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.