Saturday, February 6, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] it is not a starting point//

I doubt many artists have worked by copying nature. I don¹t think they can
as this presupposes a particular engagement with things that many have
argued is not possible. We (artists included) see things through our own
preconceptions. Everything we experience is mediated.

Artists are not mechanical devices replicating what is before them. They
are (can) not (be) interested in the appearances of things but in
apprehending them from various points of view. The potential angles artists
might work with can include one or more, and not be limited to,
sociological, political, historical, conceptual, philosophical, physical
and/or emotional. This array of approaches have been pursued by artists for
centuries and are not restricted to specific practices. Some artists might
choose to intervene very little in that which they are representing and in
that sense they could be seen to be ³presenting², in the sense that Jens
Hauser means. However, I cannot think of such an example where the artist
has not, as part of that, sought to contextualise, consciously or
unconsciously, that which they are presenting, effectively re-figuring and
thus representing the thing they are working with.

It can be argued that no artist (or anyone else, including scientists) can
directly ³present² something but only represent it. We can never escape
context and condition. This is an application of McLuhan¹s insight regarding
the mediated status of things. It can also be argued that no artist (or
anyone else, including scientists) can gain direct access to something but
only to its representation. Again, this is basic McLuhan.

Thus, at best, artists represent representations. That¹s basic Baudrillard.



Simon Biggs Skype: simonbiggsuk
Research Professor edinburgh college of art
Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice

From: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 17:21:15 -0500
To: <>
Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] it is not a starting point//

When the painters copy the nature - like for instance in the
Renaissance - they don't copy the matter the nature is made of (and
its biology, its "substance"...) but its appearance, that is the way
it works, its behaviour. Maybe one of the art forms which escape this
condition are the bioarts, where some artists, as Jens Hauser wrote,
do not *represent* but *present*.

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

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