As space was absorbed and consumed in movement by a spectator, a new architectonics was set in motion: a “picturesque revolution” that was born of setting sites in moving perspectives (…). The new sensibility engaged the physicality of the observer, challenging her ability to take in space and more space-a mobilized space.
During the eighteenth century, the production of travel discourse began to grow and took on a variety of forms, from literary to visual and spatial configurations. Journeys, poems, view paintings, and gardens views were among the new forms of shared spatiovisual pleasure. (…) the historian Alain Corbin writes: (…)The Italian veduta had learned to take a comprehensive view of their cities, and for ages tourists had rushed to take in the Bay of Naples from the terraces overlooking the city…The ‘prospect view’ offered a pleasure, combined with walking and the ideal day, that gave rise to a new way of seeing. Scanning sites and cityscapes, moving through and with landscapes, this opening of spatial horizons fashioned spectacular spectatorial pleasures. The “collective attraction for views” was another of the forces that shaped the cultural movement which proleptically led to the cinema. (…) Vedutismo was a particular incarnation of the observational gaze.(…) As they merged the codes of urban topography and landscape painting, city views also incorporated the cartographic drive, creating imaginative representational maps.
“[…] When artists employ historical archives as media is history affected?
[…] Where does the body belong among the ubiquity of images?
The hypothesis – that the archive as artwork challenges the notion of history as a discourse based primarily upon chronology and documentation – no longer presupposes a stable and retroactive archive, but often a generative one. Consequently, the historicizing process of contemporary art is frequently mise-en-abyme (..)
“[…] Vilém Flusser […] His second book A História do Diabo (History of the Devil), published in Brasil in 1965, approached history and the creation of linear time as the work of the devil. […] the book combines philosophy and humor […] By philosophizing in translation and without foundations, Flusser bridged languages, disciplines and cultures.”
“[…] He has been both celebrated and criticized for his philosophical speculations and style of jumping across disciplines while ignoring, […]”
“If we abandon the idea of possessing some identifiable hard core, and if we assume we are imbedded within a relational network, then the classical distinction between “objective knowledge” and “subjective experience” will become meaningless.” If intersubjectivity becomes the fundamental category of thinking and action, then science will be seen as a kind of art (as an intersubjective fiction), and art will be seen as a kind of science (as an intersubjective source of knowledge).”
Vilém Flusser “On Memory (Electronic or Otherwise)” Leonardo vol.23, no.4,(1990):399.
“Besides Derrida’s[…] The first is Ann Reynolds’s original approach to Robert Smithson’s archive, which used a morphological methodology not very common among historians, but employed by Smithson himself as his working method. These morphological connections of eclectic material, such as images and written texts, diverse authors, disciplines, and concepts from popular and erudite culture, are “categories of thought and images that remain invisible to established hierarchies of interpretation.” The second book, written from the point of view of performance studies and focusing on inter-American cultural relations, is Diana Taylor’s The Archive and the Repertoire, in which Taylor examines the hegemonic power of text-based archival sources over performative, oral, and other ephemeral forms of knowledge.”
The experimental, concept-based, and often ephemeral aspects of contemporary art, which have only increased since the 1960s, producing fluid lines between work and documentation, certainly benefit from the issues raised by all three books, which pose relevant methodological challenges to more positivist approaches to documentation in art history and criticism. Bruscky’s and Kac’s works, writings, and archives put into play logical topologies that often escape the chronological and medium-based analytical methods of art history and criticism.”
‘Is an experimental avant-garde possible in an underdeveloped country?’ was a provocative question asked by Catherine David, one of the curators of the first large international retrospective of Hélio Oiticica, raising geopolitical questions in art history and criticism. Multiple Brazilian avant-garde artists subverted ‘higher’ aesthetics values by focusing on folk and popular aesthetics and emphasizing the ‘lower’ senses of touch, taste, and smell suggested by digestive and sexual metaphors.”*
“(…) Gregory Ulmer’s Electracy-electronic literacy-for instance, argued for(…)the Brazilian samba as a model for writing hypertexts.(…) Ulmer’s reference to the Samba is a welcome reminder that audience participation has a broad history that could include total participation in church liturgies, processions, and especially festivals such as the very pagan yet very sacred four days of Carnaval in Brazil. Artists such as Hélio Oiticica have fused these oral traditions-such as the Samba-to misread and reinterpret European modernism, thus translating geometric abstraction into kinetic body-centered performances.”
In the effort to represent and stabilize past events, which ghosts does the archive have to avoid and evade, preserve or defend against? Beyond humidity, mold and insects, what other entropic forces oppose the process of archivization? What cannot be documented? Which memories can be materialized in form and space? Whose memories get to be preserved in archives? What kind of documental collection is formed when the artist is the archivist?
(…) Bruscky and Kac have forged through their practices the very space in which their work occurs. Unlike contemporaries who have relied on established media (…), Bruscky and Kac have often worked with new technologies and remote communication, short-circuiting the effects of institutional and market validation (..). This critique, which is often implicit in the material manifestation of their work, at timed becomes explicit, as in the case of Bruscky’s exhibition of his archive and Kac’s books-both of which have I sought to highlight here. (…)
If there is a common agreement in current discussions of art criticism, it is the recognition of a general crisis (…). Other critics have also called attention to the apparent paradox between vibrant expansion of the global art market and the simultaneous demise of criticism in recent decades, pointing to the increased inability of contemporary critics to make value judgments, as art criticism becomes ever more informative and promotional than critical.
When artists perform the archive, and artists’s archives are exhibited as art installations; when the mass media is used as a medium for art making and exhibitions re-enact historical events by seamlessly combining documentary and fiction; when the past refuses tosettle and nature’s entropic processes are countered by a generative technology designed to upgrade and perpetuate itself-is history permanently undead?
“ The location of art and archives in particular historical contexts and national histories brings to the forefront political dimensions of art in relation to life, technology and difference, and thus, social and political struggles involving class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and colonialism, often at the center of utopian revolutions leading to various authoritarian and democratic regimes. In this struggle, more than a few twentieth-century Brazilian avant-gardes have enlisted the body centered metaphors of cannibalism, carnival and hunger in order to simultaneously incorporate the foreigner into the familiar and subvert cultural hierarchies that disregarded popular and folk forms of cultural expressions.
As the boundaries between art’s inside and outside become less clear, meaning and authorship become more collective and distributed. In a participatory paradigm, for instance, completeness is no longer possible, desirable, or taken for granted. The artist’s role as theoretician and archivist further disrupts boundaries between art production and its documentation, and therefore does the same to the traditional hierarchies between artists, critics, and art historians.