[spectre] MILK

reinhard storz rstorz at xcult.org
Fri Dec 3 12:52:16 CET 2004

in response to
message: 6

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 15:20:35 +0000
To: Andreas Broeckmann <abroeck at transmediale.de>
From: shu lea cheang <shulea at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [spectre] swiss 56k bastard web channel censors project
Cc: spectre at mikrolisten.de, geert <geert at xs4all.nl>,
         reinhard storz <rstorz at xcult.org>

Please note that I didn't push Shu Lea Cheang to do a censored version 
of her MILK piece. (I show the original version on my art platform 
Fact is: I had to go through many hard discussions with our main funder. 
Our 56kTV project (with a lot of other contributing artists) nearly 
crashed. Shu Lea saved the situation by realising the 'snow (soft) version'.

In opposition to Andreas Broekmann I appreciate MILK as an interesting 
art work. Of course  the short circuit between porn and HIV death is 
problematic. But as I see it, MILK proposes this short circuit only on a 
first (vocative) level, shouting: porn+dead, western culture + Africa, 
committer+victim. This is the intention to be shrill at first sight.
But on a second level of thinking about MILK there are only 'victims' 
and the looking for perpetrators is somehow senseless. MILK is a 
inexorable body counting machine, numbering deads (abstract, only in 
numbers and words, no pictures, as a cost per time counter on porn 
sites) and counting/showing porn pictures (speaking both of commercial 
sex and of love pleasure?). The slowly loading image in the background 
you can estimate as a porn picture (a woman's breast full of liquid out 
of a sperm tube, as they use it in the porn movie industry) and you can 
see it as a woman's breast full of milk - that's the title of the piece. 
Milk on breasts is prolific, fertile and opposes the idea and fact of 
death but, as Shu Lea points out, babies in Africa often contract AIDS 
through sucking milk from the HIV virus infected mothers... thus the 
wide spread among babies.

I know: there is the danger of over-interpretation. But the intention of 
my arguments is to accent the nonlinear meaning of MILK. It's 
provocative potential lies not only in the porn+death stuff, but also in 
the fact that it doesn't offer an expected politico-moralistic comment. 
Some times - in this case - that's a genuine quality of art.


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