Re: The aesthetics of electromechanical failure

[ follow ups ] [ Ken Feingold ]

by anonymous on October 05, 1997 at 22:03:18:

In Reply to: Re: The aesthetics of electromechanical failure posted by Ken Feingold on May 07, 1997 at 21:11:42:

: : On page 12 of Ken Feingold's inspirational MOMA lecture
: : he describes how the robots in his "where I can see
: : my house from here so we are" installation
: : began to break down, running in circles and losing their voices etc.

: : This reminds a bit of Tinguely's Homage to NY at MOMA, where the
: : entire construction fell apart and caught fire on opening night.

: : Alan Rath spoke at Berkeley recently and I asked why all the wires
: : are always so neat and clean. His answer is that this is the best
: : way to make sure his machines keep working.

: : It seems a majority of technology artists share the aesthetic of
: : exposing loose wires and gears etc. that evokes a
: : Blade-Runner-esque sense of chaos. And they often
: : treat electromechanical failure as symbolic of industrial hubris.

: : One surprising thing to me is how well industrial machines work
: : in the real world, often 24 hours a day under an incredible range
: : of conditions. Like Borofsky's hammering men, these machines
: : continue unfazed for years on end. Perhaps there is an
: : equally interesting aesthetics of electromechanical reliability.

: What I meant to evoke was not "the aesthetic of exposing loose wires
: and gears...", but rather, the beautiful pathos of the puppets as they
: became "disobedient". With the exception of the umbilical cable and
: the video-camera-eye in that particular work, I have always stayed away
: from presenting the functional electronics of the work except, as in this
: work, they provide specific elements of signicance to communicating my
: intended meaning.

: It's when "reliabile" comes to mean "no questions asked" that prompts
: artists to challenge the fixed values of The Religion of the Reliable,
: i.e., global capital & consumer culture.

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