Art Time and Technology By Charlie Gere: Useful Quotes

“The increasing complexity and speed of contemporary technology is the cause of both euphoria and anxiety.” p1.


” Ineed I argue first that the history of modern art can be read, at least in part as a history of various artistic responses to the increasing speed and accelerating evolution of technology in the modern era, and, secondly, that if art is to have a role or a meaning at all in the age of real-time technologies it is to keep our human relation with time open in the light of its potential foreclosure by such technology.” p2.


in reference to Walter Benjamin: “In particular he suggested that mechanical reproduction erodes the ‘aura’ of a work of art, which results from its unique existence in a time and a place, which revolutionised the social function of art and allowed it to be used for politics rather than ritual” p3


“Thanks to new practices of television broadcasting or remote transmission, acting, the famous teleacting of remote control, is here facilitated by the maximum performance of electromagnetism and by the radioelectric views of what is now called optoelectronics, the perceptual faculties of the individual’s body being transferred one by one to machines- but also, most recently, to captors, sensors and other microprocessor detectors, capable of making up for the lack of tactility at a distance, widespread remote control preparing to take up where permanent tele- surveillance left off.” p4


Paul Klee hit the nail on the head: ‘To define the present in isolation is to kill it’, This is what the teletechnologies of real time are doing:they are killing ‘present’ time by isolating it from its here and now, in favour of a commutative elsewhere that no longer has anything to do with our ‘concrete presence’ in the world, but is the everywhere of a ‘discrete telepresence’ that remains a complete mystery. (Virilio, 1997 : 10-11, bold and ital. orig) p.4 


“Both personal and social memory today are affected by an emerging new structure of temporality generated by the quickening pace of material life on the one hand and by acceleration of media images and information on the other. Speed destroys space, and it erases temporal distance. In both cases, the mechanism of physiological perception is altered. The more memory we store on data banks, the more the past is sucked into the orbit of the present, ready to be called up on the screen. A sense of historical continuity or, for that matter, discontinuity, both of which depend on a before and an after, gives way to the simultaneity of all times and spaces readily accessible in the present. (Huyssen, 1994:253)











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