Home > Uncategorized > anti-language of new media

anti-language of new media

here’s the link for alex galloway’s forthcoming essay i mentioned in class last week on the anti-language of new media.

i’d like to consider for a moment the end of galloway’s article–his call for a politics (or ethics) of new media–because it strikes me as something we can use to think through all the theoretical texts we are readings as well as how we discuss and interpret artwork in this class.

importantly, galloway is not calling for the production of new media art that primarily and actively focuses / engages with the political; rather, his point was one of theoretical methodologies / frameworks. whether or not an artwork directly engages in the political, galloway locates the political as the most crucial point of entry into developing a theoretical framework for discussing these works or just for critique in general. that is, an artwork is political whether it is intended to be or not.

it seems to me that galloway aligns with the interpretive method outlined in fredric jameson’s the political unconscious. in this text, jameson points to the priority of political interpretations of literary texts (17). jameson defines the political as the collective “meaning” of history and suggests “the only a genuine philosophy of history is capable of respecting the specificity and radical difference of the social and cultural past while disclosing the solidarity of its polemics and passions, its forms, structures, experiences, and struggles, with those of the present day” (18). This approach leads to “the recognition that there is nothing that is not social and historical–indeed, that everything is ‘in the last analysis,’ political” (20). notably, the use of political here presents the only option at (trying to) understand the multifarious elements of a text, or art, or work of new media. to not wrestle with the political when performing an interpretive act upon a work is to actually mis-interpret the formal, the experiential, aesthetics, etc.

i am interested not only in how this political method of interpretation is written in theoretical texts as well as used upon various  artworks but more specifically, how this methodology manifests itself in multimedia or multi-modal forms that incorporate art practice, theory, and criticism. in the history of art, i certainly think this is nothing new; that is, artists have always been directly engaged with the political. but what about works that operate as art as well as scholarly criticism? that is, how do these works present or offer a different / new methodology of interpretation through a mixture of text, image, materialities, etc? what new potentials do these multi-modal works offer by intending to be political, like galloway & jameson, and demanding a political interpretation?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. bseaman
    September 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Is an anti-language a language? The becoming other… Mao said “all art is political” at “Talks at the Yenan Forum”. Beauty is political. Choosing the personal to explore is political. Examining language and its relationality to anti-language is political. This also points historically to Art and Anti-art (like DADA)… defining a relationality.

  2. bseaman
    September 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Avoid dogma…

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