Week 43: A Constructed World

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Geoff Lowe, Jacqueline Riva and a half dozen or so other members of A Constructed World.


A Constructed World make whatever they make — events, installations, videos, drawings and publications — using the media of not-knowing, idle banter, pamphleteering, live eels, dancing, absences and errors, sleight-of-hand and mistakes. In addition to talking about their projects over the years, which has focused largely on raising the question “what is a group?” collectively, and approaching working with other people as constituting what psychoanalysts call a shared space of “not-knowing”, the group will discuss their recent “Fragments in A Constructed World” project, premised on the hypothesis that there may be a lot of unknown overlaps, or potential points of shared interest between people who aren’t aware of that yet. The project has entailed setting up spaces for dialogue, using fragments of Morse code, Chinese pictograms, telepathy… In fact, this week’s discussion will be an open-ended instantiation of the project, even as the group discusses specific tangible methods and infrastructures which they have set up.

This is of course all very much in the spirit and undefined ambit of Plausible Artworlds, which by design is committed to the idea that all (art)worlds are constructed worlds — yet in both popular and learned parlance to describe a world as “constructed” is not trivially tautological. Why is it that worlds appear invariably natural to those operating in them? Or do we “not-know” they are constructed as a form of knowing? Perhaps this is the key to the experimental epistemology of not-knowing. Who knows? And by extension, who brings what to group making? What form of not-knowing do artists — or other categories of not-knowers — bring to world-construction sites?