[NetBehaviour] [webartery] Reflections on the _New Aesthetic_

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Thu Apr 19 02:15:52 CEST 2012

Brad likes this


On Thu, 19 Apr 2012, mez breeze wrote:

> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Find below a modded version of part of the discussion raging on an
> alternate list regarding the "New Aesthetic". Enjoy [or don't].
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> In an effort to keep this manageable [lump me into one of your keeerazzzy
> glitch/net.art/web-point-
> infinity/relational & new aesthetically-defined "artistic" categories if
> you will] here's some [non-random + IMO relevant but not necessarily
> cohesive] points:
> 1. I've only skimmed the Bruce Sterling essays [both of them] and don't
> have an in-depth overview of the term "New Aesthetic" [henceforth now to be
> known as "Phrase That Will Not Be Named" in an effort to reduce the
> ridiculous amount of verification we are bubble-developing around it]. So
> there.
> 2. My flickering attention-focus [hullo, continuous partial attn syndrome]
> has honed in on this particular attempt at avant-garde labelling because of
> how it perpetuates the tradition of "name the new art phase in order to
> perform/get x" [whether x = ego aggrandisement/monetary wealth/extend an
> individuals prosperity>cred value]. To employ a relevant phrase: it just
> smells wrong. And by smelling wrong I'm in no way referring to Bridle or
> his content [I have been rss_internalising his tumblr for some time now =
> it rawks: though I had no idea of his name until this whole labelling
> blerghness blew up] or any other glitch-luvin' practitioners or creative
> types. After all, I'm one of them.
> 3. My seeming lack of attention to research regarding the "Phrase That Will
> Not Be Named", or lack of "deep (articulated) thought" regarding the issue
> isn't indicative of a negative outlook on "the glitch". Nor is it due to
> lack of engagement with the actual material/pulsing creative output that's
> [possibly, hopefully] superseding many flattened contemporary "art scenes"
> [read: institutions as opposed to practices]. My lack of focused attention
> is due to the fact that *i'm_actually_living_the_aesthetic_in_question* +
> have been for years [New? bah!]. The life of a "Phrase That Will Not Be
> Named" advocate *requires* continuous partial attention: it *requires* a
> profound adherence to deriving substantiated [yet seemingly ephemeral]
> meaning from "the now" [ie connective novelty formation, expressive +
> anonymous appropriation devoid of ego/exclusive monetisation, the
> continuous fact of networked/communication immediacy/recursion, a
> burgeoning maker/hacktivist practice-aesthetic, the growing irrelevancy of
> standardised content/institutionalised values + associated comprehension
> loadings]. Dragging an antiquated, faux-trendoid label and slapping it over
> set of practices that have been in operation for as long as directed
> digital communication/tech platforms have coalesced = bad whiff, not to
> mention downright offensive. It's the problem of seeking to stuff
> uncategorised, non-art-defined forms into format [+ vice versa], of
> assigning crusty paradigms/terms to output [like Bridle + his tumblr]
> that's being subsumed into a discourse designed to
> pinpoint/catalogue/perpetuate. Drawing a [restrictive labelling] box around
> a set of expression[s] that exist as working practices seems like inverse
> encouragement: this disappointing need to
> contextualise>label>scene-create>institutionalise>monetise = sad[panda
> making. Google "sad panda" if you don't get the reference].
> 4. Content curation isn't art. The urge to perform it may be similar to
> what drives artists to produce: in many cases, content curation is a
> ceaseless search for connection through firehosed content streams/"novelty"
> verification that may just ellipse the need for art/culture
> classifications. Is it possible to conceptualise a world where the need to
> frame practice/process/product through cultural or artistic filters is
> largely obsolete? [reddit.com + 4chan.org + 9gag.com + tumblr.com = giving
> it a decent go.]
> 5. Appropriating + remixing graphic markers/standards from marginalised or
> "other-fied" disciplines/decades does not a new genre/paradigm make,
> especially when begging to be [or deliberately engineered to be] monetised
> by a system and/or individuals determined to emergent-capture [yes, this
> includes institutionally sanctioned galleries + alternative galleries +
> oldschool curators + newskool aggregators + conference-merry-go-rounders +
> theorists + panels + karma-seeking discourse boffins]. Codify, hipsterise +
> aggrandise at your leisure, but be prepared for watered-down, digestible,
> bastardised versions of worthwhile social + expressive currencies.
> 6. And so it goes.
> 7. This too will pass.
> [Mostly-too-large-2-chew]Chunks,
> Mez/@netwurker


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