Observing Systems-Art from Systems-Theoretical Perspective

Just had a faintly confusing morning session with Dan in which in which we sat around bewildered by the seemingly needless complexity of a piece of text about Art Systems and attempted to decipher it together. Here’s some the ideas I’ve got from it:

As usual we had the old argument surrounding the use of the term New Media, and how it fits in with ‘old media’ or more traditional approaches to art.

“In the May 2005 issue of The Art Book Charlie Gere makes the following claim:

‘If new media art wishes to be taken seriously then it is necessary to start to develop appropriately robust and convincing means by which it can be examined critically. He continues that a potential problem facing the discourse concerning so-called new media art was one of ghetto-isation; in other words, as Gere claims, ‘not that there is no critical discourse, but rather that it remains the preserve of those involved, with little or no connection or engagement with outsiders.’ 1″

Got that? Heh. We essentially got into talking about the systems of art, that is to say the context in which the work the shown, and how it came into being.
I’m wondering that if the processes are revealed about a piece of work whether that knowledge imparted to the audience gives the final piece more power, or whether it detracts form it. Phrases like ‘A magician never reveal his secrets’ regarding his illusions comes to mind, where the audience focuses on the end product of the illusion, and then is left to theorise about how the feat was achieved. I’m especially interested in this kind of ambiguity in the kinds of work that we produce. I’m of the opinion that there is more than a touch of malign towards the work of the digital illustrator because people assume that the computer does alot of the work instead of the artist himself. This isn’t true – well, not always true. Plus, the digital artists work may not always be shown in a specified art space like a gallery, a recognised area for which to view artistic endeavours. Our work can be seen on the internet, on television, in magazines and I wonder if that lessens the impact of the work or strengthens it. Is the work worth more if a greater number of people experience it, or fewer? Does it matter what kind of people they are? I suppose there is a strong argument to say that art loses its status as art if it’s mainstream and everyone likes it. No one is ever going to call the Harry Potter stories art, because they are so widespread in their appeal. I wonder why art seems to have to be so much more exclusive if it is to be respected. To repeat myself a little, no one is going to called the original Star Wars triology art, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to cinema or important to sci-fi genre or to popular culture – because it is.

I suppose then it’s a question of definitions I’m really quite comfortable with the title of ‘Designer’. ‘Artist’ just has far too many connotations, and most them feel so negative to me at this point.


~ by traumatron on December 10, 2007.

One Response to “Observing Systems-Art from Systems-Theoretical Perspective”

  1. I’m wondering that if the processes are revealed about a piece of work whether that knowledge imparted to the audience gives the final piece more power, or whether it detracts form it.

    I think that the text contradicts itself, because it says we need to start thinking about work processes as much as the final piece, but that in a way ignores it’s point about judging pieces in their context. I think certain piece work better without their process shown. Your magician is a perfect example of it. On the other hand, music can sometimes be a much better experience live because you are seeing it being created in front of you. It all depends on context.

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