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Making Sense of it All (Blank & Jeron), 2000

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Prospects: Four post-utopian strategies

The younger generation of video artists have known television since their childhood, and it holds no utopian charm for them any longer. Instead it is looked upon with a certain fatalism, like an unalterable force of nature. And so in the late 1970s, as in the early 1950s, various strategies developed in parallel in relation to the mass media.

* Analytical deconstruction of the mass medium using the resources of art (Dan Graham, Dara Birnbaum, Klaus vom Bruch, Marcel Odenbach).

* An approach to television that abandons the exclusivity of artistic purism to some extent (Laurie Anderson, John Sanborn, Robert Wilson, Zbigniew Rybczynski).

* The subversive strategy of artistic occupation of niches in the expanding media landscape (Rabotnik TV, Paul Garrin, Kanal X, Brian Springer).

* Direct cooperation with television to develop innovative media techniques (Douglas Davis, Van Gogh TV).


All these strategies can be called post-utopian, and some of them post-modern as well. They will be examined more closely under the subject headings «Reality/Mediality» und «Social Technologies.» The continuation of these strategies to the point of ironic and final disillusionment, also in terms of the Internet alternatives, is to be found in the artists' project «Making Sense of It All» by Blank & Jeron for MediaArtNet.


Translation by Michael Robinson