Assuming chance-based art was one stage in the continuum of contemporary practice, does a formula-based art come next?
Does chance-based artwork come from a posthumanist attitude? Are artists seeing themselves as functionaries of “creativity” like a computer scrambles code?
Is chance-based art a way of being medium-specific about subjectivity and objectivity in the artistic process?
In shifting critical focus away from the author’s supposed intention to readership and the act of the interpretation, I can’t help but consider the boon this must have been to theorists and structuralists like Barthes and Foucalt. They did, after all, give themselves permission to continue their own line of thinking.
Calling a level-headed addendum to an essay about authorship “Fuck Content” seems like a strikingly well realized form for content (Rock’s essay), right? He goes on to imply that content can never be formless: “form without content (as if that were even possible)” Can anything be formless?
Consider what Rock implies about form and content the following quote: “The children’s book is the purest venue of the designer/author because the content is negligible and the evocative potential of the form unlimited” What does he mean? Is form being somehow equivocated to illustration? Is the opportunity to be didactic conducive towards pliable form?
I parsed a transcription of an exercise the artist Lucas Samaras made in 1971 where he interviewed himself about his practice, ideologies and tendencies.
My presence is felt as italicized intrusions into his internal dialogue. Sometimes I answered his questions, other times I attempted to dissect his answers and line of thought. Ultimately, I, like Samaras, am thoroughly compromised through the framework of the exercise.
1. The instability of context is indissoluble. Are there formal steps that can be taken to recover stability? Would those maneuvers render a work uncharitable? Ungenerous? Most artists’ sites are white and minimal in design– the crystal goblet?
2. Goldsmith’s admiration for Robert Fitterman’s Directory poem stems on its use of reflection rather than expression. What, then, is Goldsmith’s text doing to these cited works? Is Goldsmith reflecting or expressing substantiations around these art works.
3. Is uncreativity bound to the cognoscenti of art? Is there an intellectual elitism at the core of this idea?
At what point does remix and theft approach the line of illegibility? Imagine a film constructed of 2 second clips from all of 2012’s films– would this breach form? Is remix strongest when it operates within medium specificity?
Institutions and conventions are all born of transgressions in history. Has remix become aestheticized? Glitch work feels kind of stale lately, you know?
Perhaps the most rounded form of appraising works born of theft and remix comes from a knowledgeability of the original sources. Does this presuppose a traditional form of education that grounds students in “original, creative” works? Are the “classics” even worth defending and studying? Every generation renders the previous generation’s classics obsolete, right?