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Saturday, December 7

  1. page Independent-Study-Summer-2012 edited ... However, the concept of permanent, single artist museums, like the Judd museum in Marfa, seems…
    However, the concept of permanent, single artist museums, like the Judd museum in Marfa, seems to a fantastic idea, especially when the artist’s hand is present in the building of the museum itself. It seems to be a great alternative to the tyranny of the “white cube”, and allowing artists the ability to not only create the art, but the setting in which the art is viewed, seems to be the best way to view art. I have visited the DIA: Beacon, and it is truly spectacular. I had seen Flavin’s before, and found them incredibly moving, but the set up of those lights in Beacon was unrivaled, as was all the other work. It is interesting to think about the idea of permanent collections which are always on display. Does this harm the prospects of return visits by patrons? The art which is shown clearly has a lot to do with this. I won’t be returning to Beacon to see the Kawara’s but I would go back to the museum every day to walk around inside the Serra’s.
    Clearly it all comes down to money. Certain people have ungodly amounts of money and they control what happens. I think a good balance could be struck between classic museums (white cubes) and more artist dedicated/centric spaces.
    These are good examples to think about when you look at (1) the metaphorics of space, place, and the discursive framing of the DIA foundation's projects [and it's important in artworld symbolic value that it is a foundation], and (2) the ability to accrue, and the current fund accrued, of symbolic capital in these projects. Your terms/metaphors are precisely what should come to mind (ivory tower, location reached by effort like a pilgrimage to a saint's shrine/relics). Scale is significant: DIA spaces impress with their scale, remoteness from city centers. (I've visited DIA's original location in Chelsea several times, and was a member of Beacon for a while to get their regular info.) You have good observations to build on by taking the next steps and asking why? what are the conditions of possibility for all this?
    Continuing with Bourdieu's analyses, the non-transparency of the sources and amount of wealth from private donor/patrons provides a kind of wonder, new aura, around the hiddenness of the financial-material capital (real estate and money) to symbolic-cultural capital exchange. Art patronage become a kind of money washing magic where we see the results in these monuments to artists, but the conditions of material wealth are misrecognized by the requirement of economic disavowal. The fungibility of capital works in a structure which must remain hidden for the symbolic effects to happen. The process of transforming material-financial capital to symbolic capital or value must be invisible.
    Further, as you see how the artworld circulates and distributes power/authority/value/rules of differentiation through its network nodes, you'll see that DIA, both as an institution and the individual actors/players involved, are linked to other major nodes of authority/value: DIA as an institution could not transact the symbolic capital exchange and accrue its fund of symbolic capital in isolation, or by the mere wealth or power of its patrons as wealthy individuals. The exchange only works within the artworld system, and through validation (links) to other major nodes in the network (collectors, museums, curators, dealers, academic art historians, critics, etc.). DIA has had major public programs with artists, scholars, historians, curators, which has enhanced its intellectual-symbolic credibility, and created strong network links to these nodes. You could go on with this kind of analysis for DIA or any institution. Bourdieu takes us far; I think his concepts need to be completed by a network systems model. Bruno Latour's "Actor-Network Theory" is one, and there are other useful models.
    I should note that analyzing the hidden and misrecognized processes going on behind the scenes in no way cancels or vitiates the importance of private contributions to culture and cultural institutions (or the specific one being discussed). The artworld runs on a distributed patronage system. It's no better or worse than anything else in the current global market economy. It's a fact, not a "problem" in some kind of moral or ethical sense (which is how some Marxian-inflected critics end up framing things). The Marxist style in developing analyses of cultural economics is to conclude with a kind of self-satisfied superior knowledge that only offers ironic detachment from real world issues (yawn). A better result of learning how things work, one along Rortyian lines, would be to use the knowledge to be a more effective player and engage with others to produce the kinds of outcomes you'd like to see, rather than other kinds of outcomes. For me, this is the only ethical motivation for "doing theory."
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  2. page home edited Reference Links Prof. This Wiki Site is an archive of student seminar work in Professor Martin…

