[-empyre-] scalability and 'knowledge production'

Christina McPhee 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."

http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/40

-c








Christiane wrote:


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.
Christina McPhee
http://christinamcphee.net

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
skype:  naxsmash









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