[-empyre-] networked self and the netopticon

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Sun Jan 30 09:09:59 EST 2011

On 29/01/11 23:40, Simon Biggs wrote:
> A different Simon takes a slightly different point of view.
> All art is interactive in that we the reader can re-shape it as we interpret
> it and in turn we, ourselves, are shaped by the work, our reshaping of the
> work and all the other elements that form the context of experiencing the
> work.
I don't know if this is a deliberate stammer but if "we the reader" 
reads what "we" have already interpreted, where is the room for 
experimentation? Has the aesthetic experience collapsed onto the plane 
of a "writing" or worse an "interpretation" of a writing that "Latour 
covers pretty well"? A "re-shaping" sounds like poor compensation, even 
as "we" ourselves "are shaped by the work," since that work still rests 
on the interpretation determining the shape to which "we" are turned, as 
the meaning is produced from the interpretation that determines it, a 
process of signification, and as such, within the confines of 
representation. Meanwhile, art, as I indicated has escaped.
> However, once this is accepted our concern can shift a little from a focus
> on art work, author and/or reader to the relations between them, the
> networks of agency.
The question is, ought they to?
> These "connections" are not fixed but dynamic in nature,
> constantly becoming. In this flux those elements we might consider more
> fixed (author, reader, artefact) are also rendered uncertain, unfixed and
> fluid.
The fluidification or deliquescence or rendering down of elements 
previously fixed into a state of flux may be considered an admirable 
project. It may also be considered the precursor of a tapping and 
plumbing project to add what is now fluid to the flows of capital.
> An interactive work of art (that is more than just physically responsive to
> external sources of agency) is one that has been produced primarily as a
> means to reveal and reflect upon these processes of flux, the manner in how
> all the participants in a situation are dynamically being formed, re-formed
> and de-formed as relations shift. The interactive art work seeks to contain
> the totality of that, even though materially it might be quite constrained
> in its existence.
I'm not quite sure I understand this tension between flux and 
containment, a totality that is sought and a materiality that constrains 
it "in its existence." It seems to me like a rhetorical tension.
> Some of the artists included in the exitimacy exhibition do seek to produce
> such work. That the work might be "bankable" is another issue (that just
> sounds like sour grapes).
The fact that it is bankable is surely a relational and pragmatic aspect 
of the work in question. It may only be bankable in terms of enhancing 
the gallery's reputation and image. But I doubt I would have come across 
this event - the curatorial puff, the list of names and the positioning 
of both within an existing discourse - without the information given in 
the advertising. Maybe an exercise to raise public awareness about such 
art practices?

The advertising - as we know from pop through to conceptual art - is 
another line crossing the relational field, but an interesting one in 
that it participates with a speed of communication that puts the whole 
field in danger of being swept away.

My interest lies in the non-relation of what Patrick Lichty refers to as 
UbiSurv and the plane of immanent vision or global visibility as it is 
invested by capital and re-shaped by the master signifier and brought 
into dynamic relationality according to the dictatorship of 
representation. At least, I suspect my interest of lying.

There is, however, no doubt it will betray me and lead me into error, 
where with any luck I will lose myself.




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