Response to Quaranta

I think the questions are relevant on a sliding scale in accordance with my art.  I come from a post-modern art background, not new media.  I am still fascinated with new media art, but what I want is to merge some of the new media art practices with my physical art making background.  I also believe that at this point it’s a bit silly to ask if there is a future of new media art.  There is a support system for this type of art, with places like Eyebeam in NY, fairs like the io Festival, and according to Quaranta, there is an “Intermedia” sector that “in the last fifteen years this has enabled numerous small institutions and organizations led by artists to thrive, producing and exhibiting works that would be unlikely to see the light of day elsewhere.”  New media art is here to stay.  This is a pretty big generalization, but I think the lack of creative research on the medium may be in part due to the lack of depth and conversely the celebration of technology that is evident in many new media pieces.  I think this is one of the recurring issues that new media is faced with, and I think it’s due to the complexities of learning the technology.  On the other hand, the technology is becoming more accessible for artists, and ten years ago I would have never thought I could understand how to code.  With the availability of open source software, and a solid community of people using these tools, I think it’s an exciting time for new media arts.  This is where Quaranta’s promoting of the medium will come from.  The people using the technology are at the base of advocating the medium, and there’s a large community at that base.  Finally, it isn’t necessary to insist on medium specificity.  I think it’s probably better not to insist on it.  As Catherine David says, “ideally the means of realizing the project should arise from the idea itself.”

I find the post-media idea intriguing, and I do think Quaranta is right to say that we will have a better understanding of John Currin’s paintings if we are familiar with today’s media.  That said, I’m not entirely sure how my work fits with these categories.  In part it is outside the categories.  But, while my content doesn’t relate to media, it uses technology that is a within the scope of new media.  It is a question I am still exploring, and a major reason I’m here, how to place my work within a contemporary culture?

My Taste

I really enjoyed Ben Rubin’s pieces, in particular the Listening Post: “I Am”.  What I enjoy most about this piece is it’s relationship to a physical realm.  I think the piece would stand on its own if it had been in a screen and nothing else.  However, when they created the installation, I was struck with the visceral physicality of the piece.  The scrolling phrases, the clicking of the relays, the way I imagine light of the the LEDs penetrates your vision and the consequential after burn of it’s image move the piece from and interesting concept into an immersive work of art.  And outside of the formal values, the piece is a type of artwork akin to the Turing test that examines a cultural notions of privacy and issues of identity.  It really feels like a plump work of art rich with subtlety and meaning.

I also thought the Double-Taker (Snout) was a brilliant piece.  It’s a simple and whimsical idea, and I love the movement involved.  I would eventually like to  have my work interact with people like this.

Then I really enjoyed Casey Reas‘ work.  When you’re making things, I think setting up rules can be very helpful to your process.  I like that from simple rules, Casey was able to build up and upon the structures of these creature like forms, creating an emergent art.  I think that the forms he’s creating have potential to be realized in three dimensions.  Not as literally as he showed int the wall sculptures that he has, but more as source material for sculpture.