Six Years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972


결국 이 글에서 이야기하는 dematerialization이 나와는 어떻게 다른지.
그리고 여기에서 이야기하는 experience가 digital과 결합되면서 어떻게 변하는지, 어떻게 다른지.
이 글은 1966에서 1972까지-주로 미국-에서 진행된 Conceptual Art에 대한 full record, document이다.
Lucy Lippard는 잡지 기고문, 전시 서문, 인터뷰 등 very raw material을 통해서 그야말로 현장감있는 분위기를 전한다.

Sol Lewitt’s premise that the concept or idea was more important than the visual results of the system that generated the object undermined formalism by insisting on a return to content. This premise was soon applied to such ephemeral materials as time itself, space, nonvisual systems, situations, unrecorded experience, unspoken ideas, and so on. p.5.

Emphasizing timing, variety, fragmentation, and interrelationship. p.6.

One of the most important things about the new dematerialized art is that it provides a way of getting the power structure out of New York and spreading it around to whenever an artist feels like being at the time.p.7.

Goerge Brecht / Allan Kaprow / Bruce Nauman / Richard Long / Robert Smithson / Yoko Ono
Danial Buren / Joseph Kosuth / Dan Graham

요셉 보이스 작업에 대해서.
the symbols significance are of secondary importance. Beuys is performing no cultural philosophical sketch. p.18.

Ed Ruscha / Richard Long / Dennis Openheim / Joseph Kosuth / walter de Maria / Dan Graham / Robert Morris / Robert Smithson

Joseph Kosuth, Nonanthropomorphc Art by Four Young Artists, at the Lannis Gallery, statements : My art objects are total, competel, and disinterested. They are made of non-organic, non-polar, competely synthetic, completely unnatural, yet of conceptual rather than found materials.p.24.

Sol Lewitt, “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art”, Art forum, summer, 1967 : In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair The idear becomes a machine that makes the art…Conceptual art is not necessarily logical. The logic of a piece or series of pieces is a device that is used at times only to be ruined. Ideas are discovered by intuition.. What the work of art looks like isn’t too important. It must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned. Conceptual art is only good when the idea is good. pp.28-29.

Vito Acconci / Mel Bochner / Ed Ruscha /

Ian Burn, interview with Joel Fisher : Presentation is a problem because it can easily become a form in itself, and this can be misleading. I would always opt for the most neutral format, one that doesn’t interfere with or distort the information. p.37.

Hans Haacke, Howard Wise Gallery, NY, 1968 : A sculpture that physically reacts to its environment is no longer to be regarded as an object. The range of outside factors affecting it. It, as well as its own radius of action, reaches beyond the space it materially occupies. It thus merges with the environment in a relationship that is better understood as a system. of interdependent processes. p.37.

Lucy Lippard, and John Chandler, “The Dematerialization of Art”. Art international, Fubruary, 1968 : During the 1960s the anti-intellectual, emotional intuitive processes of art-making characteristic of the last two decades have begun to give way to an ultra-conceptual art that emphasizes the thinking process almost exclusively. As more ans more work is designed in the studio, but executed elsewhere by professional craftmen, as the object becomes merely the end product, a number of artists are losing interest in the physical evolution of the work of art. The studio again becoming a study. Such a trend appears to be provoking a profound demateriliazation of art, especially of art as object, and if it continues to prevail, it may result in the object’s becoming wholly obsolete. art as idea and art as action. It the first case, matter is denied, as sensation has been converted into concept; in the second case, matter has been transformed into energy and time-motion. pp.42-43.

Letter essay from the ARt-Language group to Lucy Lippard, John Chandler, “Concerning the article ‘Dematerialization of Art'”, March, 1968, exerpt : Art-object in your article. They may not be an art-objects as we know it in its traditional matter-state, but they are nevertheless matter in one of its forms, either solid-state, gas-state, liquid-state. And it is on this question of matter-state that my caution with regard to the metaphorical usage of dematerialization is centered upon.
Matter is a specialized form of energy.
The philosophy of what is called aesthetics relying finally, at it does, on what it has called the content of the art work is, at the most, only counts upon the production of matter-state entities. materia anything to do with the idea. That is, the idea is read about rather than looked at. That some art sould be direcntly material and that other art should produce a material entity only as a necessary by-product of the need to record the idea is not at all to say that the patter is connected by any process of dematerialization to the former.

Dan Graham, artist to try to create an environment because you have an environment around you all time. Any living organism has an environment. Everything is an envrironment. p.47.

On Kawara, notebook pieces, 1968.
Kawara is one of the most important, and one of the most elusive and isolated, artists working in this general direction. The fascination exerted by Karawa/s obssessive and precise notations of his place in the world (time and location) imply a kind of self-reassurance that the artist does, in fact, exist. At the same time, they are totally without pathos, their objectivity establishing the self-imposed isolation which marks his way of life as well as his art. pp. 49-50.

