International Project for Low and High Technics in Contemporary Media Art

Critique of Pure Image – Between Fake and Quotation

A project of the Art Today Association
in collaboration with Code Flow
written and curated by Dimitrina Sevova


A brief sketch of a history of art from the point of view of technics

The artist elite has always managed to make use of the technics and instruments of technical progress. The creative artist of the bronze era discovers the technics of metal foundries, under the propelling forces of a monotheistic society rationalizing itself that had just discovered morals and justice. From then on, in an unending revolution of technical progress, the progressive technics in art have derived from this thrust forward – along with the discourse of innovation and new technics.
With industrialization and World War I, the era of machines, the new avant-garde – the dadaists and surrealists – discover the force of moving pictures, photography, mechanized clichés, and the conceptual though still rather aestheticized use of the mass media for artistic purposes, starting with mechanically separate newspaper snippets – along with all this, a new active social role for the public in the artistic process is expected and imposed. Subsequently, art would get a hold of concrete, of plastics, of silicon, of plastic surgery. 1980ies – with the imposition at lightning speed of communication and computer technics and under the pressure of the social, economical and political conditions a paradigm in art took the previous paradigm’s place. Not only the status quo of the object in art is lost, but also that of the image. Thus the archetype of the contemporary artist changed, giving rise to a different picture of the arguments and context of their own art.
The contemporary digital artist expertly rides the wave of the newest technical applications, information, code, or biotechnologies. The instruments, as much as they may have changed, form the ideology of technical progress, fashioning a common global landscape of social, economical and cultural evolution of society. “Using software as an artistic material” or “modifying and redesigning of products is a cultural practice in digital age.” Even actual networks, communities, social relations, or the models of DNA can be used as instruments for artistic purposes.


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art today lab 2005