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2021:06:04 23:58:00 Europe/AthensAgainst the LinearAgainst the Linear - More informations on /events/event/3107-against-the-linearKEIVKonstantinos Lianos
The exhibition Against the Linear is the aesthetic extension of a discussion between artists about how and where the fragmentary experience acquires material substance in their work. The exhibition can be seen as a sampling selection, curated by Konstantinos Lianos accompanied by Aris Anagnostopoulos's text entitled Fictioning - towards a technology of potentiality.
curated by Konstantinos lianos text by Aris Anagnostopoulos
Fictioning – towards a technology of potentiality
“since this planet for thousands of years has been up under that law of death and destruction, it’s moving into something else which I choose to call MYTH, a MYTH-SCIENCE because it’s something that people don’t know anything about.” Sun Ra interview in: Sinclair, John. “It Knocks on Everybody’s Door.” Sun Ra: Interviews and Essays. London: Headpress, 2010.
Usual criticisms towards technology and, more specifically, towards the fragmentation of information, point to the alienating aspect of technology within the capitalist system and its role in producing the melancholic subject of modernity. One could say, though, that these criticisms are largely based in the imaginary assumption of an authentic human subject. But what does the future have in store for the subject of the algorithm? Isn’t the human subject, possibly, a host of an algorithmic subject of the unconscious? At the same time, those criticisms presuppose a clear demarcation between art, on one side, and techniques of knowledge (philosophy, science, technology) on the other. In the foundations of this assumed distinction, there operates a theory of truth which, in turn, is founded on an understanding of the world as split, as if by an invisible wall, between reality and representation. According to this theory, art can very well remain complacent and pacifying within the field of representations, where it is doomed to remain forever. This distinction is preserved within a state of generalized artistic production: the reversal of Joseph Beuys’ claim that “everyone is an artist” through the terms of the political economy of attention. We’re talking about the generalized social production of content within a crowdsourcing logic – an export of surplus value from the everyday experience of an imaginary subject that is still called “a person”. The artist is now an exemplary figure of work in late modernity, in a self-contradicting and ironic way, despite the usual denial of the subjects who self-identify as artists to call themselves “workers”. At the heart of these new conditions, there exists an ontology of instability, of crisis, of risk. Despite the assurances to the opposite that comprise the mythology of conservative reaction in the 21st century, it cannot be assumed that the direction of contemporary capitalism is a stabilizing social force. Even the popular Hobbesian image of the Leviathan state fails to obscure the relation between crisis capitalism and self-destruction, the momentary fluctuations of the stock market, the economic and social crises and, in the long run, the dystopic changes of life on this planet. Even more so, it creates a cathectic epistemology that is inscribed on the duality of progress and stasis and negates all journeys outside them. Myth, as a unifying function, was part of the collateral damage caused by the end of grand narratives. We won’t mourn, of course, the loss of myth, at least not as it is defined by colonial exception – that is, as a signifier between a collection of predicates that constitutes the primitive, as mythical thought. Moreover, we won’t miss it as the “other” of logocentric, positivist tradition, without which it cannot function. Finally, we won’t define it as a repetitive performance that comprises the field of the predictable and ascribes power to an authority. Instead, we will search for the myth as praxis, that is, according to young Marx, as the universal creative activity that transforms the material world. A praxis that doesn’t take place in a platonic otherworld, but in the embodied, affective landscape of life. In this context, part of our contemporary art isn’t satisfied by the clearly demarcated barriers of representation but claims a portion of the real. Instead of producing imaginary worlds based on real elements, it produces imaginary elements and personalities that interrupt the world as it is being experienced. It changes the technology of reality, adopting strategies that transcend the condition reality-reflection. In our search, aesthetics, as an epistemology of perception, is transofrmed: on one hand, it draws inspiration from the Kantian approach to aesthetics as the foundational question for every metaphysics; aesthetics is thus an investigation (qua criticism) of the function of perception itself, a question that has to do with the way we understand the world through our senses. This slight shift towards aesthetics as a function and not as a category (of the beautiful, the tasteful, the ideal) also performs a radical displacement of aesthetics as thought. Aesthetics is not something, it isn’t a thing in itself, not even a category. Instead, it is something emergent, something that remains in the passions of the speaking body, or in that which so many generations of philosophers call the mind. Moreover, the perception of aesthetics as an epistemology introduces a review of the critical function in art: criticism, not anymore as the pressing urge to uncover a miserable, banal conspiracy. But criticism as the creative, potential, constructive imagination of alternative worlds and their attendant reverse engineering. Within this perception of myth, the field of art is perceived as a heuristic process. The “Dionysian machine” of Nietzsche isn’t a field separated from the production of knowledge about the world but, instead, a main component of this knowledge. Finally, it’s important to note the relation between the practice of fictioning and the diffusion of time in late modernity. This can only mean an imaginary proliferation, wherein the presence of elements from the past, and especially from the future, opens a variety of temporalizations. From the loss of grand teleological narratives, there emerges a malleable present, a complex of kairoi, a folding time-space, through which we navigate with metis as our guide. Metis exists in an expanded present and can see only through the channel of a univocal future, of an extremely present purpose. Art, here, can function as a “mapping” of action patterns inside a complex world, in an asemic way. Just like the songs of Oceania that function as navigational routes in a vast and non-semiotic environment. The paradoxical temporality of après-coup functions towards this direction: the construction of a present that acts, belatedly, on the present through an archaeological revisiting or through reverse engineering. It is a plan of escape from the gravitational pull of the nostalgia for a more “authentic” past – whether it refers to people, to communities, or to the technical aspect of art itself. We need to turn to Foucault in order to open the path towards a foundation of the a priori in large periods of time: deep time, archaeology, regimes of knowledge, mentalities, and historicity, they all point towards an archaeology which measures deep time within the context of the composition of the mind.