind of coded institutional or organisational form of opposition and resistance, such as a union movement, these workers were resisting to the conditions that they have been subordinated and determined by the hegemonic cultural entities such as the media. This contemporary collective movement became a tool and a mediator fora contemporary artist, Tino Sehgal that he could associate and collaborate with because these workers were thinking and acting with a (con)temporary and a fleeting mentality. Sehgal incorporated three workers who were on that strike, as museum guards in Muséed’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Museum guards usually do not exist in the vertical hierarchical organisation in institutionally coded and coding settings. Sehgal constructed the content of his work by inserting both horizontal and vertical relations as well as communication inherent ‘in’ the processive artwork within quotidian practices. As the museum visitor entered this exhibition, these workers acting three museum guards, jumped up from their chairs and hopped around in loose circles,raising their arms, barking out headlines from the day’s paper to visitors and then proclaim ‘This is so contemporary,contemporary, contemporary!’ One the nuttered, ‘Tino Sehgal’, then all in unison ‘This is so contemporary’, another ‘2003’,and the third ‘courtesy Galerie Mot!’.
By appropriating a contemporary form of resistance, Sehgal created an artwork constructing horizontal and vertical communication among bodies that operate with the unrecognised (workers on strike without a union) and produced intersections with the recognised (art, museum, museum visitor, news, museum guard) and the unrecognised. The museum visitors who abandon control to the existent and older codes and values attributed to the history of capital, market and ideology, or in other words, the museum visitors who are strongly linked to the hegemonic Western thought which asserts the authority of a single centre (‘Western’ and meaning and object oriented hegemonic paradigm) is invited by Sehgal’s artwork to become aware and responsible of their actions and existence. This is also political intervention of a contemporary artist who desires and believes to transform him as well as the bodies that he associates within a coded and coding communicative institutional space like the museum. By simply or mechanically repeating the ritual of the citizen about visiting a museum, which is one of the coded and coding institutions of the modern monolithic authority of the state, one is traversing and becoming apart of the space in which interventional, interactional and oppositional relations are formed. Here, for instance, the decision to make any judgment(i.e. support the strike) was not directly imposed to the museum visitor; instead the museum visitor was invited in a constructed situation in a daily experience to think about his or her singular stance on political,economic and social conditions indirectly.And, this is why this artwork should be considered as a covered production as it incorporates bare production as well.
We can give other examples of Sehgal’s works that operated in this manner. At the time of the global financial crises in 2008,The Museum of Modern Art in New York(MoMA) purchased an artwork of Tino Sehgal which does not have a material object. Tino Sehgal described his artwork, Kiss‛ (2003), as a live constructed situation. Through a prescribed choreography, two actor-dancers reference and mechanically repeat images from paintings of couples embracing, such as Auguste Rodin’s ‚Kiss‛of 1886 or Constantin Brancusi’s ‚Kiss‛ of 1908. The sale of the artwork to the museum was in line with the artwork as a process and it is particularly interesting because nothing tangible, or remaining from the artwork such as photographs or videos, was acquired with the transaction no written contract,instructions, script, or receipt as well. A group of people, including a lawyer, a notary, gallerists, curators and members of the conservation and registration departments of the museum were gathered around a table, had a dialogue, discussed and reached a consensus. The work was described; the right to install it for a nun specified number of times under the supervision of Sehgal or one of his representatives was stipulated; and the price was stated. The director of the museum,Glenn Lowry (cited in The Museum of Modern Art, 2009), stated that ‚since there is no formal contract or record, agreeing in a condition that does not exist before, implicated the museum ‘in’ the work of art.‛Sehgal’s work can be considered as one of the very first processive initiatives that transforms the function of the museum. In other words, the collaborative performativity of immaterial labour with the consumer that becomes the producer of anew function is formed within and by the process of communication, which turns out to be ‘a use value’.
The reasons that makes the functioning of the artwork as well as the transformation it has created with the codes assuming functions appropriated to the crisis situation is interesting mainly because: 1) We can see that rather than resisting and opposing to the capitalist market relations, the artist and the artwork realised a transformation of the functioning of the museum by constructing a situation and changing the protocol of exchange and accumulation in becoming apart of the capitalist flow within daily life. 2)This conjunction shows us that since the function of the museum as a communicative institution change, the relationship between the citizen and the state is attempted to be changed as well. Therefore, capital, as a decoding machine, takes control of the new forms of the organisation of production and the power relations it implies.
