The Art of Lightness (The Power of Content)

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Presentation Title:

  • The Art of Lightness (The Power of Content)

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Abstract:

  • The Art of Lightness is a paper illustrated by video clips and CD-ROM extracts which will investigate artists use of light electronic technology. Over the last few years, this use of low and light technology appears to be one of the most exciting, controversial and dynamic areas in electronic art. Through this presentation, the relationship between technology and creativity will also be explored with specific reference to the contemporary work of visual artists in film, video and new media. The main thrust of the Art of Lightness is that through a form of technological irreverence there has been been a movement towards an ideas, content and concept lead artistic practice.Technology here is a means to an end as opposed to an area of investigation per se. For these artists the challenge is located in a critical and rebellious attitude to visual language and context as opposed to an embracement of the latest new technologies. The artists whose work will be discussed and presented include Anti-ROM, Douglas Gordon, John Maybury, Derek Jarman, Sam-Taylor Wood, Sadie Benning, Gillian Wearing, Jane and Louise Wilson and Soda amongst others. Furthermore, the question of why the dominant discourses in electronic art seem divorced and separate from the current debates in visual arts is extremely pertinent. More and more visual artists in the UK grab and run with low electronic technology in order to express new ideas, particularly in the gallery context. Yet, there is hardly any debate between this highly successful work and the practice of artists placed within the academic discourses of electronic art. If the debate in electronic art is to be more inclusive, than it needs to be placed within a more pluralistic definition in order to address work which is often subjective, political and addressing crucial notions of content and context.