Keith Arnatt, September, 1968
Context itself became the determining factor in what we did. In other words, revealing an aspect of a particular context became the point of our activity. p.50.

Daniel Buren, “Is teaching art necessary?”, Galerie des Arts, september, 1968
The artist, in regard to the art, wants it to evolve, in regard to the art, the artist is reformist, he is not revolutionary… Concretely, the way things are today, the role of the artist is not of great consequences, He produces for a culturally formed bourgeois minority.. For culture, and art, such as they are currently conceived, are most certainly the alienating element among others. Because here we discuss the political and even intellectual virtue of art: distraction. some art is only illusion, a false semblance of itself. p.52.

The New York graphic Workshop, Museo de Bellas Artes, January, 1969
Text by Luis Camnitzer and Donald Karshan

Environment art can have no beginnings or endings. it can have no time. Time is the essential difference between theatre and environmental art. Art becomes transient, not kinetic. p.74.

Sol Lewitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art
4.formal art is essentially ratuinal.
7. The artist’s will is secondary to the process he initiates from idea to completion. This willfullness may only be ego.
8.When words such as painting and sculpture are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the artist who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond the limitations.
9. The concept and idea are different. The former implies a general direction while the latter are the components. Ideas implement the concept.
10. Ideas alone can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.
19.The conventions of art are altered by works of art.
20. successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.
21. Perception of ideas leads to new ideas.
24. perception is subjective.

Earth Art, Andrew Dickson White Museum, 1969
Hans Haacke, from the symposium.

I believe we are still carrying this heavy burden of visual art. When this term aesthetics was brought up in this discussion, it was immediately coupled with the looks of something. I believe art is not so much concerned with the looks. It is more concerned with concepts. What you see is just a vehicle for the concept. p.78.

Dennis Openheim, Op Losse Schroeven:Situaties en Cryptostructuren, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1969, from catalogue;
In ecological terms what has transpired in recent art is a shift from promary homesite to the alternate of secondary homesite. With the fall of galleries, artists have sensed a similar sensation as do organisms when curtailed by disturbances of environmental conditions. This results in extension or abandonment of homesite. p.80.

When attitudes become Form, Kunsthalle, Bern, 1969

Robert Smithson, “Fragments of an Interview with P.A Norvell”;
RS :I consider to be a mental problem rather than a physical reality. An object to me is the product of a thought. I’m more interested in the terrain dictating the condition of the art.
There is a certain degree of unmaking in the pieces, rather than making, taking apart and reassembling. It is not so much a matter of creating something as de-creating, or denaturalizing, or de-differntiating, decomposing. Eearlier work had had to do with site and nonsite. .. What you are really confronted with in a nonsite is the absence of the site.There is this dialectic betwene inner and outer, closed and open, center and peripheral… I think that conceptual art which depends completely on written data in only half the story; it only deals with the mind and it has to deal with the material too. My work is impure; it is clogged with matter. There is no escape from matter. There is no escape from the physical nor is there any escape from the mind. The two are in a constant collision course. pp.87-89.
P.A Norvell : Jack Burnham feels we are going from an object-oriented society to a systems-oriented society.
RS : A system is just an expansive object, and eventually it all contracts back to points. If I ever saw a system or an object, then I might be interested, but to me they are only manifestations of thought that end up in language. Everything just vanishes.. p.90.

N.E Thing Co. Report on the Activities of the N.E Thing Co. the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
At the conference.
이 사람의 말이 갖는 의미가 있음. 정보와 예술을 연결짓기 시작한다
Iain Baxter : The thing really interests me is that there are all kinds of information around-liquid information. IBM is interested in multiplying and collating information. Xerox is interested in copying information and there are also guys around who handle information purely for its own sake, and that’s what I call visual informers. It gets at a broader area.
A painting is identical to its presentation, but now there’s a body of work where the original of the art, the fact of the art, is not the presentation of the art. p.105.

557,087. Seattle Art Museum
Reviewed by John Voorhees and Peter Plagens.

There is a total style to the show, a style so pervasive as to suggest that Lucy Lippard is in fact the artist and that her medium is other artists…
The single most pertinent source is, I think, an almost Puritan, moralistic concern with the threatening , nagging, perverse presence of art and , as subsource, anti-technology. p.111.

-the more open, or ambiguous, the experience offered, the more the viewer is forced to depend upon his own perceptions.
-The visual artist uses words to convey information about sensorial or potentially perceptible phenomena.
– most of the work here deals with energy, animation, non-sequential and realtively irrational lines of time and material.
-The implication is that what we now consider art will eventually be unrecognizable.
– Experience and awareness are, after all, shared by everyone.. Art intended as pure experience doesn’t exist until someone experience it, defying ownership, reprodudction, sameness. Intangible art could break down the artificial imposition of culture and at the same time provide a broader audience for a tangible, object art. p.112.

