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Making the Digital Divide Cheap and Nasty.

Making the Digital Divide Cheap and Nasty.



By Robert Jackson.

Jackson responds to Claire Bishop's new essay Digital Divide, where she asks why the contemporary mainstream Artworld has, for the most part, continued to disavow any critical dialogue with the 'endlessly disposable, rapidly mutable ephemera of the virtual age'. While the questions Bishop poses are welcome and expertly framed for the mainstream art world, Robert Jackson argues that her call for confrontation has no relevance, when measured up to the sphere of "new media art" (Bishop's words) which is in a more advanced stage of critique with its messy materials.

"Of worthy mention is the essay Digital Divide by the art world's antagonistic critic of choice Claire Bishop, a writer whom a little under 8 years ago, deservedly poured critical scorn over the happy-go-lucky, merry-go-round creative malaise that was Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics and all of the proponents involved. Since then Bishop's critical eye has focused on the acute political antagonistic relationships, within the dominant paradigms of participatory art and the concomitant authenticity of the social."

Robert Jackson, is currently studying an MPhil/PhD at the University of Plymouth, in the research group KURATOR/Arts and Social Technologies, Faculty of Arts and Media (formally Faculty of Technology). Jackson's thesis focuses on Algorithmic Artworks, Art Formalism and Speculative Realist Ontologies, looking at digital artworks which operate as configurable units rather than networked systems, and attain independent autonomy themselves which are capable of aesthetics, rather than any supposed primary function as communicative, rational tools. There are two working titles, Algorithm and Contingency: Towards a Non-Human Aesthetics and Everything is Possible: Art and Speculation.