macghillie _ just a void

liegend_macghillie
Brest (F), 1917

macghillie is roaming around, defying a goal, without intention, withdrawing from purpose, crossing the cybernetic loops. macghillie defies classification, attributions are shifted into the void, no will to communicate. recognition does not help. how long this can last in a postutopian space? are there moments for something that does not want to be anything?


Brest (BLR), 1956

Urban sites are visited by a figure, dressed in a camouflage suit, who shows neither the traits of an individual, or even of a person. The socalled ‘Ghillie Suit’ was originally invented in the 19th century for hunting and that was later also used during the First World War. Its camouflage effects the anonymisation and the neutralisation of the person who wears it in public. macghillie, a -prefer not to- figur, an actor without idenity, transforming past and future into here and now, oscillating between the hyperpresence of a mask, and visual redundancy. It traverses the modern urban environment in which conspicuity holds ambivalent currency, wavering between cumbersome affirmation and visual arbitrariness. It is a variation of types like  ‘Bloom’, ‘Bartleby’, or the ‘man without qualities’, which have transgressed their original literary existence and have become the tropes of philosophical debates around the postmodern politics of subjectivity.


Coffeebreak of a devolution, 2012

The ongoing project consists of :

RIXC, Riga, “Art of Resilience”, 2012
reART:theURBAN, Zürich 2012
St. Moritz Art Master, “MacGhillie”, 2012
Cabaret Voltaire Zürich, “Al Dadaida: The Revolution to Smash Global Capitalism”, 2012
Moscow Biennale, “DADA Moscow”, 2011
Museo MAGA, 2011
Share Festival, Turin, 2010
Folkwang Museum Essen, Hacking the city,2010
U- Zentrum für Kunst Dortmund, TRUST 2010
Karthause Ittingen, Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Schritte ins Verborgene, 2010
Expodium Utrecht, Mind the Bollocks!, 2010
[plug.in] Basel, online project beam me up, 2010
Kunstpassanten Zürich, urban intervention 2009
Cabaret Voltaire Zurich, September 09, clandestine 4 days-Performance, 2009

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Opaque Presence / Manual of Latent Invisibilities
ed.: Andreas Broeckmann , knowbotic research

156 pages, Broschur / ISBN 978-3-03734-108-7
published by diaphanes Berlin
, Edition Jardins des Pilotes

Table of contents:
Eva Meyer: Me as MacGhillie
Matthew Fuller: The Cat Seemed to Think There was Enough of it Now in Sight
Andreas Broeckmann: action, en passant
Marcus Steinweg: Subject without a Face
Tiqqun: The Problem of the Head
knowbotic research: macghillie – just a void

€ 15,00 / CHF 25,00

public visibility and strategic camouflage

In the society of late capitalism – whether we understand it as a society of consumption, of control, or as a cybernetic society -, visibility and transparency are no longer signs of democratic openness, but rather of administrative availability. Spaces of agency and spaces of social friction are absorbed into the surfaces of technical processes. Even when the games of visibility, of attention, and of the mechanisms of subjectivation, may not always be a matter of bare survival, they are still a matter of maintaining and appropriating heterotopic zones in which resistance, if not freedom, can be postulated.

This book deals with questions of public visibility and strategic camouflage. It hinges on the public performance project ›macghillie – just a void‹ by the artist group knowbotic research, in which urban sites are visited by a figure, clad in a camouflage suit. The so-called ›Ghillie Suit‹ was originally invented in the 19th century for hunting and has since the First World War been used in military contexts all over the world. When worn in a contemporary public environment, its camouflage effects the anonymisation and the neutralisation of the person wearing it. The figure of the ›MacGhillie‹ oscillates between the hyperpresence of a mask, and visual redundancy. It traverses the modern urban environment in which conspicuity holds ambivalent currency, wavering between cumbersome affirmation and visual arbitrariness. In the project, the suit is made available to members of the public who can thus become macghillie for a while, testing the boundaries of subjectivity and identity.

Sichtbarkeit und Camouflage
Die Künstlergruppe Knowbotic Research beschäftigt sich seit einiger Zeit mit den Themen der Sichtbarkeit und der Präsenz. Ihre performativen und installativen Arbeiten im öffentlichen Raum konfrontieren realweltliche Szenarien mit semi-fiktiven Testfällen.

Im Performance-Projekt ›MacGhillie – Just a Void‹ werden urbane Orte von einer Figur aufgesucht, die mit einem handelsüblichen Tarnanzug bekleidet ist und weder als Individuum noch überhaupt als Person auffällt. Sie durchstreift die moderne städtische Umgebung, in der Auffälligkeit eine durchaus ambivalente Währung darstellt, schwankend zwischen Affirmation und visueller Beliebigkeit.

Für das Projekt ›be prepared, tiger!‹ wurde ein eigenes Tarnkappenboot entwickelt, das die
›Stealth‹-Technologie amerikanischer Tarnkappenbomber anwendet. Wenn es durch Häfen und andere Gewässer gefahren wird, ist das metallisch glänzende Boot zwar mit bloßem Auge zu sehen, bleibt aber für jedes Radargerät verborgen. Die Frage nach dem Zusammenhang von Sichtbarkeit, Präsenz und Handlungsfähigkeit, die vom MacGhillie auf dem Feld des posthumanistischen Subjekts verhandelt wird, verlagert das Boot auf das Terrain der Technologie und ihrer konzeptuellen Wirksamkeit. Neben Darstellungen der künstlerischen Projekte sowie Materialien, die den unmittelbaren Projektkontexten entstammen, umfasst das Buch auch mehrere theoretische Texte.

 

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Workshop with Eran Schaerf, Kunsthalle Bern


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Der Dadaist Arthur Cravan desribes himself 1912 in the journal «Maintenant»:

«I am anything, any human, any animal.

» Who is MacGhillie if Cravan was anything?

MacGhillie is roaming around -
Defying a goal, without intention,
withdrawing from purpose,
crossing the cybernetic loops.
Indistinct what is happening,
not man, nor woman,
not white, nor Swiss, not red,
not dominant, nor subjecting,
coward and yet drastic?
MacGhillie defies classification,
attributions are shifted into the void,
no will to communicate.
Recognition does not help.
How long this can last in a postupian space?
Are there locations for something
that does not want to be anything?
link to project

sitzend

What would happen if our traces elude into the borders of our attention?

What would happen if we oppose the surveillance society intransprent identification models?

What would happen if opaque agencies transform our spatial dispositives into fog?

A fog, which does not allow to differentiate between visibilities and invisibilities?

link to project