Willoughby Sharp, “An interview with Joseph Kosuth”, Artforum, November, 1969
JB: it is clear that people cannot understand my art by intellectual process alone, because no art can be expeerienced in this way. I say to experience, because this is not equivalent to thinking; it is a great deal more complex. it involves being moved subconsciously.
I would say man does not consist only of chemical processes, but also of metaphysical occurences. Man is only alive when he realizes he is a creative, artistic being. every sphere of human activity. IT’s a problem of perception.

Hans Haacke : The working premises is to think in terms of systems; the production of systems, the interference with and the exposure of exiting systems. .. transfer of information, energy and/or material occurs. Systems can be physical, biological or social.

pp. 127-129.
공간에 대한 논의
November 2, 1969, NY “Art without Space” A symposium moderated by Seth Siegelaub with Lawrence Weiner, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, and Joseph Kosuth;
LW : anyting that exists has a certain space around it; even an idea exists within a certain space.
DH : Whatever you do involves space. I think the essential thing is that we are not concerned with the specific spcae.
RB : IN fact, space is really defined by the objects that are in it. The object determines the nature of the space that it is in, and you can’t really think about absolute space or space without objects.
RB : I use the word space in two specific senses; one, as an interest or subject matter of the work and, two, which is how I meant it, the space as a condition for the awareness of the work, in other words, a space in which you become aware of the work.
LW : but the fact that you are occupying a certain amount of space in a pure physical sense that you are dealing with space whether you want ot or not.
JK : it is very clear that in the nature of art, beginning with the 20th century, there was a shift in the visual experience from morphological to conceptual.
DH : The thing that does tie us together in some way is that we are making art that doesn’t have an object as the residue. What we call art is not visual, so it can exist in a number of context, for some of us at least.

Ian Burn, and Mel Ramsden, From the “Notes on Analysis” Book, NY, 1970.
The contention here is that the area of attention is shifting from single iconic elements (art-object, art-works) to comprise a whole continuum of these elements in a sign-process.

미적, 반응적, 개념적 미술을 구분.
Joseph Kosuth, “Introductory Note by the American Editor”
current american art activity can be considered havingn three areas of endeavor.For discussion purposes, I call them : aesthetic, reactive and conceptual.
Aesthetic or formalist art and criticism is directly associated with a group of writers and artists working on the east coast of the US. The notion is that, as stated by Clement Greenburg : aesthetic judgments are given and contained in the immediate experience of art.They coincide with it; they are not arrived at afterwords through reflection or thoughts. Aestheteic judgments are also involutary; you can no more choose whether or not to like a work of art ehn you can choose to have sugar taste sweet or lemons sour.”…To restate: the only possible functioning as art aesthetic painting or sculpture is capable of, is the engagement or inquiry around its presentation within an art proposition. Without the discussion
it is experience pure and simple. It only becomes art when it is brought within the realm of an art context.

Reactive Art is the scrap-heap of 20th century art ideas. The ‘why’ refers to art ideas and the ‘how’ refers to the formal (often material) elements used in the art proposition. But work that focuses on the ‘how’ aspect of art is only taking a superficial and necessarily gestural reaction to only one chose formal consequences. .. Thus the only real difference between the formalists and the reactive artists is that the formalists believe that artistic activity consists in closely following the ‘how’ construction tradition; whereas the ‘reactive’ artists believe that artistic activity consists in an open interpretation.
Art propositions referred to by journalists as ‘anati-form’, ‘earthworks’, ‘process art’, etc. comprise greatly what I refer to here as ‘reactive’ art.

Conceptual Art. At its most strict and radical extreme the art I call conceptual is such because it is based on an inquiry into the nature of art. Thus, it is not just the activity of constructing art propositions, but a working out, a thinking out, of all the implications of all aspects of the conceptual ‘art’.
This conceptual art, then, is an inquiry by artists that understand that artistic activity is not solely limited to the framing of art propositions, but further, the investigation of the function, meaning, and use of any and all art propositions, and their consideration within the concept of the general term, ‘art’.
Fundamental to this idea of art is the understanding of the linguistic nature of all art propositions.

It seemed that these artists would therefore be forcibly freed from the tyranny of a commodity status and market-orientation. Three years later, the major conceptualists are selling work for substantial sums here and in Europe. Clearly, whatever minor revolutions in communication have been achived by the process of dematerializing the object, art and artist in a capitalist society remain luxuries.
On the other hand, the aesthetic contributions of an ‘idea art’ have been considerable. It has become obvious that there is a place for an art which parallels the decorative object, or, perhaps still more important, sets up new critical criteria by which to view and vitalize itself.


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