[-empyre-] consumers and producers + à bientôt

Just two bantam comments:

I do think that Eryk Salvaggio has it right when stating "What strikes me about the value of the net is the possibility of becoming completely androgynous. I think net.androgyny would be the key liberating factor?." As new technologies, from interneted Virtual Reality to Artificially Aided Reproduction, are swiftly altering the range of the human subject, net.androgyny as a general art interest just might be able to help counter-media the usual repressive genital combat. As I discussed previously concerning what I call "algorithic hermaphornology", with viractuality the human subject may include itself in any number of heterogeneous identities within the plane of viractual consistency. In that sense, net.androgyny - or byte hermaphornology (as I prefer to think of it) - counters the hackneyed notion that we are restricted to our physically assigned genitals. How else to overcome our own blind spots and non-provisional temperaments while invigorating - rather than enervating ? critical reflection?

Mary, it is true that, as you say at times, "reworking is many times skipped for simple substitution" by art students ? and there is no doubt that the work of many young (and not so young) contemporary artists sometimes does consist of facile, affected and not infrequently unintentional repeats (read rip-offs). I guess this is understandable (though still pathetic) in that market interests often saturate the art world; hype tends to prevail over criticism today; and the academic repetitions of critical theory outweigh by far its enactment in the real world. However, the fact remains that the repetition of a given practice within a changed historical cultural context has a different meaning and reception. For me, the clear-cut question is whether (and how) young artists (or, hell, any artist who does not acknowledge - or worse - know their predecessors? accomplishments which they are repeating) bring about a reactivated avant-garde impulse with their pastiche redundancy. Sometimes they do acknowledge (and even pay homage) to their predecessors - and sometimes they only retrieve and present as their own some art (or commercial art) form in a visionless or nostalgic manner. Personally I am all for recycling disembodied signs, but there must be a complex amalgam attained which perverts the passive, consumerist reflex. My point is that we have to stay open to the liberating potential of breaking through linear history and someway arriving at Benjamin?s ?dialectical image?.

Happy Holidays to you both.

Telepresently Yours,
Joseph Nechvatal


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