Blog post

Art, Technology and the Attention Economy

How has technology and the attention economy has impacted contemporary art?

10 June 2024

Art, Technology and the Attention Economy

The ways we encounter contemporary art and performance is changing. Installations brim with archival documents. Dances stretch for weeks. Performances last a minute. Exhibitions are spread out over thirty venues. There are endless artworks about mid-century architecture and design. How are we expected to engage with today's diverse practise? Is the old model of close-looking still the ideal, or has it given way to browsing, skimming, and sampling?

In her new book art historian and critic Claire Bishop identifies trends in contemporary practice - research-based installations, performance exhibitions, interventions, and invocations of modernist architecture - and their challenges to traditional modes of attention. Charting a critical path through the last three decades, Bishop pinpoints how spectatorship and visual literacy are evolving under the pressures of digital technology.

Here we pair Bishop's new book with essential reading from across our publishing.

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Read Claire Bishop's book alongside:

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Disordered Attention
The ways we encounter contemporary art and performance is changing. Installations brim with archival documents. Dances stretch for weeks. Performances last a minute. Exhibitions are spread out over...
Hardback
Duty Free Art
In Duty Free Art, filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl wonders how we can appreciate, or even make art, in the present age. What can we do when arms manufacturers sponsor museums, and some of the worl...
Artificial Hells
The award-winning, highly acclaimed Artificial Hells is the first historical and theoretical overview of socially engaged participatory art, known in the US as “social practice.” In recent decades,...
Culture Strike
In an age of protest, culture and museums have come under fire. Protests of museum funding (for example, the Metropolitan Museum accepting Sackler family money) and boards (for example, the Whitney...
In the Flow
In the early 20th century, art and its institutions came under critique from a new democratic and egalitarian spirit. In an age of secularism and materialism, artworks would be understood as merely...
New Dark Age
From the highly acclaimed author of WAYS OF BEING. We live in times of increasing inscrutability. Our news feeds are filled with unverified, unverifiable speculation, much of it automatically gener...
Capitalism and the Camera
Photography was invented between the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’s The Communist Manifesto. Taking the intertwined development of capitalism...
Supercommunity
“I am the supercommunity, and you are only starting to recognize me. I grew out of something that used to be humanity. Some have compared me to angry crowds in public squares; others compare me to ...
Potential History
In this theoretical tour-de-force, renowned scholar Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls on us to recognize the imperial foundations of knowledge and to refuse its strictures and its many violences.Azoulay ...
Civil Imagination

Civil Imagination

The photograph is not just an image but an event, one in the longer sequence of a photographic moment. Challenging given definitions of photography and of the political, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls...
The Perpetual Guest
The idea of contemporary art sometimes allows us to pretend we have made a clean break with the past. In The Perpetual Guest, poet and critic Barry Schwabsky demonstrates that any robust understand...
Glitch Feminism
The divide between the digital and the real world no longer exists: we are connected all the time. How do we find out who we are within this digital era? Where do we create the space to explore our...
Paperback
Sensoria
As we face the compounded crises of late capitalism, environmental catastrophe and technological transformation, who are the thinkers and the ideas who will allow us to understand the world we live...