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Stopped Caring and Caring More Than Ever

  • by Morgan Sutherland
  • 44 blocks • 1 day ago

Suhail Malik

  • In contemporary art, meaning is constructed by the viewer
  • The artwork has to be indeterminate in order to leave space for interpretation
  • Common logic of indeterminacy forms a genre with no identity
  • This logic is hegemonic in the art world
  • Contemporary art has become the plaything of the idle rich
  • Why, despite leftist claims about content, does art work very well within the global elite regime?
  • No contradiction: global elite understand themselves as moral agents and contemporary art certifies that for them
  • As a genre without identity and an insistence on singularity, contemporary art is necessarily a-systemic
  • Plurality, openness, supported by “critical virtue”, prohibit systemic responsibility of the artwork, otherwise the indeterminacy would close down
  • It may be wanting to be socially responsible, but because of a-systemic nature, cannot do that. It has no structural traction.
  • So, if we want to be #accelerationist, we must abandon contemporary art. #accelerationism must make a demand on art.
  • However, we’re committed to art: the claims are inline.
  • Hard to make demands on art, because it should be spontaneous.
  • Upshot: we need another art than contemporary art.
  • What can art do for post-capitalism?
  • We don’t need to abandon everything. We can take advantage of:
  • Transdisciplinarity. Flexibility, adaptability, mutability. Unique among academic disciplines. Transformations.
  • Proximate to power and money.
  • Mediatic intervention, reflexivity (McLuhan). Not critique, but interventions and construction. Art is particularly good at: intervening in media.
  • Art can be a resource for left accelerationism, as long as it isn’t taken as contemporary art.

  • Cognitive mapping: produce a sense of orientation in the world (obviously a reduction)

  • Pitfall: reality is complex, and maybe not navigable. Societies are large-scale, complex, integrated. We cannot make sense of them in a schematic way.

  • Disorientation is the condition for societies we have.

  • Problem with cognitive mapping: sounds like data visualization (only a reduction.)

  • Here’s somewhere that art can intervene.

Added by Morgan Sutherland
Updated 1 day ago

Mat Dryhurst

  • The backend is mysterious to people, but it’s so clear that the technical foundations of systems dictate parameters for possible interactions and applications for a given project. It’s sometimes a challenge to articulate this, but that is perhaps why it’s best to do so by letting the software speak for itself.
  • Some people almost seem to argue that the definition of an artist is someone who doesn’t do anything, because the second you begin to do something effectively, there is another word for that. In a sense, that freedom to do nothing, have no obligations, is a wonderful thing – but there is this weird spectre that looms over things, where if the thing you are bringing into the world has a clear intention of doing something, not in an oblique way, but in a direct way, then it becomes something else and is almost sneered upon. That seems like a very limited conception of what art might be, or what influence it might have.
  • This piece was initially brought about by necessity, but the deeper I get into it the more people bring up Ted Nelson’s Xanadu project (the original hypertext project, or as Jeff Atwood notes, arguably one of the first great hacker projects), which is a fantastical, ideologically driven concept that proposes that all links on the web lead to their original source, abolishing copyright issues and, as Tony Arcieri argues, may also be a logic worth revising in relation to personal data security. The social and political history of that project is remarkable, and littered with failure. It touches on so much, and honestly, I don’t see much difference between that story and the story of ideologues respected in the art world like Guy Debord – a distinction perhaps best reconciled in McKenzie Wark’s superb Hacker Manifesto. A lot of these formative early web movements were driven by well researched ideologies, and perhaps part of the reason that element gets overlooked is that many of those people accomplished something! These ideologies are to be found at the core of many our daily interactions online (see Tim Berners-Lee’s HTML, with it’s bias towards untethered sharing / freedom of information), or are noticeably absent (i.e Xanadu’s principled stance on hyperlinks returning to their original source).

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