[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: <eyebeam><blast> Art and Media

Sorry for submerging for a few days. I just come back from an 4-day
closed laboratory with 40 artists and art mediators organized by
Clementine Deliss at the Kunsthalle Basel. Tempolab attempted to be a
model for and engage in the communication of differring art practices
through the circuits in which they operate, be it in Dakar, Calcutta,
Skopje, Berlin, Glasgow or L.A. It wasn't easy to persuade art
foundations and institutions of the necessity to finance/host such a
seminar that would engage in a dialogue that isn't geared towards a
public located in the art space. But turned inside to foster personal
relations/appreciation rather than the exchange of information. I felt
relieved by the fact that we resisted the temptation to formulate a
manifesto of sorts that would bind us to a common attitude or purpose.
This cannot be the aim. I was impressed by the presentation of Rumana
Hussein, however, who spoke about the Indian artists movement Sahmat,
also using the internet for organizing large scale art events related to
national political issues which get so much media coverage that they
have become a major factor in the Indian political landscape.

I was hoping that Oguibe would let my statements slip by. I wasn't
particularly trying to bash the profession of art historians although I
have my reservations about how art history has been written. I'm pleased
to report that I'm quite familiar with the institutional criticism and
that I see my comment in that context. I strongly feel it necessary that
art continues to be involved in a critical engagement with the symbolic
production of those other professions, since you mention medicine with
its image of Science for Life (Novartis) and hyper mobile abstract
financial transactions you harmlessly call banking (UBS) because I see
the danger of art leaving alot of terrain to other, less critical
symbolic producers. Jeff Wall mentions the example of activist art in
the 20ies leaving the field of the symbolic image production inoccupied
and thus easily appropriated by the Fascists and a later example given
by Benjamin Buchloh who makes the focus on identity politics and
subjectivity in the eighties responsible for leaving the public sphere
gratuitously to grand speculations of the capitalist media and real
estate conglomerates. I feel those two strategies shouldn't be played
out against one another but the consequences of placing the focus on one
or the other have to be taken seriously.

Needless to say that I don't see the significance of art in those
administrative/ preserving activities that provide jobs for many
graduates. Of course, I basically agree with your comment about the
necessity of art historians and art museum but why do I always get so
bored with it? In Europe, at least, the most interesting art activities
are taking place outside of established art institutions, building their
own networks and I'm just worried that if institutions are not able to
adjust to what I call major changes in the symbolic economy, they might
find themselves offside. Olu, you didn't comment on my inordinate leap
of fantasy that attempts to imagine an institution to develop a visual
program that would correspond structurally and in terms of content more
rigorously to the methods of cultural studies (not only philosophy). I'm
sincere about this project and I would really appreciate your opinion on

ursula biemann

a critical forum for artistic practice in the network
texts are the property of individual authors
to unsubscribe, send email to eyebeam@list.thing.net
with the following single line in the message body:
unsubscribe eyebeam-list
information and archive at http://www.eyebeam.org
Eyebeam Atelier/X Art Foundation http://www.blast.org