Art in a Digital Age
Art in a post-digital era will consider contemporary art practice and its reception, with a focus on visual and textual art works, collaborative projects, and performative works that explore new modes of exhibition and blur the on/offline divide.The course will introduce you to a broad range of art ideas in early networked cultures that are particularly relevant to current modes of art practice...
Taught by: Ami Clarke.
Art in a post-digital era will consider contemporary art practice and its reception, with a focus on visual and textual art works, collaborative projects, and performative works that explore new modes of exhibition and blur the on/offline divide.
The course will introduce you to a broad range of art ideas in early networked cultures that are particularly relevant to current modes of art practice. You will explore traditional methods of publishing and a selective history of artists’ experimental text productions and counter-cultural publishing related to advances in technology.
We will also be looking at works that share event-like qualities and performative aspects, thinking through frameworks that come of the conceptual period, cybernetics and net.art - and how these ideas have been incorporated and assimilated into artists working practice today.
Topics covered include:
- Networked culture – pre and post internet
- The hidden materiality of networks
- Hybrid strategies: material and immaterial outcomes
- Image production in an era of image proliferation/distribution and spam
- Structures of distribution networks (cybernetics) and the dissemination of ideas
- Critical analysis ‘from within’ networked culture / complicity
- Online works – essays, journals, text and visual art production
- The digital art work – new contracts – display / maintenance
- 3D printing and the potential of distribution in relation to art production
- Cryptography in decentralized networks such as blockchain/peer-to-peer file systems
- Digital archives / Silk Road – community and/or piracy
You will visit on and offline venues and platforms, artists websites/online works, as well as artist studios, that explore working in these ways. We will be looking at art works that have tended to push the limits of new technologies, and through their production make visible the changing conditions in our co-evolution with technology.
Throughout the course there will be development of the ideas presented through critical analysis and group discussion, and conversation with contemporary artists engaged in such practices, with two invited speakers.
Brief overall history of important precedents in the history of publishing:
- Technological developments
- Authorship / Copyright / Intellectual property
- Acts of copying for religious purposes
- Piracy – authors working behind their publishers back with other publishers
- Trade – distribution networks of a very material kind
Selective history of Artists’ Publishing and early network culture:
- Fluxus – publishing as process
- Mail Art Networks
- Conceptual art practice
- Counter-culture publishing
- The photocopier / DIY aesthetic
- Self-publishing phenomena in recent years
- Recent artists’ writing – critique through fiction
Post-digital productions – hybrid strategies:
- Hybrid strategies – both material and immaterial outcomes+
- On and offline platforms/means of production
- The hidden materiality of networks
- Publishing strategies as a method of working collaboratively
- Structures re networks of distribution
- Algorithms curating big data
- Online works – essays / journals / art
- The Spam of the Earth – ideas re the ‘poor’ image
Who should take this course?
- Those who already have a keen interest in art production in a digital age.
- Students with a basic understanding and experience of working or engaging socially online.
- Anyone keen to engage with earlier precedents that might permit analysis of how artists are working today.
Although there is a focus on network culture, this is not at the expense of visual productions, which we will also be considering.
Ami Clarke is an artist and founder of Banner Repeater: a reading room with a public and digital Archive of Artists Publishing, and project space; opening up an experimental space for others, on a working train station platform at Hackney Downs station, London. Ideas that come of publishing, distribution, and dissemination, that lead to a critical analysis of post-digital art production, are shared in her practice as an artist and inform the working remit of Banner Repeater.
She has recently exhibited/curated works at the ICA, Hayward Gallery, Goethe Institut London, Ithuba Gallery (British Council connect ZA, Johannesburg), David Roberts Arts Foundation, Camden Arts Centre and The Container, Tokyo. She continues to commission new artists/writers works through the Banner Repeater platform, and several publishing imprints: Banner Repeater paperbacks, Banner Repeater publishing, and the UN-PUBLISH series. She teaches across the UK with a focus on post-digital art production and publishing.
Please allow for paid visits to galleries and travel costs.
We will be visiting on and offline, venues/galleries/project spaces and online platforms, artists websites/online works, as well as artists studios, that explore working in this way.
- The Binder and the Server by Triple Canopy. The Binder and the Server is the outcome of several group discussions among Triple Canopy editors, and was written by senior editor Colby Chamberlain, designed by Franklin Vandiver original artwork by Josh Kline and Dan Torop
- How we became Post-Human by N Katherine Hayles
- Writing Machines by N Katherine Hayles
- Words to be Looked At. Language in 1960's Art. Liz Kotz. MIT Press
- Post-Digital Print, The Mutation of Publishing since 1894, (Onamatapee), written by Alessandro Ludovico, introduction by Florian Cramer
- Giving What You Don't Have, Expanded Appropriation: in which Cornelia Sollfrank she investigates Artistic Research into Copyright-Critical Practice, interviewing Kenneth Goldsmith, Dmitry Kleiner, Marcell Mars, and Sean Dockray – online interviews
- Again A Time Machine – published by Book Works
- Commissioned work by: Slavs and Tatars, Dora Garcia, Jonathan Monk, Laure Prouvost, Sarah Pierce, Stewart Home, The Happy Hypocrite, edited by Gavin Everall and Jane Rolo, and designed by James Langdon
- Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. Lucy Lippard
- The Fluxus Performance Workbook edited by Ken Friedman, Owen Smith, and Lauren Sawchyn. A Performance Research e-publication, 2002 href="http://www.deluxxe.com/beat/fluxusworkbook.pdf">http://www.deluxxe.com/beat/fluxusworkbook.pdf
- The Silent Revolution: How Digitalization Transforms Knowledge, Work, Journalism and Politics without making too much noise. By Mercedes Bunz.
- The Wretched of the Screen. By Hito Steyerl
- Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to Post-Democracy. By Hito Steyerl
- What to do with Pictures (essay) by DAVID JOSELIT
- In Defense of the Poor Image by Hito Steyerl
- Dispersion (essay) by Seth Price 2002.
- Words made Flesh - Code, Culture, Imagination - by Florian Cramer
- Politics of Post-Representation in DIS magazine. By Hito Steyerl
- Postscript on the Societies of Control. By Giles Deleuze
- The Block is the Successor to the Book: A publishing proposal By Rasmus Svensson & Hanna Nilsson (PWR)