ah, now we are getting somewhere!
this is the problem with media art history as it has been formulated thus far, to my mind. that we know which camps we want to get out of, but we don't have the guidelines or exemplary art historians with new methods to follow, quite yet.
of course ArtForum will not challenge too stringently the logic which underpins the art world, and so one can criticise this intro for doing that... but editing is a curatorial activity and it is a good pile of articles (i've not read them all yet) -- Kittler, A-Life, Paik, McLuhan -- come on you have to admit it's a great lineup for an issue, well overdue! http://artforum.com/inprint/
Michelle Kuo writes, "Not only are media everywhere; they are in the middle of everything, as the word’s etymology suggests. They are conduits rather than discrete objects: unstable constellations of machines, signals, theories, processes, and materials. And what better way to understand this capricious network than through close readings of its nodes, of individual works or projects?"
Close readings indeed. So suggestions welcome for your ideal ArtForum issue on 50 years of art: the authors, the artists, the book reviews, the topics....
On 4 Sep 2012, at 12:57, Simon Biggs wrote:
I know what the authors means when she writes "to avoid lapsing into a retrograde medium specificity, on the one hand, or technological determinism, on the other" but this is a well worn post-modern mantra that might not be that useful anymore.
It is arguable whether the media specificity of a work is any longer irrelevant. Many vital works are being produced that consider their mediality as essential to appreciating the work. This is especially the case for works that seek to use media characteristics to shift the way the work is made, disseminated and engaged. Media art, by definition, does just this. So, to follow the author's logic, media art is irrelevant as it considers media specificity to be important.
The issue of technological determinism is a more complex one. It was probably necessary, in the early days of PM, to fight the dominant view of how history was made; by great people, their wars and inventions. PM sought to establish a more nuanced and broader apprehension of who and how the (human) world was made. However, that doesn't mean technology is therefore not part of the debate. In a broader context is remains a key consideration - perhaps more so as we begin to see, post ANT, how it operates virally in liaison with other factors. Foucault's concept of the dispositif relies on this expanded approach to power relations and remains a powerful framework for understanding them. I have a feeling this author is, in repeating this antique mantra, glossing over something very important and highlighting what is so wrong not only with the logic that underpins the art world (and magazines like Artforum) but also much of the pop-theory it depends on.
On 4 Sep 2012, at 12:28, Sarah Cook wrote:
I also think I should mention that we should be not taking Bishop's article entirely out of context of the very welcome September issue of ArtForum, which has a spot-on introduction from its editor Michelle Kuo which actually begins with the letter which Paul Brown posted the link to! Michelle Kuo has a PhD which looked at Experiments in Art and Technology, and who was very keen to talk at Rewire but due to scheduling concerns couldn't make it.
To that end, to add to ArtForum’s own archival response, here is a curated selection of readings about new media art published in ArtForum as sourced from the online archive, in no particular order:
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=10623 - Nam June Paik
http://artforum.com/archive/id=20619 - Trevor Paglen
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=30804 - review of Younger Than Jesus
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=5670 - Rafael Lozano Hemmer
http://artforum.com/archive/id=21993 - review of Predrive: After Technology
http://artforum.com/archive/id=29975 - review of New Document
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=6580 - Ant Farm
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=1672 - Christiane Paul’s Hotlist
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=2888 - Jon Ippolito’s hotlist
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=22120 - Barbara London
http://artforum.com/news/week=200116#news84 - Variable Media Initiative
http://artforum.com/archive/id=20592 - review of Superlight
http://artforum.com/archive/id=21297 - review of Untethered
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=4509 - Sylvere Lotringer
http://artforum.com/archive/id=19211 - Claude Closky
http://artforum.com/archive/id=465 - Rachel Greene on web art
http://artforum.com/archive/id=278 - etoy
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=8261 - The Yes Men
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=20915 - on service aesthetics in art
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=22117 - Dara Birnbaum and Cory Arcangel
http://artforum.com/diary/id=25360 - review of Seven on Seven
http://artforum.com/inprint/id=2704 - Maciej Wisniewski / Open_Source_Art_Hack
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MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices