Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I can relate.

A. This post is in relation to relational aesthetics (RA).

B. According to Bourriaud, RA refers to an "aesthetic theory consisting in judging artworks on the basis of the inter-human relations which they represent, produce or prompt" and that have a "co-existence criterion" that the work depends on for its legitmacy.

C. The co-existence criterion, Bourriaud says, comes from all works of art "that produce a model of sociability, which transposes reality or might be conveyed in it." The question we are then led to ask in relation to aesthetic production is: "Does this work permit me to enter into dialogue?" And is that dialogue to take place with the work itself, the artist who made it, the event surrounding its execution (the process), or more importantly, the people who experience the work with me? And when I say "experience the work with me" I do not necessarily mean with me in realtime. With net art especially, I find that many of the people who I engage in dialogue with about a work of art have experienced the work asynchronously, even when it felt like there were multiple "users" online at the "same time." What is "same time" anyway?

D. "The forms produced by artists operating under the rule of totalitarian regimes are preemptory and close in on themselves." They seek some kind of "perfect symmetry" in their (predominantly object-oriented) output and create new work as some kind of psychological renewal to keep themselves intact while their self-esteem hangs by a thread.

E. And if these same "artists" find themselves caught up in governmental, academic, corporate, museological, or otherwise militarized/industrialized bureaucratic institutions, then chances are they are reading from a script that's so old they don't even know the world has passed them by.
(talking to itself)
Can you tell us what you
intended to do with this work?

F. Totalitarian is a strong word until you talk to your old German friends who grew up under the Nazis as little kids. They remember. And their memories are further triggered by the photo and digital fingerprinting that takes place as soon as they enter the US. The digitalization of biometric data turns what we think of as democracy on its head. Guilty until proven innocent.

G. A rhizomatically interconnected relational aesthetics that breaks out of the mold of post 9-11 robotic securityspeak, and that moves away from the art object while investigating the depth of possibilities inherent in a never-ending sequence of autopoietic events, would entail the collective structuring (conceptual scuplturing) of (new media) (democratic) (netartroots) forms that tap into the networked madness (scintillating nerve scales / aesthetic potential) that feeds off of the metaphorical space of distributed mindshare.

H. "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it's the rule." Nietzsche

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Reader Writes

A reader writes:
In his last post, Professor VJ asks us: "Is not the artist-medium a ghost's ghost, the alien entity who uses unconscious triggers to reveal the paradoxical state of the specter, which is neither being nor non-being?"

I believe he's referring to the Derridean concept of "hauntology" and sees the mystical side of mediumistic art practice in relation to spontaneous poetics, i.e. he's attempting to locate a space of expanding formal experimentation where the artist improvisationally ghostwrites their own pseduo-autobiographical narrative as if they were becoming alienation alienated from alienation itself.

This improvisational ghostwriting of the pseudo-autobiographical narrative of the artist-medium can be viewed in relation to the haunting textuality of Lautreamont whose spirit is summoned by John Ashberry when he writes:
     "Dear ghost, what shelter
in the noonday crowd? I am going to write
an hour, then read
what someone else has written."
These haunto-teleological confusions of who writes who (while reading) are indicative of a similar dilemma Borges found himself in too, especially in that short text "Borges and I".
Somewhere in the background of all of this, like a seance gone wild, Hegel infuses the candle-lit room with his phenomonology of spirit and the "material of dead space."

Professor VJ, on the other hand, goes back to his mediumistic practice and plays with the presets on his After Effects program.

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