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u/stlouisbrowns · 2 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

If the direction we're moving is one in which people are involved both as medium and participants, I'd have a hard time faulting Claire's statement. In fact it's pretty exciting.

The thing about internet art is this: is it simply art on the internet? Or is it art that could only exist with the internet?

Examples: any given .jpg file. Is it internet art, or art that wound up on the internet? I think it's just a photo of art that ended up on the internet, so not 'internet art.'

A painting done in MS Paint. Art, or internet art? Well, made on a computer. But made in a long-established format. And MS Paint existed long before internet. So for me, not an internet art.

A forum in which people geographically scattered converge to plan actions that take place offline and feed back into an online product, such as a special website devoted to documentation that participants can visit, comment on, and print take-away items from. To me, that's solid internet art.

My point about Rirkrit was to wonder if he as a Thai born in Argentina and raised in Thailand, Ethiopia, and Canada was participating in whatever remained of the western narrative in the 90's. Over the centuries of its development the western narrative was funded by nations that were solidly colonial and derived great wealth from colonial oppression.

Was the thrust of art historical development in the (now Old) Western world (which is to say, ignoring Cuba, South America, and every other country not counted as part of the Western Art Historical Narrative) -- was that thrust a kind of cultural colonialism, in which New York, LA, Berlin, London, coopted 'exotic others' so to speak, such as RT?

It's not a happy thought, but similar development continues apace to this day. Cultural colonialism. Going on unquestioned, if that's in fact what's happening.

re: the political zeitgeist, I was thinking Trump.

Yes, I did indeed work on an Adibou CD-ROM. I believe this may be one of them, not sure:

My group definitely worked on this interface, in fact I'm reasonably sure I know who painted it:

I worked for a company that was owned by Knowledge Adventure, and Knowledge Adventure was purchased by the company that owns Adibou. It may be a French water company, not sure. I thought it would be cool to do an Asterix and Obelix CD back then, but the license was too pricey.

Here's the thing about my artwork: I've had time to work in many mediums. I've returned to painting since 2008 just to focus. I had a highly developed day job career, which -- unless you're independently wealthy -- I would encourage you to develop as well. And the fine art education, including the Relational Aesthetics part, will all be useful, presuming you watch for places to trade on them.

I know artists with degrees who tend bar, stack wood, put food cans on shelves. Not just for four or five years, but for decades now. You can be devoted to your art and still sell enough of your time to be able to eat decently, see some measure of the world, purchase decent supplies, partner up with a significant other, raise kids etc -- all really valuable experiences in developing the human spirit, you know?

That's the thing, you're working on your entire instrument your whole life long. Body Mind Spirit-if-you-believe-you-have-one. It's here to do one thing: to love. Not in the lame-ass Romeo way or the tree-huggy way, but in the big round way of learning about the world, discovering what's your best fit for it, being generous, receiving generosity, discovering what you really care about, that interaction with others that feeds everyone. You have to tend to your instrument and take good care of the whole thing. I was desperately poor, with children, and we did just fine, we learned how to have fun anywhere, we learned from people from all over the world how to eat smart on the cheap, but we've always been very resilient and conscientiously made healthy choices. Not everyone can. Not everyone enjoys clear mental health.

And, really, we're all just broken toys, when it comes right down to it.

John Dewey noted that educational experiences are characterized by opening up opportunities for further experiences and learning, while mis-educational experiences close off such opportunities. It was an eminently sensible criterion and one that really stuck with me.

Think about all the experiences people have every day. Where do they go? (The experiences I mean.) Do they amount to nothing? Are they smoke? It's complex.


Would enjoy showing you my work -

u/pomod · 14 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

eflux is great. I also recommend any of Dave Hickey's books; Air Guitar and The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty though older are good to start with. You may also check Nicolas Bourriaud's books; He became famous also in the mid 90s for coining Relational Aesthetics but I think his later books are also worth checking out. Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World and the Radicant. Both these writers will give a pretty good perspective of were a lot of the art of the past 20 years is coming from without getting to bogged down in theory or artspeak etc.

I also really liked Hito Steyerl's book last year - Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War

u/Xanias3424 · 3 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

This is great advice.

The one thing I would add for OP is to remember this is a marathon not a sprint.

Most "career artists" don't really get there until they are into their 40s. Obviously there are edge cases and outliers, but in general art careers are slow to develop and favor those who are patient.

It seems like you understand the realities and difficulties in making a living off your work. Just remember gallery representation is similar to sales, it's all about who you know and having the right aesthetic at the right place at the right time. Keep pushing your work regardless if it is well received or even not received at all.

If you are looking to break into the gallery scene, the best place to start is with your friends. Find a volunteer/community space and pitch a show with some people whose work you know and get it out there. Work doesn't need to be hung in a commercial space for it to be valid.

Also - I highly recommend checking out Akademie x - lessons in art. I review it once or twice a year and have gotten just as much out of this book as I did my undergrad program.

u/ba-umf · 3 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

I recommend finding/purchasing a copy of the book ‘Appropriation’. It is part of a set of books produced by the Whitechapel gallery in London, they are excellent anthologies of sources by artists and writers around key subjects. The excerpts are often short but those of interest to you can lead to further reading.

I believe you’d also find ‘Postproduction’ by Nicolas Bourriaud compelling.

