Techno@Fetish.tribe/Techno-gardism~A Time Released Diaspora?


Session Title:

  • Short Paper Presentations

Presentation Title:

  • Techno@Fetish.tribe/Techno-gardism~A Time Released Diaspora?



  • This paper examines some features of the emergent phenomena of Techno-gardism, its tribal tendencies and its fetish of technology. The Techno-garde lays claim to what Donald Kuspit has identified as two primary myths of the Avant-garde artist: “those that attribute to him special perceptual power and those that regard him as uniquely authentic in an inauthentic society.” Kuspit observes with dismay the replacement of the therapeutic claims of authentic creativity with: “novelty for the sake of novelty – the fetishization of innovation – becomes inseparable from the perception of the work of art as the supreme commodity.” The Technogarde inherits, largely without question, this tradition of the new coupled with the no-nonsense rationalist faith in problem solving as the generator of authentic innovation. The history of art becomes a succession of technological solutions.

    In his search for the Mechanism of History Francis Fukuyama repeats Nietzsche’s argument that links the drive toward superiority to the creative force behind art: “For the desire to be recognized as superior to others is necessary if one is to be superior to one self. This desire is not merely the basis of conquest and imperialism, it is also the precondition of the creation of anything else worth having in life, whether great symphonies, paintings, novels, ethical codes, or political systems“. For the Techno-garde the drive toward superiority equates technological one-upsmanship with artistic creativity. Aesthetics are governed by Moore’s Law as a corollary to Darwin’s law of natural selection. The shock of the new is replaced by the anxiety of obsolescence.

    Kuspit reminds us that the essential creativity of Avant-garde art represents a “subtle personal rebellion against society.” Overlooked by the Technogarde is the central role of the oppositional stance of critical discourse and contemporary art practice vis-a-vis prevailing cultural norms, “the penitentiary of consumerism,” and prerogatives of power. Condemned to a lifetime of upgrading and downloading the art of the Techno-garde is always in a state of becoming and is never complete. Yet the Techno-garde has no need to question or rebel against this fate of perpetual consumption because it seeks validation from it. While aspiring to an art of emancipation from the conditions of materiality the Techno-garde remains a prisoner of technology.