Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rhizome interview

Thanks to Rhizome for publishing an extended interview with me where I discuss the exhibition in Athens, why Immobilité is a "foreign film," and how to navigate the trickier aspects of locating a distributed audience to deliver various remixed forms of multi-media work to. I also give props to Alfred North Whitehead whose philosophical texts have recently resonated with my thinking on remixology and postproduction art. The interview was conducted by Rick Silva.

Here is an excerpt:
RS: This idea of 'remixing the form' goes all the way back to your first new media work GRAMMATRON, where you basically wrote a novel as a multimedia hypertext website. Do you think we are in a post remix era, as in post taking-content-directly-from-other-people's-works, and maybe more about remixing aesthetic or structural forms?

MA: My sense is that it's an "all of the above" situation that has been happening for awhile now and that, out of necessity, we find ourselves becoming not so much contemporary artists (i.e. "of" our time) but temporary artists, something much more fluid in the sense that we are continually caught in the post-production process which for me is the same thing as the creative process. Being creative is what it means to be an aesthetic creature, i.e. one who remixes forms and content as part of their ongoing quest for novelty. This is something that we can trace back to the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead whose books, particularly Process and Reality, highlight how we quite naturally select useful source material, what he calls datum, and reconfigure it for our own creative needs. So yes, on a practical level, remix culture is about sampling content and manipulating it for temporary effect, but on a philosophical level it goes much deeper than that, where we are intersubjectively jamming with the cultural moment we are part of while at the same time sampling from cultural forms we have inherited. With GRAMMATRON, I am noticeably remixing the formal experiments we find in metafiction, hypertext, and conceptual art+language works while unknowingly helping usher in a new genre that we have since come to call Internet art. The buzz from the discoveries made during the making of GRAMMATRON is then integrated into PHON:E:ME, where I remix the form of the concept album with forms I associate with Conceptual Art while at the same time expanding the concept of peer-to-peer networking, and then with FILMTEXT I try to mash-up a lot of different forms including interactive cinema, games, cyberpunk fiction and what had by then become net art.

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