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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  February 2013

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING February 2013

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Subject:

Re: Intro

From:

marc garrett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

marc garrett <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 5 Feb 2013 10:39:30 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

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Hi all,

Firstly, I wish thank Roddy for inviting me to share ideas and 
(possible) revelations with others on the Crumb list.

Before I get into the flow of the discussion I would like to pre-empt 
the hopefully 'interesting' noise by letting people on here know about 
one of my latest adventures in writing. However, regarding the context 
of this discussion, I think it's also necessary to say that I am working 
class, and I have only begun my Phd at Birkbeck, London at the age of 48 
(my 1st time in University), and I have a history in art, activism, 
street art, hacking in the late 80s/early 90s - analogue, networked and 
urban. All the things I do are driven by the idea or spirit of 
initiating some form of 'self & peer' emancipation. Whether this relates 
to co-curating at the Furtherfield space, our online communities, or our 
media ecology projects and more…

Here is a short intro from my recent paper called 'Disrupting The Gaze. 
Part 1: Art Intervention and the Tate Gallery.'

“The word “art” can conjure up a vision of objects in an art gallery, 
showroom or museum, that can be perceived as reinforcing the values and 
machinations of the victors of history as leisure objects for elite 
entertainment, distraction and/or decoration - or the narcissistic 
expression of an isolated self-regarding individual.” [1] (Garrett & 
Catlow 2012)

We live in a world riddled with contradictions and confusing signals. 
Our histories are assessed, judged and introduced as fact yet there are 
so many bits missing. We accept what is given through sound bite forms 
of mediation and end up using misinformation as our cultural 
foundations, and then we build on these ‘acquired’ assumptions as our 
‘imagined’ guidelines. This critique studies how contemporary artists 
are challenging these defaults through their connected enactments and 
critical inquiries of the existing conditions. It highlights a continual 
dialogue involving a historical struggle between what is condoned as 
legitimate art and knowledge, and what is not. It looks at a complexity, 
embedded in our culture and its class divisions in Britain. And draws 
upon struggles going as far back as the enlightenment, the industrial 
revolution, colonialism and slavery, to present day concerns with 
neoliberalism and its dominance. The Tate gallery is used as a reference 
point and a site of focus for these various historical and contemporary, 
political and societal conflicts.

The artists’ and art groups featured, such as Graham Harwood, Platform, 
IOCOSE, Tamiko Thiel, and Mark Wallinger; has each delivered a 
particular (unofficial and official) mode of art intervention at the 
Tate Gallery. Whether these artistic activities concern economic, 
ecological, historical, political or hierarchical conditions, they all 
connect in different ways. They meet, not through style or as part of a 
field of practice, but as contemporary artistic practitioners exploring 
their own states of agency in a world where our ‘public’ interfaces are 
as much a necessary place of creative engagement, as is the already 
accepted physical ‘inner’ sanctum of the gallery space. However, their 
work has become equally significant (perhaps even more) than, the 
mainstream art establishment’s franchised celebrities.

In keeping with Gregory Sholette’s recently, published vindication for 
those artists hidden away where the art establishment’s light rarely 
shines, “when, the excluded are made visible, when they demand 
visibility, it is always ultimately a matter of politics and rethinking 
history.” [2] (Sholette 2011) This paper draws upon a wider, 
contemporary art culture and audience existing out there. Yet, the 
artistic discoveries and discourse coming out of this independent art 
culture, is not reflected back to us. Instead, we receive more of the 
same, marketed franchises. The central, mainstream version of 
contemporary art has found its allies within a global and corporate 
culture, where business dictate’s art value. However, there is a spirit 
of artistic emancipation that exists and is thriving out there. It is 
self styled, self governed and liberated from the restrictive norms that 
dominate our mediated gaze, and this is what this paper is mainly about.

end of intro…

extract from paper…

"Institutions are in themselves sacred. If you challenge what is sacred 
you not only question the institution’s posture, but also what it 
symbolizes to all those who receive the benefits of its reputed position 
of authority. Power is also sacred, and myths are bound up in procedures 
and presentations engaging in the currency of cultural ‘importance’. The 
Tate’s power comes from accumulation; its success is in managing and 
maintaining its vast collection of pictorial and sculptural objects for 
all to see. This is why the institution is cherished and seen as 
significant, culturally and nationally. From its collection it presents 
a ‘finely tuned’ version of Britain’s ‘artistic’ identity. The Tate is 
the protector of collected, artistic memories and an ambassador of 
history and time, our history and time. The psychoanalyst, O. Brown 
insightfully describes this endeavour as archaic, “Archaic man conquers 
death by living the life of his dead ancestors.”[16] (O. Brown 1959). 
The safeguarding of this ‘curated’ history fashions a situation where we 
are asked to trust its status as ‘specialized’, in issuing forth a 
viable definition of our national, artistic past. This power presents us 
with other implications. Because historical and cultural weight is given 
to the ‘managed’ entities within its collection - our gaze for 
lesser-known artists is diverted with an added presumption they are also 
not as significant. The prevailing ideological governance of what is 
seen, determines our perceptions of what is of cultural value and 
significance, due to what is produced as visible and invisible. What is 
visible through the gaze of the dominant hegemony is then assumed as 
merit for ‘special’ attention, lessening the cultural presence of 
emergent forms of consciousness and more diverse, artistic pursuits."

References.

[1] By Marc Garrett, Ruth Catlow. DIWO: Do It With Others – No Ecology 
without Social Ecology.
First published in Remediating the Social 2012. Editor: Simon Biggs 
University of Edinburgh. Pages 69-74
http://www.furtherfield.org/features/articles/diwo-do-it-others-%E2%80%93-no-ecology-without-social-ecology

[2] Gregory Sholette. Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of 
Enterprise Culture. Pluto Press (January 4, 2011)

[16] Normon O. Brown. Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning 
of History. Second Edition. Wesleyan University Press. 1959. Page 285.

wishing all well.

marc

-- 
--->

A living - breathing - thriving networked neighbourhood -
proud of free culture - claiming it with others ;)

Other reviews,articles,interviews
http://www.furtherfield.org/reviews.php

Furtherfield – online arts community, platforms for creating, viewing,
discussing and learning about experimental practices at the
intersections of art, technology and social change.
http://www.furtherfield.org

Furtherfield Gallery – Finsbury Park (London).
http://www.furtherfield.org/gallery

Netbehaviour - Networked Artists List Community.
http://www.netbehaviour.org

http://identi.ca/furtherfield
http://twitter.com/furtherfield

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