Seeing new media art as an entry point for better understanding of technology and worldmaking futures
In this challenging work, a leading authority on new media art examines that curatorial and aesthetic landscape to explore how art resists and rewires the political and economic structures that govern technology. How do inventive combinations of artistic and theoretical improvisation counter the extent to which media art remains at risk, not just from the quarantines of a global pandemic but also from the very viral and material conditions of technology? How does global media art speak back to the corporate closures of digital euphoria as clothed in strategies of digital surveillance, ecological deprivation, and planned obsolescence? In Technics Improvised, Timothy Murray asks these questions and more.
At the intersection of global media art, curatorial practice, tactical media, and philosophy, Murray reads a wide range of creative performances and critical texts that envelop artistic and digital materials in unstable, political relations of touch, body, archive, exhibition, and technology. From video to net art and interactive performance, he considers both canonical and unheralded examples of activist technics that disturb the hegemony of biopolitical/digital networks by staging the very touch of the unsettling discourse erupting from within. In the process, critical dialogues emerge between a wide range of artists and theorists, from Hito Steyerl, Ricardo Dominguez, Joan Jonas, Isaac Julien, Ryoji Ikeda, and Shadi Nazarian to Gilles Deleuze, Jean-Luc Nancy, Elizabeth Povinelli, Jean-François Lyotard, Erin Manning, Achille Mbembe, and Samuel Weber.
Brilliantly conceived and argued and eloquently written, Technics Improvised points the way to how artistic and theoretical practice can seize on the improvisational accidents of technics to activate creativity, thought, and politics anew.