Friday, May 14, 2010

For an Archive of the Future Anterior (Notes)

The creative exploration of these materials enacts a "weak messianic power" through which the world may be conceived differently. Perhaps one task of the artist/thinker is to make visible these powers of objects which should otherwise be perceived as corrupted by their commodity value, or by some prejudice about the sensibility and intelligence which produced them. To what extent is the future that we will want to have been (tense of the future anterior) a product of the senses (both a renewed sensibility and a coming to our senses)?

I have been thinking about how to reapproach cultural materials so that they may become active for something again. The return of "appropriation" in recent aesthetic practices seems to bring this problem to the foreground. Likewise, continued interest in archives, documentary practices, and attention to artifact through display and reenactment/live performance. These forms have pretty much defined art (and cultural production more broadly) in the aughts, so how may we think about these forms more specifically in terms of a dialogue about how art may determine, redirect, and reevaluate futures?

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