avant / garde / under / net / conditions (vormals: perspektive | issue 43 | 2002 )

code.poetry.loop | dada.lodge | experimental.bungees | mail.art.ocular | post.dogmatism | surreal.sheets | theory.proxy | < visual.tray >
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[/] interview (deutsch)
[/] interview (english)


[/] 1-WHAT YOU SEE ... (28.96 kb, jpg)
[/] 2-ARE YOU CURIOUS... (28.03 kb, jpg)
[/] 3-UNLESS YOU HAVE (26.84 kb, jpg)
[/] Emphatic (49.98 kb, jpg)
[/] Resurrection (69.52 kb, jpg)

- - - - - - - -< data holders >- - - - - - - - |
> nick churchhill - [australia]
> mark ehling - [USA]
> experimental jetset - [netherlands]
> spencer selby - [USA]
> derek white - [USA]
| - - -< spencer selby >- - - |

/->/ visuelle kunst - mail art - experimentelle poesie // berkeley ca

>> avant garde has constructed its own coding
>> / interview /
I would hope that my art does disrupt "the surface of coding." But this is neither a singular nor an easy goal to attain. I believe most of the avant garde has at this point become just another genre of art, whose radical characteristics often cancel themselves out by being predictable. In effect the avant garde has constructed its own coding which its audience takes for granted. The theoretical terminology and discourse which was originally developed to support art's challenge to society has by now become so heavy with assumptions (many of which were never proved) that only those who are not challenged pay much attention to it.

Visual poetry is important to me because it is by definition a provocation to the viewer. My work amplifies this provocation by using old images to make new statements. Different orders of meaning combine in ways that force the viewer to confront her own complicity and participation in the art experience. Images of popular culture are recontextualized as questions whose answers only the end-user of art can supply. We are all voyeurs, like the cipher woman in my piece "You Must Face the World You Have Created." Either we are turning from one direction to another or we are looking in several directions at once and can't tell what is real. We don't admit this because it would be confusing or upsetting. Instead we put things in compartments, each with its own comfortable explanations. Art is one of our favorite compartments, but who really knows why. I can tell you what I think and what I am trying to accomplish with my own art, but I don't believe in telling anyone how to view or read it. Theory and the work are two different things, and always have been. My art may in fact have aesthetic underpinnings that I don't entirely believe in. That would be OK and actually better than equating art with the artist's intentions, as many of my contemporaries like to do.

Certainly there a number of ways to interpret what I'm doing. Some are consistent with prevailing postmodern ideas, while others stretch back to roots in modernism and dada/surrealism, if not further into the past. I value these roots, which are as alive in my work as anything else. To me that is in the best spirit of postmodern aesthetics, the branch which understands that the past never dies in art that is constantly in the process of revising its relationship to history.

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