Bonemap: remediation as remedy
We are now responsible for our feelings the way we were once responsible for our beliefsDon Byrd
The collaborative team of Russell Milledge and Rebecca Youdell are the hub of Bonemap. All lines of flight pass through this node of collective arrangements where the communal sense of time and space are reassessed through performed interactions of the visceral present with communication architectures of the digital.
The artistic venture and life adventure that has led Bonemap to this point, crosses vast domains of geography and information. Their interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations have allowed them to develop community ties from Wales to south East Asia and across Australia. Their ecological philosophy is based on creative practice through an ethical commitment to the practices of everyday life, which includes many techniques for participating in the many scales of events -- from self-organisation to cooperation that produces community. It is through these complex situations (sites) that they explore questions of identity. Their creative intermedia performances are comprised of notations of moment and place, which become lived dimensions of the relation between urban and regional environments. Their use of remote and proximal sites amplifies the inseparability of the arts from environmental sustainibility of the bush. But it is the performed, lived body, standing for itself that makes palpable the point of contact between historical and material time. This is how the re-mediation operates to bring us flush with the complacency with which we accept our cultural inheritance.
I think that Bonemap could easily take part in the digital underground of jammers, hackers, cyberpunk, pirates, and phone phreaks who politicise access to information and proprietary knowledge. They are well positioned to use their critical and technical skills to analyse and dismantle the liars paradox of culture. They even wield a militant disregard for wealth and power as the banner of their ethics. This is not a naive scheme. They have quite deliberately chosen not to participate in the continued disassembly of what is currently operating as the world and taken on a more demanding and risky task: the project of reassembly. Risky because it resembles other projects of political commitment or can be aligned with strategies of retro-style, appropriation or parody. However the tone they take is not an ironic stance to the dismantling of cultural norms opting instead to reassemble the world through a re-enchantment and produce value by building bridges (links, nodes, networks).
The re-enchantment cannot come in the guise of a formal structure but must be embodied as a Bridge Song and emerge ecologically from a re-activation of our engagement with otherness in the world. New media environments prepare or prime our bodies for these new information conditions. Technologies that produce information clouds and digital architecture compound spatial and temporal possibilities of experience. In the domain of new media performance it is no longer possible to separate language from image, discourse from figure, and spatiality from temporality, and presents a challenge to eighteenth century aesthetics carried down to us in the form of a hard and fast distinction between linguistic and plastic representations.
The ingredients of a remedy can be found in the midst of our living conditions. Bonemaps creative intermedia is remediation as remedy for lack the environmental context. Kinethesia and telesthesia are the techniques for re-imagining the components of agency. The body of subject-object processes, which we currently have in place, is a dinosaur on its last legs. It is not my impression that the solution Bonemap desire is that of the old revolution of new meaning and new order. They do however ask us to follow the filigree connections of experience from all environmental sources back to the threads of our own commitment to engagement it is not the world that is being re-enchanted but the material structure of interest and the possibility of value. Luckily, the remedy is home grown, with an outlet in Cairns and several branch offices.
Jondi Keane, May 2003