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2019, Vol.57, No.

  • 1.

    A New Materialist Approach to Neon Culture : The Case of <neonsigns.hk>

    Seunghan Paek | 2019, 57() | pp.3~32 | number of Cited : 0
    This article aims to explore the ontological dimension of urban experience that is most often exploded by a plethora of neon signs through the lens of new materialisms. What follows is an in-depth analysis of the online exhibition called <neonsigns.hk>, which is run by the M+ Museum located in Hong Kong. New materialisms is an interdisciplinary strand of research that investigates the world where we live, in which both material and immaterial aspects are complexly entangled. Instead of relying on a set of strict binaries between material and immaterial, human and non-human, nature and artifice, reality and virtuality, and figure and ground, new materialisms pays attention to their mode of coexistence and imbrications. According to new materialisms, neon sign is considered not only a means of advertising but also a threshold enabling us to look at the phenomenological dimension of the city. While neon sign has most often been criticized due to its visually distracting and flickering qualities especially during the nighttime, this article highlights that such urban strata evoke the past urban memories and senses of nostalgia, although fragmentary and temporary due to its unstable but dynamic materiality.
  • 2.

    The Necessity of the Contingence and the Possibility of New Literature : Focused on the Theory of Speculative Realism of Quentin Meillassoux

    Chee-Eun Chung | 2019, 57() | pp.33~69 | number of Cited : 0
    The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Quentin Meillassoux's speculative realism which represents a new philosophical movement and to explore the applicability of his theory in literature. Speculative realism exposes the long-standing tendency of philosophy in which humans are central. From Kant's critical philosophy to phenomenology, philosophy speaks of the impossibility of being outside of reason and language. Meillassoux argues that this tendency in philosophy has made it impossible to discuss the absolute. But beyond dogmatic metaphysics and skepticism, the absolute thing he has reached is the necessity of the contingency of being. This new Absolute requires new ways of thinking and signs. Only the speculation can approach the real that is irrelevant to human, and only signs that have removed meaning and history can determine the real. This spectulative approach and sign can be applied to Mallarmé's poetry. The poems of Mallarmé include coded numbers beyond all semantic interpretations. That ‘unique number’ of Mallarmé can only be reached only by decoding the code.
  • 3.

    Artistic Life Organisms in Anthropocene Discourse : Hybrid Actors in Artworks

    Joo-Ok Kim | 2019, 57() | pp.71~98 | number of Cited : 2
    This paper aims to study a relationship between humans and non-humans through the new species appearing in the artworks of Pinar Yoldas and Gilberto Esparza, firstly by examining the term ‘Anthropocene’. ‘Anthropocene’ has not been officially approved as a geological unit, and yet it is widely studied in the fields of science, the humanities and social studies. ‘Anthropocene’ is an important concept to be used in order to find a solution for environmental pollution and global warming, but, most significantly, it rejects the dualistic reasoning of traditional humanism that exists in terms of anthropocentrism. In other words, ‘Anthropocene’ seeks to study the reciprocal relationship between humans and the world. The key notion of ‘Anthropocene,’ that both humans and non-humans exist in the world, can be interpreted by comparing the evolutionary living organisms in the artworks of Yoldas and the city parasites and plant robots in the artworks of Esparza with the technoscientific non-humans described by the Actor-Network Theory. This is a progressive way to understand a social phenomenon ecologically, and it shows the birth process of a hybrid. From the concept of ‘Anthropocene’, all existing objects ponder over their existence. In other words, hybrids are the mutual network of the new post-humans and the objects existing under the New Materialism paradigm, and they are collectively formed through intra-action.
  • 4.

    Qualia, Gap of Mind-Body, and Data : Exploring the Possibilities of Data art from the Viewpoint of New Materialism and Cognitive Science

    KIM,JEONG HAN | 2019, 57() | pp.99~131 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    In this study, firstly, I discuss the ‘qualia’ in the field of cognitive science together with the discussion of new materialism and posthumanism to overcome human-centered dualism. The following is a brief overview of the process of closing the explanatory gap between consciousness and matter. And I explore how the data can be used as an artistic material in the view of A. N. Whitehead's organic Process philosophy. Until now, qualia have been regarded as strong opposition to physicalism. However, among researchers such as V. S. Ramachandran, it is argued that qualia can be the basic unit of the phenomenon experience, as the atom of physics and the DNA of biology. Christof Koch and others have studied the “Neural Correlates of Consciousness(NCC)” in neuroscience. In addition, “Integrated Information Theory(IIT)” has been developed in cognitive neuro-computing by Giulio Tononi. Can I draw the ‘Qualia Landscapes’ as the David Lewis' concept of “know-how(how to know the bat's perception)” with using his concept of “know-that(data or information)”? New materialism now urgently calls for a response to how matters and human beings must communicate with each other in the phenomena of life.
  • 5.

