a coded identity

Posted by Rhizome | Tue Apr 22nd 1997 1 a.m.

Replying to recent discussions of radical "anti-art" movements, posted
on the nettime email list, David Garcia wrote:

Although they [anti-artists] deal in a language as symbolic as art;
"code", the hacker ethic revives the situationist proposal of an
alternative type of creativity. A creativity which starts where art
leaves off. It is normal everyday life that should be made passionate
and rational and dramatic, not its reflection in the seperated world of

Robert Adrian replied:

In a recent email Armin Medosch described his ideas for a forthcoming
edition of *Telepolis* concerning (among other things) "...how artists
are, in various ways, leaving the art system and connecting to other
areas of activity - but, while they no longer explicitly define their
work as art, they retain their identity as artists." (my translation)

I think Armin has got it just about right ... but I would decribe it as
"The Crisis of Professionalism" which the new digital technology is
creating in the traditional media. The "professional" artist (like
many other "media-professionals") finds her/himself in ever deeper
trouble as the mystique of production dissolves under pressure from
(for example) increasingly sophisticated desktop editing/production

Rachel Greene wrote:

This discussion goes material in the work of the Bureau of Inverse
Technology. Recent projects, under the ur-Project Database Politics,
explore how "neutral" information is produced and represented, how the
world becomes understood as data, and in turn, how database fields
create and impose categories. Sperm banks, voicemail, and despondency
indexes (part of a piece on the data of suicide) are mobilized to show
how human life choices and experiences become defined by a limited, and
problematic, set of categories.

The Bureau's "engineer," Natalie Jeremijenko, recently gave a lecture at
the Museum of Modern Art [New York]. It bordered on performance art
(transcript at http://www.tech90s.net) -- don't miss it. The Bureau's
work does, as per David's comment, take place in areas where art leaves
off. It still belongs to the world of Art though... it's very
conceptual, and compared to hacking, the production scale is huge.
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