CREATIVE 2 PROFESSIONAL: 7 Things to Think About

(4)

"CREATIVE 2 PROFESSIONAL: 7 things to think about" is based on a lecture commissioned by Aily Nash and Andrew Norman Wilson as part of Image Employment at New York's MoMA PS1. Read the curators' afterword here.


 

#1: Scot Halpin

In 1973, the rock band The Who were opening their US tour for Quadrophenia with a sold-out concert at the Cow Palace outside of San Francisco.

Halfway through their set, drummer Keith Moon passed out on his drums, allegedly due to a mixture of animal tranquilizers and brandy. After unsuccessfully trying to revive him, the band soldiered on drumless for a few songs. Eventually, Pete Townshend, The Who's guitar player and main songwriter, asked the crowd if anyone could play the drums.

READ ON »


Tool Time: Cory Arcangel at The Whitney

(35)

Cory Arcangel (b. 1978), Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ), 2011. Hacked video game controllers, game consoles, cartridges, disks, and video, dimensions variable. [image via Artforum]

In many ways Cory Arcangel's solo show, on view now at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is about the failure of art and technology. This isn't to say the show is a failure; far from it in fact. Instead it's the way in which Arcangel's work frustrates the expectation that art, particularly art that engages with technology, somehow demonstrate a kind of expertise that justifies its elevation to the status of art. If the purpose of technology, broadly speaking, lies in its use-value, then it is his decided refusal of the kind of productive functionality that one expects from technical objects that makes many of the pieces on view so frustrating. Equally frustrated is the desire for an artfully crafted object expressing a unique critical vision. Instead Arcangel offers us objects that have been hacked and broken, that refuse or distort our interaction, or whose simplicity, effortlessness, nostalgia, and humor mask complex socio-technical systems. As Ed Halter noted in an interview with the artist for Rhizome in 2008, Arcangel's work seems to operate in two extremes:

You either introduce a ridiculously enormous and therefore pointless amount of work into it, or you reduce the work by using automation, or defaults, or outsourcing. So you either extend the amount of work to an enormous extent that makes it absurd, or you reduce it to nothing which undercuts its legitimacy.

Arcangel exerts incredible effort to accomplish the most banal of tasks, or produces aesthetic works that require little if any effort to manufacture — on the part of the artist, at least. In this way the works reflect on the process by which both art and technology are produced, and the means through which we ascribe value to artistic and technological objects.

READ ON »