    The Problems of History & Truth in Art : Toward the Seminar “Contemporary Art and Media, Truth and ‘Post-truth’”

    Ihn-Bum Lee | 2019, 57() | pp.135~158 | number of Cited : 2
    This essay is for what I introduce the seminar, titled <Contemporary Art and Media, Truth and ‘Post-truth’>. This seminar is linked to the exhibition Immortality in the Cloud, which was opened to give light on the contemporary art from the media point of view by Ilmin Museum. This essay is about the theme of seminar focussing on ‘Media’ from the point of view of ‘Truth and ‘Post-truth’. Recently the dicourse of media art is so dominant over the art discourses in the art world and academy in Korea. And ‘post-truth’ theory has become to be issued very hotly. However, recent dicourse on media and ‘post-truth’ discourse are also historical. Therefore we could understand these discourses on the extension of Aristotle's Medium theory, G. E. lessing's genre theory, and so on. And the discourse of ‘post-truth’ can be included in the discourse of truth in the traditional art theory. In that respect, contemporary art discourse could be reduced to the horizon of Aristotle's Peri poiētikēs, that is following sentence. “Poetry is more philosophical and important than history”.
  • 6.

    The Appearance of Storyteller in the 21st Century and Art Practice for the Rewriting History

    Ju-Hyun Cho | 2019, 57() | pp.159~181 | number of Cited : 1
    We as humans desire to be recognized of our being. We hope to be loved and cherished forever by our close friends, and even hope to remain in history for general others. Individuals with great and small desires come together to form a society and create countless events. The human desire for the immortality has driven the lives of individuals and has written history by repeating transition and progress. In the near future, one's memories and experiences for a lifetime accumulated in the brain continue to stay in future generations and physically exist as they are stored in the cloud by artificial intelligence. In such a world, promising life after death, what role does religion will maintain after it has perdured eternal time? What about human records and history? By analysing the characteristics of storytelling structure revealed in the art works in the exhibition Immortality in the Cloud, this essay observes how history is newly being conventionalized under conditions of contemporaneity. And, particularly, it aims to explore how historical, ethnic, and cultural characteristics are being “rewritten” in the present day where the encounter among different cultures, religions, and languages has been intensified.
  • 7.

    Documentary Photography in the Digital Age : from Representation to Performance

    Hyoung-Il Joo | 2019, 57() | pp.183~214 | number of Cited : 1
    The purpose of this paper is to examine how documentary photography exists in the age of digital technology and to describe the social role and meaning newly attributed to documentary photography. Having always had a certain social role, documentary photography has been directly influenced by changes in society and technology. Documentary photographs of the past have been understood in terms of recording and representation. They have been published through printed media such as newspapers and magazines. But the current documentary photographs are used and shared in real time on the internet. Around 2010, new types of documentary photographs and videos have appeared in various countries around the world. We call these new images “citizen documentary photographic images”. The existing documentary photographs created by the experts and published through the media have represented the events. They have been interpreted and understood in relation to truth-telling: truth as correspondence with reality or truth as a social construction. But citizen documentary images shared on the internet do not represent the events. They perform as events. So the question of truth in citizen documentary images should be addressed not in the representative meaning but in the performative meaning: truth as an expression for its own sake.
  • 8.

    Amor immortal, toward Media’s ‘Expanded Field’

    CHOI, JONG CHUL | 2019, 57() | pp.215~245 | number of Cited : 1
    This paper aims to clarify the limit and possibility of contemporary art medium (media) through the insight of the art exhibition Immortality in the cloud(2019. 2. 22-5. 12, Ilmin Art Museum, Seoul) in which artists on various mediums work to summon the spirit of the past - its love and (im)mortality. Digital media have been celebrated for their ‘totality and generality’ bringing together all the merits of individual medium, while simultaneously criticized for eroding art’s specificity and physicality, a sine qua non for ‘the Eros of art.’ Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss, the leading contemporary art critics, have already tackled the blind pursuit of anti-specificity (and immateriality) culminated in conceptualism, relationalism, and digital art. Although their theories in the past few decades fueled the efforts to navigate out from the old Greenbergian cannon, now they work to redeem those modernist values that we have perhaps too quickly pronounced dead. Krauss, in particular, calls the antagonism against art's autonomy and specificity as “a monstrous myth of post-medium,” and begins her own ‘crusade war’ to retake the Eros of art. This paper examines how Krauss' critical defense works to control the brutal expansion of digital media, and how we can bring the Eros (guaranteed by ‘specificity, technical support, and memory’ in Krauss' term) back on track in art history. This paper gives particular attention to Krauss' use of the ‘Greimas semiotic square,’ as I revise it to fit better into Greimas' original graph and our discussion on media. What this paper claims in the end is that art’s immortality will never fade even in the rise of digital technology and digital media gains its historical profundity and technological innovation only by laying its mnemonic emphasis on art's specific forms and experience.
  • 9.

