Whither Art? David Joselit’s Digital Art Problem ; by Joseph Nechvatal on August 20, 2013

Whither Art? David Joselit’s Digital Art Problem

• by Joseph Nechvatal on August 20, 2013


이 글은 전반적으로 skeptical한데, 그 이유에 아주 주목할 만 하다. 

digital 을 이 shift의 근본적인 조건으로 보는 동시에 전혀 digital art에 대해 언급하고 있지 않다는 점!! 이것은 역설적으로 또 다른 비평의 위기 일지도 estabilished world의 exclusion인 것이다. David Joselit 은 October, Art in America, Art Journal등의 기고 중이며, art historian이다. 의견이 진보적이지만, 근본적으로 보수적 입장이다. 

To endeavor to convince us, he attempted to define the shift in the status of art under the pressure of digital technology while avoiding, or remaining unaware of, the historical record of digital art — the very history of artists working from within the belly of the beast.

Is it still possible to imagine a book purporting to be about the circulation of images and art within the saturated global network that never mentions the existence of net art and digital art?

The fact is that net art is a circumvention of the traditional dominance of the gallery and museum system (and does not simply suggest such a thing) so it is difficult to understand the omission in favor of the work of art stars such as  Matthew Barney, Ai Weiwei and Pierre Huyghe (commodified and co-opted by the socio-economic system that is their lifeblood). […]

Or has Joselit failed to read Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito’s 2006 book At the Edge of Art, where they examine prominent new media artwork and artists, arguing that the confines of the established art world (lazily soaking in the warm bath of appropriation) are failing to recognize digital art and net art?

In a large way, Joselit’s outlook is an antidote to the dour attitude taken by Jonathan Crary in his recent book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, as Joselit sees the state of things as mostly constructively exhilarating. But the above-mentioned gaping holes in Joselit’s network of information are difficult to close the eyes to.

Joselit does well to establish that in an age of accelerated digital imaging and communication technologies, artists and architects are emphasizing networks and visualizing patterns of dissemination. But I maintain that we must go further than that and address aesthetics and the art context within our broad-spectrum data-monitoring info-economy, and think through and deploy noise art within the larger environment of ubiquitous computing cognitive capitalism. Indeed, After Art has understandings of contemporary life that other art historians would benefit from, but it does no more than bolster what The New School philosopher Simon Critchley described in 2010 as contemporary art’s dominant trend: an inauthenticity of “mannerist situationism” based in rituals of reenactment. Critchley went on in 2012 to articulate the circumstances further, as the “cold mannerist obsessionality of the taste for appropriation and reenactment that has become hegemonic in the art world.” Clearly something deep-seated must be reevaluated. So Joselit could have made a difference and stressed a deeper understanding of media ecology in terms of the after-image of art, and, in my opinion, delivered a stronger response to better answer the question of what happens when images begin to circulate as populations, as opposed to single works.


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