[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

c.e.b. reas / reas.com ceb at reas.com
Sun Oct 30 03:01:44 EST 2005

I think it's unfair to critique Los Angeles media artists,
galleries, and university programs on the basis of this
article. It expresses only one point of view, that of the
journalist. Yes, please critique the article, but don't pass
judgment on the artists and institutions based in Los Angeles
with this text as your principle source of information.


John Hopkins wrote:
>> On Oct 29, 2005, at 9:47 AM, Judith Rodenbeck wrote:
>>> I find the current unproblematized adoption and valorization of the
>>> business-model model very disturbing--and it's present not only in 
>>> new media
>>> circles but also in the theorizing of "relational aesthetics" as in MFA
>>> programs. This business-model discourse has a history too--see Allan
>>> Kaprow's "Should the Artist be a Man of the World" as well as his 
>>> "Education
>>> of the Un-Artist"--and I worry that with the piecemeal dismissal of 
>>> history
>>> the nuances--historical, ethical, "aesthetic"--of its implications 
>>> may get
>>> lost. Certainly that's what's happened in Bourriaud. But then again 
>>> maybe
>>> critical vanguardism is hopelessly retardataire.
>> The military/education/entertainment complex that exists in So Cal is 
>> where the money is because of the economic trajectory of the Pacific 
>> Rim. I'm not sure how much any of this has to do with art but I do 
>> find it interesting that they've lured so many "new media artists" 
>> from New York, just as Cal Arts did with conceptual artists in the 
>> 'eighties. I like to think we sent them the riff-raff.
> I agree with Robbin -- this article is, for me, one of those "look what 
> we (socal media) invented -- another reason to posit our physical 
> location as the center of all things new."
> I felt immediately that the article was about a decade past the curve.   
> And indeed illustrates the social process of academic/institutional 
> adsorbtion of the elite that floated frothily to the top of "new media" 
> by authoring hard-copy texts.  Back to the Literate Hegemony of 
> universities that was previously discussed.
> The process could be compared to Finland's prominence (to a greater 
> degree than its size) in New Media in the last decade -- where there was 
> a convergence of Gov't funding policy and new media 'research' 
> (prominently powered by a collusion of Nokia and government policy 
> wonks).  That situation generated a substantial "Cultural Industry 
> Sector" which helped to drive European discourses and practices around 
> new media.  EU funding policies also were part of this.  And Geroge 
> Soros would figure prominently in any discussion as well.  It would be 
> interesting, in retrospect, to see exactly where funds came from for all 
> the many new media festivals, meetings, colloquia, and such over the 
> last 10-12 years in Europe..
> I would suggest that while there is always something new happening, 
> thinking of SoCal as a center for innovation is a bit much unless you 
> have a complete amnesia as to what was happening in Europe since the 
> early 90's.
> And I do vividly recall lively and heated discussions on the 
> newly-birthed nettime about the 'California Ideology" (of new media). 
> Perhaps we are seeing the pendulum swinging the other way.  I'll forward 
> the article to nettime to see what happens ;-}
> 2 cents
> John
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