Blackhole & the gallery – a proposal for test bed at fabrica Gallery in Brighton.
I am working on the links that make networks be what they are.
To develop this and related questions, I am focusing on the changing/evolving role of art – and artists – as people use digital networks to connect with one another. These personal, professional, material, digital, geographical and interest based varieties of connections and links made over the internet have been a sort of background noise I was looking to do stuff with for some time now.
This noise, I think, is because digital networking seem to contain elements that, in my mind, perhaps mistakingly, seem to offer fresh and maybe rarely charted perspective onto art. At least from the point of view of contextual art practices. Context depends on shared reference point/s that communal meaning can be constructed from. For example, the evolving place of the Art Gallery in European art, from a shop type environments to a socio-cultural event space of its own unique identity, is dependent on a certain history that values art practices as autonomous cultural activities.
Just like European artists extracted visuals out of contexts when faced african/”exsotic” art objects, so do now masses of networking people on places like twitter, facebook and youtube. Connections are made based upon extractions of basic human traits from their daily, physical and geo-cultural contexts. This is done through rejection of the complex and embracing the lowest common, e.g. LOLcats. Miscommunication through quick information sharing that gives rise to public outrages which, arguably, comes through missing the context, e.g. twitter.
Indeed, networking in sites like facebook is possible through actively exclude, filter out, information & people. Such networking related activities are based on negative actions. (eg exclude, miscommunicate, misunderstand, etc.)
Galleries (as well as museums) serve as social places where people can focus & network in relation to art. In that sense, galleries have evolved through the 2oth century into sort of cultural telescopes where people come to examine closely art objects, projects, and related activities.
With the rise of internet networking, where connectivity is done across a wide variety of unrelated, and disinterested reference points, all of which allow people to share activities, projects (p2p etc), and objects, the role & practice of art is evolving as well. Through the vast abundance of art-like artifacts and the speed of getting them via networks, perhaps the notion of gallery has changed a bit? Can it be that high octane media rich networking turns galleries into black holes?
Since Fabrica’s exhibitions contain focus on materials, objects & processes, and because networking culture & practices are intertwined with negative practices, I’d like to investigate how it might be possible to engage the gallery space, community and users, as a blackhole. As a cultural space where by focusing on it and all that’s contained in it – art constantly remains outside. In a sense, the gallery as the place where art practices and cultivation ends and objects, materials, projects etc. pop-up in precisely because they have lost the link, they have been excluded from art.
In short, the gallery as a blackhole where non-art lives.