Let us further our discussion more in dept hon these assumptions. At the time of the global financial crisis, by purchasing an artwork for a ‘reasonable price’, the museum coded the immaterial labour of the artist as ‘performance art’ even though Sehgal (cited in The Museum of Modern Art,2007) insisted but then ceased that his work should not be categorised under the genre of performance art. In other words, the unrecognised has been recognised by coding of the communicative institution. In this case, on one hand, the museum mechanically repeated to execute its assumed function to code and to categorise the ‘live constructed situation’ within performance art because performance art has a history related to the older codes of anti-capitalist political ideology.
However, on the other hand, the work of Sehgal decodes the communicative institutional space of the museum by giving it a residual function in the process of going under the codes of it, which is the categorisation of performance art. While decoding doubtless means understanding and translating a code, it also means destroying the code as such,assigning it an archaic, folkloric, or residual function…‛ (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004:266). This is precisely related with what I have attempted to emphasise with covered production. Deleuze reminds us that in innovating and transforming the code, we also mechanically repeat the maintenance ofthe code by assigning it an archaic, folkloric,or residual function. Then,
The true axiomatic is that of the social machine itself, which takes the place of the old codes and organises all the decoded flows, including the scientific and technical code, for the benefit of the capitalist system and in the service of its ends (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004: 233).
Thus, covered production, is found to be alienated, in the Marxist sense, from the current status of object and meaning-oriented production which is archived or has been accumulated and conserved in the communicative institutions such as the museum. It operates with immaterial labour that remains (re)linked to the market-ideology network rather than resisting and trying to be outside of it. Instead of merely opposing to the capitalist flows, the artist,the artwork and the art event that perform the labour are escaped from the thing they create in the market-ideology collaboration.On one hand, they are (re)linked to an a priori determined, static, sedentary code, and on the other, they produce Ideas and actions where there is a strong need and call for transformation and deviation from the failing political, economic and social codes.Hence, their processive, transformative,immanent resistance and critical approach make for them a new mediator designed to generate new collaborations of institutions,individuals, protocols, meanings, ideas,functions, tasks and performances.
Sehgal’s work can be considered as an example of a small productive unit of covered production that is organized within a specific institutional project mainly because:
1) By simply repeating and also referencing paintings as well as coded meanings and values from the 19th and 20th century (Auguste Rodin’s ‚Kiss‛ of 1886 or Constantin Brancusi’s ‚Kiss‛ of 1908) or the codes set up with performance art of the1960s, the work of Sehgal store historically defined codes as movements in the bodies of the actors-dancers. This is one of the bare repetition and bare production that Sehgal’s work incorporates.
2) Sehgal’s work, as framed or coded as ‘artistic’ in the cultural industry, functions in a museum or a gallery, where its subtraction of a material object is made visible by the institutional surroundings that codes his immaterial labour. My work definitely needs this framing as art, and the stronger this framing is, the more works of mine are possible‛ Sehgal says. 10 The stronger the link is, the stronger the intensity level of the intervention, interaction and transformation. Instead of creating a material object, Sehgal’s work that it uses the codes of the museum (or the gallery space)and revolves around a process of production, involves in exchanges and transformations of Ideas. His work offers transformation of acts and protocols instead of transformation of the object-material. By collaborating with a coded and a coding institution of the museum, Sehgal created a processive artwork which has changed the exchange and conservation protocol of the museum, thus transformed its function.
3) Having an awareness of his weak link to the hegemonic power, Sehgal’s work also has ‘awareness’ of its transformative actions as well as of being a part of the control of collaborative relations of personified capital. Instead of being opposed to the control, the artist is open to be underc ontrol so that he can change the protocols ofthe controlling codes as well. As it can be seen here, we are certainly not talking about the meaning; in contrast we are precisely referring to the function of the artwork, the artist and the art institution as we have clearly indicated as one of our objectives at the beginning. The artwork functions by creating a supplement, a différance‛ and a transformation of collaborative relations(and their protocols) that it interacts with and it is involved in. The supplement of covered production lies beneath the content and in the process of performativity. The difference and the heterogeneity that covered production creates based on decoding of the pre-established centre or authority. It not only criticizes the basis that coded itself but also transforms its function,performance and action. It passes beyond the bare production of coded ‘and’ coding market-ideology collaboration that it has affirmed by enveloping the organizational and material forms of this collaboration so that it can constitute new forms of production protocols. For this reason, there is an externalizing as well as internalizing set of actions and that is mainly the reason that covered productions are needed to be interpreted and distinguished.
