[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 4 on -empyre-: New Media / Art / Representation

Claudia Hart claudia at claudiahart.com
Sun Apr 26 23:55:37 AEST 2015

Hi fellows, Soraya, Morehshin, Dorothy and Margaret:

I want to first respond to Dorothy.

I actually very much do believe that esthetics and formal languages are 
radically significant and important to study. The formal language 
embraced by new media art and high tech is generally corporatist and 
bureaucratic.It emerges from the International Style that was embraced 
by corporate industrial design, architecture and for the most part, 
Greenberg-ian formalist abstraction and American Minimalist art.Nineties 
identity art was created in rebellion against these dominant languages 
which had become a kind of hegemony.

I grew up in New York, and in my youth, the overly determined grid of NY 
was considered an iconic symbol of this hegemony.Take a look:


The problem for me with almost all of new media art is that it embraces 
and is a manifestation of this kind corporate esthetic.It embraces that 
esthetic, and therefore the same corporatist machine values:the assembly 
line, economic efficiency over the humanitarian – time equals money, 
etc., etc.Call me an old hippy; I guess it’s true.

I find it interesting that an artist such as Jacolby Satterwhite

http://jacolby.com/section/71777.html, is not considered to be “new 
media art.”I believe it’s because his esthetic is not mirroring the 
ethos of advertising and industrial design.It actually is new media art 
and uses simulations technologies, as much so as any of the work made 
(by new no coincidence, I don’t believe) white male new media processing 
artists, with their their geometric and grid-like esthetics.Why do these 
men make work like this?I answer is not essentialist, its political and 
economic.We exist in a system of signs; it looks like that of the 
dominant ideology.

Esthetics and formal languages are, IMHO, more important than the “text” 
of an artwork.They are the part that impact on you emotionally.As 
artists, we lead with our esthetics.

So now, in relation to what Dorothy mentioned and also what Soroya asked 
me.What attracted me to simulations technology initially?

First, that first Pixar movie I saw looked like a Renaissance painting, 
and at the same time, it seemed to be a new form of photography. It 
resonated to me as a hybrid of the Platonic and the Aristotelian models, 
of the two paradigms of mathematics and biology: of constructed systems 
and of the observation of nature based on the eye.The mind body conflict.

Second, Pixar ET. Al:utterly kitsch!It was sooo, NOT International style.

My two paths in art.

Thanks and with bests


On 4/25/15 4:14 PM, Soraya Murray wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear Morehshin and All,
> You point out a significant and ongoing conundrum. On the one hand there's the "strategic essentialist" position, where one can be identified and categorized in order to have a sense of community, and maybe strength in numbers -- which some would argue comes at great cost due to the individual. On the other hand is the refusal of those often-hackneyed notions, and instead thinking of identity as much more fluid and provisional, but with the condition that it may be untranslatable into existing frameworks.
> I would love to hear from everyone about this ongoing issue, particularly in relationship to digital media. It has been a longer debate in art (I'm thinking of the push-back against identity art from the '90s, and various stances that paint the artist dealing with identity as native informant, trauma narrator, etc.) I'm also thinking of the historical coding of technology as "masculine" which Ruth Oldenziel discusses in relationship to late 19th and early 20th c. America. That is to say, the connection was not inherent, but forged over time.
> I'm also very interested to hear from Claudia and others about their sense of the unique importance of women's presence in the digital. For example, Claudia, can you tell us more about what specifically attracted you to digital animation and made you feel that this was the specific space that you felt passionate about making an intervention?
> Thanks,
> Soraya
> ___________________________
> Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Film + Digital Media Department
> University of California, Santa Cruz
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

Claudia Hart
Associate Professor
Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
chart at saic.edu
cell: 917 657 6160

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