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Remix Dialectics and the Material Conditions of Immaterial Art

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Remix Dialectics and the Material Conditions of Immaterial Art

Sorrentino, Olivier (2017) Remix Dialectics and the Material Conditions of Immaterial Art. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Remix Dialectics and the Material Conditions of Immaterial Art proposes the art of remixing as both a dialectical approach and creative tool for understanding immaterial art, and by extension, the immaterial economy. Artworks defined as ‘immaterial’ are not limited to digital domains, but instead describe objects that reduce their concrete presence to incorporate more communicative means of artistic expression. A work’s inherent concepts and narrative anecdotes, the status of its author, its provenance from known collections as much as its process of fabrication and links to a particular history or geographic location, all contribute to its value as immaterial art. Having said that, such objects are not altogether ethereal and often generate artefacts that are reviewed as material culture, promote socio-political structures that one may analyse under historical materialism, and reflect the financial interests of immaterial economies which thrive on monetizing service, knowledge, and cultural industries. As a remix artist, I transform and combine such immaterial features, and utilize these processes as the subject matter of my artistic production.

To organize my discussions around the theoretical concepts, studio creations, and case studies to come, I devised a framework first inspired by the dialectical methods attributed to Hegel, to position ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ as opposite categories of beings, then ‘index’ humanity’s experience of reality in the gaps between such opposites. From this layout, my chapters focus on issues of authorship, objecthood, and indexicality to explore the praxis of remixing in current contexts of globally networked societies. I then problematize the resistance of certain mass- oriented cultural industries to fully convert to network-oriented processes, which results in generating a crisis of representation. My studio works address this crisis via creative strategies of negation, withdrawal, and destruction. With No More Heroes, I remix Hollywood films by deleting every frame in which the main character is seen or heard. Video Pistoletto is inspired by the gestures of Michelangelo Pistoletto, where I damage LCD video monitors. In Fontana Mashup, I simulate the slashing of priceless paintings to contrast the inflated value of the original masterpieces against their deflated value when copied.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Sorrentino, Olivier
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Humanities
Date:11 April 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gould, Trevor
ID Code:982459
Deposited By: OLI SORRENTINO
Deposited On:31 May 2017 19:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
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