4) There is a ‘reciprocal concession’ among the various parties involved in the processive artwork. While the museum incorporated the unrecognized by defining it under the older codes, in turn, the artist gave consent to be coded under the older codes as well as coded and coding institutional framework. By reciprocal concessions, then,the museum as a modern communicative institution can communicate and transform the relationship between the new, urban, ‘transnational’ or ‘global’ citizen and the ‘capitalist’ state as Sehgal stated that ‚the museum is a ritual place where citizenship is reflected.‛ (Sehgal cited in Coburn, 2007)
Here, there is not a unilateral relationship,which is communicated through the modern institution of the museum. As the hegemonic groups who dominate the capitalist flux change and become more transnational, the imperial and colonial codes cannot be communicated and mediated via objects that have certain symbolic, historical or exchange meanings and values to any further extent.Remaining within the capitalist axiomatic,the older and failing codes are transformed to create ‘commonalities’ once again through cultural production in favour of the capitalist flux. And, the museum itself was (de)coded as a communicative institutional space of control for the benefit of the capitalist axiomatic within the work of Sehgal as it changed its exchange protocol. Then Sehgal’s work be comes an example of covered production because it transforms, decodes and recreates the political, economic and social situation of a communicative institutional space (i.e. the museum) that has been functioning with failing and older codes. By this way, on the other hand, the citizen as well becomes not only a passive-receiver-consumer but an active-transformer-productive consumer.
And, in Sehgal’s 2010 work, “This Progress”at the Guggenheim Museum New York, the artist emptied Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous spiral gallery of all art work. The museum visitor was met at the base of the spiral by a child, who asked a small group about what they think progress is. As they begin their ascent up the spiral ramp the visitors continued their conversation until they were met by a high school student who picked up the conversation. Further still, they were met by a young adult and lastly an older adult who finished their ascent to the upper-most point in the Guggenheim. As one can clearly see, the bare repetition is incorporated by the linear historical line of the human being and the linear notion of history. While the notion of progress is simply repeated in the coded and coding institution of the museum, it is also questioned within the process of communication that the museum provides as its function. Since covered production, is committed to new translations of times and spaces that humans occupy with spontaneous actions (like conversation) that are accompanied by codes (of the museum,artist, artwork etc.), the museum is emptied and cleared from all of the artworks that belong to the older and failing codes, which is again included in the artwork as a process.In this way, Sehgal created a way for intervening and interrogating the hegemonic notion of progress which is precisely a ‘Western’ code. The museum visitors as citizens are asked to discover and produce the otherness inherent in them so that they would have the power of changing the capitalist state. As covered production involves amateur or rather singular departures especially from quotidian experiences and knowledge, such as the conversation, Sehgal’s work traces the unspoken, the infrequently-spoken, the forgotten or already digested and transformed against autonomous control and will. Just like the unspoken, the infrequently-spoken, the forgotten oral ready digested and transformed against autonomous control and will, the museum visitors were accompanied by walking in a spiral ramp that have the function of immanence so that they would not lose themselves on the way, and they can become aware of themselves and the intensity level of their link (by thinking and questioning and debating in a conversation form) that may impede them to act in a singular manner.