Good luck with your research.

u/johnsons_son · 2 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

Thinking about what can be defined as art is like trying to clean spilt milk with shoelaces.

Funeral performance. Yes, art.

Secretive Art. Yes. See Henry Darger or Hilma Af Klimt.

Outsider art. See Stephen Kaltenbach's decision to move to become a "Regional Artist."

Unseen art. Sure. It exists as far as you think it. Tons of conceptual artists were working with this idea. Lee Lozono's Dropout piece as well.

Lots of artists creating massive monumental work that alter the earth. Earthwork movement obviously.

Your last question is the one that extends furthest and sort of points to the problems inherent in the question of what is art.

"Is their art in this cycle?" is a very different question than "is this art?" that slides between two very different defintions to the word art.

Artful is adjective. Art is a socially based cultural form that isn't natural, it can be manipulated at will. Social definitions of art have changed dramatically over the centuries. An interesting introduction to this as a thought experiment is Believing Is Seeing: Creating the Culture of Art by Mary Anne Staniszewski
I recommend that if you are new to this.

Otherwise check out cultural theorists. Pierre Borudieu is sort of like the reigning champion of critical takedown of the arts as a cultural form.

u/hexavibrongal · 1 pointr/ContemporaryArt

It's necessary to be able to differentiate from the kind of abstractions you posted and actual minimalism, so I see no reason to dilute the term. Minimalism is typically more about breaking the medium down into its components, going deeper than breaking surface composition down to visual components like shape and color. There are some artworks that sit on the line, but what you posted just seem like basic abstraction. This book is a pretty good history.

u/kid_eye · 0 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

Last year I got through an "Introduction to contemporary production program" run by artists. Teachers were active artists and curators in the local art scene with different interests and lines of production. Some of them looked to have critique and work review sessions at some point of the course and normally they tried to involve the whole class (thing I didn't like so much because by the third or fourth time critique turned repetitive). The thing I noticed in critiques is that at some point artists, and specially the one starting their careers, become conscious about the relationships and "manners" that operate inside the art world (specially because teachers were potential people to get interested in their work) so they tried to have more of a "optimistic", friendly commentary than some honest, relevant argument. Critiques were bad especially amongst students because they were dull. Only people interested in critique were the ones conscious in the responsibility of talking about someone's work and its transcendence. I recommend I think it's a good reference in this subject.

u/WildFortuna · 2 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

The artist Brian O'Doherty wrote a book about the experience of modern art in the late 1970s that echoes just what you're saying. Just dug it off my shelf..."A gallery is constructed along laws as rigorous for those for building a medieval church. The outside world must not come in...Walls are painted white...The art is free, as the saying used to go, "to take on its own life....Unshadowed, white, clean, artificial - the space is devoted to the technology of esethetics. 'Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space' - There's a download here

u/remembertosmilebot · 0 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

Did you know Amazon will donate a portion of every purchase if you shop by going to instead? Over $50,000,000 has been raised for charity - all you need to do is change the URL!

Here are your smile-ified links:


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u/Prawldrowland · 2 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

There's a chapter in How to Write About Contemporary Art about making an artist's statement. Might be of help: How to Write About Contemporary Art

u/barklefarfle · 10 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

I'd say that by far the most common mistakes result from approaching a gallery without knowing enough about them. You should know their program, space, and business very well beforehand, and ideally should have been to a lot of shows.

This is kind of an interesting mini-book about similar topics:

u/arbitrarycolors · 3 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler is a great read. It is biography of Robert Irwin, but through Weschler and Irwin's discourse, the reader is walked through the general philosophy and movement from abstract expressionism into minimalism (in the US).

u/97779 · 1 pointr/ContemporaryArt

This is a classical one: Aesthetic Theory

But, don't miss this one: Art and It's Shadow

u/rottenart · 2 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

He spoke at my school during my grad studies and rarely have I been so enthralled and entertained. Not only is his work truly compelling, urgent, important contemporary art, it also intersects politics, power, history and the nature of knowledge in a way that few others' do. I highly recommend his book, Blank Spots on the Map, as an introduction and primer to his work.

I can brag that I had dinner with him, but unfortunately (perhaps fittingly) no pictures exist.

u/NineteenCharacters · 6 pointsr/ContemporaryArt

I’m afraid you might be disappointed and frustrated with the answers you’re likely to get.

There isn’t a guide to art styles that’s like a guide to species of birds for birdwatchers. Art is more chaotic than that. It’s something people make up as they go along. The groups, styles and schools that are used to explain what’s happened and is happening are made up as we go along, too. There are many arguments about definitions, and not much is settled. That, I think, is a good definition of “Contemporary.”

But when I started off, before the internet, like you, I wanted a guide. Almost 30 years ago, I read the first edition of Artspeak, by Robert Atkins (having trouble linking on mobile: [ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present])

But I wouldn’t really recommend a book like this for someone starting out today. Several decades ago, I found Atkins’ groupings misleading and oversimplified. And the art world has gotten even more confusing and fragmented since then.

My recommendation: I would find a website of a museum online, preferably one you can visit, which has a large digital catalogue of its collection. I would wander around the website reading the entries and following the links. Spending a few hours this way will begin to familiarize you with terms and jargon that frequently appear. Good luck.