“What I’m suggesting is that if we’re concerned about the responsibility and the civic role of museums, then we should begin by looking at their programming – its past, present and future. Who is it for? Who have they left out? Art is a big word and the art world is a big place. Can we do a better job of finding a place for art practices that want to ask those kinds of questions?”
Christiane Paul: “Challenges for a Ubiquitous Museum”
Anne Collins Goodyear: “From Technophilia to Technophobia: The Impact of the Vietnam War on the Reception of “Art and Technology”
Both of the texts examine how new technology, and media art have ruptured essentialist notions of disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Whether it’s the use of technology pushing artists and art people to realize their creative practices and institutions are implicated in the undesirable power relations of the wider world. Or art museums realizing their form and function might be outmoded when confronted by the shifting possibilities of media arts. Goodyear’s writing exposes the white washing behind a notion of art that is pure of political and societal positioning / function, while Paul examines the specificity of shifting curatorial practices within the gallery or museum when dealing with media arts. In her attempt to map out the strategies of media arts, Paul holds onto a very privileged notion of ‘Art’. That’s to say, Paul argues about how media art will find its eventual due in the ‘art world’. And she is right to the simple ends that yes more ‘media arts’ are slowly trickling into ‘art world’ spaces as simply art and not ghettoized as media art. But her position of analysis, that of being an ‘art world’ curator, blinds her to the longer territory that these technologies are facilitating a wider shift in the geography of cultural production, both physically and conceptually. The ghetto of media art is a position of institutional leverage, even she acknowledges that media arts will continue to blur boundaries between art and science, and will ultimately benefit from it.
If joseph beuys said, everyone is an artist, then today everyone is a media artist. That is to say, ‘Art’ is no longer the privileged conversation, it is no longer the hierarchal point where all of culture must come through to be reflected upon. The model of creative and critical practices that are traditionally invested in these centralized points of production/reception, are now antiquated in their social role. That is to say, even if you adhere to a notion of pure art, you can no longer look to the lost monopoly of cultural centers as the producers of intellectual & creative value. By virtue of economic necessity alternative models for supporting creative & critical practices are being birthed as we speak. Networking between each other, it is no longer a issue of inclusion & exclusion it is an issue of access & attention. We are tethered in the creation of media as a space of action, and ‘success’ is no longer determined by the spread of the media as much as the proliferation of action. We do not travel to take photos, we take photos because we are traveling… it’s a grossly reductive statement, but our creative adventures are in service to the form of collaborative processes.
We are creative minds and bodies.