Thanks for your intervention and let me pick up on your comment:
"Speculative art bubbles, and the whole art pricing dynamics is
based on positive bias towards a group of
> contemporary artists, making them hot commodities, but emptying all the while the political value of their artworks.
It seems to me there is a larger context for the discussion on 'bias'
= which we could tie to the
discussion on what the mediterranean cultural heritage means in the
context of digital culture.
As i understand the literature all 'systems' display various forms of
'bias' either explicit ( eg the new us
travel bans from certain countries) or implicit when we react
something we like or dont.
( i was in paris last night on a very hot night and the city was alive
with the kind of feeling I
associate with 'mediterranean' from the years i lived in Marseille.
And the architecture itself and city
design seemed to encourage the outdoor bonhomie.
In cybernetic theory all systems have bias because only certain kinds
of inputs can be reacted to- these
can be by systems design, or be side effects of system evolution. In
humanities research there is much discusison of quantitative vs
qualitative data= digital systems are biased towards quantitative
methods- though perhaps with deep learning software we see new
I think I mentioned on this list i just read an interesting book
Collaborating with the Enemy; How to Work with People You Don t Agree
with or Like or Trust
by Kahane ( who worked in colombia and south africa in the reconciliation work)
He talks about the natural tendency to 'enemyfy" within which racial
and other stereotypes
function. ( eg you are enemifying the art establishment )- its much
easier to enemyfy rather
than to figure out how to collaborate and change a culture.
I think that one of the arguments for cultural heritage is that it is
an implicit and explicit bias
that we think should be encouraged in some way, since the development
of ones cultural
identify draws on ones cultural heritage ? and the diversity of
identity is important for human
culture. Not all biases are negative.
On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Art PlusSign <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hey Yasminers!
> First time posting anything here. Been receiving discussion posts ever
> since a friend in Beirut subscribed me to the discussions back in 2011 when
> we were planning an action at the Venice Biennial. At that time, I was
> finishing up my second book about an artist's project dealing with implicit
> racial bias, and the idea hit me that the final frontier, and quite frankly
> the first place to start, when engaging in contemporary art, is the
> unchecked positive bias towards the established artist. Implicit cognitive
> bias can be of course measured using functional brain imaging.
> My working hypothesis was: the functional mapping of positive or negative
> bias can definitely be construed as an artwork, which not only has an
> aesthetic dimension, art conceptual dimension, but also and more
> importantly an informative dimension that can hopefully lead to a leveling
> of the playing field in contemporary art. Speculative art bubbles, and the
> whole art pricing dynamics is based on positive bias towards a group of
> contemporary artists, making them hot commodities, but emptying all the
> while the political value of their artworks.
> I did not see however how to go about doing art but asking art collectors
> and art professionals to willfully go into a fMRI machine while we do
> primed sessions of Artworks allegedly associated to famous or non famous
> artists and map the brain activity. Not practical, not constructive. The
> only thing I could do was to create a thought experiment by creating a
> negative bias situation towards myself. That way, I'm not taking advantage
> of anyone, and I ending up paying the price of being ostracized.
> I wanted to see whether I could still be able to keep doing art, against
> all odds, while I was being actively ostracized by the local art community.
> You can call it performative research. At any rate, a project that was
> bound for Venice with 11 artists to represent a country like Lebanon, ended
> up with no artists, but as we had previously reserved space smack in the
> middle of the Arsenale, Lebanon and its art community was represented
> non-mediately, by their very bias, through void.
> I went on to get some recognition through mentions in collective
> publications (as the one of the GulLabor.org initiative) and institutional
> commissions such as the United Nations Information Center in Beirut,
> notwithstanding the continued domestic blindness from the local art
> community. As I move to Europe to launch community building participative
> art projects, I definitely intend to go on exploring negative bias from the
> art establishment in Europe and the discrepancies one might observe with
> respect to the recognition coming from social activists and
> non-professionals using contemporary art for social and political change;
> like the colleagues occupying Cavallerizza Reale in Turin, since 2015, and
> with whom I had initiated a movie project.
> I would really like to get feedback and suggestions from anyone who finds
> this initiative worthwhile, and I'm adding some links below pertinent to
> the discussion. And it would definitely be great to be part of a research
> network in Europe invested in similar problematics.
> Kind regards to all.
> G.H. Rabbath Ph.D.
> Some Links:
> - A recent piece about 'flipper' Simchowitz:
> - The book I did about Iraqi artist Mahmoud Obaidy and his racial profiling
> in Houston airport:
> - My personal account of the road to Venice: ghrabbath.wordpress.com
> - The performance/conference I gave at the Sharjah March meeting, right
> before the 2011 Venice Biennial: https://vimeo.com/30417940
> G.H. Rabbath Ph.D.
> writer | videographer | artist
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
> Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
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SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/