Saturday, March 10, 2007

Anker: Audience Response to Art-Sci/Critical Response to Art-Sci

From: Suzanne Anker
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:13:17 -0500

Audience Response to Art-Sci/Critical Response to Art-Sci(Heiferman and Princenthal)

Marvin Heiferman has curated several exhibitions centered around “art works that are science based.” Particularly known is Paradise Now, a seminal exhibition on this subject which he co-curated with the late Carole Kismaric. In addition to its venue at Exit Art in NYC, the exhibition traveled to many other university art galleries and museums within the United States. Pamela Auchincloss facilitated these arrangements, and the exhibition’s outreach was impressive.

It is interesting to note that this show received an enormous amount of press coverage:The New York Times, The New Yorker, Science News, etc. There were alsoT.V. interviews and other e-media postings. What was curious to me at the time(and still is) is that the critical response from the art-world per se, and its allied agenciesof cultural consensus were, if not totally absent, then at least frail in their capacities to engage this subject. The major art magazines, Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, etc. did notwrite any significant feature articles on this conceptually engaging internationally driven theme. What accounts for this erasure is speculative at best. Certainly many art historians and cultural theorists from Barbara Maria Stafford, Donna Haraway , Christiana Paul, Mark Dery, W.J.T. Mitchell, and James Elkins to site a few, are significantly ensconced in this dialogue.

The questions at hand address a possible incompatability between current institutional frameworks and experimental art practices. The notion of art’s epistemic value is presently comatose within the artworld’s established hierarchy. At a time in which art consumption is on overload, collecting art has become the latest trend in cultural cache. As the writer Anthony Hayden-Guest has so aptly stated, the Air Fair has become “the new disco.”

Marvin and Nancy. What are your thoughts on these matters?

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