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Re: <eyebeam><blast> art dead/back to life!

5 messages, from Carlos Basualdo, Louis Schwartz, Philippe Codognet, Tom
Mulcaire, and Margaret Sundell

<Cbasualdo@aol.com> writes:

Dear Brian,

I have been reading your interventions with a lot of interest and
attention. They have been very good and enriching. I have to disagree
with the last one, I am afraid, posted on the question of "art/dead,
etc." Let me play the devil's advocate for a little while here.

1. It is imposrtant to make clear that the question of the "death of
art" was not posed by Bracha nor referred to by myself. Her text was
more about her experience of art and this idea of art being involved in
a conversation with the dead. Departing from that point, and assuming a
certain "ghostly" nature that is characteristic of the exchange in the
net, my own intervention was aimed at questioning this possible relation
between an art that talks with the dead, and a ghostly medium. Ricardo's
intervention was the first one that mentioned the subject of the "death
of art" and I responded to it immediately. 2. I think it is really
important to think about the specificity of the medium, in order to
understand its limitations, first, and then challenge them. I also think
that by reflecting upon the medium we would be able to understand its
political-aesthetical possibilities better -by the way, for me these
terms are not opposites at all, and I tried to explain my position
regarding that in a lecture at the 100 days at Documenta that is still
available at the Documenta Web Site. On a different register, I think it
would be interesting to go a bit further in the question of the
possibility of affect or "transference," as Bracha calls it, in the net.
She says that it doesn't happen "automatically" here. And I found this
recourse to figure of the machine quite puzzling...
3. I perceived a certain trace of authoritarism in your last
intervention that I consider a bit dangerous. Sometimes you sound too
much like some sort of high school teacher, like when you say that you
don't have time for melancholic introspections (?!). I am especially
sensitive to those things, having grown up during the dictartorship in
Argentina in the late seventies/early eighties -my father was in jail
once, my life and my sister were threatened, etc. All stuff that I
avoided mentioning in the localization thing, because I wanted to go a
bit deeper in the "ghostly "nature of the net, first, and because I'm a
poet and I like to play with words. And I like letting words to play
with my-self :)
4. That's the basic stuff. Then I don't agree with your notion of the
polical neutrality -or potential pseudo-conservativism- of the question
of the "death of art". To put it bluntly, if the Situationists were to
be considered artists, then by term of  "art" we would not be talking
about that process of mimesis that you describe anymore -and I am well
aware of the fact that you're talking about a process of
non-identification when discussing mimesis. Mimesis is always already
too close to melancholic introspection, don't you think?. And if they
were not artists, then again there's no need to keep that cathegory any
longer. To change life it is the same thing as to change art. I agree,
let's keep the shell, and use it for a while to higher -or lower-goals.
(For a longer, wiser discussion on this topic, see: Why art can't kill
the Situationist International by TJ Clark and Donald Nicholson in
October 79).

Anyway, sorry for being so sketchy and quick. I look forward to hearing
more from you -I want to say again that I have been really enjoying your
interventions a lot- and to meet you eventually.




Louis Schwartz <lgs@hooked.net> writes:

Alan Myouka Sondheim's critique seems to me to be useful in so far as it
points out that there is the possibility of death on the net.

However, the considerations about death and art seem to me to be on the
right track.  Even when art does not "deal with," thematize, depict, or
otherwise make death its explicit object,  art cannot but take place in
relation to death.  It is not simply that the plastic arts find their
origins in a defense against death, an attempt to make an image that
will maintain the living in their death, but that dissemination itself
is an effect of death.  It is only when the work is orphaned from its
producer that it can call to the audience without which it cannot be
art.  Every work thus puts into play its producer's death.   This is
only a quick start, given more time it would be simple to show that the
history of the discourse of aesthetics in the West (and the net
functions as a Western Space, at least for now) has cast the art
object/performance as a work of mourning.

Louis Schwartz


Philippe Codognet <codognet@csl.sony.fr> writes:

Commenting on Brian commenting on Brad about the end-of-art :

An interesting re-reading of  this classical Hegelian point of view of
the is proposed by Horst Bredekamp in the ZKM "contemporary art"
catalog. He proposes something else than the out-of-the-art-into-reality
stuff, which seems really 60's for me (from both the situationist and
artistic viewpoints).
Maybe it's because Bredekamp is from art history and not from media

Philippe Codognet
Sony CSL - Paris


Tom Mulcaire <mulcaire@ibm.net> writes:

Life is short. Art is long. - Pliny the Elder


Margaret Isabel Sundell <mis15@columbia.edu> writes:

This is my first e-mail list service and I have to say that before I
felt the rhetoric about the information superhighway was overstated.  I
was struck by the almost anachronistic aspect of e-mail (in 19th century
Paris local mail was delivered something like three or four times a day
and people carried on extensive communications in writing).  Now I
finally get the idea of information overload and frankly I don't quite
understand how the people participating in this service have the time to
*read* all these missives, let alone repond to them.

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