Repost: ///Deconstructing the Image-Object ///Wading in the Wake of Symbolization

August 1, 2013 · Print This Article

A link to the following essay was sent to us in response to The Letter to Goldsmiths that I posted last week. I have only included the very beginnings of the post, but you can carry on reading the rest if you follow the link at the end, (before the end notes).

Sterling Crispin
2013

All of human culture competes for our limited attention and resources, evolving and mutating over time. Everyone plays a role in shaping this behavior, although its clear some key players have more control. Each observation and action is an opportunity to contribute to the reproduction or demise of a thing or idea. The observer changes what it observes, and moreso when content producer and consumer are one in the same.

The Internet has accelerated the pace of feedback between creation and response, and one of the results has been a continued embrace of novelty and irony. Capital, currency and power are running rampant without checks and balances from truth, knowledge and beauty. Its time to more fully embrace directness, earnestness and sincerity. This applies to not only what we make and do, but what we support indirectly through our actions.

The following essay is a deconstruction of, and argument against, the post-internet condition. Specifically, I want to address the over use of irony, novelty, attention as currency, persona as product and the embrace of the spectacle of society.

The first four sections are meant as an introduction to the core argument, and offer a broader context which is often overlooked in such discussions of the post-internet condition. Supplemental notes and sources have been included which provide clarification, tangental ideas and some quotes where appropriate.

wading

///Deconstructing the Image-Object ///Wading in the Wake of Symbolization

 

1.

It’s clear that our time and attention is limited, and there’s too much going on in the world to pay attention to it all, especially now. Countless people are fighting for our attention and trying to convert this energy into political, social and economic power. Even inanimate things themselves can be thought of as competing for our attention (1)(2). This competition for attention has been turned into a highly skilled craft by plants, animals (1.5)and culture at large, which is especially evident in the battlefield of consumer products and advertisements.

This competition can be understood in terms of Attention Economics (A) which describes the finite nature of human attention in contrast to the vast and exponentially growing access to information. However, it may be more accurate to describe this situation as an attention based ecology rather than an economy. This ecology is an evolutionary system of richly complex interactions between limited resources (human attention), competing agents (corporations, other people, algorithms, ideas, aesthetic styles, cultures, objects themselves) and countless internal and external forces. The time between publishing information and audience response has nearly collapsed since the dawn of the Internet, further exacerbating this situation. The rapid feedback loop between production and consumption, when considered as a whole, can be thought of as vast synthetic brain evolving its ability to engage with humans and understand how we think (3). (read more)

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END NOTES:

(1) This can be seen in the material-semiotics of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s (B) concept of the rhizome, the world as a horizontal networked structure of relations that seeks equilibrium and is constantly shifting. Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway and much of traditional ‘eastern’ philosophy also speak on this subject. The fields of cybernetics and chaos theory are scientific approaches to this subject, and I’ll address them later on. (1.5) I’d also recommend Michael Pollans “Botany of Desire” regarding the coevolution of humans and plants.

(2)Also in Bruno Latour’s Anthropological Matrix(C) which describes the world existing as a web of hybrid things that are both subject and object, between nature and culture, between agency and raw material. In the Anthropological Matrix all things are both real and imagined, both nature and culture. Latour has also extensively written about Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) (D) which describes existence as a network of ‘actors’ (human or nonhuman, essentially everything) engaged in a series of relationships. ANT disrupts the concept of differentiated individuals acting in the world and states that these things are really the sum of many other actors which reinforce each other.

(3) See Kevin Kelly’s inspired book “What Technology Wants”, and authors like Oliver Reiser, Buckminster Fuller, Dane Rudhayar, Sri aurobindo, N.A. Kozyrev, Teilhard de Chardin, Jose Arguelles, et al.




Wednesday Clips 6/10/09

June 10, 2009 · Print This Article

R. Crumb's Book of Genesis (via boing boing)

R. Crumb's Book of Genesis (via boing boing)

Here’s hoping Meg’s sister “Peanut” Manuel kicks some ass at the US Boxing Championships!!

*Bruce Nauman’s Topological Gardens wins Golden Lion for best Pavillion at Venice Biennale (Art 21).

*John Baldessari and Yoko Ono receive Golden Lions for lifetime achievement in Venice (Unbeige). Go Santa!

*Marguerite Horberg plans Porto Luz, a new artistic center for Bronzeville (Chicago Weekly).

*What to wear during an Orange Alert? interviews Green Lantern Press editor Tobias Bengelsdorf.

*This site could become indispensible: The Auteurs.com, which lets you stream hard-to-find foreign films directly to your computer. Pretty inexpensive, and some are even free (via Avant/Chicago).

*Google sends cease and desist letter to Yoooouuu Tuuube creater David Kraftsow: read Rhizome’s interview with Kraftsow about it here.

