[-empyre-] scalability and 'knowledge production'
christina at christinamcphee.net
Wed Feb 11 16:39:00 EST 2009
To Christiane and the artists of the exhibition, I wonder if any of
you might wish to comment on any relationship (or none) between this
pervasive scalability in the projects at the U. C. venues and a notion
of art as research within a university context-- or, to put it in the
popular phrase of our day, 'knowledge production."
Christiane notes that 'data is always embodied and has a very real
effect on our lives (along the lines of Foucault's bio politics)" (see
full quote below).
Tom Holert has written recently, " A point of tension that can become
productive here is the traditional claim that artists almost
constitutively work on the hind side of rationalist, explicated
knowledge—in the realms of non-knowledge (or emergent knowledge). As a
response to the prohibition and marginalization of certain other
knowledges by the powers that be, the apparent incompatibility of non-
knowledge with values and maxims of knowledge-based economies
(efficiency, innovation, and transferability) may provide strategies
for escaping such dominant regimes."
I think this is an important observation -- the "loss" of, or at least
"disconnect" from, singular experiences and events is what many people
struggle with in new media. I don't want to generalize and claim that
this is an inherent characteristic of new media art. Sharon Daniel's
projects in the exhibition -- despite the fact that they deal with
relations between a large body of data -- are highly personal,
situated and political. Neither is this loss or disconnect a general
perception -- there are also many people for whom large bodies of data
have the richness of a singular experience. However, algorithmic
processing of large, scalable data bodies -- no matter how
aesthetically appealing -- generally tends to be perceived as
abstract, and I often sense a longing for embodiment in audiences'
reactions to this processing. I would argue that data is always
embodied and has a very real effect on our lives (along the lines of
Foucault's bio politics). I think new media art has addressed or
struggled with this tension between the virtual, connected, collective
and the embodied, singular, personal for quite some time. I don't
think there is a simple formula for creating art that resolves this
tension, I see it more as an important phenomenon that needs to be
explored on the level f the artwork and the audience.
DANM Digital Arts and New Media
Porter Faculty Services
University of California at Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
001 805 878 0301
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