[-empyre-] the pitfalls of trendy theory and popular art projects

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 21:01:22 EST 2012


Oi!

> Media Archaeology is
> thus really a fashion, something inordinately hyped to sell more books,
> music, clothes, etc... […] Meanwhile,
> Zielinski is always (if he still uses the label)  explicitly not a media
> archaeologist but a Media (an)archaeologist, a practice which has been
> increasingly one of biographing the anarchic margins of western thought and
> knowledge.  [Baruch Gottlieb]

To be diluted/ crystallized seems to be the gloomy fate of every
theoretical framework that becomes originally successful and is then
propagated and made trendy. Was Zielinski quick to jump off the boat
of “anarcheology” before it felt prey to the same cycle?

Should we spend our lives running from the conceptual edifices we
spend so much time to build, right before they are gentrified? Or
should we do something to barricade them and prevent the occupation of
the masses?

On the other hand, is there really anything wrong with the hype? When
something becomes fashionable (e.g. Deleuze, incompatibility,
practice-based PhDs), what is lost (if anything)?

Baruch, I can’t help but think that this dilemma of popularity is
similar to the one you faced with the iMine application. During the
Transmediale seminar you raised the question of whether the viral
dissemination of the project would be beneficial (or even necessary)
to it. Could you bring to the list some of your considerations on
that?

And at the same time, what would you do if iMine indeed became a
popular media phenomenon?

Best!
Menotti


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