A Non-Manifesto for the Summer of 2008

Posted by curt cloninger | Fri Apr 25th 2008 9:21 p.m.

In the summer of 2008, I want to see more...

Art not about the intersection of technology and culture.

Art not about physical bodies in virtual space, virtual bodies in physical space, virtual space in physical bodies, or physical space in virtual bodies.

Art not trans-gendered, trans-disciplinary, or trans-local.

Art not about the art market of Chelsea, the gentrification of Brooklyn, or the suburbanization of New Jersey.

Art not immersive, multi-disciplinary, multi-modal, or multi-cultural.

Art that does not make use of youTube, mySpace, or secondLife.

Art that is not a critique of consumerism.

Art that is neither neo-dada, neo-fluxus, neo-situationist, or neo-arte povera.

Art that does not seek to be inclusive of the difference of the other via collaborative cell phone video podcast collage.

Art not about viral memes, online marketing, the noosphere, media saturation, or MK-ULTRA mind-control experiments.

Art that does not incorporate the Wii remote.

Art not seeking to dismantle the artificial dichotomy between nature and culture.

Art not seeking to dismantle the artificial dichotomy between science and art.

Ubiquitous computing, global positioning systems, surveillance cameras, animal architecture, and anything having to do with the human genome project are right out.

Art not green, sustainable, or post-human.

Art that does not celebrate Darwinian evolution as the cosmology of our times.

Art not using generative software algorithms to re-examine the tradition of American landscape photography.

Art that does not attempt to create an abstract cartographic mythology by synthesizing theoretical physics and Tibetan Buddhism.

Art not about moving through urban space.

Art not exploring artificial life, artificial intelligence, artificial insemination, artificial sweetener, or anything else artificial.

Art that is not a simulacrum of a palimpsest of an artifice of the spectacle.

Art that embodies neither emergent systems nor dystopian futures.

Art that is not a Deleuzean mash-up of Cagean algorithms.

Art that does not allude to Sol Lewitt, Josephy Beuys, Bucky Fuller, Johnny Depp, or John Ashcroft.

Art not about the U.S. homeland security advisory system.

Art that does not attempt to vectorize the trajectory of desire.

Art not conceived in response to a call for proposals.

Art not conceived in response to this list.
  • Pall Thayer | Fri Apr 25th 2008 9:46 p.m.
  • who knew | Sat Apr 26th 2008 1:29 a.m.
    V=x^3+y^3+axy+bx+cy
  • MANIK | Sat Apr 26th 2008 1:37 a.m.
    CAN SHE SLEEP LATE IN THE MORNING?
    NO,SHE CAN'T.SHE HAS TO GET UP EARLY.

    MANIK,APRIL,2008.
  • Erika Lincoln | Sat Apr 26th 2008 10:30 a.m.
    image
  • Erika Lincoln | Sat Apr 26th 2008 10:50 a.m.
  • Erika Lincoln | Sat Apr 26th 2008 10:51 a.m.
    ummmmmm

    again again

    image
  • Michael Szpakowski | Sat Apr 26th 2008 1:18 p.m.
    Curt - maybe I've mellowed but I don't actually mind any of those things that much (although my list of potentially BP rasing topics would be similar if not identical to yours). I don't think any topic should be ruled out. There's always the chance (admittedly slim) someone will doing something breathtaking with one of them.
    What irritates me way more is being told in advance & in mind numbing detail what a work ( or *worse*, a *proposed* work ) is about, then being instructed as to how I will react to it, which seems pretty much SOP...
    michael

    • curt cloninger | Sat Apr 26th 2008 1:59 p.m.
      Hi Michael,

      Of course you are right -- good work can be made on any topic, and avoiding a trendy topic does not necessarily guarantee good work. I'm just being curmudgeonly and polemical. With all of the topics in the world to explore, and with all of the people making work, it amazes me how many people fall into the same topical ruts. One might argue that this is because these are the issues that are truly important, the issues that matter to all of us; but I'm not so sure. Maybe these are just the issues that matter to a 28 year old art school graduate living in Brooklyn. And maybe these issues don't even matter to her, it's just that they seem to matter to the curators and critics she reads and so these topics get incestuously self-reinforced until they rise to the top of some arbitrary pile that represents the hermetic nature of the new media community more than it represents anything that actually matters.

      I think if someone's research and studio practice lead them to explore these topics, well and good. Because by the time they arrive at these topics they will understand why they have, and their work will be there. The problem is when people's curiosity and inquiry is driven by the desire to come up with a project that seems 'culturally relevant' (whose culture [or humanstic meta-culture]? relevant to whom? as determined by whom?). It is a very over-determined way of making work that leads to work I want to see less of this summer (in my culture from my perspective as determined by me).

      Curt
  • Pall Thayer | Sun Apr 27th 2008 7:13 p.m.
    What irritates me way more is being told in advance & in mind numbing detail what a work ( or *worse*, a *proposed* work ) is about, then being instructed as to how I will react to it, which seems pretty much SOP... "

    Right there with you on that point, Michael.

