Two artists who are becoming increasingly important for me, both of them have socially engaged practices and work with found materials.
I like the way Mark Bradford references Asger Jorn contra American abstraction, questioning the dominant historical discourse in painting.
Theaster Gates has more of a Duchampian gesture, redeploying objects and materials sometimes on a vast scale but always with a critical strategy.
What this opens up for me to an increasing extent
- Use of found materials
- Ready mades
quotes from Simon Critchley, section on Fragment in the book…
The limping of philosophy is its virtue. True irony is not an alibi; it is a task; and the very detachment of the philosopher assigns to him a certain kind of action among men.
The romantic model for the literary absolute, the genre par excellence for romantic expression, is the fragment. Now, the specificity of the fragment, its uniqueness, is that it is a form that is both complete and incomplete, both a whole and a part. It is a form that embodies interruption within itself.
The romantic conception of the fragment as a construction that is not complete but rather progresses onward into the infinite through self- reflection champions this anti-idealist motive in the midst of idealism…it thinks in fragments, just as reality is fragmentary, and finds its unity in and through the breaks and not by glossing them over– Adorno quoted in Critchley.
Romanticism fails. We have already seen how the project of Jena Romanticism is riddled with ambiguity……the audacity of romantic naïveté goes together with the experience of failure and incompletion: the great romantic novel of the modern world is never written, and the romantic project can be said to fail by internal and external criteria.
However, if the fragment enables a plurality of topics to be treated in a single text, it also allows the possibility of a plurality of voices and authors. The fragment opens up the possibility of collective and anonymous writing, the possibility of genius as a multiple personality
It is equally fatal to the spirit to have a system and not to have a system. It will simply have to decide to combine the two. Schlegel quoted in Critchley.
Linda Nochlin on the fragment
Paper by Helmut Puff in Ruins of Modernity
A geology of media / Jussi Parikka.
Series: Electronic mediations: Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota ; University of Minnesota Press, Description: xiv, 206 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9780816695515; 0816695512; 9780816695522; 0816695520.
“Media history is millions, even billions, of years old. That is the premise of this pioneering and provocative book, which argues that to adequately understand contemporary media culture we must set out from material realities that precede media themselves–Earth’s history, geological formations, minerals, and energy. And to do so, writes Jussi Parikka, is to confront the profound environmental and social implications of this ubiquitous, but hardly ephemeral, realm of modern life. Exploring the resource depletion and material resourcing required for us to use our devices to live networked lives, Parikka grounds his analysis in Siegfried Zielinski’s widely discussed notion of deep time–but takes it back millennia. Not only are rare earth minerals and many other materials needed to make our digital media machines work, he observes, but used and obsolete media technologies return to the earth as residue of digital culture, contributing to growing layers of toxic waste for future archaeologists to ponder. Parikka shows that these materials must be considered alongside the often dangerous and exploitative labor processes that refine them into the devices underlying our seemingly virtual or immaterial practices.”