Blog post

Claire Bishop takes on New Media in this month's Artforum

Molly Osberg10 September 2012

In Artforum's current 50th Anniversary issue, Claire Bishop, author of the recently published Artificial Hells, contributes a controversial and widely discussed article as part of a centerpiece series of essays on New Media. In her sharp-eyed critique, Bishop questions whether, after all this time, mainstream artists have actually embraced technology or simply utilized it to alter their production habits. "While many artists use digital technology," Bishop asks, "how many really confront the question of what it means to think, see, and filter affect through the digital? How many thematize this, or reflect deeply on how we experience, and are altered by, the digitization of our existence?"

Bishop examines a number of practices, from the nostalgic fixation on celluloid ("Today, no exhibition is complete without some form of bulky, obsolete technology") to a reliance on reactive "non-Google methodologies":

... Mainstream contemporary art simultaneously disavows and depends on the digital revolution, even—especially—when this art declines to speak overtly about the conditions of living in and through new media.

Visit Artforum to read the article in full.