[Noisebridge-discuss] Who do we want to exclude? [Drama]

Lyra elevin at MIT.EDU
Tue Apr 9 22:59:08 UTC 2013

Tom, Ken, thank you for those amazing posts. I would like to point out that
Marina's art piece sounds way more humanity-affirming when you talk about
it than it was presented to me. From wikipedia (and that video):

To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience,
Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known)
performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being
the force which would act on her.

Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to
use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were
objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict
pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip,
scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist
allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.

Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as
time passed (and the artist remained impassive) people began to act more
aggressively. As Abramović described it later:

“What I learned was that... if you leave it up to the audience, they can
kill you.” ... “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose
thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took
it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as
planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran
away, to escape an actual

We need more people to intervene, long before you get the the point of

On 9 April 2013 15:33, D J Capelis <mail at capelis.dj> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM, Ken M. Haggerty <kenmhaggerty at gmail.com>wrote:
>> There is an excellent artist named *Marina Abramovic*. In one of her
>> works, *Rhythm 0 <http://youtu.be/ennfeVSirDU>*, she stood next to a
>> table with objects of pleasure (rose, feather, grapes, honey) and pain
>> (whip, scalpel, gun, bullet), and accepted all liability for whatever
>> happened to her. A few people did try to hurt her, but every time the other
>> guests in the gallery would intervene and save not only her but each other.
>> Noisebridge is very much like that; through this freedom afforded to us by
>> the decisions of others, we must not be afraid to create our own limits. In
>> that, we are *limitless*.
> As much as that's a beautiful piece of work[1], I think it's important to
> remember that social norms are influenced by social privilege and social
> standing and social norms that some people and some groups find reliable
> for them are things other people and other groups find don't reliably work
> for them.  It is probably important to cultivate a community that strives a
> set of social norms that are as consistently reliable as possible for
> everyone working in the spirit of noisebridge's mission of doing loosely
> defined awesome things.
> For instance, many people at noisebridge are delighted to find a community
> where they can rely on a series of social norms that include assuming other
> people are technically skilled, friendly exchange of ideas and valuing
> people by their technical skills.  Other people can come to the same place,
> and because of one factor or another, experience exactly zero of those
> things as reliable social norms in the space.  There is a danger in
> assuming that the social norms we are offered by a community are also
> extended to others.  It often leads people to assume that since they can
> rely on those social norms, others can too and equality is seemingly doing
> pretty well.  (I think we are all optimists more often than we suspect and
> I think in many ways, that is commendable, but obviously, in this one,
> people just end up with blind spots more often than not.)
> I guess what I'm trying to say is while the brilliance of a
> self-regulating social system is attractive, implementing a culture in
> practice requires careful consideration of the edge, corner and side cases
> and careful consideration of the truth that how we perceive the culture to
> work for ourselves will invariably differ from how others are able to
> interact with it.  It is a good thing to take a self regulating system (as
> really, everything is at some scope or another) and determine which cases
> aren't being probably dealt with in ways we want and what simplest elegant
> mechanism might exist to try and correct them.  Careful analysis and
> correction of places where organic processes are yielding rotting products
> instead of local fresh cultivated products is an important part of actually
> implementing something real.
> tl;dr: Yield rates are important.
> ~DJ
> [1] And by the way, thanks for sharing it!  I enjoyed reading about it
> here.
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