Re: [-empyre-] Modern Antiques
I’d like to react to both G.H. and Millie’s posts. I agree with G.H. when he
says we should focus on art instead of philosophy. Still, I have a comment
As a French Bourgeois Postmodern artist :-( I consider philosophical
concepts as furniture in my house, I can repaint them or trade them as I
whish. Indeed, as there has been a transition from market capitalism to
network capitalism, from manufactured objects to delocalized conceptual
commodities, we now have to consider the inverse trend: going back to older
media, plain objects, furniture... but, hopefully, without dropping what we
learned from net.art.
This was the original intuition by Blank & Jeron or by Valery Grancher when
he made his first webpainting in 1998 (he refers to Picabia, Jasper Johns
etc.), or Miltos Manetas with his internet paintings...
I’m very much influenced by this ironical idea of the “retour des choses” as
we would say in french. What is the most stupid thing you can do when you
are a net.artist: the answer is: painting a website on a canvas. What was
the most stupid thing I could do, with my epiphanies: replacing the computer
with a human being.
I think this provides interesting conceptual loops at the age of
0) Human beings speak
1) Google hacks all the speeches of mankind
2) I hack Google in return
3) From this double hack, a human being speaks (the human browser) and we
are back to 0), but we made a very big loop ;-)
----- Original Message -----
From: "G.H.Hovagimyan" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2006 3:02 PM
Subject: [-empyre-] Modern Antiques
So we’re supposed to riff off whether Modernism is our Classicism. I
need to figure out which Modernism we are talking about and from whose
As an American I generally think of the modern world as starting with
the French and American revolutions. Both are Bourgeois revolutions.
OK, that means the end of Medieval social structures ( you know, kings,
serfs) and the establishment of the Bourgeoisie ideals of science and
business and private property.
Personally I don’t think the Modern world has ended. If anything, the
ideals of Science and Business keep spreading.
Anyway , I’m an artist so I think about art, art history and what I’m
doing as an artist. I believe that Christiane pointed out that there
are different definitions of Modernity.
Modern Art it seems to me has three main threads that distinguish it
from earlier forms;
1. Deconstruction or a “Scientistic” approach to art making that
involves applying scientific principals to art. This includes a
dissection of the elements of art and the investigation of it’s
2. The game of art or art as a language game. People often talk about
this as “art for arts sake” or art that is about other art. An amusing
project is to read some of the 10,000 plus manifestos produced by
artists in the 20th century. This list is part of that tradition.
3. Perhaps the most interesting thread and the most telling is
performance art. This is a creative process that is not tied to theater
and depends on media tools (cameras, recorders, computers) to verify or
document its’ existence.
Obviously, this may be overly simple but I’d rather discuss art than
philosophy. I also believe in elevating art rather than debasing it or
subsuming it to some other discipline such as philosophy or science or
As for art and politics, I really believe that being an artist is a
political act in and of itself. It is an engagement is a high level
discourse with the political/social arena. It is similar to the
dialog/discourse between sculpture and archtecture.
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