OPAque netWORKS: What, when, where, how, to whom and how much?
Art in a Post-disciplinary World
For a long time now, even beyond the art circles, the questions of the work of art, its definition and its value are being posed. Somehow it seems that only the participants in the closed art world, the custodians of disciplinary knowledge, do not quite understand that art and criticism have lost their social relevance, and even less why it is so. And all this not because it is a specialist’s matter for which there are no trained professionals, nor that these issues are not interesting, nor because we live in a post-disciplinary world, a world after the end of art history and also the end of art, but because it is probably all the more certain that we have long been into the expanded field of visual culture without authority, without criteria and boundaries, without definitions and with almost unlimited networks for distribution and reproduction of everything in the form of a product or information. Or, as John Cage once metaphorically said, we are not downstream, nor in the delta, but into the vastness of the ocean.
Whether it is good or bad, is another matter. However, in order to be able to deal with it at all, we need to be aware of the post-historical situation in which we have found ourselves, a zone in which for the vast majority in a hyper-accelerated, algorithmically defined reality, we are stuck in an eternal cyclical present that repeats itself, from “a past that meant nothing, to a future that will have nothing to offer”. We are trapped in an entropic cycle that Bifo Berardi defines as “a slow cancellation of the future.”
In this situation, we are perhaps forced to approach each gesture with an unburdened analysis, in order to set the parameters for questioning that would determine what an object and a gesture does, to which traditions it belongs or what it critically examines in the contextual network, what questions it opens or, in turn, maybe even manages to answer them.
Art as a Gift / Art as Value
In art, on many occasions, there are the themes of giving and the gift as an object that is a symbolic bearer of the establishment of relations, as well as various aspects of the general dilemma about the value, the immaterial/spiritual, material or monetary value of art on the art market, problems, manipulations or non-existence of it, which are also inquired.
1. In the Ocean, dir. Frank Scheffer (Allegri film & NPS, 2000).
2. ‘A loop is created: from a past that meant nothing, to a future that will have nothing to offer. Existence without context is condemned to the present.’, Geert Lovink, Electronic Loneliness, poem, 2012 .
3. ‘slow cancellation of the future’ in: FrankoBerardi, After the Future (AK Press, 2011), 18.