Category: Critique

28 Dec

Not Inside Dave Van Ronk – Film Review of the Coen Bros “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Of the many perils that await biopic films, perhaps the greatest are willful detours from the truth. The journey of every artist as he or she struggles for success becomes replete with indelible experiences, whose memories remain like barnacles on a ship’s hull, and these memories are often recorded in the poignant memoirs that mark [...]
13 Mar

Rebellious Takes: On James Franco’s Art of Transformative Appropriation

This essay is the introduction to REBEL, published on the occasion of the exhibition Rebel at LA MOCA, May 11, 2012 – June 11, 2012
08 Dec

Anne Spalter’s Scenes from the North Pole of Transcendence

I. Nearly thirty years ago, Rosalind Krauss produced the preeminent analysis of the singular structure most unique to, most resonant with, and most emblematic of the aims of modern art – the grid. What the grid initiates with the symmetry of its abstract purity, the circle extends, in a new form that could be taken [...]
05 Dec

Manifest and Latent Reflections on Art and Art Basel

I. Manifest As with so many other event cities that for a few days blossom into urban art constellations, it was time again to engage in that uncanny bit of ethnography called Art Basel Miami Beach. Upon my arrival, I sat to plan the agenda of this visit – like Proust, I actually expected that [...]
13 Nov

Hedi Slimane, Cultural Barometer

Hedi Slimane’s “California Song” exhibit at LA MoCA marks another point in the coordinate system of legitimate cultural voices – barometers – that corroborate why the overlay of “popular” modes of expression – fashion, art, and music – is key for any comprehensive clarity of the “contemporary”.
16 Apr

Opening the Matrix of the Heart in James Franco’s “The Broken Tower”

Thoughts on a biopic of the poet Hart Crane, directed by and starring James Franco.
05 Dec

The Affective Index in Video’s Depiction of Desire

Integrating the polarities of high and low culture, the image in contemporary photography and video’s tensions between distance and intimacy that has been exercised through allusions to reminiscent longing for the Other.
09 Sep

Engagement II – Marclay’s Media Metonymy

In three simultaneous venues in New York City, Christian Marclay’s unconventional deconstruction of consumer media, principally the phonograph and photographic image, perfects fragmentary recollection by melding real with imagined memory.
24 Jul

The Engagement Aesthetic – An Introduction

A new form of perceptual process, perhaps interactive and embodied, but more than both or either, connects contemporary art to the art of digital media. The title of this post is the title of my upcoming book.
08 Jul

Emergent Form in the Post-Literary Mechanism, From Exposition to Reflexivity

The argument begun with an historical and critical overlay of form in relation to typography is extended to examples of conceptual re-formation of structure where the work reflects its own content.
05 May

Emergent Form in the Post-Literary Mechanism, an Historical Argument

An historical and critical overlay of form in relation to sculpture, typography, and the geometric insistence of printed page serves as a preamble for a subsequent analysis of the Readers Project.
15 Apr

The Aura of the Distributed Moment

Walter Benjamin’s auratic aesthetic implies norms of creation that no longer reflect the pluralistic structure of transmedia art.
05 Apr

Cyberculture’s Perpetual “Until Something Else”

Cyberculture, whatever definition may address its structural characteristics, behaves as a social network of successive obsolescences.
25 Mar

Spatial Engagement’s Chronotope in Electronic Art and the Public Sphere

The architectural interventions that have come to the public sphere are not merely physical or sculptural. As public art, electronic works possess a unique chronotope, or spatiotemporal character, in Bakhtin’s term.
22 Mar

Optimizing Metaprogramming

A historical gloss ranging from the free software movement to a philosophy of empirical engagement.
19 Mar

Formalisms of Digital Text

A quantitative and critical analysis of four distinct communicative modes – speech, blogs, emails, and printed text (as fiction works) to examine some empirical distinctions.
17 Mar

Transversing Shamanism, Turing, and ELIZA

Every so often, scholarship returns to the problem of human dialogic interaction with systems designed with capabilities for patterned response. What archetypes does intelligence mirror?
14 Mar

From Objecthood to Processhood

The myth of aesthetic claims that the art status of digitally mediated works is based on their material properties, rather than their processual ontology, is fraught with ideological distortion.
06 Feb

Participation, Mediated and Recursive

In the realm of digital performance where distinctions between game and ritual dissolve, notions of participation expand to reflect more open and virtualized theaters of activity.
22 Jan

Space and Structure in Post-Architecture

“Form follows Function”, the mantra of modern architecture, is rendered irrelevant to virtual worlds, where it is replaced by the language of space and structure.