Saturday, February 12, 2011

Aesthetic Compass 3D

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aesthetic Compass: (Planes of Intersection and Quadrants)

The Aesthetic Compass: (A Conceptual Apparatus Exploring the Topological Space Between the Virtual and the Material)

Beyond Banff our work on this project has continued and what has developed is a reliable framework in the form of what we are continuing to call the Compass. The Compass, itself constitutes a rhetorical work of art, whose hypothetical illustrated and digital models, were arrived at through dialogues resulting in series of thought experiments, diagrammatic drawings (documented through scores of consecutive photographs of the white boards produced over the last 3 years), written texts, lab books, and case studies based on the analysis of art works and discussions with artists. This archival material all exist as a surplus of the apparatus itself.  These elements in turn represent the production of a methodology for visualizing the “field of discourse” in which varied forms of cultural production take place. This field is represented by a space divided into quadrants of operation in which an aesthetic object might be virtually “located” to varying degrees identify the relative position of these objects within an overall field.

The quadrants, are labeled respectively as: “Reception and Re-Broadcast”, “Relational”, “Performativity”, "Conceptual" “Operational”, “Informational”, “Process”, and “Phenomenological”. An Aesthetic Object’s position within these quadrants is arrived at through a series of interrogative questions that have been formulated to determine by what means the work operates conceptually, aesthetically, socially and disciplinarily. In conjunction to the Compass we have had to design a number of supplementary devices or programs as a means of conceiving of the unity the field of operations, these include:  “Framing Trajectories”, “Planes of Operation” and “Transom Lines” which also provide additional means to refine the process of locating a given object and allow and a expansion of the discourse network that circumscribe their operations.

Our research originated by the question of what constitutes a subject. After a period of discussion and modeling we ultimately realized we could adapted Bahktin’s view that our project has the capacity to describe and model the subject of art works as the objectification of the critical aspect of "being" that an artist desires to explore. In other words, the work of art is the aesthetic product of the artist’s understanding of their world. Consequently, the project’s conceptual focus came to be significantly informed by the conflicts, and transformations that digital technologies’ nomadic and/or multidimensional nature has had on our subjectivity, as well as on the "spheres" of material and relational conditions. While obviously this impact is often thought of as problematic and a corrosive condition within the realm of art (at least since Walter Benjamin announced art’s loss of aura due to its reproducibility), we instead view the effect of such technologies as offering us the opportunity to construct a variety of analogous sites (localities) whose materiality, textual content, and aesthetic effects can now be discussed in terms of their virtuality, their capacity to become manifested respectively as “experience, idea, or a set of material, social, or cultural relationships.”

What is most significant, concerning the introduction of the digital is that this paradigmatic shift demands a redefinition of materiality. It is our position that the comparative differentiation between the virtual and or existential/material nature of being cannot be so simply stated or arranged as a position of "non-locality" or its other (locality).  Instead we seek to demonstrate how the digital reveals and expands the potentiality of relocating real world models (localities). Our device, the Compass, due to its digital manifestation and its position within the virtual has demonstrated a unique quality in that it can be used to make visible art's internal capacity to model. It reveals the underlying intentionality and relationships that operate when aesthetic objects are constructed or realized as they attempt to make concrete that which is by nature continuous. These actions, their intentionality, carry within them an internal ethical "attraction or force" that sets in motion various aesthetic arrangements, compositions and configurations we understand as representation, aesthetic materializations to the dematerialized world. It is our position that art-works and the work they do in turn function as the product of research based practices, rather than merely a reflection of what is. Likewise art itself is conceptually an emergent subject due to the varied aspects of being it is engaged in objectifying/modeling.

We reciprocally, identify the artwork itself, as a special mode of signifier: which in part is self-referential and simultaneously signifies multiple referents. This allows for the recontextualization of cultural narratives originating significantly from a space of personal mediation via expression, an action often based on syntactic slippage and corresponding interstitial space which occurs between the fact of truth, and the logic of fiction. When this space is examined and/or experienced by the artist it functions as a generative region for an infinite array of visual/textual combinations. Therefore, a work of art’s meaning is purposefully unstable. It is our conclusion that this condition makes art both a discipline, a circumscribed site of virtual production, a category of material propositions (signifiers,) and interestingly enough a category of oppositions between what is local and global (micro and macro).


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Aesthetic Compass by Charles Tucker

The goal of this site is to establish a work-space that presents a record of my work with Saul Ostrow (and eventually others) as we continue to develop an alternative idea for artistic research as a means of knowledge production. The following texts and images will provide a platform for dissemination and discussion via this broader forum.

Project Summary

The proposition concerning art as a knowledge and research based practice that guides this project, is premised on an ongoing dialogue between Charles Tucker and Saul Ostrow concerning “art” as an emergent subject; a signifier without a fixed signified. These dialogues center on the terms by which a series of rhetorical object may be mapped/constructed. This term: rhetorical object, which we prefer to relational aesthetics, is not one of our invention but used by Victor Margolin in his discussion of the Russian productivists. 
Less interested in merging art and design (and therefore art into life) the Productivist were concerned with the idea of modeling everyday life by producing a series of propositions that took aesthetics and semiotics as their organizing principles and everyday objects as their material form. Our dialogues at Banff will concern the method and objectives of artistic research, the specifics of the form(s) of presentation and documentation this project will take have not yet to been determined.

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