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Movies by Michael Betancourt
 Going Somewhere
 exhibitions [pdf]




archives begin in 1996


Here are a collection of observations about design and aesthetics.


Cliche Interests, An Artistic Statement

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 29, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print


The artist's statement is an exercise focused on a variety of basic ideas, all concerned with the tactical manipulation of their reader's later engagement with the artist's productions. They're about shaping iinterpretations. These statements are an essential part of how an artist creates a context for their work and creates a meaningful relationship to work of the past. These statements are part PR and part polemics. Producing a statement to accompany individual works is an essential part of the exhibition process. Artists use these statements for several overlapping, but discrete purposes:

  • Context: how they want to be seen in relation to current trends
  • Stage Setting for specific ways they want to be interpreted
  • Distinguish their work from similar or related works
  • Claim a specific history their work might not be related to otherwise
  • The production of ambiguity and the production of meaning are essentially exclusive procedures: to create a meaningful statement requires a discursive structure where ambiguity is radically reduced; in contrast, while definite meaning emerges from limitations upon ambiguity, the meaningful statements of art are (paradoxically) those where the ambiguity (or, more accurately, multivalence) plays the strongest role. It is through the production of multivalent formsworks where several potential meanings simultaneously emerge in a work, sometimes at differing levels of interpretationwhere ambuiguity enables an instability of interpretation that require more careful consideration and demand critical insight for their coherence.

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    Notes on Marginality

    story © Michael Betancourt | published December 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

    movies: AESTHETICS

    The issue is basic survival and continued possibilities for carrying on with what one does. Marginal is thus about displaced actions that continue with neither recognition nor official sanction.

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    Watson on the Aesthetics of Avant-Garde Film

    story © Michael Betancourt | published February 26, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

    movies: AESTHETICS
    Interesting early article on the aesthetics of avant-garde film versus commercial cinema from 1929: "The Amateur Takes Leadership" by J.S. Watson, on his film Fall of the House of Usher, in Movie Makers, January 1929.

    Mongrel Materialisms

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

    movies: AESTHETICS

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

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    Cognitive Dissonance = Design Fail

    story © Michael Betancourt | published May 24, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

    movies: AESTHETICS

    Here is an example of pure cognitive dissonance: you push the lock button up to lock and down to unlock.

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