Terrence Kosick on 19 Mar 2001 20:08:15 -0000

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Re: [Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Carl Loeffler (and art history)

Terrence writes;


Systems Aesthetics + Cyborg Art:

The Legacy of Jack Burnham

His first strong words are directed toward the institution of art history. In
the introduction to "Beyond Modern Sculpture", written in mid-1967,
Burnham identifies the shortcomings of traditional aesthetic analysis arising
from the work of Riegl, Lipps, and Worringer. The passage is so
resounding it demands to be quoted in full:

       "The tools of scholarly criticism-stylistics, iconographical analysis,
historical context, and
       formal analysis in the last 50 years-remain as trusted now as ever. Yet
they explain with
       diminishing clarity what has happened after 1800, and almost nothing of
what has happened in
       sculpture in the last 60 years. I am sure that my lack of success with
the tools of art
       scholarship is in part responsible for the present book. Had the tools
served their purpose, I
       might not have sought others less respected."

And search he did: through most of the progressive schools of thought of this
time: from science, the social sciences, economics, and philosophy,
through structuralism, semiotics, cybernetics, and systems theory to Cabalistic
mysticism. His bibliography reads like a who's who of '60s influences
and intelligentsia: Marx, Galbraith, Jung, Ellul, LÚvi-Strauss, Barthes,
Saussure, Foucault, Kuhn, Mumford, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, Bertalanffy, Pask,
Feigenbaum, Weiner, Buckminster Fuller, and Marshall McLuhan. His interest in
alchemy, semiotics, and cybernetics predates the fads for these
things in the art world by as much as 20 years.

simon penny wrote:

> In any event, the list of the forgotten is longer than that of the
> remembered. It may be useful and interesting, here on nettime, to assemble
> a list of forgotten pioneers (recognising that one person's 'forgotten
> pioneer' is likely to be another's mentor or friend). If this motivates
> you, here is my suggestion: under a subject line "Forgotten Pioneers", list
> your key contenders by name, followed by dates active, city/region/country
> of residence, titles of significant works (and locations if not lost), a
> short 5-15 line summary of their contributions, then contact addresses (if
> known) and citiations. The list can include theorists, curators and
> historians as well as artists.
> This list may get huge, I recognise, with contributions from various
> countries. It will probably need to be divided into media categories, or at
> least indexed in some way. Still, it would become a useful resource for
> historians, curators, those assembling new courses, artists and various
> others. If it takes off it could be spun off into a website.
> Simon Penny

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