Sunday, March 17, 2002

Victor Burgin came with glowing credentials to the last Friday lecture this season. Unfortunately he had lost his luggage containing all his lecture notes, slides and video clips. So he got something together in a hurry this morning in his hotel room.
It showed.

Yet again am reminded of the fact that academics don't live in the real world. Airlines are notorious for loosing luggage on internal flights - surely he must know that? why didnt he carry the documents?
He spopke on the 'specificity' of an art practice, arguing that the concept is more useful to us in the age of digital technologies than is the traditional notion of 'medium'.

He made some interesting points:
a).the first art school established in Paris in 1648 introduced theory. Painting was no longer a technical skill.
So we have had art theory around for an awful long time....
b) when photography was introduced they started to say that painting was dead. ye it is still very much alive. so what is it about painting that it has that other art forms do not have? he reckons it is the specifity of paint - the quality of the paint on the canvas. It is the painted surface.

He made scant reference to digital technologies. At least he was able to talk and it was stimulating. Then he showed some rough cuts of his video work which he had sent in advance to GSA. All I can say is that they fell flat on a big screen. We could sense his own embarrassment at seeing his work blown up big. Maybe on a small tv monitor , in situ, with site specific work it might have worked..
Am reminded yet again that the ability toi talk about your work is of primary importance, the ability to convince others that what you are going is "art" is really what is important. Think Duchamp. Think urinals.

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