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The Aesthetic of Big Data (3)

I spent a fair amount of time in the last post on this topic to examine the shortfalls of big data memory, especially in its inability to engender human identity and therefore a coherent subjectivity. Without that, I argued, it is impossible to form any meaningful relationship with the world. This may sound phenomenological, but essential to our discussion of big data aesthetics, especially when we put it within a larger context of the recent threat from big data insurgence, namely that a lot of our daily activities are being dictated by empirical analysis of conceivable data to a point where our aesthetic experience is greatly diminished. Continue reading →

Contemporary Art’s Midlife Crisis

If contemporary art has started out as a mission to democratise and demythologise art, a viewer of TraceyEmin’s bed has every right to ask: ‘Why can’t I make a million quids out of my even messier bed?’ Continue reading →

The Aesthetic of Big Data (2)

In my last post on big data, I lamented the looming threat big data is posing on our dominion over the world, and suggested that something be done to  reassured our mastery position.

The trouble is, in a post-humanistic world, it is absurdly out of fashion to think that we are the only intelligent species on the planet that can single-handedly shape its future. The celebration of technology also ushers us into an era of post-human ideas, threatening our long-held beliefs of human nature – autonomous, rational, capable of free will – which unified in our being as the apex of existence. Post-human requires fluidity not only in human identity but physicality, turning the ultimate fantasies of sci-fi fictions into reality: artificial intelligence, bionic replacement, uploaded consciousness, cyborgs and all their cousins. But a closer look will reveal that by assuming a ‘shared sovereignty’ between human and technology, we are assuming a concession of power to our products. Continue reading →

The Aesthetic of Big Data (1)

There is a zombie email address that I use for nonessential site registrations to avoid aggressive marketing strategies. But a few months into using this email address I noticed that they began ‘customising’ my login page with inane fashion news of Kate and Gaga. No doubt this was the work of an algorithm programme gone wasted on an individual. But there are millions of other active users out there whose every Google search, every click on a link, and every private communication or transaction is recorded and fed into all sorts of algorithms, which in turn generate information to dictate the behaviours of the real owner behind them. >

Does sexy sell more?

Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian that “Red is the colour of sex – and the colour of money when it comes to selling art“. While empirically it might be right – though we are yet to see the evidence and historical record of the highest priced, adjusted for inflation and historical context – Mr Jones might be overusing the sexual concept desire and possession. Continue reading →

Zhang Xiaogang: The Aesthetic of Calm Provocation

Zhang Xiaogang (張曉剛) was born in Kunming, Yunnan in 1958. He later studied painting in Sichuan Fine Arts Institute from which he graduated in 1982. Having spent his formative years in the period of Cultural Revolution, Zhang projects the social as well as personal stigmas of the times onto his works. Continue reading →