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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  September 2009

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING September 2009

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Subject:

Re: September 2009: update and "Real-Time: Showing Art in the Age of New Media"

From:

Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 4 Sep 2009 14:11:31 +0100

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hello all;



i think death has been largely overrrated in discussions about such subjects in theatre or in performance (the actor dying there in front of us, strikes me as melodramatic, although i did read Herbert Blau back in the 80s and admired his writing on Hamlet and ghosting).  And I shuddered at the wonderful make up of the actors in Kantor's productions,  very Kabuki. 

(Incidentally, Charlie, what did you mean by the phrase "the ironically-named 'live' arts "   - you think they are misnamed for death arts?)

Discussions on Fried(s) are always fascinating, there are all these Frieds and his misnamed references to the theatre. also back from olden times. 

I am not sure when academies started to use the term "time based arts" but it would be interesting to look into that.  In 1991, when i arrived in Chicago, the Art institute i believe had two tracks, one in the fine arts (painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking etc) and one in time based art (video, performance, sonics, installation).

I agree with Sally Jane that one needs to carefully approach the objects of performance, the static ones that don't move much, and the less static ones  (as Charlie in the first post so beautifully annotates: " ....museum and gallery as disciplinary institutions, imposing an exemplary discipline of spectatorship). By contrast time-based art, interactive art, and all art involving some form of interaction over time tend to do the opposite. Perhaps this may be a partial explanation of the continued resistance to such work in mainstream institutions),  either aren't atemporal. 

yet it seems it would be interesting to assume that in Chicago in the 80s and 90s, before the museum or the art world had to deal with "real time" and interactive art" , the time based arts were happening (taught and developed, curated)  in the School as compositional experiments with durational (and loopular) forms, or microforms (videos , like sound, can last seconds), and architectural installation forms  (Kabakov's installations are objects, yes?). The concerns with the spectator (later called to be called interactor/participant or user) and contingencies of  viewing time/experience came later, I'd suggest, as the discourse on "relationality"  (Bourriaud) and the contingent object  (Buskirk,  M) picked up speed.

By that time, however, an increasingly sophisticated discourse on net.art had already developed, but i am not sure that the early attempts to "show" (curate) online art or telematic art succeeded all too well.  I tried to study carefully what they did at larger (documenta X, /  http://cont3xt.net/interference/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19, but more interesting was the "Hybrid Workspace") and smaller festivals (e.g. Houston Fotofest started to include online art and interactive websites/CD-Roms in 2003), and i thought they fell flat and were self-contradictory.  

Do I Have a Good Reason to Be Here?, wrote Inke Arns in response  (http://www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Texts/Media/net-e.html).


I suppose we will need to address what we mean by Real Time and whether this is a functional category/characteristic of the "work"  or whether we are addressing social and contextual and psychological dimensions or sonething as inconsequential as  "the time of the spectatorship".  Or is it consequential?  For TV ratings, yes, for the dismantling of Big Brothers, yes. For real-time art? probably not, unless the "work" does not exist or come into some form of existenve without the proactions of the interactor/user. The proactive audience is a problem, no? 

regards

Johannes Birringer
DAP-Lab
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/dap



>>>>
 
I'm glad you've called on Fried, Charlie, and at the same time this stirs niggling questions re your last statement that "we have the idea with most object-like works of art that we can see it all at once, in an instant"... because it seems to me that the contamination Fried deplores as "theatricality" in minimalist object works is precisely bound up with their focus on experiential, time-bound encounter rather than "instant" grasping of the object. I don't want to go pedantically back to cubist or futurist deployment of the viewer's time as an integral part of the "object" construct and its experience, nor to Lessing's Laocoon positing the ideal painted/ sculpted moment as epitomising the time leading up to/ running after its capture, but I remain very un-easy with this distinction between "atemporal object-based" versus "temporal time-based" arts. What aspect of the "time" we are talking about pertains to aesthetic experience/ encounter, and what aspect is integral to (ostensibly non-living), "objective/ objectifiable" components of the work? (ranging from egg-based paint media and varnishes that acquire their qualities over time, through to the algorithmic computational procedures Yaeger wrought into Polyworld...)? And (how far) can these aspects/ dimensions of time be separated in art? Or is its role precisely to inseparably entangle them?

>>>>>.

Thus perhaps being 'time-based' is not a question of movement of time or duration within the work itself, but of the time of spectatorship. This would also seem to relate nicely to Sally Jane's examples from actual theatre. I think this makes net art, software art and other new media arts time-based for what its worth

>>>>>>

On 4 Sep 2009, at 08:52, Gere, Charlie wrote:

> Another thought following on from my last post - perhaps the whole
> issue between time-based art and object art is that of death. The
> object presents us wit

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