After Art by David Joselit

By David Joselit

Artwork as we all know it really is dramatically altering, yet well known and important responses lag at the back of. during this trenchant illustrated essay, David Joselit describes how paintings and structure are being remodeled within the age of Google. less than the twin pressures of electronic know-how, which permits pictures to be reformatted and disseminated without problems, and the exponential acceleration of cultural alternate enabled by means of globalization, artists and designers are emphasizing networks as by no means ahead of. the most fascinating modern paintings in either fields is now in keeping with visualizing styles of dissemination after gadgets and constructions are produced, and when they input into, or even determine, varied networks. Behaving like human se's, artists and designers kind, seize, and reformat present content material. artistic endeavors crystallize out of populations of pictures, and structures emerge out of the dynamics of the stream styles they're going to house.

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The value of the work is in its inner structure; the project of the critic is to bring this inner structure to light. • Meaning lies before the object: Here is where the avant-­garde tradition of utopia should be located. The work of art foretells an ideal future to come—­a model that has recently twentieth-­ century regained the currency it had in early-­ avant-­gardes such as Russian Constructivism or Dutch De Stijl through Molly Nesbit and Hans-­Ulrich Obrist’s Utopia Station project at the 2003 Venice Biennale, which the curators naïvely asserted could trigger significant social change.

But Benjamin’s essay can hardly account for the revolutions in image production and circulation initiated by media like television, the Internet, and mobile phones since its publication in the mid-­1930s. His brilliant analysis has become a roadblock. This problem is due not to Benjamin’s failure but to our own. There is still no better analysis than his of the economic-­ aesthetic “regime change” that occurs when mechanical reproduction causes the unit of aesthetic analysis to shift from individual works to virtually unlimited populations of images.

The authenticity of a thing is the quintessence of all that is transmissible in it from its origin on, ranging from its physical duration to the historical testimony relating to it. Since the historical testimony is founded on the physical duration, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction, in which the physical duration plays no part.  . 17 According to Benjamin, aura results from site specificity. It is because the work of art belongs to a “time and space” that it can possess the authority of a witness.

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