Experimental Art Project Space in New Cross Gate
smooth & striated: form
July 11-13, 10am-5pm
meals served every day at 1pm, free * come join us for the ‘ending’ at 3pm July 11
Do endings matter anymore? For a few generations now, artists informed by the insights of Deleuze and Guattari about form have struggled, or even dismissed the struggle, to find plausible endings for works conceived as rhizomatic. If teleology is not necessarily a concern for us (is it not?), what is the meaning of endings? Is teleology as the motivating force of a belief system necessarily implied by artworks that employ teleology, that is to say, artworks that tend towards a consequential end? What other ways are there of thinking of endings, informed by the conceptual pair, “smooth and striated”, first formulated by composer Pierre Boulez and imaginatively expanded by Deleuze and Guattari? For Boulez the passage through musical time is defined by the opposition between amorphous time (smooth) and metered time (striated), but this opposition is never-ending and, moreover, the two poles are always mixed together, always in flux. D+G bring the concepts to bear on the State, on capitalism’s evolution, and on architecture, but despite the greater breadth of vision, like Boulez they emphasize the ongoing nature of interactions between smooth and striated spaces: these are always unfinished.
The relationship between Boulez’s ideas as a practicing composer and D+G’s ideas as theorists, which continue to influence new generations of musicians, performers, visual artists and more, are exemplary of cross-influences between arts practice and theory. We are a partnership that aims to bridge performance practice and theory through collaborative projects and curated events. For this event we are inviting collaborators – performers, dancers, musicians, theorists – to take Boulez’s 1960 lecture “Time, Notation, Coding” and/or Deleuze and Guattari’s chapter “The Smooth and the Striated” from Mille Plateaux (1980), as starting points for explorations of persistent problems of form in time-based arts and beyond. Integral to this event will be a challenge to the collaborators – who may be academics as well as performers – to create a provisional (a final?) end: to mount a performance at the conclusion of this intervallic period, beginning at 3pm on the third day. Open talks and shorter performances will take place throughout the three-day period as well. Ultimately, the event is intended to be convivial: at midday every day of the event, a large communal meal will be served for all participating guests and members of the local community who wish to attend.