Art in the Age of Content, Value and the Corporate State
Spring 2020, Tuesdays 9:00-11:50AM
Room 804-B, 380 Second Avenue
Instructor: Michael Capio
Class site: ahd-3903-a.info
Office Hours: After class and by appointment
In the early 1980s theorists begin to speculate about how technology will impact cultural production in the future. Contem- porary art, music, images, texts and other commodities will be seen increasingly as information, chaotically stored without hierarchy, in a new type of a self: “the postmodern self.” In this context, people experience multiple realties simultaneously and spend most of their time on hand-held devices, swiping between content on social media, ecommerce or streaming sites like youTube or Netflix. “The self [will exist] in a fabric of relations” that becomes (like the technology that supports them) more complex and mobile. Thirty years later, we are witnessing the stunning accuracy of these predictions. The con- stant consumption of culture, the merging of private and public personas, the emergence of Google/Amazon/Apple/ Snap- chat/Facebook/Twitter have come to embody postmodernism’s “distraction from distraction by distraction.” In this course students will survey the social, political and economic issues that shape contemporary culture and its corresponding histor- ical and material preconditions. Although the framework of the course is flexible, the focus is thematic; we will exam- ine the meaning of such concepts as modernism, postmodernism, immaterial labor, capitalism, neoliberalism to consider the extent new technologies, and in particular, new materials or “immaterials” shape our social relationships, environment and art.