Friday, March 6, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: Wtrlt: Antw: artist as inventors

Dear Roger, Sylvie and Yasminers,

yes, the differentiation of social systems during the second half of
the19th century - including the divide of art and technology - is an
important aspect Robert and Sylvie mentioned. Dieter Daniels did a
comprehensive research on this topic (see: Kunst als Sendung, 2002;
the main arguments you can find in English in the "Artists as
Inventors" book). This splitting of systems - in the sense of
sociologist Niklas Luhman - is what I was referring to in my first

Along with the separation went attempts to overcome it, like
tendencies of concretism in art from Moholy-Nagy to Max Bill. Both
worked at schools related to Bauhaus priciples like objective/
mathematical rules of "gestaltung" and the connection of design
with cultural reform. (A very insightful research for the development
in Germany after World War II was written by: Paul Betts: The
Authority of Everyday Objects. A Cultural History of West German
Industrial Design. Berkley, Los Angeles, London, 2004). This idealism
was at the latest put into question in the 1980s, when so called mass
media and technology were criticised for their manipulative (the
former) and destructive (the latter) powers. Critical reflection of
technological development thus became more and more the appropriate
role of contemporary (media)art, while entertaining and playful
qualities are easily regarded as kitsch. And even if an artist
develops a new technical device the "novelty" of the art work
would be measured - according to the art system - by the new
"critical insights" that the piece offers, not by it's
technical functions as such (for example Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito
very much argument along these lines in their book about net art: At
The Edge Of Art, London 2006)

On the other hand: are industries really interested in new critical
reflections that might go along with a technical invention developed
by an artist?

Very best,

Dr. Barbara U. Schmidt

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
Kollegiumgasse 2
A-4010 Linz

phone: +43.732.7898.274

Dr. Barbara U. Schmidt

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
Kollegiumgasse 2
A-4010 Linz

phone: +43.732.7898.274
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