Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Visceral Remixologists

I had a marvelous art-making machine – my personas. I never knew where it would go.

– Eleanor Antin

Creating this identity allowed me to spin narratives on several fronts at the same time and produce persona as shareware.

– DJ Spooky aka That Subliminal Kid

And what about hybridized, collective personas of an interdisciplinary nature?

This is where the Visceral Remixologists come in.

The Visceral Remixologists explore the narrative potential of what is sometimes referred to as collective autobiography or autoethnography.

The collaborative or group voice that emerges ideally transforms the data of everyday life into a performance-based narrative that looks and feels like a peer-to-peer art historical experience.

With so many of the major figures in new media art and literary culture still active in their careers, what better time than now to directly address this distributed network of artistic innovators and tap them for their insights into this revolutionary style of self-consciously made / collaboratively generated (art) histories?

But where are these histories being made?

Interestingly enough, one of the primary goals of my first net art seminars back in the late 90s and early 00s sought to address this problem. The end result was the Histories of Internet Art: Fictions and Factions (HIAFF) site. Look at what the (primarily undergraduate) students have achieved building HIAFF over a sequence of laser-focused semesters and compare it to more commercial sites like art+culture or higher profile non-profit resources like Rhizome.

Just by focusing on these three sites and perhaps a fourth, Alt-X, you can still see, after various fits and starts, an evolving tribe of co-conspirators intersubjectively jamming in a network distributed mind-mesh.

Our goal should be to produce a multi-media, collective autobiography of practice that spatializes the narrative of new media forms of art and the mutant offspring that will grow out of this network distributed mind-mesh (what in other posts I have referred to as a co-poietic unfolding).

How will this co-poietic unfolding alter the art market of the 2020's?

One of the more difficult aspects of investigating this last question as deeply as one would like to relates to the use of sociological methods that challenge the subject-position of the voices of the artists themselves, many of whom invent their digital personae as instrumental narrative devices to further build their own personal mythologies on the Internet and thus continue the creative process of making (art) history up as they go along.

This will serve as a wake up call to contemporary media art historians who think they have the final say on how history gets read.

Especially given the fact that by the time the 2020's roll around, history will no longer be read per se but rather will be invented (yet again) as part of this collaboratively generated, network distributed creative act.

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