Art Against Art


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When considering the art field as being a raft in speculative time, the tendency is to seek comfort in numbers, regressive ideas such as another return to painting[1] or hedging bets on all sides whilst pursuing an unreasonable personal growth fetish.

These are classic reactions to a perceived risk that arises as a result of readjusting to new data. Uncertainty, if left unmediated, will pose a risk not just to market stability but to conceptual stability as it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between artists and ads; artworks and hype-objects; or content and sponsored content – keeping us in a state of high drama too complex to decode. For example artists who consciously use marketing strategies as art are contextually mixed up with masses of artists who simply run a marketing strategy. Or, equally, galleries with a reputation for long-term quality regularly use their weight to inflate very short-lived speculative art. It is in these differences that art barters itself off very quickly to sometimes uninteresting effects holding us in a certain inappropriate narrative if we are not careful.

Up until a hundred years ago, it was normal to assume that all art aimed at “beauty” or varying degrees of “representation” and that anything but, would not be considered art. Later, after The Fountain, this evolved into the politics of mass production leading to whatever fallacy that we have today – perhaps a speculative bias targeted at an erroneously projected future consensus. It may be worth considering ditching all retroactive rhetoric about “safe places” in favor of heightening one’s own form of perception (perhaps even through enhancement), to adapt to the new environment and to filter through informational debris.

Inside the art world […]

The Editors



Kenny Schachter – Art After the Apocalypse

Linda Yablonsky – Plus Ça Change

A Conversation with Michael Gross – Quid pro Quo – How the sausage gets made at the Met

Joseph Walsh – An Image that is Nothing to be Desired

Image spread by Natasha Vita-More

Paul Mason – Eleven Theses on Postcapitalist Art

Christian J. Haye – More Art

Casey Jane Ellison – 2 Ones Chat and Then End

Armen Avanessian – Present Tension: Notes on Preemption, Hyperstition,
Contemporary Art and the Post-Contemporary Condition

Artist edition by Phillip Zach

Art Against Art #2
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