Athens Biennale | OPEN CALL | Work of art

In the emptiness of your ontology there is..

“In the emptiness of your ontology there is..” is a net-art work that aims no less then at the conceptual redefinition of the typology of language.

Using Derrida’s notions of text the work defines a new type of framing in the object – human relational structure. The function of this typology is to create new tools for the use of critical analyses. The reason it is an artistic project instead of a linguistic or philosophical project, is that art has the ability to survive contamination of disparate concepts better then anything else, art also affords the medium in which this can be done: the image.

The current praxis of combining images with text, while using technology to study human behavior in front of images has pushed forth a new type of meaning in the collision of reality and virtuality: Facebook, twitter, tumblr, dump.fm, etc, continuously combine images and text in new ways in order to satisfy the person posting and the person viewing, what is most important though is the meticulous computer based analyses of the all the present elements for the specific purpose of finding the most effective combination in terms of consumption, attention and affect.

This new meaning has its roots in the computerized analyses of bodily behavior in front of images and in the speed of consumption. By speeding up the use of images and text one dispels any notion of critical and analytical thinking and forces the eye to start viewing text as image – the rise of asemic writing is a good example of this, what this does is change the way in which we read text: we no longer read, we look. This change has a president in music, where in the 20th century a change occurred from listening to hearing.

The possible explanation for this is in the behavior of complex processes and the ability of these complex processes to suddenly leap into structures of higher-level order, and it seems that this is exactly what has happened with language in its rise to a primary and secondary layered meaning as well as is the catalyst into a process based ontology.

As an artistic approach, the reason for the theoretical thinking on the issue, and the reason I am not only presenting images, but also this text in terms of a new topology of language is in the combinatory effects ability to show in praxis this amalgamic layering mentioned. At the same time it puts the work in the context of current artistic practice as Boris Gryos puts forth in his essay “Under the gaze of theory”: that theory has never been as central to making art as it is now, that “one needs to explain art” before one can make art. And yet at the same time reading his essay, and other essays, like Brad Troemel’s “Art After Social Media” one can not help but notice the most garish invalidity of the analytical semantics and language both use to describe and imagine current events.

In other words what both lack, and what the art world and critical theory (philosophy, mathematics, linguists etc.) need are specific new tools with which to start describing the contemporary experience, not by using the same words, but with new words and especially new types of words. Practically this means creating a new type of language that incorporates not only current human behaviors but also this secondary layer of meaning into its system of signifiers. This means analyzing the total use of images, text, sound, in reality and virtuality, and applying frames onto contexts which can be separated out into meanings with which to build a new type of text reality, a text type that is inclusive of the objects and relations as combinations.

What the exhibition “in the emptiness of your ontology there is…” presents is a single new process based signifier that can be translated into the word drim. Drim is the event of creating swaths of invisible residue in material reality by inserting ouroborous elements from this reality into virtuality, the ouroburous element of which is disrupted.

Practically this is presented by taking a photograph of the spot on the wall in a gallery space where that photograph would naturally be placed, three galleries from Helsinki are presented, the disruption is made by not placing the image on itself, but publishing these images online, a secondary disruption, which can be viewed as suffix (while the first order disruption is part of the root), plays on the anonymity of online art-viewing by placing large water-stamps over the images stating that these images are the copyrighted property of a specific artist and have been made in such and such a year. This enables Troemel’s “Artist Without Art” to regain their art while at the same time interfering with the pleasure of consuming that image.