Re: [-empyre-] politics of critical fusion, forward from N. Neumark

Thanks Tim for forwarding my posts -- i was having a rich text plain/ text issue between my mail program and your server. btw, in the forwarding,some of the formatting of my reply got lost, so it's maybe not clear that the first para of my response to alice was actually in blue, quoting her reply to Maurice... sorry for any confusion
On 24/09/2007, at 11:20 AM, Timothy Murray , wrote:

 Hello Maurice and Alice,
Thank you for your engaged posts and work-- all very stimulating.

I participated in World Skin and it was indeed a disturbing experience and still a vivid memory. I remember
first watching other participants and coolly enjoying the photographic look of the space and then how it shifted when I became one myself and the ideas moved so suddenly from abstract to all too concrete.

  creating some indiscernible Brownian motion coming from doubt
 and revolt.

-- if praxis would disallow this, i agree, it's too limiting for art. Work that makes me laugh and wonder
at the same time is hard to resist and I find that in the dump. Your questions about whether god is flat and the devil curved -- where better than art to interrogate such important matters!
Art dump -- what a great idea for a contaminative collaborative blog ...

I would like to say that I very much agree with Maurice. I also think that there are always risks in falling into a trap, especially if artists sometimes end up in stiff and controlled places previously assigned for them by the "economy of power they seek to either address, expose or intervene". So, of course, for me at least, works should always be self-reflexive on that question, and so many others as well. Being self-reflexive meaning to be inquisitive and curious about the very own way a work itself is created: by the way an image is generated, by the way a work comes to being financially, by the way and where it is exhibited. Something that strikes me as very essential in my practice is that in making art, one directly addresses perception, how things in life are perceived - modes of really looking at things. But what it means to really look? What it is that you see beyond what is deceivably shown to you by an "economy of power", or merely beyond common sense? That, for me, even if in a very small scale, can be a subversive act.

These are important points and I agree that though it seems impossible to ever be outside economies of power, the ways we negotiate them are still worth thinking about. For me, working in new media, the issue of funding, which you raise, has always been troubling --feeling often like a beta tester for industry with the latest technology or a representative of the national interest with government funding (Australian). Sometimes this has been ok for me and I recognise that it is for many others, but I have to say that recently, having a break from bigger tech works and these particular funding issues has been exhilarating and opened new ways of working. But as Brad may be suggesting, there are also downsides of being outside such Big institutional Art validators. Caught between a flat god and a curved devil...

Norie Neumark
Media Arts
University of Technology, Sydney
empyre forum

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