In a previous post I identified possible problems with the notion of obsolescence as articulated in Voyage on the North Sea.
As an alternative I am exploring various ways of engaging with technology in artistic practise. The following points come to mind.
Artistic practice historically has always had a technological aspect, albeit within the context of the culture of the time.
The context with which technology is employed at any time can be investigated within an media archaelogical framework.
More broadly the dispositif is an alternative way of articulating and critiquing the broader context of the technology within culture.
On a philosophical level, much higher level positions could be taken, at the risk of requiring considerable reimagining within the context of a given practice. I am currently exploring Agamben and Notes on Gesture as a means of thinking about media and intermediality.
In applying the above methodologies it is probably necessary to consider to what extent concepts really do travel from the broader humanities into the fine art domain.
None of the above are straightforward in application but may form a basis for taking a more nuanced approach which can encompass current digital technologies rather than exclude them as commercially compromised or unamenable to a deeper engaged position ( a la Krauss).
Voyage on the North Sea (Rosalind Krauss) is an inspiration and base for thinking about media and the medium but poses some problems as a framework for practice, especially in relation to technology and media in 2017. For example
Technology – by valuing obsolescence it seems the artist can stand back from a wave of technological developments which can be difficult to evaluate or develop a relationship with. On the other hand it appears to point way from an active engagement with current technology. It is also possibly contradictory ie stucturalist film of the 60s and 70s employed 16mm film but this was cheaply available and commercially widely used. Only now is 16mm actually obsolescent.
How do we engage with technology as an artist in a way which permits a kind of deeper engagement and space for improvisation within constraints?
In a later post on media archaelogy I will propose some approaches that may address this
Intermedia – as a kind of discursive chaos, intermedia is condemned as lacking or not permitting the kind of engagement from the viewer/artist Krauss is looking for.
In a following post I will look at questions around intermedia and possible ways of addressing some of these issues.
The spectres of technology and circulation (both market and reproduction)
Trace – image analysis – link to authentication (fingerprint, retinal etc)
Sietsema deals with technology by a kind of bracketing. The intermedial gesture.
links to noise
at some point a trace cannot be distinguished – figure ground problem. The ground can be viewed as noise and the trace -signal.
link also to forensics
Traces can be linked to narrative – a positivist view of history – evidence.
The spectre is associated with noise (haunted media) breakdown or technology
Ghost in the machine.
Spectrality – Disputed chronology – neither present nor absent
What is media archaeology? / Jussi Parikka.
Publisher: Cambridge, England ; Polity Press, 2012.Description: viii, 205 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0745650252; 0745650260; 9780745650258; 9780745650265.Other title: What is media archeology?
Introduction : Cartographies of the old and the new — Media archaeology of the senses : audiovisual, affective, algorithmic — Imaginary media : mapping weird objects — Media theory and new materialism — Mapping noise and accidents — Archive dynamics : software culture and digital heritage — Practising media archaeology : creative methodologies for remediation — Conclusions : Media archaeology in digital culture.
From Marta Braun – Etienne-Jules Marey