    Reference Links
    This Wiki Site is an archive of student seminar work in Professor Martin Irvine's Coursecourses in the Communication, Culture & Technology Program, Georgetown University, in 2011-2012.
    For current courses and student work, see Professor Irvine's home page.
    Syllabus Links
    CCTP725: Cultural Hybridity | CCTP748:Hybridity: Remix and Dialogic Culture
    Media Theory | CCTP797:and Digital Technology
    Prof. Irvine's Georgetown University Site | Metapedia Wiki (archive) | Key Theory ConceptsHome Page
    Wiki Instructions
    Wiki Rationale, Instructions, Grading || Instructions for Weekly Wiki Discussions || Final Project Instructions
    CCTP725-Cultural Hybridity - Seminar Discussions
    CCTP748-Media Theory and Visual Culture - Seminar Discussions
    Independent Study (Summer 2012)

    Student Final Projects:
    Fall 2012
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Friday, December 28

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  7. page SYoseph edited Red, Write, Remix: Deconstructing the District & Graffitiby Saaret Yoseph ... we care? In…
    Red, Write, Remix: Deconstructing the District & Graffitiby Saaret Yoseph
    we care?

    in the
    city’s pulse.
    A SAMO-sort of lit. review
    Rather say art begot art, and the migrations were no one’s business.
    reproduction. This something we have all experienced … [when an] aura has been utterly depleted by the thousands of times we’ve
    seen its reproduction, and no degree of concentration will restore its uniqueness for us.” (Crimp 94, emphasis his)
    since become
    iconic.” (Art in the Streets, McCormick 21). Indeed, the photographic process has folded into the graffiti practice, as a whole. As writers create their works on an uncertain outdoor canvas, the captured image of their piece becomes all the more meaningful; a permanent byproduct of impermanent art. The ability to obtain an image of an illegal piece is essentially verification that it existed in the first place. Many a writer that I have spoken to have shrugged off questions about attachment to their graffiti, accepting of its temporality as long as they are able to get a “flick.” In our digital age, securing these momentary snapshots has become easier and more collaborative.
    Innumerable options are available for graffiti writers and graffiti enthusiasts, alike, to reproduce site-specific work for subsequent consumption. As Martin Irvine outlines in a contributing book chapter Work on the Street: Street Art and Visual Culture, “there is the material moment, the physical act of doing the art in a specific location … But more and more, street art is being made and performed to be captured in digital form for distribution on Websites and YouTube--the work of art in the age of instant digital dissemination.” (Irvine 9). Advances in technology not only allow for graffiti to be experienced beyond its natural setting, but actively engaged by an online audience. Though, my concern with graffiti is tied to its appearance on the red line and the linkage it facilitates through physical space, I remain cognizant of the ever-expansive channels of communication that allow for graffiti writers to have their work read second-hand.
    Names in the background: a history
    Authority imprinted upon emptiness is money. And the ego is capital convertible to currency by use of the name. (Mailer 5)
    the basics.

