Re: [-empyre-] Moore N = c

We may well be dealing here with merely one interpretation of the "institutional
critique" of the late 80's and a rather overarching one at that.  Your email
draws your assumption as fact when you state that "we all know the institutions
... loved this critique because it gave all the power to them."  I don't know
this to be the case.  Point in fact, I doubt that it carried that much weight when
it was first introduced - and that being in the USA. The resistance to this critique
that I witnessed when its tenets were introduced was memorable .... and this email
speaks to its staying power.

On the other hand, if you are implying that the proponents of the institutional 
critique have now been incubated and absorbed by "the Borg", and that 
we are now witnessing a incestous, mannered, iteration of that critique ( ie. Andrea
Fraser's lastest work ), then you may have a point.  Then again, it becomes necessary
to offer an analysis of the cultural machinations of the past 15 - 20 years which
have led us to this point and, again, it is not an a facile summation of modernism
or post-modernism ( please note that this is not at all the same as notions of modernity.)

Of course, my own POV is within the USA, but given the cultural tremors ( especially
in the art world/s) of this centrifugal force, I believe that its influence has 
been far reaching and contributed a viable sense of agency to numerous cultural 
producers. Larger political, economic and nationalistic forces have been introduced
during the past 15 years which have undermined individual agency and subjectivities
- and this has not at all been limited to visual art practices, not to producers
nor to various cultural institutions. We have not been operating in a vacuum, that
is without question.

Trans-medial and trans-cultural perceptions of artistic practices produce imaginary
patterns which overlap but are not identical to our own  individuated, inhabited,
material realities. It is this interaction of the material, the cultural and the
imaginary that offers an infusion of richness to the topos of this conversation 
- especially relative to the socio-economic impact of globalism, capitalism, consuming,
notions of modernity and yes, passivity.   Passivity is an increasing ( and, yes,
alarming ) mode of being in the world - especially in the USA.  This is due to so
to so much more than the hubris implied in thinking that this was due to modernism
and/or post-modernism as it played out in the visual arts.

Marx on Feuerbach - ?the  philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point
is to change it.?  Isn't that one of the trajectories of the institutional critique?

Thanks for the discussion -


-----Original Message-----
>From: Saul Ostrow <>
>Sent: Mar 12, 2006 3:29 PM
>To: "Christiane Robbins @ Jetztzeit" <>, soft_skinned_space
<>, soft_skinned_space <>
>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Moore N = c
>part of the problem is that students are learning ( an therefore artist/ teachers
>teaching) the algorithm as written  by those who were/ are engaged in institutional
>critique --  now, we all know the institutions 9museums, galleries, curators,
>theorists, historians) loved this critique because it gave all power to them.
>approach whcih places blame and there fore volition with the system actually
>those institutions to appropriate and define cultural production - rather than
merely be
>a condition of such production - This took the burden off the artist/ audience,
who in
>turn were happy to be relieved of all obligations to engage in the construction/
>maintance of the cultural subject -- Modernism/ post-Modernism dis-struction
of the
>cultural subject emposwered them to be passively and knowingly passive -- as
a probe: it
>might now be time to re-read Marx's thesis on Feurbach - and re-contextualism
them in
>terms of culture rather than history -- 
>---------- Original Message -----------
>From: "Christiane Robbins @ Jetztzeit" <>
>To: soft_skinned_space <>
>Sent: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 13:49:08 -0800 (GMT-08:00)
>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Moore N = c
>> Wow .... the narrative for this algorithm is so ... cute ... its almost
>> endearing.
>> However, we are just skimming here and I find when this surface slide remains
>> unexamined, it becomes somewhat problematic.  This penchant for glibness
>> well be informing the dialectics of this conversation ... and/or it may
>> be adding to the paradox.
>> Further thoughts?
>> Best,
>> Chris

" ... the space between zero and one ... "
                 Walter Benjamin

        Los Angeles _ San Francisco

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