This work also has similar aspects of a 2004 work of Sehgal. In “This objective of that object”, the museum visitor has surrounded by five people who remained with their backs to the visitors and they chanted, “The objective of this work is to become the object of a discussion.” if the museum visitor did not respond, they slowly sinked to the ground. Or if the museum said something,they began a discussion. So, having awareness of their actions, of themselves and of their active productive force, the museum visitor, as citizens are being interrogated with a coded question but in a different constructed live situation, so that they can discover new thing(s), acts and they can collaborate with the unrecognized and the other. Therefore tracing and multiplying the covered production, it is possible to depart from the discovery of the meshed cooperation and co-existences of distinctive spaces and times rather than clinging to these dentary, ossified disciplines, thoughts,institutions and perspectives. For this reason, covered production certainly requires collaborative creativity of those that are coded, coding and decoded. Then, we can assert that collaborative creativity in covered production encompasses of folds of control of codes. In other words, those codes are repeated to control, but with a difference.And, we can evidently see how covered production operates by inheriting and reconstructing reality in many folds here. In each fold, in a small productive unit, every piece such as the museum visitor or the partial conversation with the museum visitor becomes a total universe, and each piece that encompasses the other becomes a link and a mediator to enable transformative and innovative collaborative thought, performance and action. Sehgal’s production, in this way, encompasses a fold that composes a process of a contemporary form of interrogation, and it generates a processive recognition of the unrecognized.If the citizens can become aware of their subordination and strong links to the coded and coding forces, then they can question and attempt to transform the function of the coding authority. This is achieved by the acknowledgement of Sehgal’s live constructed situation, whether with singing museum guards, a couple kissing as in the painting, or being asked to engage in a conversation about the market economy and the notion of progress in a gallery. This is also a call for responsibility of thoughts, behaviours and actions as Sehgal (cited inCoburn, 2007) emphasizes the effect of acting:
There’s no possibility not to act; so everything you do, even if it doesn’t seem like acting, produces an effect… The structure is still the same structure; the concept is still the same concept. But there’s an element of difference inscribed into this repetition.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
In this paper, we have dealt with the problem of exploring how codes capture,(dis)order and transform knowledge and forms so that the same things end up coded differently by simply repeating the existing dynamics. In order to problematize this, we have focused on the intensity level(strength/weakness) of the links to the hegemonic paradigm as well as the content of the production (bare/covered). Today in capitalist societies that no longer operate by confining people but through continuous control and instant communication, the demand has the power to construct realities.For this reason, the political sphere becomes now less important than the economic sphere in creating and producing reality.The individual is not merely a citizen anymore; the individual is now a political agent, a consumer as well as a producer citizen, and the state is now a market-state.Nevertheless the crisis of the insertion of the unrecognized in the production process has been a limitation. In other words, since today the state is a capitalist state which encompasses not only the single authority of ‘Western’ episteme as well as its dominant groups, but also ‘non Western’ forces of power, the meanings and values that have strong links to the imperial and colonial episteme is extremely limited to any further extent. As the social production of the relationship of the new citizen with the state has a ‘transnational’ or ‘global’ character, it needed and demanded to be decoded as well so that the control of citizens can be immanated for the benefit of the capitalist flow. Codes that have been operating within the institutional communicative spaces fail to capture this contemporary mode of production. The museum, as an institution where knowledge and forms are accumulated by simply repeating the codes that have been hitherto hegemonic, becomes a space/time for transformation.Since transformation includes production,we have made a distinction between two interlocking production processes that operate concurrently. The first one is that of what we call ‚bare production‛ resides within the history of the capital, market and ideology and it is object and meaning oriented. The second, ‚covered production‛, is a processive and an innovative approach that can be defined as a strong act of generating transformations and plural epistemologies not by merely resisting to but by being involved in the capitalist flux operating with actions rather than objects.Here, the focus is on those who have strong links and mediators with the older hegemonic codes of power because they are not concerned who or what controls their action; hence, they abandon their self to the performativity and activities of predetermined codes. They then, become the main operative force for preservation and sustainability of the existent codes. On the other hand, decoded codes that operate within the capitalist axiomatic create a supplement, a differance and a transformation. They transform the collaborations of personified capital and their protocols, and in turn, they are open to change as surplus value of code, as becoming a mediator as well. Whenever they are coded, defined, explained and categorized through the existent schemes,they deviate from the forms and contents of the networks in which they are involved according to their experience, knowledge and relations not only to resist but to criticize, to transform and to exist in a new space and time. Without appropriating the existing order and forms, but often working ‘with’ the unrecognized, excluded and marginalized and deviating from organized meanings, behaviours, norms and forms,covered production is open to develop innovative and collective collaborative actions and protocols. And it should be noted that this kind of production is realized in the process of consumption.
Focusing on the conjunction of the covered production of Tino Sehgal and the communicative institutional space of various museums in capitalist societies, we investigated the operation of codes in capturing, (dis)ordering and transforming knowledge, forms as well as the unrecognized.The resistance of Sehgal to object ad meaning oriented construction of reality is fed by the desire and the belief of transforming the functioning of the museum as a contemporary communicative institutional space. On the other hand, the resistance of the museum for the conservation of the codes that enable its existence is fed by the desire and belief of capturing the unrecognized knowledge and form produced by the contemporary artist. The transformation of the protocol of exchange which was inherent in the work of Sehgal enabled the insertion of covered production in a communicative institutional space. As an innovative performativity, the work enables the repetition of codes in a different way.