    practice of
    two functions.
    1) Resistance: Having historically served as a counterculture tool, the assertion of graffiti in public spaces has been “a voice for
    uttering what is deemed profane, prurient, or otherwise unfit for polite public discourse.” (Art in the Streets, McCormick 20)
    Earlier I mentioned the significance that setting has to graffiti writing. But appropriating space is no easy endeavor. Sharing their name and garnering attention requires quite a bit of hustle on the part of graffiti writers. In an interview conducted by ethnographer Nancy MacDonald, one writer named Drax sheds light on the nature of the graffiti game: “[It’s] like a job, it has to be successive for it to be successful.” (Drax as quoted by Nancy MacDonald 67). Thus, heightening your public identity means heavy proliferation; not just a matter of artwork, but art work.
    For active writers, the practice of graffiti is one that gives them an intimate knowledge of their sprawling city canvas. Cory Stowers, art director of Words, Beats, and Life, Inc., a graffiti-affiliated nonprofit, explained to me in a recent interview that navigating the streets at night is an education of sorts. “In terms of a graffiti writer’s connection to the city, writers walk the block, in an out of alleys and, in general, the rule is to learn the city like the back of your hand … So in that respect, they become very, very connected to the city … They see parts of the city that normal folks don’t see day-to-day …” (Stowers, April 2011). Absorbing the ebb and flow of their physical environment allows them to develop a hypersensitivity to the city scene – a sixth sense for trouble, easy exits and scalable buildings for brandishing their public identity.
    ongoing dialogue.
    {IMG_0435.JPG} Graffiti across from Rhode Island-Ave metro station, Summer 2010.Nearly every metropolitan city has a place like this, a sort of aggregate for graffiti where writing is incentivized. Frequently, transit is the first line of offense as it promises continuous readership by way of commuters. For example, in mid-70’s New York City, during graffiti’s heyday, subway trains endured a haze of written expression, acting not only as localized platforms for producing work, but as a means for propagandizing a writer’s name. Jeffrey Deitch describes the scene as “an open air gallery: Artists communicated with one another through tags, drawings, and concrete poetry on walls and doorways. The subway system became an artistic link between neighborhoods … It unified the city, creating a common outlaw culture.” (Art in the Streets, Deitch 11).
    In the same vein, the red line metro serves as a breeding ground for expression, a hub for local writers (from D.C., Maryland and Virginia) looking to become known. Grey steel and back-wall concrete span for miles along the line’s outdoor route from Union Station to Silver Spring; approximately 20-25 minutes worth of travel time to read the assortment of names clustered and waiting for willing eyes. Stowers considers the red line to be a requisite stepping stone for writers hoping to establish their other identity. Piercing the public sphere, gaining respect and recognition within the subculture means tagging this known writing site; engaging your peers and – subsequently – all others encountering the space.
    Yet, just as writers gravitate toward heavily-trafficked areas, their work equally causes city-dwellers to stop and notice oft ignored crevices of the city. Doorways, mailboxes, storage units, sidewalls – virtually every surface is fair game for grabbing attention. The surrounding space of the red line was basically unused until the early 90’s when writers honed their skills and styles on the back walls of the mostly industrial buildings there. Without sidewalks or foot trails available, Stowers explains that only writers and homeless people would traverse the hills, thickets and fenced in areas along the red line to claim space. Affirming Stowers’ account, Heather Deutsch of the D.C. Department of Transit has noted the red line’s history as a place where people have always walked, whether with or without permission. Now, with the development of the Metropolitan-Branch trail, a pedestrian pathway between Union Station and Silver Spring, the city has caught up with its wandering constituency. Perhaps, the appropriation of the red line by graffiti writers in the past had a hand in its accessibility to commuters today. Though, there’s no denying that they made the red line a local attraction.
    To this point, recognized street artists like Swoon and Shepard Fairey frequently discuss the objectives of their work in and with the public. For Fairey, his imagery is about toying with notions of visibility and perceived power, while Swoon injects life into dilapidated or marginalized “third spaces,” like the red line, that would otherwise go unnoticed. Kirk Semple, a writer for The New York Times, quotes Swoon in 2004 as she defines her intentions out on the street: "It's trying to create a visual commons out of the derelict walls of the city." (Semple, July 2004)
    for celebrity.

    effects, however,
    (Snyder 72).
    The District's contribution (in context)
    I hit the red line so I can be known. (Fame, Red Line D.C. Trailer)
    Although, graffiti is gaining prominence in art history and gallery spaces around the world, its position on the streets is ever-elusive. Determining the meaning and impact of graffiti in any city is difficult, but metro graffiti in D.C. is nebulous, at best. District culture is a contradiction in and of itself. International, increasingly hybrid (read: white), and post-modern, D.C. is awkwardly affixed at the country’s seat of power and class. The eight wards of the uneven “Diamond District” makeup a Petri dish of social divides and spatial collisions, with four quadrants that run westward toward wealth and eastbound to gentrification. Our metro system is the lifeline of this city, and its graffiti an embodiment of the District’s character: quirky, frenetic and stubborn; a political face and percussive energy.
    How does graffiti operate here in the capital? What does the red line metro mean to the practice of city writing? For me, these enduring questions are guided by the opinions of local writers themselves. In past interviews, I have asked them why they “get up” on the red line, what the space means to them and whether it’s significant to the city. A diverse set of answers have since ensued. Here's a glimpse of an interview conducted with one red line graffiti writer named, "JU" (a.k.a. "JuJu:"
    hopefully, engage.
    Works Cited:
    de Certeau, M. (1984). The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of
    Deitch J., McCormick, C. et. al. (2011). Art in the Streets. New York: Skira Rizzoli
    Publications, Inc.
    In-Person Interview.
    Irvine, M., et. al. (2011). “The Work on the Street: Street Art and Visual Culture.” The
    Handbook on Visual Culture. London: Berg/Palgrave MacMillan
    Macdonald, N., (2001). The Graffiti Subculture. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    Mailer, N. (1974). The Faith of Graffiti. New York: HarperCollins.
    in the
    Global Village. Web. 27 April 2011.,9
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