[iDC] shelf life

Cynthia B Rubin cbrubin at risd.edu
Fri Nov 16 03:24:46 UTC 2007

Thanks Danny for your comparison to performing media.  For visual  
artists, the end of "Objecthood" is a big shift in thinking.  We  
inhabit a world built on Objecthood, informed by the allure of the  
unique precious object, with validation by experts who come from the  
Art Historical tradition of studying Objects.  We might say that we  
have rejected the "Object", but we do not really have a structure to  
replace it.  Your suggestion that we find new allies in those who  
have already left (or never been in) that world is intriguing.  But  
the story-tellers and performers have a relationship to audience that  
visual artists do not have, and I am curious to know if you have  
thoughts about how we go about building that relationship? And just  
to stay with the fantasy of the "Death of the Object" - do you  
envision that the drift away from Objecthood will lead to an  
increased emphasis on ideas?  Speaking for myself, that was one of  
the great things about the early days in the Digital Art world; new  
imagery and ways of organizing visuals led to new ideas and ways of  
linking information.  Oddly, however, the emphasis on technological  
innovation in digital art has continued to overshadow the discussion  
of ideas.

Along with the end of "Objecthood" maybe we need to stop thinking of  
individual discreet works, which were created in a specific year and  
considered worthy of exhibition for a set 2-3 year period.  Like  
story-tellers, might we consider returning to earlier works and not  
just technically updating but also conceptually updating the works?   
Is it possible that at least in the course of our lifetimes we can  
return regularly to our favorite works and dust them off in every  
sense: conceptually, technically, and culturally?


Cynthia Beth Rubin

More information about the iDC mailing list