conceptual morass

Posted by Eric Dymond | Thu Sep 7th 2006 9:08 p.m.

well what Robbin pointed out in his comment on Sol Lewitt is still true.
We have ended up in a conceptual morass that makes critics and academics happy, but leaves artists on the ledge (and it's a long fall).
If we spit out the requirements of the conceptualist we find ourselves in open ground, unending and with a vast horison.
Stupid to think we have spent so much time on this paltry issue. Sad to think 30 yrs past before we found spme freedom.
Eric
  • Robbin Murphy | Fri Sep 8th 2006 6:08 p.m.
    Eric Dymond wrote:

    > well what Robbin pointed out in his comment on Sol Lewitt is still
    > true.

    John Baldessari was the one that brought up the connection between Conceptual Art and academia, so I defer to his bearded wisdom and experience teaching. I don't have any academic connections so I don't know what they're teaching the kids these days. I do know I hear a lot less "artspeak" but, then again, I don't hear much intelligent discourse either. I just don't hear much of anything but very self-indulgent jargon when it comes to "new media theory". I've been reading Vilem Flusser.

    > We have ended up in a conceptual morass that makes critics and
    > academics happy, but leaves artists on the ledge (and it's a long
    > fall).

    Artists have to make the effort to create the discourse. It's hard, it takes time but it's essential. Conceptual Art texts from c. 1970 are a very valuable resource. Jack Burnham in particular.

    > If we spit out the requirements of the conceptualist we find ourselves
    > in open ground, unending and with a vast horison.

    Joseph Kosuth is the only one who "requires" belief in his theory and he's pretty much the only one to accepts unequivocably the term Conceptual Art. Thre are many others.

    > Stupid to think we have spent so much time on this paltry issue. Sad
    > to think 30 yrs past before we found spme freedom.

    Art discourse is not a paltry issue.

    rm
  • Erika Lincoln | Sat Sep 9th 2006 9:15 a.m.
    Robbin Murphy wrote:
    I just don't hear much of anything but very
    > self-indulgent jargon when it comes to "new media theory". I've been
    > reading Vilem Flusser.

    I am curious what of Flusser's have you been reading? I bumped into his writing last year and found it quite interesting. Alot of other theory, (north american) in media art that I have read has put forth some of the same ideas but the authors have not mentioned any of Flusser's writing in their notes.
    erika
  • Robbin Murphy | Sun Sep 10th 2006 11:52 a.m.
    Erika Lincoln wrote:

    > I am curious what of Flusser's have you been reading? I bumped into
    > his writing last year and found it quite interesting. Alot of other
    > theory, (north american) in media art that I have read has put forth
    > some of the same ideas but the authors have not mentioned any of
    > Flusser's writing in their notes.

    I found Flusser while working on a web site about the Abbey of Fontrevraud in France because he spent some time there:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontevraud_Abbey

    Flusser was famous for not crediting his sources. He explains why in an essay titled "Essays" in the collection "Writings" edited by Andreas Strohl. He chooses "lively style" over "academic style" and that's probably why academics don't like to give him any credit.

    I read Flusser's collection of essays "The Shape of Things" every couple of months because I always find something new in them. Or I did until some theif made off with the book when we were in the Maiden Lane office.

    The only other book in English I know of is his "Philosophy of Photography", which I haven't read but am now reminded to seek out.
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