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Cambridge UK

etoy agents meet at Peterhouse College of Cambridge University to discuss the ongoing work on the etoy.HISTORY and the book project that haunted etoy's recent activities like a fruit fly: wherever we went people asked for a book. Well then, we thought, let's go back to paper and write how we work, what we do, think, build, bury, admire and, most of all, what we're after.

On a field trip outside the confines of Peterhouse, agents TABEA, ALWIN, ZAI, ALBERTO, MAJA, and HAEFLIGER (not pictured) visited the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and an inspiring show entitled Assembling Bodies, curated by Anita Herle.

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Comments

etoy.ZAI @ 08.04.2010 20:43 CET
INTRO: i'm a person who insists on honest irony. critical selfreflection must be part of every move you do (especially if you start to climb the leader!). no mater if you are a banker, taxi driver, curator, bar keeper, lab dancer, artist, king or an ordinary professor at kings college/cambrige -> a certain level of irony is needed (otherwise you dont deserve the right to walk on the gras!).

in other words: making fun of myself and my business partners must be part of the plan. testing humor skills is a good way to find out if people are REALLY SMART or not.

however....


now as i tried to make my meta-point (and excuse for the agression that follows) i can say without regret that i think that etoy.TEXT-AGENTS working in the center of human knowledge transfer look more stupid than we can accept!

we are a joke. just look at us and the results we produced during the last 4 days. we spent 2500 chf of etoy money and the result is reflected perfectly in this visual representation.

this does not mean that we wasted all this cash and that etoy can not profit from what started here...

but if we dont know that this blog post is a super pervert joke we did not get anything.


it is really important that we understand this joke and go on from here with


respect, energy, money and self confidence.
monorom @ 08.04.2010 21:33 CET
one or two etoy.TANKS would look great on this very green gras.
etoy.HAEFLIGER @ 08.04.2010 22:31 CET
I'm not sure what's happening. Was I supposed to write a "cluster" as a blog post? This is about making visible that we're here and that we've decided to tackle the idea of a book. Blog posts, at least mine, are always fine to extend, delete, or add to.
Of course we're spending money, and we talked about our expectations on the first day we met. This is about outline and structure, about new ways to approach our form of collaboration and our ideas where to put the emphases for the texts to come. This is really important. Otherwise we will not be coordinated at all and everyone writes random texts with completely different goals and on different levels of analysis/aggregation, with subjective views or corporate statements, from the perspective of one agent or from "outsider's" point of view, in chronological order or as cases for a larger idea, as stream of consciousness or as structured arguments, etcetc.
In the little book chapter, I wrote about the inception of mission eternity. The fact that not one agent has commented on this yet demonstrates that work with text is among the many difficult tasks in etoy. This is a challenge and not to be taken lightly.

The idea about the neuralgic points in etoy's work is excellent in my opinion. It will add content on a level that can tackle the complexity we experience every day, it can, for the first time if we're good at it, explain some of the inner workings of etoy at depth and with a sensibility towards the subjective positions that we naturally take.
A blog post like today and Zai's reaction to it is such a point of interaction that we should somehow describe. This is difficult! For a number of reasons. It took me a while to understand what's going on and I'm not sure as I write this.
At this point I decide to paste this into the blog post comment. Why not make this visible. If I don't really get it, maybe a smart reader of our blog can help us.
etoy.ZAI @ 09.04.2010 13:13 CET
monorom: alberto had the same idea. too bad that the culture over here does not really promote such suggestions. im afraid that they are into a different kind of art.
etoy.Alberto @ 09.04.2010 13:45 CET
Understanding etoy is also understanding its fundamental parts: etoy.AGENTS, for example. I was able to achieve a much closer and deeper understanding of the people I'm working with - I consider that a success. The ideas captured in the blog are an incomplete testimony of our work these past few days. They need to be used not as an outline or a backbone for the book, but as a method to invoke memory of our prolific discussions in Cambridge, when we are working individually... I feel grateful and satisfied for having had the opportunity to approach such an important project the way we did. I may be wrong, but I think there is a discrepancy about the approach, rooted in expectations: TXT snippets as the source of deep book text would deliver the etoy.HISTORY content sooner, but it might undermine the process of etoy.BOOK. On the other hand, the production of cluster, intertextual, non-chronological, aggregated text can be used as the source for txt snippets, but etoy.HISTORY would take longer to achieve (possibly not in the long run, but in the meantime).

Perhaps we can wait a few weeks before we decide if the time and money investment were a failure. I believe we are on the right path, even if uncertainty is still clouding our horizon.

In terms of concrete actions to move forward even in the middle of turbulence, I have offered a list of history entries (in the blog entry initiated by Zai) that I can immediately work on. I plan to reach out for a minimum of background information in order to contribute valuable text that can be capitalized on later, during the production of the book.

I have one important gap to construct my perspective: timelines (for the book).

It's been great working with you all these past few days. I wish we can rebuild our momentum soon.

Love and respect all around,
Alberto.
etoy.MAJA @ 09.04.2010 15:23 CET
Just posting again what was posted privately a couple of hours ago.

Best, Maja


On our working week in Cambridge
[ etoy.DISCUSSION / meta ] by etoy.MAJA @ 09.04.2010 14:10 CEST

Although, recent reply by etoy.ZAI to a blog posted by agent. HAEFLIGER on etoy work in Cambridge seems to read very negatively, other part of the crew wishes to convey strongly that Cambridge time was spent most fruitfully.

The crew (etoy.ZAI. etoy.TABEA, etoy.HAEFLIGER, etoy.ALBERTO and etoy.MAJA) gathered together to discuss possibilities about writing a book on etoy. Most series and lengthy discussions about the value of printed and written document, the realities of book market, our aims, goals, and possible constraints were documented and reflected upon. The idea behind the book is to make visible and transparent specific aspects of etoy work that appear murky. The book wishes to capture the flux of people, ideas and sometimes values that underpin our work over the past 16 years and to make more visible and transparent some of the aspects that appear murky not only to our audience but also to ourselves. As such the book, that is, a series textual and visual analysis, would be an excellent contribution to our longstanding documentation project. (For more on the Book project scroll down).


Although we started on a positive note, it soon transpired that different agents had different expectations about the goals of the working week. Part of the crew believed that we have gathered to discuss and start implementing the Book project. Other part expected that textual work would be related primarily to the work on the History chart entries. Whilst recognising the supreme value of the History chart, and respecting the immense effort that our fellow-agents invested into it over the years, and especially over the last couple of months, it became clear that different writing approaches might be used in these two (highly related, but also differing) projects.


All the agents that met in Cambridge have committed themselves to writing a number of entries for the Chart. At the same time, they voiced a need to explore and recognise the value of writing a textual document (e.g. book) that would follow its own logic. Importantly, the two logics will not be in conflict. The preparations to write a document that transgresses and twists the entries limited to a single event is an indispensible prerequisite to conveying the complexity of etoy’s work and demonstrate to the reader the multilinearity of our work.

During our stay in Cambridge the agents have also established a valuable connection with the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, visited an inspiring exhibition and expanded our working network.


On the financial aspect – let me make sure that every penny spent for renting the working space, arranging accommodation for visiting agents, etc was spent in the most possible of rational ways. I (etoy.MAJA) have personally done everything I could have done to minimise the costs and maximise the value of the working week. The notion that the time or money was wasted, comes as a complete insult to the agents that were each morning in the working room right on time, ready and willing to discuss, and committed to work (write) and implement discussed ideas.

etoy.MAJA and etoy.HAEFLIGER
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