Other Planes of There

Selected Writings

Other Planes of There

Book Pages: 520 Illustrations: 290 illustrations, incl. 249 i Published: October 2014

Author: Renée Green

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Cultural Studies

For more than two decades, the artist Renée Green has created an impressive body of work in which language is an essential element. Green is also a prolific writer and a major voice in the international art world. Other Planes of There gathers for the first time a substantial collection of the work she wrote between 1981 and 2010. The selected essays initially appeared in publications in different countries and languages, making their availability in this volume a boon to those wanting to follow Green's artistic and intellectual trajectory.

Charting this cosmopolitan artist’s thinking through the decades, Other Planes of There brings essays, film scripts, reviews, and polemics together with reflections on Green's own artistic practice and seminal artworks. It immerses the reader in three decades of contemporary art showcasing the art and thought, the incisive critiques and prescient observations of one of our foremost artists and intellectuals. Sound, cinema, literature, time-based media, and the relationship between art forms and other forms of knowledge are just a few of the matters that Green takes up and thinks through. Sixty-four pages of color plates were selected by the artist for this lavishly illustrated volume.


“[B]y interweaving an astounding diversity of tones, modes, subjects, and genres into a single body of writing, Green reveals many of the underlying interactions and interconnections that would seem to shape our contemporary moment. In the pieces collected in the volume, Green oscillates between the poles of academic and literary ambition, combining the poetic with the analytic, the diaristic with the theoretical, the autobiographical with the systematic, the tentative with the polemical. . . . Other Planes of There offers both a critical genealogy of and a reflexive corrective to our present art-historical and political moment.” — André Rottmann, Artforum

“Anticipating the artist’s expanded function—the various ‘turns’ of the 2000s—Green wears many hats, acting at once as a curator, archivist, events organizer, and independent distributor (a role she calls ‘free media agent’). . . . An important resource for those seeking to understand what has happened in progressive art discourse for the past twenty years. Other Planes of There also offers a model for how artists might situate their work through a critical, process-intensive writing practice.” — Thom Donovan, BOMB

“The book is evidence of what remains an ongoing process, which continues to grow in the minds of those that read it or come to encounter Green’s work. Rooted within the fabric of every text is Green’s voice, which remains one of questioning the world, through a continual prodding and reexamination of methods of understanding, transmission, and communication.”  — Maia Nichols, Full Stop

“Complete with an extensive Publishing History, Curriculum Vitae and Index that indicate clearly the rich scope of this anthology, this certainly is a beautiful example of what thinking through and with work can lead to.” — Edith Doove, Leonardo Reviews

"Renée Green's far-reaching social and political interests have led her into taking on the roles of artist-curator-archivist-historian-exhibition designer and, perhaps most unusual, adventuress-traveler. As indefatigable explorer of circuits of ideas, objects, geographies, histories, and categories, as challenger of historical and cultural boundaries, she has accrued an extraordinary body of work across at least four continents. This remarkable selection of essays bears vivid witness to the range of her ideas, the reach of her curiosity, and her generosity and acuity of intellect." — Yvonne Rainer, , avant-garde American dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker

"The publication of Other Planes of There will be a major intellectual event. Given Renée Green's stature and influence, both in the United States and abroad, her writing can be surprisingly hard to track down. This volume will be an essential reference point for anyone invested in critical practice of the last three decades and the shape of things to come. We need this book." — Huey Copeland, author of Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America

"More than a collection of an artist's writings, Other Planes of There is also a rigorous meditation on the question of why artists are compelled to write. Along the way, almost incidentally as it were, readers are offered a self-conscious survey of the most advanced thinking in the artistic practice of an artist who not only dares to represent herself but also to put herself forward, in that representation, as representative." — Fred Moten, author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition and B Jenkins


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Price: $32.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Renée Green is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her exhibitions, videos, and films have been seen throughout the world in museums, biennales, and festivals. A selection of her books includes Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams, Ongoing Becomings, Between and Including, Shadows and Signals, and, as editor, Negotiations in the Contact Zone. Green’s essays and fiction have appeared in magazines and journals such as Transition, October, and Collapse. She is also a Professor at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, School of Architecture and Planning.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Acknowledgments xi

Introductory Essays

Other Planes, Different Phases, My Geometry, Times, Movements: Becomings Ongoings 1

Remarks on the Writings of Renée Green, by Gloria Sutton 19


1. Sites of Criticism: A Symposium. Practices: The Problem of Division of Cultural Labor. Statement (1992) 35

2. Discourse on Afro-American Art: The Twenties (1982) 42

3. I Won't Play Other to Your Same (1990) 53

4. What's Painting Got to Do with It? Representing Gender and Sexuality in the Age of Post-Mechanical Reproduction (1990) 57

5. From Camino Road (1994) 64

Circuits of Exchange

6. Open Letter #1: On Influence (1992) 73

7. Open Letter #2: Another Attempt (1993) 78

8. Collectors, Creators, and Shoppers (1994) 83

9. Peripatetic at "Home" (1995) 89

10. Free Agent Media / FAM (1995) 94

11. Situationist Text (2001) 99

12. Introductory Notes of a Reader and "A Contemporary Moment" (2001) 103


13. Trading on the Margin (1991) 119

14. Democracy in Question (1991) 128

16. Spike Lee's Mix: Calculated Risks and Assorted Reckonings (1996) 141

17. Compared to What? (1998) 152

18. Notes on Humanist and Ecological Republic and Lac Mantasoa (2000) 156

19. Other Planes of There (2004) 163

20. Archives, Documents? Forms of Creation, Activism, and Use (2008) 176

21. On Kawara's Solutions to Living (2010) 191


22. "Give Me Body": Freaky Fun, Biopolitics, and Contact Zones (1995) 197

23. Dropping Science: Art and Technology Revisited 2.0 (1995) 210

24. Site-Specificity Unbound: Considering "Participatory Mobility" (1998) 225

25. Slippages (1997) 230

26. Affection Afflictions: My Alien/MySelf, or More "Reading at Work" (1998) 256

27. Survival: Ruminations on Archival Lacunae (2001) 271

28. Beyond (2006) 289

29. Place (2006) 297


30. Sites of Genealogy (1990) 309

31. VistaVision: Landscapes of Desire (1991) 312

32. Tracing Lusitania: Excerpts from an Imagined Prototype (1995) 317

33. Secret, Part 1. Practiced Places (1992-1993) 320

34. Secret, Part 2. Scenes from a Group Show: Project Unité (1993) 323

35. Inventory of Clues (1993) 335

36. Eighteen Aphoristic Statements (1994) 340

37. Collecting Well Is the Best Revenge (1995) 346

38. The Digital Import/Export Funk Office (1995) 354

39. Wavelinks Transmitted amidst "Dangerous Crossings": Reflections in 2006 (2000, 2006) 364

40. Standardized Octagonal Units for Imagined and Existing Systems (2002) 375

41. Sound Forest Folly: Intermediary Units of a Variable Number (2004) 379

42. Why Systems? (2004) 381

43. Relay (2005) 388

44. Index (From Oblivion): Paradoxes and Climates. Thought Experiments: Warm-up Notes (2005) 392

45. Climates and Paradoxes (2005) 396

46. Why Reply? (2007) 403

47. Now It Seems Like a Dream (2007) 408

48. Imagine This Wherever and Whoever You Are (2008) 411

49. Come Closer: Prelude to Endless Dreams and Water Between (2008) 419

50. Come Closer (2008) 422

51. Endless Dreams and Water Between (2009) 428

Plate Captions 453

Publishing History 463

Curriculum Vitae 469

Index 491
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