And, as a concluding remark, we must consider that this seems like a new control mechanism that is associated within the capitalist state. Crises of codes become the means immanent to the capitalist mode of production and control. This is also the covered repetition of the call for becoming more modern and democratic citizens who can be more responsible for being aware of their thoughts, actions and behaviours. This is also a demand for a consumer citizen who can use his or her ability to produce effects in the process of consumption to foster creative collaborations with the other and the unrecognized for the sake of capitalist flux. The crisis of the control of codes takes anew form of production in communicative institutional spaces of capitalist societies.
Rhizomatic relations, according to Deleuze and Guattari, are “finite networks of automata in which communication runs from any neighbour to any other, the stems or channels do not pre-exist, and all individuals are interchangeable, defined only by their state at a given moment – such that the local operations are coordinated and the final, global result synchronized without central agency.” Deleuze,G., Guattari, F. (1987) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p. 17.
It should be noted that the repetition notion of Deleuze is linked with the thoughts of Gabriel Tarde.For a remarkable discussion about the link between Deleuze and Tarde around the notion of repetition:Alliez, E. (2004) The Difference and Repetition of Gabriel Tarde. Distinktion. Scandinavian Journal ofSocial Theory, 9 [Special Issue Gabriel Tarde]
Louvre is considered to be the best example as a public museum that redefined the political identity and citizenship of the individual as well as the state’s position as a benefactor after the French Revolution.
Robertson (1990) gave a remarkable account of the need of developing a new concept as ‚globalisation‛ that can be used to build horizontal and vertical communication among different entities. Besides, Balibar (2004) constructed his discussion around the notion of transnational citizenship.
Andrew McClellan (2003) Art and its Publics: Museum studies at the Millennium, Oxford: Oxford University, p. 13. Between 1867 and 1869 Arnold wrote ‚Culture and Anarchy‛, a critique of the Victorian age.
According to Duncan, from the 18th century until the mid twentieth century, the museum is designedto resemble older ceremonial monuments such as palaces and temples which signified their strong linkswith secular and not religious beliefs. In the Enlightenment period, the separation of Church and State resulted in secular ‘truth’ gaining an authority, while religion kept its authority for voluntary believers.Secular truth meant a rational, verifiable and objective knowledge and thus, art Museums, not only because of the scientific and humanistic disciplines practiced in them, such as conservation, art history,archaeology etc., were seen as conservers of the community’s official cultural memory. Carol Duncan (1998) The Art Museum as Ritual. The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology, D. Preziosi (ed.), Oxford:Oxford University p. 473.
As Tarde stated that ‚Society is imitation and imitation is a form of sleepwalking (…) the social state, like the state of hypnosis, is nothing but a type of dream, a dream of control and a dream of action. Toonly have ideas suggested by others and spontaneous beliefs: such is the illusion that is natural to the sleep walker as well as the social person.‛ Tarde, G. (1890) Les Lois de l’imitation. Paris, Alcan: Secondedition , pp. 72-73.
This information is provided from Lubow, A. (2010) Live Sculptures? Conceptual Encounters? TinoSehgal Makes Art That Leaves Behind No Trace.New York Times Magazine, 17 January 2010, p. 26.
Performance Art meant that it was art that could not be bought, sold or traded as a commodity. It saw(and see) the movement as a means of taking art directly to a public forum, thus completely eliminatingthe need for galleries, agents, brokers, tax accountants and any other aspect of capitalism.
Sehgal is quoted in Lubow, A. (2010) Live Sculptures? Conceptual Encounters? Tino Sehgal MakesArt That Leaves Behind No Trace.New York Times Magazine, 17 January 2010, p. 28.
Derrida indicates that différance marks a number of heterogeneous features which govern theproduction of textual meaning. The first (relating to deferral) is the notion that words and signs cannever fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additionalwords, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever “deferred” or postponed through an endlesschain of signifiers. The second (relating to difference, sometimes referred to as espacement or “spacing”)concerns the force which differentiates elements from one another and, in so doing, engenders binaryoppositions and hierarchies which underpin meaning itself. Then, différance, as a condition fordifference, unfolds and reveals something that could not been read earlier. Derrida, J. (1974) OfGrammatology , (trans.) Spivak, G.C. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University.
Nevertheless translation should not be interpreted as being merely a mediator, a transmitter and aconveyor. The one that translates also becomes a new network (due to their vertical and horizontal collaborations, dynamic associations, affirmative co-existences, experience, knowledge and plurality of daily circumstances).
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