Post-digital aesthetics and the return to Modernism : Ian Andrews

 Post-digital aesthetics and the return to Modernism

Andrews, Ian. “Post-digital Aesthetics and the return to Modernism.” (2000) Web. December 2013

기본적으로 post=digital music / sound에 대한 글이기는 한데, 재미있는 부분들이 있다. 즉, 미니멀리즘 새롭게 해석한다는 이 사람의 입장이 중요한 건 아니고- 미니멀리즘의 현상학적 부분에 나는 포커스를 맞추고, 암튼 나 말고도 new media 를 minimalism의 연장선으로 해석하려는 시도들이 다양하게 있다는 것.  

This valorisation of what previously would have been seen as noise: a by-product, bearing an external relation to the work, would be one of the characterising marks of a post-digital aesthetic.

This trajectory involves (in at least one of it’s channels) a teleological movement toward “perfect” representation. This is both a technological movement towards “transparency” and, at the same time, a movement towards more powerful illusion. 기존에 디지털이 추구하던 완벽한 상태 without noise 등등이 이제 오히려 그 반대 방향을 추구하는 새로운 트렌트를 낳았다. 노이즈를 사용하는 음악, 아날로그의 음질을 디지털로 재현하려는 것 등등. 

After the initial claims of perfection were put into doubt, digital technology (at least in the realm of music production) began to emulate, as much as possible analogue sound and technologies.

post-digital music has developed distinctly “digital” aesthetic, one that centres around sounds and timbres that could only be possible with contemporary digital equipment certainly, but also one that resists the trajectory of mainstream software marketing. Thus it can be seen how easily these terms “analogue aesthetic,“digital aesthetic,“post-digital music,” offer a number of contradictory interpretations.

This post-digital aesthetic is by no means confined to electronic/computer music production. A similar shift, at the same time, has occurred across a number of interrelated disciplines: video art, net.art, graphic design, etc. Post-digital art can be seen to be a reaction to a crisis in post-modern culture: a culture problematised by endless webs of mediatic allusion, media saturation, and a kind of abyssal irony. This reaction often takes the form of a (naive) return to the purity of modernism.   a retreat from socio-political issues to a refuge in scientific concepts and metaphors.

Manovich / Eryk Salvaggio 등이 post-digital이 모더니즘으로 귀환하는 경향들을 분석했다.

PURE ART : a return to purity

reduction(이건 phenomenology에 반하는 개념이었던 듯) 또는 self-reflexive / self-referential / neo-minimalism 등으로 요약되는 모더니즘 미학의 경향을 다시 보인다. 이것에 대해 부정적으로 보는 시각들도 많다.

The return to modernism, and the abandonment of the post-modern, cannot be thought in terms of a simple break since the self-reflexive strategies of media art are built on, or are grounded on those of modernism. 단순히 답습하는 것으로 볼 수는 없다. 봐서는 안 된다. 새롭게 해석한다 쯤으로 봐야 할 듯.

MINIMALISM

At this point these marks of technical malfunction lose their exteriority and become signifying elements in their own right. But their only reference is ultimately to their own process of generation, or back to the technology itself- SELF_REFERENTIALTY. Some critics believe that this self-referentiality points to the inherent problem of minimalism in post-digital art: that it cannot transcend its own referential field. Kim Cascone in a recent interview in Ctheory, argues:

I have always felt that the term minimalism has been misused. It is difficult to create a work which is emptied of content and refers to itself. All artwork references external reality in some way… I find minimalism to be an aesthetic dead end.

그러나 저자는 이렇게 해석하지 말고 new possibility로 보길 권하고 있음.

PERFORMANCE

이 부분이 재미있다. 부리요가 DJ를 관계 미학의 새로운 가능성으로 파악했던 것에 비해서 이 사람은 DJ 퍼포먼스가 솔직히 관객이 실제로 하고 있는지 아닌지를 알 수 없음으로 인해서 논쟁의 요소가 많다고 이야기하고 있다. 이 퍼포먼스는 illegible하다고 이야기한다. 이것이 실제로 일어나고 있다는 근거가 없이는 clue를 제공하지 못하는 이상, 우리는 그저 purely sensuous experience를 하는 데 그칠 수 밖에 없다. 

The phenomenon of the laptop performance in post-digital music.

That is, the audience are unable to grasp what ever it is that is exclusively performative about the performance. This is not to say that the audience are ever in doubt over the legitimacy of the performance – whether performative actions are in fact happening in their presence.

The problem is that the performative, itself, is masked off from the performance: it becomes illegible. Ambiguity

But if the performance cannot make its processes heard (in its own aurality), and, at the same time, cannot provide the audience with any clues about its processes (eg. visible manual operations, physical objects, connections and actions) in the ‘here and now’ context of the unique performance event, then something vital seems to be missing. We seem to be left with only pure sensuous experience.

This illegibility of the laptop performance is further complicated by the environmental and institutional context of the post-digital event. Unlike dance music, post-digital laptop performances are not bound by the utilitarian demands of the dance floor, nor do they serve as background mood ambience.15

이것을 또 AURA에 연결짓는다. 흔히 이러한 퍼포먼스에 있어서 DJ가 실시간으로 퍼포먼스 하기 때문에 아우라를 갖게 된다고 보는데, 저자는 이것은 proof가 없기 떄문에 부적절하다고 본다. 이것 보다는 차라리, PROCESS 가 post-digital performance에서 중요하다고 이야기한다. 

We might approach the problem of the laptop performance, as others have done, as a problem of aura.20 Walter Benjamin saw the auratic as linked to the artwork’s unique existence in time and space – a singularity of the original that had its reception embedded in tradition.

In regard to the reception of post-digital music, which above all seems to be based on the fragment, and a dispersed field of activity, the concept of aura would seem to be retrograde hangover from previous cultural traditions (both modern and ancient). The place of the composer as author/god, as the self-present subject of romantic genius seemsto be one which should be out of place in post-digital art.

Rather than the composer-performer becoming the focus of the performance, I would like to argue, along with Reich, that the process should become the focus.

The foregrounding of process in post-digital music performance can occur in several ways: either within the work itself, in the sounding music – as in the case of Reich; or via a combination of visual (physical) clues and sound clues – by way of an assemblage of devices/instruments into a machine which indicates to the audience its own mechanisms, processes and functions; or completely outside of the work by way of text, diagram, score, introduction, etc..

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