Eric Fleischauer and I have a great discussion after the opening of his new show entitled Post-Cursor currently up at threewalls (until July 3rd). We talk about how his work relates and/or responds to technological cultures and production through a diverse array of perspectives.

Eric’s work – both within and outside of this show – critically examines our tendencies to celebrate and memorialize technology. In our discussion, I suggest that Eric combats these desires in his work by offering up poignant minimal (in construction and presentation) solutions through the lens of art and media history. Eric counters this by also pointing to an important conceptual art history that informs his work (his A Scan of the Space Under My Mouse (enlarged 2x) is a direct reference to Bruce Nauman, for example).

We talk further about how these influences are condensed (from an art historical standpoint) into strategies for navigating contemporary media; a thread that is interwoven throughout his practice. A good example of these concerns can be seen in Eric’s organization/curation of the End of Analog show that he put together last year for Roots and Culture. He admits that the titles of both End of Analog and Post-Cursor are intended to be hyperbolic gestures. In doing so, he hopes to point out how the content of popular media has gone (relatively) unchanged in the past three decades and that exploring the transience of media formats can be a more productive undertaking.

The last bulk of our discussion uses Eric’s blog work as a spring board to talk about the growing popularity of tumblr within certain circles of young new media makers. I propose that the mobility that blog formats like tumblr create a rich environment for cross-medium discussion, collaboration, and non-committal sharing of ideas. Tracing this (micro)history to surf-club group blogs like Loshadka and Spirit Surfers shows how this medium of quickness and real-time response unburdens makers from the stringent policies of a gallery space setting.

Nicholas O'Brien

Nicholas O'Brien is a new media artist, curator/organizer, and academic living and working in Chicago. Since getting his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nicholas work has been included in multiple national and international venues including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Xth Biennial in Lyon net art project mybiennialisbetterthanyours.com, Lampo, Tank.tv, and the Centro Multimedia in Mexico City. He has also curated many screenings and live audio-visual performances within the Chicago area under many different projects including co-founding an alternative artist-run space called BUSKER which operated between 2005 and 2007. Currently, Nicholas is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Interactive Art and Media at Columbia College teaching media theory. More information about his work can be found at doubleunderscore.net