Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

One of the defining issues in contemporary art today, it seems to me, is the signal difference between information and knowledge, the problematic but persistent notion of content as a kind of mediating quantity between them. The problem is succinctly put in this line from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

What is at stake is precisely the character or modality of knowledge that art is supposedly implicitly engaged or concerned with (the 'where' of Eliot's query), and the relationship of that knowledge to experience or other regimes of understanding. This explains, I believe, a recent trend towards the artist as 'mystic' and related thematics, the use of artistic practice as a kind of integrative social practice, or something like the increasing use of "re-enchantment" as a term. It may in fact, signal a significant shift in the art of a generation--as it moves from an image-making focus, appropriation, and media critique, towards an articulation of a realm of knowledge that is directly related to the realm of art or aesthetic production....the kind of understanding positioned within the order of the sensible.

One reason the Geithner plan for "legacy asset" resale may not work: the problem is not liquidity but quality..from today's Financial Times:Link
Those betting the programme will succeed are basing those wagers partly on the belief that a lack of liquidity is the main reason for the assets' decimation in value. If that is true, buyers will reap gains once liquidity is restored.

But if depressed prices reflect the weak underpinnings of the housing market, consumer credit and the overall economy, gains could be scarce - or longer in coming. These are, after all, assets backed by credit that eventually needs to be paid off. Their quality, rather than their liquidity, may be the problem. Read more...


Frederick Kiesler: Co-Realities at The Drawing Center won a 2008 AICA Award for Best Exhibition by a Non-Profit.