Recurring Concepts in Art: Week 1

I am very hopeful for what’s going to happen with the Recurring Concept in Art class, which I think is a much-needed compliment to the first semester tech-heavy courses that focus so much on the how but less on the what.

Not that there wasn’t any discussion of content in other ITP classes, but those discussions usually occurred on the margins (which is a good place) but it’s nice to have a class where the discussion of the what is the main objective of the class.

Georgia’s point about how new media is not to be divorced from the lineage of humankind’s artistic development and ideas struck a particular chord with me. In my own artistic practice thus far, an emerging theme is bringing up ideas of the past into forms of the new. My website’s artist statement¬†discusses this very thing.

More deeply, I think the urge to find continuity in the old has a huge resonance of a large number of people who don’t like how modernity has a hard time finding value in anything that came before it. I think of Bill Maher’s conversation with Stephen Colbert on religion where he dismisses religion as “silly stories” and that he has nothing to learn from early people who “didn’t know what a germ or an atom was”.

I believe that this discussion of how the new is related to the old is bigger than art, but is reflected in art. It lies at the heart of many debates, including the merits/dangers of Artificial Intelligence, as well as debates on race, gender and postmodernism.

I also think the care given to discussing a particular work of art and contexualizing it in a particular place in time, and detailing all the societal forces that work upon and are worked upon by the piece of art is just critical to coming up with art that articulates vision.

“Vision is meaning, and meaning is historical.” –Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective Season 1¬†

 

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