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Mongrel Materialisms

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 15, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  


The connection of formalism to specific technological particulars of a specific historical moment has killed it. (Greenbergian formalism is a dead end.)

What is needed is a formalism of ideas drawing together all that has gone before: a hybrid, mongrel, impure formalism:

We need to make movies, not films, videos, etc.
We need to make statics, not paintings, photographs, etc.
We need to make Art, not money, fashion or fame

(to paraphrase Cage)
We need the right goals to make the next thing
When we work to be famous, to be successful (money), etc.
We do not do what is needed.

We no not need just any artwork, but the right sort
We do not need just any aesthetic, but the right sort
We do not need something else than what we are doing

We need to begin by saying "no" so that we can say "yes"

What is it that we need?

The recognition that all digital media have a physical, material basis remains a key issue for our engagement with that media. At one point the idea of "glitch" appeared to be one way of thinking about this material basis, but the problem with it remains one of how the physical manipulation related to the meaning of its role in the actual media piece itself.


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