    If you can't say it in a single paragraph or, better yet, a single sentence, then you might just be better off not saying it at all. 500 word explanatory texts for a single work of art are for professors and grant applications, not anyone else.

    Pall
    • Michael Szpakowski | Sun Apr 27th 2008 7:58 p.m.
      Hi Pall
      I'm not sure there's an 'it' to say in anything that's worth a second look
      Actually decent work always has lots of "its" ( and hopefully they'll involve lots of contradictions, in the conventional, not the Marxist, sense) but that the artist is the last person who should be attempting to say them...
      <grant applications>
      I have to hold my nose quite a lot to write these - what I really want to say is - "Give me some money & I will try my best to make something mysterious, rich and interesting. I don't really know what it will be - I have some technical ideas, which I can share with you, but once I start working on those they'll probably change completely. The truth is chance plays an enormous part in me making stuff. Here's some stuff I did before -anything I make in the future might be a bit like that, but then again it might not. Oh..and it might fail completely."
      I'm worldly enough not to do this of course, which makes me sad.
      I've now read 300+ of the Rhizome commission proposals & every time someone tells me what their work will be "about", or will "address", or will "investigate" I feel the urge to sob helplessly coming over me.

      michael
  • Michael Szpakowski | Sun Apr 27th 2008 8 p.m.
    Sorry. The above should read:

    Hi Pall
    I'm not sure there's an 'it' to say in anything that's worth a second look
    Actually decent work always has lots of "its" ( and hopefully they'll involve lots of contradictions, in the conventional, not the Marxist, sense) but that the artist is the last person who should be attempting to say them...

    Grant Applications

    I have to hold my nose quite a lot to write these - what I really want to say is - "Give me some money & I will try my best to make something mysterious, rich and interesting. I don't really know what it will be - I have some technical ideas, which I can share with you, but once I start working on those they'll probably change completely. The truth is chance plays an enormous part in me making stuff. Here's some stuff I did before -anything I make in the future might be a bit like that, but then again it might not. Oh..and it might fail completely."
    I'm worldly enough not to do this of course, which makes me sad.
    I've now read 300+ of the Rhizome commission proposals & every time someone tells me what their work will be "about", or will "address", or will "investigate" I feel the urge to sob helplessly coming over me.

    michael
  • Lee Wells | Sun Apr 27th 2008 8:04 p.m.
    Ya. Whats the elevator pitch?
  • karlotti | Mon Apr 28th 2008 9:24 a.m.
    Smooth destruccion, to pile the remainders of the shipwreck, to do chips the light that the wall eats, to remove forces of weakness and to do blood with the full, naked hands of blood, to collect the debris, the remainders of the shipwreck, to stack the rout without losing the smile, a smile that the cinico hates. The home, the ship, the light, they are the place where my feet put raices to the oversight. Throwing the walls, to caress the fire, to open the door and the windows in full sky, to double the wall on the light, to double the wall and to return.
  • Kalx | Mon Apr 28th 2008 10:15 a.m.
    I don't think about art in that way. I think in terms of intuitive processes using whatever resources are available to create the image that the mind wants to reveal.
  • x-arn | Mon Apr 28th 2008 1:04 p.m.


    >Art not using generative software algorithms to re-examine the tradition of American landscape photography.

    http://www.laboratoire-aleatoire.com/lab/InfoScape
    http://www.laboratoire-aleatoire.com/lab/IpLog20080428

    --

  • curt cloninger | Sun May 23rd 2010 6:39 p.m.
    In the summer of 2010, I want to see more...

    Art not about the fact that it was made with off-the-shelf software.

    Art not about a gallery manifestation of an online manifestation of art.

    Art that has nothing to do with the artist's age.

    Art not about digital readymades, digital found objects, or some shitty animated gif that you stumbled upon and recontextualized and now we're supposed to think you are the step-child of Marcel Duchamp.

    Art that doesn't require me to live in Williamsburg and know all your friends to understand why I should care.

    Art that takes more than 5 seconds to get.

    Art that might matter next summer (or even next month).

    Art that has more going for it than the fact that it's not political.

    Art that doesn't feel obliged to ironize the application of some freaking craft skills.

    Art that doesn't feature a tangled mass of crappy '80s audio equipment as its conceptual raison d'etre.

    Art about death (or Scandanavian death metal).

    Art more concerned about what it's doing than who sees it.

    Art by artists who have read Henri Bergson's "Matter and Memory," Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time," Alfred North Whitehead's "Process and Reality," and/or Simon Ford's "Wreckers of Civilization."

    Cowbell; less gradient.

    Art that means having to say you're sorry.
  • curt cloninger | Mon May 24th 2010 12:40 p.m.
    image
  • C O S T I S | Tue May 25th 2010 11:49 a.m.
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