Went to the Adaptation Syndrome panel on Friday - lots to share.
Co-curator Dinah Ryan was at the lectern for about forty-five minutes before giving it up to husband Paul. An hour of explanation was more than enough.
Some quotes from Dinah include "artworks are indistinguishable from image production", "nobody's a visual virgin anymore", "to make an effective image one no longer has to be an artist", and something about the distribution of "broad-based wide-ranging intelligent and deliberate" images being "as big a shift as the Guttenberg press". The audience was asked to set aside all context, reasons, ideology, and politics while viewing images of custom cars, mouse hairs, space, cells dividing and satellite images of the recent tsunami and then told that "images that have nothing to do with artmaking" have "outclassed what artists are doing". Is there a term for this? Creating an artificial situation that attempts to force people to agree with you?
A comparison was made between a photograph of the mushroom cloud created after the bombing of Hiroshima with a photo of one of the planes hitting a WTC tower on 9/11 and something about one being a deliberately created image and the other not, one created for dissemination and one not. I'm a little confused here, my notes are bad, and I also think her breadth of knowlege might not extend far enough into WWII military history. That mushroom cloud was certainly intended to be seen and impress a message on the populace - more people were killed in a single night of firebombing Tokyo than from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. She was just plain wrong in her belief that the atomic bombings were not an example of a "purposeful display".
Amazingly, after spending more than an hour trying to explain the concept of their show, Dinah said that included artist Ron Johnson was "not making deliberate reference to image" and that "he's an anti-image painter" whose "reflected shadows and colors militate against image". So what is he doing in your show??? Artist Margaret Evangeline later talked herself out of the curatorial concept when explaining her own working process.
I'll share more tomorrow.