This is a very important point Johannes is making. One of the key characteristics of media art is that it breaks down barriers between previous creative arts domains, with dance, music, visual art, film, theatre, writing and all sort of other practices able to be incorporated into its welcoming embrace. Thus it is not helpful for the area of media art to be constrained by the critical or theoretical concerns of a single creative arts domain, such as the visual arts. As I suggested before, the visual arts are a sub-genre of media, not the other way around. We need to be clear as to what is the dog and what is the tail.
On 5 Sep 2012, at 13:03, Goebel, Johannes wrote:
> I am happy someone else - Curt - chimed in with my occasional song in
> these exchanges. That song has been: Please look at the time-based arts
> that have a long history with moving in time, like dance and music and
> theater - as opposed to the field of visual arts where time invaded only
> very recently (oh say 150 years).
> And specifically music can give you a mirror for what has been discussed
> here since "electronics" have been part of music in all aspects for say
> the past 120 years. This mirror can not only be valuable for aesthetic
> discussions but also for perspectives in regard to how the technologically
> based media were/are dealt with in the areas of music history and
> economics and critical (or not) positions towards the non-technological
> sound generating media. And this is a potentially potentt mirror for many
> discussions dealt with here.
> This would mean to look at popular music as well as the traditional
> avant-garde, where the use of electronic/electrical/digital indeed has
> been integrated, discussed and fought over for a century.
> The use/application/contemplation of electrical instruments up to
> sound-generating and algorithmically driven composition and
> music-generation has explicitly and prominently been part of all music
> related discussions since after the second world war.
> Electronic music (or whatever term was used, depending on the school you
> thought you were part of) followed exactly the lines you/we are discussing
> now with "new media" in the visual arts. From positivistic thinking
> composers like Stockhausen ("with the sine wave we have discovered the
> smallest part out of which music can be created - micro-and macrostructure
> can be continuously composed" (pseudo quote) via politically engage
> composers like Luigi Nono, from discussions of (dis)embodiment, gestural
> control to how the traditional canon of music history and the academy
> would deal with this (accept this) to composers and scientists scratching
> their head on how to become part of the major cultural music machine.
> And then most certainly from electronic organs in the thirties via
> electric guitars in the fifties to volteg-controlled synthesizers in the
> sixties, digital audio technology in the fifties/sixties, to commercially
> available samplers in the eighties - and then the elctronica scene in the
> nineties and following decades going back to the sixties by digitally
> producing the sounds and vibes of analog music circuitry.
> And today there is absolutely no music but the traditional classical music
> concerts which are not touched by "new media". Be it in a stupid,
> unreflected way, be it as commodity, be it as medium/media reflected as
> part of the creation/production process.
> With a step back and the oh much desired interdiscplinary (or heaven
> forbid transdiscplinary) approach, we could actually look at the present
> discussion for at least for a little while from a more distant perspective
> which could allows clearer reflections.
> The main difference being, that music as all true time-based arts cannot
> accumulate "added value". A piece of music exists only in the moment where
> it sounds (be played live - with or without "new media technology" - or
> reproduced through a medium).
> As a missionary I would say this is exactly what the visual arts world has
> to learn: time-based art does not accumulate value - only the ticket
> prices for movies can increase or the sales prices for a medium or how
> much you can charge for a live performance/installation based on your fame.
> That's it.
> And the whole discussion of the arts world that is based on accumulative
> value and maintaining old pieces etc. has stopped because time-based arts
> has the inherent vector of decay, of falling apart, of being only existent
> when it unfolds or gets unfolded in time.
> And time is immune to speculation - it's only good for a trip, for the
> moment of bliss or disgust and a wide variety from engagement to
> intellectual evocation in between.
> The speculation in the traditional arts world is not speculation with
> time, but speculation over time, terminated with the last heart-beat of
> the owner - this being a major difference to time-based arts.
> Please look at music and how "electronic media" have been
> On 9/5/12 12:30 AM, "Curt Cloninger" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi Julia,
>> What you quote is still problematic to me.
>> The un-rigorous interchangability between "digital," "technological,"
>> "new media," and "information society" is a kind of shibboleth revealing
>> a lack of deeper critical engagement with the concepts and histories that
>> lie behind each of these terms.
>> It's kind of like when electronic percussion first began surfacing in
>> popular music. Some pop music journalist might write: "We know Radiohead
>> is not one of those 'techno bands,' but now that Radiohead is using
>> 'digital' percussion, there may be something to these electronic
>> instruments. Obviously those techno bands are way too into their
>> electronic music microscene to be relevant to the insights I'm laying
>> down, but we might really be able to learn something about the
>> relationship between music and electronics from a legitimate band like
>> Radiohead. Maybe this digital stuff has been at the heart of contemporary
>> music all along." Meanwhile, Aphex Twin is either pulling his hair out or
>> an even more exaggerated analogy (for fun):
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