Year: Sofia, 2012
Publisher: East-West / ICA-Sofia
ISBN: ISBN 9786191521319
Format: Soft cover, 192 pp, 16.5/23 cm

Editors: Diana Popova, Kiril Prashkov; English translation: Lyubov Kostova

on the cover: Hermann Zschiegner, Untitled (Seascape VII), 2011, printed with the permission by the author

The present study traces the process of dematerialisation and fragmentation of what is commonly referred to as art work, or else, all processes and artefacts at the heart of artistic practices in contemporary visual arts, ruled on the one hand by technological advancements in production and sharing of images, and on the other – by changes in the attitude to the very definition of art. Specifically, the focus is on issues those processes pose to traditional notions such as original, copy and their related matters of space, time, media, in turn leading on to positioning author and audience. The context of the present study are visual arts and by no means does it refer to art per se, both for limitations in the researcher's expertise and, more substantially, for the distinctive differences in the relationship between art work and materiality of the artistic expression across fields: it varies from literature to music, either of those are distinguishable from the position in performing arts, etc.

Remix culture looks like free dematerialised culture for all. The unprecedented by scale online creativity echoes the utopian ambitions manifested by various artistic avant-garde on democratisation of aesthetic experiences, the participation of the audience in the creative process, the free transfer of cultural objects and contents between contexts, the abandonment of genre, form or expression limitations, between codes of high and low culture, in brief – between art and life. Seemingly where avant-garde has failed today's techno-media succeed. Except that these dematerialised cultural objects (having once headed for the avant-garde strategy of resistance) in the longer run turn out to be perfectly adapted to the post-Fordist phase of capitalism and new economies.

Available online at the website of the East-West publishing house.

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