Read About Posthastism Post-Haste!
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 11-12-11
Swiss art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist
Image Source


There hasn't exactly been a shortage of art movements defined by manifestos that grapple with the role of "speed" in art creation or thought.  Take, for example, the Even Slower Poetry manifesto published on a Blogspot in June, 2009.  Here is a selection:

But what can poetry possibly do to strengthen networks of people involved in the ongoing complexity of getting someone to give a shit about any of this? Well, for one, Even Slower Poetry values communication between author and reader, even when that communication is just the author putting the reader to sleep and then implying he's taken a big risk in doing so. Its strong preference for the personal, the hand-made, the accessible, and anything that I don't have to get off the couch for or think too much about invites broad participation in the idea that potential exchanges in art can be even more excruciating than they were before, esp. when bad sin seems completely thrilling on every level.

What do you do? You let the Even Slower Poetry take care of it, and you let the Even Slower Poetry bless you, and you get on with your life. By your good conduct, you will make ashamed those bringing exciting new things into the world. That is what the Even Slower Poetry Manifesto says and that is the way to do it. If you try to fight it and try to swat down every animated idea or breath of fresh air in the world, I promise you, the world will bring forth a thousand more thrilling and fascinating things. You kill five vibrant ideas and you will have five hundred more.

Even Slower Poetry values tradition, too, as a way of understanding the past and our familial histories. By tradition I don't mean that we must abide by canonical texts established by literary authority, even though I do mean that. Tradition is nothing more than a contested history of the uses of books and objects that have produced active conversations and responses for particular people who question their identification with the world around them. Can you even believe anyone could write a sentence that torpid? JESUS. How did you even get through it?


In an interview with Coline Millard, a contemporary curator from Switzerland, Hans Ulrich Orbst (who, incidentally, became obsessed with the confines and potentials of an interview dialogue after reading a a coulple lengthy conversations in his youth, one of which was between Marcel Duchamp and Pierre Cabann)  discussed his own vision for the roles that slowness and speed should play in both art creation and reception:

I'm interested in resisting the homogenization of time: so it's a matter of making it faster and slower. For art, slowness has always been very important. The experience of seeing art slows us down...The beginning of my whole journey was night trains. It's a slow way of travelling and now we are working with Tino [Seghal] and Olafur [Eliasson] on solar airplanes. They fly at a hundred miles an hour, so it would be a little bit like travelling on a night train. Travelling might get slower again, if it's sustainable. All my shows have been conceived on night trains...Somehow that night train rhythm was an idea factory.



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