Artists' Television Access


Thursday, January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

June 4 & 11..When Things Go Wrong… Carl Diehl

June 18 & 25.. Retro Slapstick Deli  3 & Assorted Shorts —————— Produced by Kent Howie

Of many possiblities here is one which seems already to have come to pass: that art, ever more successfully reified, has finally become inextrictable from fashion and the public confessional- this, perversely, is the last victory of Moaism. And even as academia rails against commodification and issues dire warnings about  the protean nature of the commodity form it produces more and more unreadable theory and more and more uninteresting art. the contradictions, that is to say, have been successfully deepened by our own ( Shining path) of experts. Which is worse, then , the spectacularized production of spectacle theory, or the artification of lifestyle and nesting of personalized mobile phones and designer DNA?

The word art only took on the sense in which we nostalgically use it at the beginning of the Enlightenment; in this short history it describes an autonomous, self critical, essentially cognitive object or activity. An as yet unknown art, then , could easily be conceived in these terms as an inversive, negative or recursive possibility: an object or activity already produced for which there is either no critical language, even no  definition as art, with which to appoach, process, categorize, and embalm the work. A new understanding of reflective cognitive practices inflected by , say communal music making-hocketing, listening, corporeal resonance- might require that we pass from one to the next the activating – art coefficient. An art that reconsiders consumption the way cooking reconsiders eating.; a revitalized tongue. an art of mayflies and locusts. An art that reinvents itself in the hands of each individual who encounters it. An art of gracious dialogue. An art of knots in the air.

A friend, a photographer, tells me about the tiny island of Tuvalu, in the South Pacific. Tuvalu, he says is sinking into the ocean. Tuvalu is being abondoned by it’s citizens to the rising waters of the Pacific. The seas are swelling, and we, with our terminator neoprimitive accessories and our optimized, globalized theoretical ascesis, are implicated. He was going to go there  to take damning  pictures of it, of the island and it’s disappearance, an envoirnmental catastrophe inextricably linked to melts and exhaust , to bitstreams and tanning booths entire oceans away. Tuvalu has two primary sources of income: since it’s net address ends in- .tv -, selling usage of this adress to entertainment conglomerates has proven enormously lucrative; and since the nation has one of the last and least used telephone codes it licenses use of this code to multi national corporations. – Oh , I said- it’s like registering your boat in Panama. Only there is no boat. And soon there”ll be no geographical Panama.  The photographer cancelled his trip , theres nothing there, he said. But I’m waiting to see what- or who- gets smuggled off with the cargo.               

 Judith Rodenbeck

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