[-empyre-] Nonsite as fashion trend

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Mon Jan 14 03:39:33 EST 2008

Hi, again, John,

We very much applaud your resistance to the current explosion of 
over-priced installations and the museum trend of favoring  new media 
and high value video installations that seem to mimic the aesthetics 
of modernist painting.   There's certainly a trend in the museum 
world to embrace high value video projections at the very moment that 
more complexly layered video, new media interventions are exploding 
on the web and even in alternative galleries (we recently attended a 
very large museum show of video projection that basically eclipsed 
the complexity of the kind of experimental video work championed, for 
example,  by our colleagues down the road in Upstate New York at the 
Experimental Television Center (www.experimentaltvcenter.org).  TV 
studies used to have a term for how  commercial interests 
appropriated the radical discourse of a few 60s, 70s tv dramas: "claw 
back."  We think you're post suggests something similar going on now 
that merits serious discussion.

We remain interested in video and new media interventions that rely 
on various "rough" or sometimes even "non-representational" formats 
or strategies to undermine the comfort of  "video as painting" or 
media clawback.  Our combined concern in practice and theory is to 
avoid overall generalizations that sometimes confuse abstraction, 
"non-representation," or even low production value with political or 
aesthetic  inefficacy (along these lines, we recently heard net.art 
categorically dismissed  by an internationally prominent museum video 
curator  as not meriting serious attention.  Sometimes 
experimentation with form and even means of distribution, as we've 
learned from Matta-Clark, can provoke reflection on the ideology and 
market of form itself.

We're interested to hear more of your thoughts.  Thanks so much.

Renate and Tim


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