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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop’s Game: S
David Garcia on Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:09:38 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop’s Game: S

Thanks Will for your detailed resonse its much appreciated..  just a couple of initial points.

> Bishop's narrative sticks to the most concrete manipulations of sensory experience - representation, sculpture, and performance.

There is an important exception (and a brief departure from Bishop's stragic zones of exclusion) and that is the Argentinian movement (not that well known when compared to Brazil) particularly the artist/theorist and his circle of collaborators, Oscar Masotta, who gave their own spin to the American term the Happening. Masotta aparently coined the term “dematerialisation" (later and more famously developed Lucy Lipard). The most famous and interesting work Bishop alights upon here is the Antihappening called (among other things) Total Participation. This was developed by the collective known as Group of Mass Media Art. And it is a clear progenitor of Tactical Media. It was initially designed as a polemical response to the media hype surrounding the American paradoxical concept of the Happening as a media hype around an unmediated experience. The artists, involved set about releasing a series of caarefully constructed press releases with photographs of the Happening with reports appearing in major national news journals. But the event was a complete fiction. It never took place: the photographs were staged entirely for media consumption- Total Participation existed only as information circulating in the semiotic landscape of the media… a dematerialised circulation of facts.. There then followed a second press release revealing in detail the construction of the non-event designed to expose the way the mass media operates.. this in turn created even more press coverage. This approach was entirely unlike the Happenings in North America and Europe which above all sought existential thrill of unmediated presence!  For these artists there was no original event thus the media itself became the medium of the work and its primary content. 

>  Bishop argues under a suppressed premise for Art proper as a dialogue necessarily mediated by institutions, precisely the ones circumnavigated or prodded by interventionist politics.

I agree and that is why "Art proper” is a necessary but not suficient dimension when discussing the -participatory aesthetic- in a broader way than Bishop, allows because of the constraints of her strategic exclusions, allows for. I am arguing that the institutions (academic as well as in the arts) can be invaluable spaces for certain modalities of research and reflection. They are particularly valuable during, what Brian Holmes has described, as periods of latency in the cycle between uprisings. The Tactical Media zones (research, transmedia, intervention) that Bishop chooses to circumvent frequently occupy art’s (and academia’s) institutional spaces and other affordences. However, (and here I take issue with Bishop) they do not (unlike Bishop) look for the Art world’s  institutional endorcement. Their eyes are fixed firmly on an external horizon.   

David Garcia

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