You happen to have a brick and nothing much to do with it.
“If only I had somebody to throw this brick at”, you say. And like magic I bring meaning to your masonry. Yes, several opportunities to use that brick. But here’s the deal – you have to wait until I say “analogue digital nexus”. The moment I say that you can hurl away and the entire room will applaud you for stopping that shit right there.
BRICK 1: SUNDAY 9TH JUNE 1PM at the MUSEUM of CONTEMPORARY ART
This panel session looks at the retrieval, revival and remediation of old technologies and media. In a world of pervasive digital technologies and media, there is a growing nostalgia and fascination with old technologies and media artifacts such as old photographs and analogue sound technologies. Everything old is new again as it is recuperated and given new meaning.
If you know me, you know I am going Opposition on this debate. Lucas Abela and Ross Gibson are maybe in favour of old boots, in which case I will start throwing furniture.
But actually it’s those two words ‘fascination’ and ‘nostalgia’ being equated here which is going to need some surgery. ‘Fascination’ is a positive, the other not so much.
BRICK 2: FRIDAY 14TH JUNE 3PM at Ancher House Gallery, 86 River Road Emu Plains
Part of the NOISE exhibition where they have musicians working from paintings. Because I am extra smug I did a video of the music of the painting and I am being punished by making a presentation. I think my first point will be how people who make paintings call an exhibition of music ‘noise’, and what the hell is it with that? Followed by a drunken brawl between the musicians and painters. The musicians will win because the painters are all dead.
BRICK 3: SATURDAY 15TH JUNE around 11AM onwards at Campbelltown Arts Centre
So here you will meet:
Troy Innocent & Benjamin Kolaitis
Stephen Jones & Pia van Gelder
Wade Marynowsky & Michael Candy
Linda Dement & Kelly Doley
Tom Ellard and Paul Greedy
Note how I have carefully placed myself near the end of this parade so that very likely some other artist will say ‘analogue digital nexus’ and you will brick early. If that doesn’t work then I’m going to say it, run like hell and let Paul catch it.
Not sure what I am going to talk about this time. I thought maybe I could stare fixedly and agitatedly at some point on the ceiling until everybody else starts doing it.
So what is the ANALOGUE DIGITAL NEXUS?
You use ‘old’ tools, you use ‘new’ tools. Actually you just do whatever works and somebody decides that the world is a better place if we divide things into categories based on some mythical event. No one really knows what this event is, but it doesn’t stop the research papers pumping out.
Is it computers? Nope – old computers are old tools, the word analogue is waved around quite a bit but it often gets mixed up with digital primitivism. Considering I was doing public art with a computer in 1983 (a Vic 20!) and that’s definitely Ye Olde Times it’s not computers per se.
The unknown mythical event seems to be the last time ISEA came to town in 1992. That would indicate it’s an issue of respect; the 1992 ISEA was about paying respect to the new tools. The 2013 ISEA has come to bury them. ‘Oh man, I can’t believe I used to like The Monkees’.
There is a difference in tool worship – these days we are supposedly indifferent to tools because other people can use them overseas for less money. I always wonder what that has to do with art, although I notice that quite a few ‘artists’ don’t actually do their own work. But anyway that difference can easily be questioned by robots. Whereas computers are supposedly uncool, robots are everywhere. Because robots are cool.
The nexus is a supposed ‘dialogue’ between the supposed categories. If that discussion was conducted on two tin cans and a piece of string. Held by ROBOTS.