Blurting In A & L
Author: Thomas Dreher Posted: 11.12.2002; 00:43:11 Topic: Question 6 Msg #: 623 (in response to 428) Enclosure: Prev/Next: 622/624 Reads: 73378
To John and his answer 6/17:
Dear John, you meet the point in question: You wrote an incredible good answer.
The reading of Conceptual Art backward from a point of view of (reconceptualizations of) net.art (Michael Corris´ interesting proposal: From net.art to Conceptual Art) leads to some central conceptual points especially in the early work of Art & Language: Models for the exemplification of sign functions and its social consequences in a criticism of the art context: A critical reading of the established art criticism allows to explicate the ideologized implicit bindings/(hidden) links between the economics of the art market and the use of media in art (presentations in exhibitions). The early seventies with their social criticism of the art context and the late seventies with their turn to problems of relations between problems of the art context and studio production mark the hinge between two kinds of collaborations within Art & Language and between the two (willful mis)understandings of Conceptual Art, which you reconstruct in answer 6/17.
It is strange in this conversation that I am the art historian, who argues for a return to conceptual relevant problems from a point of view of the possible uses of new media (digitalisation, telecommunication, time, interaction/participation, copyleft), meanwhile today artists with a Conceptual past (here Mel Ramsden) want to strengthen the values of material forms of presentation: A return to the authentic art work? In the case of Baldwin/Ramsden´s practice: I hope not. Concerning formal questions of artistic visualization: There are a lot of projects in net.art and webdesign which provoke a search for a language to describe and reconceptualize them. There are formal problems (in the sense of visual phenomena which imply interesting reconceptualizations of a visual culture within inter-/transmedia) enough (much more than in earlier postwar works?) but they are not framed into a Home of art.
Members of Art & Language (Baldwin/Ramsden) conceptualize the index projects as a home for homeless art. This Home as an archive for presentations in exhibitions never existed for net.art - and it doesn´t exist for performance art except in some curatorial manners which somehow want to deal with them in manners which are equal or similar to forms of presentation for documents of social movements in exhibitions. This practice can be described as a managing of documents via the development of displays/environments/contexts which provoke ways of reading/interpreting the (relations between) documents. Curators follow the slogan "museumization integrates everything" either in a bureaucratic manner and `do their job´ (which leads to a conservation of separated objects) or they integrate a reflection of different kinds of museumization into their forms of presentation: The `dead´ lay-out as a concept which the observer `vivifies´ via reconceptualization.
Is the programmatic website with a link list to net projects and an explication of f. e. relations of/between software, net conditions and net projects a Home like an exhibition or is it only one frame within a lot of windows/doors for a passage of dates? Does it escape problems of "museumization" or is it inevitable to renew/renovate them under net conditions?
The content management system of ZKM subverts my intentions: It substitutes my home with quotation marks by Home with the capital H and with a link to the Homepage of "Blurting in A & L online". The software forces me to ask: Is this homepage a Home or is this nonsense? The term homepage and the URL adresses with the ends `home´ or `homepage´ are misleading in our context. Thomas Dreher (TDreher@onlinehome.de)