  • 10.

    Another Experiment by Kukjin Kang : Flow of Printmaking Unfolding as Part of Abstract Art Experiments

    Eun-Joo Lee | 2019, 57() | pp.261~296 | number of Cited : 1
    This article analyzes how Kukjin Kang's early passion for experimental art had transferred to the genre of printmaking and evolved. In the early to mid-1970s, Kang moved beyond his early obsession with happenings, objects and installation art; and taught himself diverse printmaking techniques such as woodcut, etching, mezzotint and lithography in pursuit of a new medium. He left behind some 250 prints, all of which are ‘abstract’ pieces. The research, therefore, first examines Kang's take on early abstract art from his writing “Words In My Artwork”, published in Noncol Art, with an aim to understand how radical experimental spirit in his early works was reflected in the printmaking medium. Secondly, the research analyzes his experiments with traditional printmaking techniques and multi-media art form along with objects and neon installation works he showcased at the Union Exhibition of Korean Youth Artists and the Total Art Exhibition. He made artworks in a two-dimensional plane by layering Korean traditional paper hanji, produced prints using materials like aluminum cooking foil, pressed physical objects like LP records on a sheet of paper, and produced printings with no edition. In other words, Kang dynamically developed various experiments that later became the attitude and concept of printmaking as of today. Lastly, Kang initially started printing, driven by his experimental spirit towards ‘machine-finished output.’ After he mastered printmaking techniques, however, he went on to produce ‘hand-finished output.’ The researcher labels Kang's printmaking as “performance printmaking” as it progressed from machine-created to hand-created, and posits that Kang's abstract printmaking went through a shift from ‘objectivity of machinery’ to a performing ‘subjectivity of the body.’
  • 11.

    A Study on S. Kierkegaard's Psychological Experiment as Indirect Communication

    Young-So Yoo | 2019, 57() | pp.297~330 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The subject of this essay is S. Kierkegaard's psychological experiment(or imaginary psychological construction) as a category of indirect communication. The most typical examples of Kierkegaard's works on this subject are found in Constantius’ Repetition: A venture in experimenting psychology and Taciturnus' ““Guilty?”/“Not guilty?” A story of suffering, An imaginary psychological construction”. Both pseudonyms develop an imaginary construction to activate the inwardness of reader. As a core category of indirect communication the imaginary construction has the ultimate goal of relating an individual to God. The first explicit appearance of indirect communication in the Kierkegaard's authorship is in Concluding Unscientific Postscript. But indirect communication is more explicitly treated in Anti-Climacus' Practice in Christianity. In the framework of Kierkegaard's work, Anti-Climacus representing the Christian standpoint is a higher pseudonym as compare to the earlier esthetic pseudonyms. In Practice in Christianity Anti-Climacus provides an illumination of indirect communication as well as Kierkegaard's other crucial categories. This study will enlighten the meaning of psychological experiment in Kierkegaard's authorship, clarifying a major set of concepts related of indirect communication in Anti-Climacus' viewpoint.
  • 12.

    The Logic and Limitations of ‘Program Art’ : Calculated Creativity

    Pyung-Jong Park | 2019, 57() | pp.331~360 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to examine the meaning of experimental art using computer programs and algorithms and to examine the possibilities and limitations of artistic practice. I would like to call the program-based art, which is defined as the core of the device, arbitrarily called ‘Program Art’. 'Program Art' means literally produced art based on the program. The program is designed to produce results in accordance with predefined rules, and its principles are deterministic and predictable. Therefore, the art that relies on the program conflicts with the main principle of art creation. It seems to harm ‘creativity’, the most universal virtue required for works of art. However, the works of William Latham and Karl Sims, which use evolutionary algorithms, are further reinforced with ‘indeterminism’ and ‘unpredictability’. Objects produced through artificial evolution show new forms that did not exist in the past. Here, the program chooses the most improvable form. At this time, the artist can not predict what form the program will have. The creative possibilities of program art relies on these ‘indeterminacy’ and ‘unpredictability’. If creativity is the ability to produce new, valuable ideas that have not existed in the past, the work the program produces can be creative. However, novelty must be perceived as valuable to humans in order to have creativity. This requires a comprehensive judgment of human beings, including philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and history. In this respect, ‘program art’ does not intensify human exclusion but rather promotes active participation of human beings. Under this condition, program art can open up new areas that artistic practices of the past could not reach.