(June 23-27, 2001)
 in the frame of XXIII Moscow International Film Festival Rambler's Top100

F e s t i v a l & C o n f e r e n c e



Andrei Velikanov.

Creating Models of Mediums Meditation.

Media art, which until recently seemed revolutionary and strange, is now taking its modest position within contemporary art practice. High technologies require new creative solutions, which media art successfully finds though the technologies themselves are but ineffective means of reanimating dead art. One of the causes of art’s lifelessness is its representation of concrete authors and ideas at the time when the very idea of representation is no longer actual. Contemporary art in claiming its actuality turns to be inadequate for its setting. It is torn out of contemporary context because it lacks materials, tools and an author figure. After its three main stages of development - mimesis, avant-garde, postmodernism - art becomes hollow and unable to either find solutions for its own problems or to reflect the new world. All that is aesthetically interesting happens now beyond the sphere of art.

In our complex situation of informational excess an individual loses his/hers right of author utterance and unique self. The author’s direct creative action becomes impossible as such. Meanwhile there exist certain phenomena possessing the distinct features of a work of art (for example, aesthetic consumption) while lacking an author. These phenomena belong to the information sphere and sometimes have nothing in common with reality. Usually a “medium” figure is found in these cases - a conductor, an intermediary who takes actions unveiling the core of contemporary world completely, so that these actions deserve a title of an original work of art. The medium himself is frequently unaware of any reasons behind them. The medium is neither an author nor an artist.

Art is dead, artists are not. The only way out for the artist is to find a completely new position. In my opinion, this should be a synthesis of previous historic stages, incorporating them just as Lobachevski’s geometry includes Euclid’s’ geometry. The artist should also return to the starting point, mimesis, depicting the ugly beauty of our new world - not the “real” one but the medial, informational world. The world should be recognized as a network not in the simplified technological sense (the Internet), but as a complex structure consisting of узлов-субъектов? subject (not being individuals, as a rule), connected by information links. This world is ugly, because its beauty remains to be found. The informational world becomes valuable and ontologically material. On one hand it turns from the complexity to primitiveness, from civilization to barbarity, on the other hand, this process itself is beautiful. In this world the artist finds himself in a position of a primitive savage, only able to make an impact of his hand on the cave wall. Collection and archivation? Of interesting objects out of media space and a search for new aesthetics are the aims of new art. Meanwhile this creative practice shouldn’t become a production of new simulacra in the world of total overproduction. The return to the old world is impossible. We should learn to think with a primitive collective mind now living on the pages of yellow press.

All previous art shouldn’t be “thrown overboard from the ship of modernity”. The more it loses its adequacy, the more it needs archivation and reconsideration from the new aesthetics’ point of view. The synthetic position towards various historical forms of art makes radical performance as archaic as Renaissance art, but just as important for the cultural archives. Conservation of dead art is only another proof of its lifelessness, while the creative act of information space aesthetic event archivation is a declaration of the new position of art.

    © 2001 MediaArtLab; design - @division