Ah, thanks Curt; I think this - put much more eloquently - aligns with something I was trying to get at with my earlier question:
And (how far) can these (different) aspects/ dimensions of time be separated in art? Or is its role precisely to inseparably entangle them?
From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Curt Cloninger [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 07 September 2009 22:14
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Recap: September 2009: "Real-Time: Showing Art in the Age of New Media"
Hi Sarah (and all),
One thing that stands out to me after having read this recap of the
conversation is this idea of multiple speeds and slownesses happening
simultaneously at multiple levels. This is a very Deleuzean
observation that planes of meanng are not just a matter of molar
objects and subjects in spatial and power relations to each other.
Rather, meaning and ways of being are more a matter of speeds of
movement, attrition, attention, permeation, deterritorialization, etc.
Some scales of speed simultaneously at play in The Art Formerly Known
1. The time it takes the actual media art object to play out (as Jon
Thompson noted -- a decaying sculpture, a perpetually updated data
cloud). Smithson's work really problematizes this kind of time. The
art collective Spurse has been exploring "deep time/rapid time,"
considering geological formations over time. Also categorically
problematic is aleatoric software (like Brian Eno's "77 Million
Paintings") which perpetually runs with enough generative variability
to keep from ever "looking" like the same thing twice (although
arguably it is performing the same perpetual function at an
2. The Cartesian clock time that the discrete viewer/user actually
spends viewing/interacting with the work in the space (three seconds,
30 minutes, or whatever).
3. The more subjective Bergsonian time (analog, non-digital,
qualitative not quantitative) that the discrete viewer spends
affectively experiencing the work (could involve personal prior
memories, could involve the work coming to mind later after leaving
the space). This is related to the Cartesian clock time, but by no
means solely determined by it.
4. The time that the entire show or project runs.
5. Archival time -- how the work is archived, collected, subsequently
displayed, gradually folded into an art historical canon.
6. The evolutionary time of art criticism and art historical
scholarship (and its overlap with philosophy, science, culture
7. The evolutionary time of an art practice throughout an artist's life.
8. Curatorial research time.
9. Institutional evolutionary time -- the time it takes art
institutions to come to terms with and incorporate new media forms
(or new conceptual approaches to old media forms).
And of course, historical and political rates of speed contextually
permeate and inflect all of the above rates of speed. And of course
all of the above rates of speed perpetually permeate and inflect each
other. These permeations and inflections are "always already"
happening (to greater or lesser degrees). The artist and curator can
(and should) attempt to more purposefully orchestrate these temporal
permeations. But they are happening already (however haphazardly,
slip-shoddily, accidentally, ironically), regardless of the artist or
curator's awarenesses or stated intentions.
I propose that truly ingenious "event-based" work (in whatever media)
is work that invites all of these scales of speed into the work
itself, so that the work proves self-aware of its own context -- not
hermetically sealed from these other speeds and slownesses, these
other rates of advance and attrition. Such ingenious work is not
merely multi-media, or even multi-scalar (in a spatial sense) -- it
is multi-dromological (to invoke Virillio). It is work that works
across multiple scales of speed. It is not merely reducible to a form
of "institutional critique" or a form of "activist art." It
transverses institutional and political power relations, but it also
functions phenomenologically and affectively as an art work in the
space itself. Smithson's "Partially Buried Woodshed," Matta-Clark's
house cuttings, Duchamp's long-term work on the Green Box, even Bill
Viola's slow motion Tristan Project -- all succeed at working across
and purposefully invoking multiple scales of time. And none are
technically "new media." Some of John Cage's compositions are
especially ingenious in this regard. "Water Walk" still invites in
the sounds of "real-time, contemporary" radio. Cell phone ring tones
can now be heard during 4'33''.
At 6:50 PM +0100 9/7/09, Sarah Cook wrote:
>Hi CRUMB list readers
>It's Monday (and Labour Day in North America, so a holiday but the
>official marking of the back-to-school season), and for the purposes
>of those just joining up to this discussion, here is my rough and
>ready re-cap of some of the points so far...