Re: [-empyre-] Modern Antiques

and of course you ... have been doing a lot to humanize machines as well ;-)

I definitely agree with the importance of performance...

----- Original Message ----- From: "G.H.Hovagimyan" <>
To: "soft_skinned_space" <>; "Christophe Bruno" <>
Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 3:41 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Modern Antiques

gh replies: As I said, the most important trend in "Modernism" is performance. Especially mediated performance. Christophe's piece the human browser is that type of performance. I don't think that irony plays a major role in the piece. Although the notion of a person functioning or being directed by web information is amusing, I think that the emotion of surprise and disjunction is more important. I also liked Christophe's piece about the European elections. It's interesting that he was able to point out the dissaffection of the voters. That's a much larger issue. How we as artist explore this new information world and how we see the world and/or transform it is rather exciting. It's also hopeful, sincere, curious and a bit comic. Both Charles Chaplin and Jacques Tati look at human/machine interface. Yes it's funny but it's also humanizing. I also love what Christina Mcphee does. She uses digital tools and scientific data to get to a deeply human emotion. She does performances on the earthquake fault lines. She's doing an investigative work on a California village that's been cutoff by a landslide. If we follow what the philosophers say; all digital media is alienating. Both Christina and Christophe use those tools to humanize.

On Mar 5, 2006, at 8:48 AM, Christophe Bruno wrote:

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 to that:

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

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 globalization:
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" <> To: <> 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 view point?

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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