[Oops, just realised I only sent this to Charlie before, not to the list]
>While conceding that, of course, taxonomies are made in the service of
>power and control, simply to imagine that we can dispense with them
seems to me to be problematic.
>I suggest the alternative is not the
>occupation of some space beyond the control of categories and so on,
>such as Patrick seems to suggest the avant-garde continually seeks and
>achieves (after all what is the avant-garde but one of the most
>insistent and overdetermined of all artistic taxonomical definitions in
>modernity), but rather the danger of invisibility and silence. The issue
>here is perhaps one of the politics of the archive, which Derrida
>engages with in Archive Fever.
Although I recognise that dispensing with taxonomies altogether would
be nearly if not completely impossible, I don't think that this then
means we should embrace the procedure without qualms as some on this
list would seem to do. If the archive is to be about the future and
not the past, then we need to disentangle its representational power
from the requirements of (new media's) institutionalisation - or at
least contest any smooth translation between the two. Even if we were
able to break down the 'bad' term 'new media' into its 'true' and
consensually agreed upon parts (which let's face it could never
happen, because there are too many interests riding on any and all
outcomes), would that better, more wholesome descriptor then do
anything to enhance the values apparently espoused within it
(interactivity, feedback, network etc.)? By which I mean, wouldn't it
simply make the whole (contested) area of artistic practice more
easily packageable and assimilable within the codes of museology?
Transmediale may be problematising this very process by throwing open
the selection of prize categories to the public, but only then to
recapture this 'radically' democratic moment within the hierarchical
system of selection, promotion, official recognition, award -
something that once again cuts out the truly
collective/anonymous/networked/feedbacked nature of creativity and
production. Isn't this just another instance of institutional
hypocrisy? Better to think how to use taxonomies to destabilise
(however momentarily) institutions and their entropic power (maybe
Duchamp's fountain was - briefly - such an instance?).
>"&[T]he question of the archive is not, we repeat, a question of the
>past. It is not the question of a concept of dealing with the past that
>might already be at our disposal, an archivable concept of the archive.
>It is a question of the future, the promise of the future itself, the
>question of a response, of a promise and a responsibility for tomorrow.
>The archive: if we want to know what that meant, we will only know in
>times to come. Perhaps. Not tomorrow but in times to come, later on or
>perhaps never. A spectral messianicity is at work in the concept of the
>archive and ties it, like religion, like history, like science itself,
>to a very singular experience of the promise."
Charlie - maybe you could decipher this quote for us a bit - I
personally find it quite opaque.