How come an image that depict a network, might – or might not – be art in my view. However, stuff – an image or word, a sound or a scent, a thought or a sand grain – that might use network to be how it is, that the thought will be made of network not just depict a network, will be for me considered possibly art.
I am indeed – sort of – enamoured by the stuff, objects, or other encapsulated elements, which by questioning their own being, folding onto themselves and being who and how they are, rather than pretending to be other stuff, seems kind of like art for me.
I think that this is wrong. Not sure exactly why nor how at the moment, however if we check art as a process of practice, if we check art as a technology in and of imagination, if we check art as a cultural catharsis that as a practise rather than a fetish – where the fetish is indeed Hiding the practice because it creates an hierarchy that in fact isn’t by working for the end object Fetish etc. – and if we check art as a sequence and strategies, then the focu8s on manifested materialities and objects is, errr, mistaken because it is unable to Be its own premise.. (at least in my mind..)
Lets try to qualify the last statement:
If we have a contextual work/object/process-element of art, say a urinal. The argument says that it is art, partly at least, because the very alteration of context, that process, the very materiality of context alteration – is the evident element in the process. Hence the object is not entertaining – eg attempts to depict a known image via urinal re-arrangement/s – nor is it a urinal anymore, and the very usage of context as a cultural language material via the urinal object – is indeed what makes the urinal art. (at least art as well as a function-able urinal..)
The other element here is ofcourse the context in itself, the claim that by altering the context into a culturally defined Art environment, then the urinal is indeed art.
Well, it’s a fair claim, however, I think that the argument here can live with both ideas, that its the context which makes X art or not, and that the very direct usage of the materiality it is made of – eg cultural context – the object gets a status which wasn’t there before the alteration.
(ouch this reads heavy.. 🙁 )
I think this works well and dandy so long as indeed the focus is on some sort of end products and the question of value is attached to genuine uniqueness as a provider/generator of meanings. The same way a watch that told the time to your great great granny might be of some value – for someone – that is more than being “just a watch”, an object that went through some sort of “cultural initiation process” might gain a value and uniqueness beyond its daily meanings. As with the granny watch, if that granny Did not acknowledge any link to the person bestowing the value, if she went: all my descendants are shite, I will get rid of them if I could and am divorcing them all in advance!!” – perhaps the said watch would have a slightly different value..?
Indeed, I think that perhaps the room inside the elephant here is that of meanings. In a sense, an image of a face made by urinals – or some network material pretending to be something else by depicting stuff like sunsets – might have something in common, is exactly because of some drive towards meanings. Indeed, the value alteration of the urinal is for ability to bestow meanings.. ..and meanings, if they are all or an element in the focused sequence, are made of and for being other than what and how they are. The word meaning – is just a sound sequence. To mean something, “meaning” had to go through processes that make it something other than just a sound collection.. A confabulative process.
if we say that art has this rather meta contextual element, one that renders stuff as art through the process of Being the activity that makes the stuff? e.g. network art, context art, concept art, etc are of art only If a given work is made of the very processes it is being critical of..
Hence the value of the urinal is exactly from its ability to be meaningful, to gain stuff that isn’t being a urinal despite being made of a urinal – Being Not a urinal. Like the image of a face made from urinals being urinals that pretend being Not urinals..
In that sense, it might be argued that, from a practice with objects point of view, the usage of props is in sort of a dialogue with the notion of materiality.. However, am saying to myself that if props are the language, perhaps that approach should be propy rather than use props in ways that obscure it..(?)
so.. what is missing? a sort of meta questioning of the process? a critique of being a given object made of a given process