Walker Art Center

Here, by experiencing several projects at the same location, the visitors were expected to make many links between each project and to start imagining other possible localities that were not presented or visible in the exhibition. I think imagining other possible localities is a key factor in being translocal.


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From: mediachef_translocations <steve.dietz@walkerart.org>
Date: Wed Mar 13, 2002 3:57am
Subject: Re: from Guna

Guna and Yukiko,

A lot to chew on here! And thanks, Yukiko, for introducing the notion of imagination. Shuddha has written a quite wonderful piece about his imagination as sparked by community telephones called "Long Distance Conversations."[15]

In my recent "global travels" I had a similar sense of wonder and imagination provoked by the destination board in the Kuala Lumpur airport. I think I could have sat there indefinitely. It also brings to mind one of my standard anecdotes, which is that one of the ways that Claude Shannon, and others, understood his very precise and profoundly transforming mathematical theory of information was as surprise. Information has more value the more surprising it is.[16]

Guna, I think you are right to question whether latitude--geography--introduces another instance of a certain essentialism. Nevertheless, I remain interested in whether there is a kind of nonessentialist localism that can be recuperated by the notion of translocal in opposition to transglobal. Perhaps it is the notion of hospitality, which Raqs mentioned in relation to Irina Aristarkhova and which is embedded in her new work Virtual Chora.[17]

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From: Gunalan Nadarajan <gunalan@lasallesia.edu.sg>
Date: Tue Mar 12, 2002 9:09pm
Subject: Re: translocations

Dear Yukiko and the rest,

I am thankful for your reference to the notion of latitude-differentiated time zones as it again points to the ways in which cartographies are organizing the spatial-temporal realities of our lived experiences as different. I would like, though, to suggest that sometimes geographies, with reference to the imagined topographies of the net and the global networks of commerce, have been promoted as the new signifiers of real spaces or, in cyberculture circles, place. The fact that geographies are as much constructions of spatio-temporal experiences as they are representations of real spaces is carefully circumvented, sometimes by the critique of net space as being not real vis--vis that of geographical space. In some sense, then, I am wondering if the reference to latitude being a geographical construct standing in this exhibition as a trope of locatedness is not rather problematic.

I would like to raise another issue that has been bothering me for a while now, the phenomenon of the global curator; and Steve, as I indicated to you during your visit here, you seem to be one example of a global curator both by intent, and since I know you will beg to differ, by default. By intent insofar as you (as does your institution, the Walker Art Center) desire to "curate the world" in a sense. The desire to go beyond one's shores,

15 See Shuddhabrata Sengupta, "Long Distance Conversations," at http://www.sarai.net/compositions/texts/works/longdistance.htm.

16 See Steve Dietz, "Signal or Noise? The Network Museum," February 16, 2000, http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/webwalker/ww_032300.html.

17 See Irina Aristarkhova, "Virtual Chora," at http://www.virtualchora.com/.