carlos katastrofsky on Tue, 19 May 2009 17:47:53 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Political Work in the Aftermath of the New Media Arts Crisis

> I am not so sure whether I agree. It all depends on your definition of
> "media". The problem is that the word "media" means quite different things
> in different contexts:

i agree. but exactly this is the point: media theory is swallowing
everything, but where are its boundaries? what i am trying to find as
artist (neither theorist nor philosopher) is a definition for art that
goes beyond a mere definition as "media" in whatever sense.
that is why i am aiming on the much-maligned term of "autonomy" (and
i'm following here the previous mentioned philosophy of j.
rebentisch). to me this doesn't mean art is somewhat apolotical or
dealing solely with itself (l' art pour l'art - i guess you had this
in mind when stating "[...] If the basic quality of art - in the sense
of 'Fine Art' - lies in its self-reference to its own system, then it
would be something very narrow and ultimately boring, [...]"). art is
made to be seen/heard/whatever - to be experienced. and this
experience is what defines art and not media. it can change in time
-we quite surely don't experience cave paintings in the same way the
ones did who made them- but i'm not sure if "the media" does, no
matter if it's read as "painting/drawing" or as "hunting scene". what
i am hoping to find by this is a possibility to think about "art" and
neither media nor porn or politics. these are -let's say- "themes"
that can be interpreted, but i hope that art goes beyond being a good
designed set of political opinions. i mean, what political context is
reflected in leonardo's "last supper"? we surely can speculate but do
we know? these are things that are bound to their time and context but
nevertheless we still percieve it as "art".

> If I take, for example, the subjects of the last nine transmediale
> festivals ("Do It Yourself",
> One could just as well say that contemporary art deals with "white cube
> installation art" with changing subtitles.
> The same terms abound in the contemporary art discourse if you read, for
> example, "October" or "Texte zur Kunst".

yep, exactly. and this what the "art world" makes as boring as "new
media art". what i had in mind when saying that the "fine art world is
dealing with other subjects" was not the (i would like to call it
nonexistent) contemporary discourse. what can be seen in the fine arts
field (but not in the big biz -documenta, ps1, kw, ...) is an
inclusion of possibilities in expression and perception which i never
saw in any media-art discourse (though i have to admit i am far from
following everything in that area).

> Not knowing the full context of this quote, I nevertheless find such
> systemic definitions of art quite risky. If the basic quality of art
> - in the sense of 'Fine Art' - lies in its self-reference to its own
> system,

i'm sorry if this comes through that way, i'm not the best in
formulating things. i never wanted to present art as solely
self-referential system. if autonomy is read as autonomy of the object
(l'art pour l'art) i would agree totally with you. but seen from the
viewpoint that "art" may not lie in an object but somewhere between
the object and the observer (experience, perception) an autonomy of
art is essential.

thank you all for your replies :-)


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