Author: Michael Corris  
Posted: 05.11.2002; 09:42:41
Topic: Question 3
Msg #: 596 (in response to 420)
Enclosure:
Prev/Next: 595/597
Reads: 50214

In the debate on paradigm shifts in science, one finds a concern with explanatory power. A new theory or paradigm is deemed more powerful if it is able to explain all the phenomenon covered by the older theory, plus those phenomenon that are identified as anomalies with respect to the older theory. The problem with this view is that it assumes that both theories entail either (a) an identical world, or (b) translatability between the objects of one theory and those of another. If your definition of art entails practices and aims beyond the horizon of what you take to be an art related to "academies, universities, museums and galleries" then we are really talking about two different worlds. If "the effects of activities of experts to other contexts are usually not part of the self description or observation of these expert cultures" then how are they part of a network-based conception of art? It is the concept of networking that requires reflection. To my mind, to say that networking entails social responsibility is not an adequate response. Is it the case that none of the problems raised by "experts" in (institutional or normal) art are considered to be real by practitioners embedded in a networking culture? Somehow, the polarization of alternatives leads us back to the Kuhn-Feyerabend debate. For me, "net.art (activism)", etc., are still strange. I don't think the debate is about what is, and what is not art. Rather, what is, and what is not, susceptible to and complicit with the bureaucratization of imaginative practice as art. It is obvious that net.art constitutes a different world for art. But how does net.art "irritate" normal art? Is it in dialogue with normal art, but only at a distance? Is net.art another art gang? Is this a false problem? Your final proposition reveals your stance. It also suggests that the "critical view of the world" of artists is not located in the work (that's a type of fetishism), but in the (some) processes that led to the work taking this particular form. The form is contingent on other interests (normal, institutional art), and comes to us always already (sorry for the deconstructionist cliche) deformed ( that is, fixed and incapable of self-transformatory reflection). My rejoinder is not intended to be adequate by any means. But I think our mutual "scripts" identify an important site of inquiry. We've just "ring fenced" our discourse. I should like us to break out of that as soon as possible. Polarization will get us nowhere on this issue. Michael Corris (InvCollege@aol.com)

 



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