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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop?s Game: Sub
Josephine Berry on Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:36:45 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Claire Bishop?s Game: Sub


Dear David and Armin,

Thanks a lot for flagging my review of Bishop's book Armin. I really
enjoyed writing it, and felt relieved to have the opportunity to
sort through my serial disgruntlements with Artificial Hells in a
coherent and restrained (!) way. I entirely agree with David that
her side-stepping of networked aesthetics is a major flaw and that
it reveals an inherent bias and limit to her work, which in the end
seeks to maintain the sovereignty of aesthetic autonomy that her
beloved participatory turn apparently challenges. Her insistence
on the salutary nature of aesthetic judgements is a key example
of this limit, since she wrongly contrasts aesthetic judgement to
'ethical judgements' alone - i.e. the misallocated question of whether
artworks make socially useful interventions in the world - instead of
considering how the distribution or democratisation of (the Kantian)
judgement after Duchamp changes art from the roots up. This is Thierry
de Duve's excellent argument - essentially that Duchamp's gesture of
nomination (the readymade) updates Kant by distributing the universal
faculty which guarantees art to the creativity to everyone. One
universal - the power to judge 'this art is beautiful'- is exchanged
for another: 'this is art'. Aesthetic judgements in this sense are
transformed, via the death of the author, into the universal capacity
to create which is precisely enacted (albeit hugely problematically)
in participatory art forms. She wants to hold on to good old elitist
judgement whilst claiming radicality by way of the practices she
champions. A deep contradiction.

I guess more worrying for me than Bishop's limits is the fact the
contemporary networked aesthetics - so called 'post-internet art' has
radically collapsed the creatively democratising ambitions of first
wave net art, into an airless circulation of narcissistic reflections,
or celebrations of generic equivalence, clad in corporate softwares.
The degree to which this is the case, and if so why it is, is the
discussion I think we need to be having too.

Thanks for your generosity in sharing these ideas with us David.

x Josie





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