Reply to Neil Chapman

Dear Neil,

Sorry to have taken so long in replying to your mail.

We're thinking about where we're going next and are still sifting through the issues raised at Moving On at the Whitechapel.

Thank you for your feedback. It was useful to consider the terms that we applied to Programme and how they serve to communicate process. We will be looking into the language/definitions at a conference on April 30 organised by Zuky who came to Moving On.

You found our use of the terms active and static problematic, as they prioritise movement, resisting any notion of completion. You proposed that it is necessary to fix points in order to move forward or continue on to another point. Perhaps Programme encouraged a continually shifting pattern of mini-completions. Each chance encounter of Programme had its own duration and proposed its own mini-object or wholeness.

Documenting this proliferation is inevitably making static these experiences simply by subsuming them as an 'event'. Perhaps Ella's programme (the weekly bulletin of events) did propose a state of being simultaneously static and active at once, as you hoped. ('If a particular work or state of affairs could be described as simultaneously active and static, that would be paradoxical. It would also be marvellous.')

It was interesting that you cited de Landa and the city as hierarchical or institutional in some way.

At a talk on Temporary Accommodation at Goldsmiths, Anna Harding compared Programme (the artwork as ongoing event) to Deleuze and Guttari's highway, a de-authored, transient arena with rest points and other entrances and exits along the way, bypassing and connecting back into the city.

We weren't proposing that the document is the enemy or that you can somehow remove yourself from endpoints. It is rather the shift in value that occurs and its imposition of associations that we hoped to investigate and to go on investigating. For instance the way that the object feeds in and out of the process, as you suggest, the active and the unresolved become moments of completion. Moving On was in itself a simultaneous endpoint and starting point.

Productivity is an equally problematic term as it implies there is constant unyielding activity when in fact there were many moments when the space of Programme was unproductive. The encounter with the space, at times, was mundane and boring to the viewer, stressing the how the nature of productivity is defined by personal experience.

The broader definition of productivity to include elements of process, completion, the active and static, will be questioned and identified in our ongoing enquiry.

Sophie and Sarah


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