*You need ideas? They got ideas, lots of ‘em: Ideasonair.net (via Artipedia).

*Eight museum shows you won’t be seeing in L.A. anytime soon (plus other cancelled shows across the country). Can someone scoop up MOCA’s cancelled Luisa Lambri show and bring it to Chicago? Pleeeaaase? (Culture Monster).

*World of Warcraft: The Exhibition (via Provisions Library).

*Drawing the webiverse: The Internet Mapping Project (via boing boing).

*Even the Louvre is worried about its future now (Unbeige).

*I am so pre-ordering this: R. Crumb’s upcoming Book of Genesis comic;  excerpted in the New Yorker. (via boing boing, which has scans of the excerpt available on their website).

*Berwyn resident John Sisto discovered to have kept over 3500 religious artifacts and antiquities from Italy, 1600 of them stolen. (New York Times, Chicago Breaking News).




Wednesday Clips 5/27/09

May 27, 2009 · Print This Article

A webchat with Andy, Oliver Laric (http://oliverlaric.com/webchat.htm)

A webchat with Andy Warhol, Oliver Laric (http://oliverlaric.com/webchat.htm)

Here’s what’s got my attention, web-wise, so far this week:

*San Diego Museum of Art director Derrick R. Cartwright appointed director of the Seattle Art Museum.

*Art Institute of Chicago director James Cuno hopes to initiate massive fundraising drive for free Museum admission.

*No Boys Allowed: yearlong exhibition at the Pompidou Center is for women-only.

*Barack Obama: The Freshman.

*Now on Vimeo: watch the NYFA Panel Discussion on ‘How the Recession Has Impacted the Art World’ (featuring Edward Winkleman, Sean Elwood, Stephanie Howe, Kay Takeda; via Edward_Winkleman).

*Scope Basil is only three weeks ago away, and still ‘aint got no permit.

*”I spent a year asking why the contemporary art bubble was the biggest, bubbliest bubble of them all”:  Ben Lewis’ The Great Contemporary Art Bubble preview clip on YouTube ( ART21′s Ben Street has a funny post on the film too).

*Boing Boing writer Joel Johnson chides Wired Online for being clueless about the importance of online media–a great post, but look to the comments for the real dirt. (via ArtFagCity’s Twitter).

*Speaking of Twitter, it could be coming to a t.v. near you.

*Grrr. Argh: Monster Kid Home Movies (via Boing Boing).

*Pierogi’s famed flat files now searchable online. (via Art Fag City).

*A live conversation with a dead Andy Warhol, via psychic via webchat (via Rhizome.org).

*Beautiful/Decay needs YOU to help pick the theme for its next limited-edition publication. Winner gets a copy of the book. For free!

*Applications for the 2009 William H. Johnson Prize are now available. Due date is July 31st. (Via Artipedia).




Friday Clips 4/17/09

April 17, 2009 · Print This Article

Am I alone in thinking that whole Susan Boyle thing was a setup? Everyone’s “surprise faces” looked sort of fake to me. ANYWAY, here’s an otherwise Boyle-free, purely subjective round-up of art-world events, news stories, blog links and other stuff in Chicago and beyond that got me thinkin’ this week….

* Literary theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick dies of breast cancer at 58 (New York Times Obit.).

*In latest round of filings, Shephard Fairey turns tables on AP, accuses news organization of copyright violation. (Culture Monster).

*Ellsworth Kelly to install “White Curve,” his largest wall sculpture to date, in the Art Institute’s new Modern wing next week. The Art Institute will also add Kellys’ “Tableau Vert” (a gift from the artist) and “Red Diagonal” (gift of Chicago collectors Howard and Donna Stone) to its collection (New York Times).

*”Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey” opens at Milwaukee Art Museum.

*Gearing up for Art Chicago: Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye dome now on view at Merchandise Mart (no admission fee required). (The Skyline).

*Skip this page: a retrospective of Rhizome’s splash page internet art now on view at Rhizome.org. (Art Fag City has a typically thoughtful review of it here).

*Across the board, museums face worsening crises. Artinfo.com has created a handy timeline of Museums and the recession (this last via Art21 blog; but, as blogger Kelly Shindler points out, the stats in the timeline need verification).

*Another walk-in pantry at Chicago’s mini dutch takes place this Sunday from 12-3 (email Lucia to let her know you’re coming). BYOB, $3 donation. What’s on the menu? Quiche!

*All four seasons of PBS series Art21: Art in the 21st Century can now be viewed on Hulu. Also free for the grabbin’: The Tate‘s media library on iTunesU.

*More “free” stuff: Sweepstakes contest for Damien Hirst lithos and “the chance” to win his original album cover painting for The Hours (via Animal). Now point me in the direction of the Ayn Rand compound, please.