~e; EM religious artworks

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 17 Mar 2002 22:51:16 -0600
In-reply-to <009801c1cdf3$2f4543a0$551e11d5@hans>
References <009801c1cdf3$2f4543a0$551e11d5@hans>

  hi *,

  i am not an expert on art history, but have interest and have
  thought about em art, as have a few authors, most notibly being
  David E. Nye in Electrifying America and Thomas P. Hughes, in
  Networks of Power (.EU examined, w/.US), and American Genesis.
  it is mostly a difficult subject, religion, and so i do not know how to
  best approach it in the public, as to each their views, and do not want
  to make it the issue, but the context.

  there are some great realist paintings from .ru about electrical workers,
  and the like. then the bauhaus also. and earlier, with religious aspects in
  western art, christian symbolism with lightning, and mythologies of greece
  and rome, thor and zeus, etc.

  also, i have been wanting to get two images online, one of which i have
  and need to scan, another which i may look for online (pulpit rock, with
  an electrical pole). the one is i think from eastern europe, albania maybe.
  it has a gold cross imposed on an e-pole, if remembering accurately.

  also, a public note about current internet art, i once made a comment
  about comparing the work of a well-known and regarded net.artist whose
  work i compared more to 'sand' than to 'traditional art history' in terms
  of its interpretation. i forget if i gave the reasoning for this, but it may
  have been too profane to consider, and insulting. thus, a clarification:

  in a piece of sand, if analyzing it for its material substance (atoms and
  electrons), one can find electricity, and EM, which are at the base of
  the physics, the sciences, and technologies that go into making the
  place we have this exchange; the internet.

  whereas, the traditional model is based upon the medium of art, as it
  is defined by critics and historians, judging its substance on how it
  relates to prior artworks viewed in a non-EM way.

  thus, one way of interpreting art, by tradition, may focus on the digital,
  the cyber, the computer, the electronic, as another era in traditional
  models institutionalized, and modernized for certain ways of doing and
  seeing things. what i had hoped or tried to present was that, in admiring
  the work of a particular net.artist (not all internet artists, though) or
  however their definition of net-art/net art, goes, is that by looking at
  the EM context, it recontexualizes the work itself, and makes its content
  relate to the art, science, and technology which go into its making.

  in effect, putting the division of meanings of an em artifact back into
  an em assemblage, in effect, potentially giving it much more substantive
  meaning in regards to the cosmological aspects of what is being made (in
  the case of art online, it is that if recognizing this context, it relates to
  the whole scale of the atom-to-universe (such that electrons flow as the
  matter, energy, and info in these art infrastructures) and therefore can
  add to the meaning, and focus a general understanding of art in relation
  to other things, such as architecture, such as writing, particle accelerators,
  the big bang, hiroshima, lots of things. if it has that meaning or relation in
  it, or if it is exploring some area new or old, in this recontextualization.

  to add religious art into this would be difficult but it is more literal and
  iconic, in that churches and other religious organizations represent them-
  selves online. as do many a before-unknown group of varying beliefs. thus,
  in part, a powder-keg of possible problems, just by discussing the ideas.

  it is odd, as i was just reading an old symbol dictionary that is one of my
  favorite books, and the night before there was mention of star-wars the
  movie as a myth (via Bill Moyers: The Power of Myth). if one can consider
  these things symbolically, in some sense, there is a lot of lightning and a
  light of light-iconography in religions. a type of theology in the 
  of 'the force' that people have varying beliefs about, but can go see a movie
  and all relate to basic assumptions. such as 'light sabers'. 
likewise, 'halos',
  or glowing objects, or bolts of lightning, and icons like crosses in 
  to telephone/utility/e-distribution poles. it seems almost every religion,
  and its artists, has in some way interpreted EM in their artistic artifacts.

  things like paintings of electric lights, sculptures using televisions and
  neon, paintings such as Empire of Light (have a memory problem, so i
  forget who painted it), and others. jewelry with LEDs or microchips/
  motherboards, whatnot. there is aesthetics=beauty, aesthetics=design,
  but also the meaning of these, and if looking at works in as EM artifacts,
  it can help clarify their importance in understanding what is going on.

  but sometimes, oftentimes, words fail, as imperfection is the weakest
  point in a closed and expert system. it loops back on itself. and so it is
  with most things, until a reinterpreation can knock things out of orbit,
  enough to get some fresh ideas and new opportunities for interpretation.
  else it is just ugly turf wars over staid ideologies. my own included.


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