Aspen was a multimedia magazine of the arts published by Phylis Johnson from 1965 to 1971. Each issue had a new designer and editor. “Aspen”, Johnson said, “should be a time capsule of a certain period, point of view or person”. New York-based Irish artist and critic Brian O'Doherty edited aspen 5+6, a double issue of the magazine, which was published in 1967.
     aspen 5+6 is currently being exhibited as part of the Coast-Lines exhibition at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The Collections Department at IMMA invited the Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) to respond to Aspen 5+6. Our response, entitled 1967-2017, considers the legacies of Aspen 5+6 and Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). E.A.T. was established in 1967 – the same year in which Aspen 5+6 was published – in response to the success of the previous year's 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, a series of events at New York City's 69th Regiment Armory.
     One facet of OMG's response is an object called Placement as Language. It has a physical manifestation at IMMA for the duration of the exhibition and an online manifestation below and on Twitter.

Click here to download the guide to OMG's response to the Aspen 5+6 exhibit at Coast-Lines.

Placement as Language

Aspen 5+6 contained three essays: Roland Barthes' Death of the Author; George Kubler's Style and the Historical Representation of Time; and Susan Sontag's The Aesthetics of Silence.
     Here the original communication platform — a magazine in a box —is replaced by a contemporary one — Twitter. Two feeds are produced, each of which is available to read here via Twitter and also in the gallery printed onto streams of paper.
     1 @aspen_ordered divides the three essays into Twitter-sized 140 character chunks, transmitting them one by one into the world.
     2 @aspen_reordered employs an algorithm to create new variations on the original texts. These variations are generated by a statistical algorithm called a Markov Chain that generates sentences based on the probability of one word following another in the original text.

1 Ordered
2 Reordered


less than the scouring and harmonious sharpening of the senses (the very opposite of such violent projects, with roughly the same (2/3)

A tremendous spiritual preparation (the contrary of "alienation") is required for this deceptively simple act of naming: nothing (1/3)

It is enough. according to Rilke, to cut back drastically the scope and use of language.

mystics, through transcending language altogether. (2/2)

For Rilke the overcoming of the alienation of consciousness is conceivable; and its means are not, as in the radical myths of the (1/2)

uses of language, no more must be attempted than will allow consciousness to be unestranged from itself. (2/2)

when this spiritual exercise of confining language to naming is perfected, it may be possible to pass on to other, more ambitious (1/2)

Rilke suggests that language may very well have to remain within a permanent state of reduction.

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The singleness is assured by the shorter durations, and by instantaneous exposure to a timeless sphere; and flow concerns change.

These larger units, these bundles of components, and these interrelations across time and of denying duration under the same way as (1/2)

Silence, then, is both the precondition of speech, and the statistician is very far from history, of spirit from matter, of the (1/2)

That reality is totally different from the need to fill up all the spaces with objects of attention.

neutral surface, no neutral theme, no neutral theme, no neutral form. (2/2)

There is no neutral discourse, no neutral surface, no neutral theme, no neutral surface, no neutral surface, no neutral theme, no (1/2)

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