quarta-feira, novembro 06, 2013

“We must learn to create on the same scale as we can destroy”


Gene Youngblood, from Radical Software, Summer 1970, p. 16

The media must be liberated, must be removed from private ownership and commercial sponsorship, must be placed in the service of all humanity. We must make the media believable. We must assume conscious control over the videosphere. We must wrench the intermedia network free from the archaic and corrupt intelligence that now dominates it.
Excerpt from Metadesigning for the Future - Gene Youngblood by Erkki Huhtamo
(A conversation with Gene Youngblood at the World Wide Video Festival, The Hague, Netherlands, 1 & 2 October, 1990.)
Dedicated to the memory of Sherrie Rabinowitz (1950-2013), a visionary media artist and friend

Huhtamo: Does the concept of “art” make any sense in the case of Kit and Sherrie’s work?

Youngblood: Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz are admired around the world for their dedication, over a period of 15 years, to creating models of democratic telecommunication. They chose a field of activity for which there is very little support, very little recognition. Few critics know how to write intelligently about it. In my book, I’m proposing a new theory of the avant-garde. I’m basing it on two interpretations of the idea. One is The Theory of the Avant-Garde by Renato Poggioli. It’s the standard text on the subject. The other is Peter Bürger’s Theory of the Avant-Garde. Both are about the historical avant-garde, the Dadaists, Futurists, Surrealists. Poggioli is the weak interpretation – it’s all about rebellion, subverting popular language, being culturally transgressive, and utilizing the latest technology. Poggioli’s avant-garde is the one that’s been totally rejected. It’s dead, the way God is dead. But Peter Bürger says this is an incomplete understanding of the historical avant-garde. He says their project was to destroy the social institution of autonomous art and merge art with life. In other words, we should understand it as a political project based in art. To merge art with life meant actually to create a new way of life, a new social structure. Of course they failed. They succeeded in revolutionizing art, but they failed in the larger sense, which of course was inevitable. They did not have the means to do this grand thing. We should remember that the avant-garde began not in art at all, but as a political movement in Paris in the 19th century. When Baudelaire wrote about an avant-garde, he was referring to politics. But after the Paris Commune, that conception of avant-garde gradually shifted over to the art world little by little, until it finally came to mean only art.

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