Why The Navigation Principle (NP)

The Navigation Principle (NP) is a writing platform, conceptual diary and working journal on art, (geo-)politics, vocabularies and spatialities.

The principle of navigation states that our mode of thinking continuously moves between knowing and not-knowing in a spatial composite made of layers such as life, academia, technologies, the art of making and political/social struggle. Writing, therefore, in that sense is like living in the 21st century: never disciplined to one box or one layer, to one language or one tone, to one geography or culture, to one film or one book, to one place or the other. Living in the 21st century means being mediated by and via a screen that poses the profound question of positioning in relation to situated knowledge and a permanently split body-existence. If Serge Daney declared in 1976/77 that “The true place of the filmmaker is in the AND” between Ici et AilleursHere and Elsewhere then in 2016, the Here and the Elsewhere have been collapsed into each other. There is no AND anymore. There is no camera that captures the Elsewhere. If there is a camera then it arrives Here as data. There is no document from the Elsewhere. If there is a document then it is not an evidence of the past. Unmanned. Dronological. Machinic. Permanent. Immanent. Implicated. That condition projects us into a new kind of spatiality. How can we understand that mode of moving in several spatialities at the same time, politically? How can we read such a mode of being in a geo-graphic scene and sense, i.e.,  being written into the planet as if the body is a writing instrument. Not as a fixed inscription but a navigational ongoing process. Already writing in this wordpress template here, which only works in online-mode, is a topolitical writing. I will explain the ‘topolitical’ in a text-to-come published here. Writing, in that sense, may take place in visual, political, sonic, exhibitionary or spatial form. There are many more forms of writing. The NP as a working journal emerged from the urgency to operate inside of a semi-public space for articulating ideas inside of everyday institutional work-obligations at an art academy, pressuring deadlines, the will to write with a certain pressure to write thoughts. The conceptual diary is another term for it, but highlights the necessity to write from a particular moment with the inscription of the feminine. The writing platform will offer space for collecting thoughts for text or writing commissions that I am delaying and delaying. Under the imaginary permanent never sleeping gaze of algorithms, I hope, it will support the ‘initial commitment’ that it takes to process thought.

This is a particular NP, conceived by Doreen Mende. It brings together the admiration for differing ways of thinking such of Reza Negarestani, Gayatri Spivak and Hélène Cixous, as well as Benjamin Bretton, Emily Apter, Sylvain Lazarus (an impossible constellation of voices)… In that line, my comrades at the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin are part of that thought process too. Furthermore, the work with students – all women – in my Curatorial seminar 2016/17 at CCC Master of HEAD in Geneva are interlocutors here as well. I wish that the NP will also re-inaugurate the means to continue to work visually towards navigated forms of images, or navigated forms of optic operations in the future.

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