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The Prosthetic Beauty - A Tendency of Contemporary Art toward ‘technostress’ or ‘technopleasure’

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2013, 39(), pp.3-39
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : October 31, 2013

Su-Mi Kang 1

1동덕여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay was aroused from a big question: what kinds of perceptible and/or imperceptible relationships between human and technology are being constituted not only in science, technology, medicine and industry but also in contemporary art? In dealing with this question, my theoretical task was to approach eclectically the concept of prosthesis, born as it is from the particularity of specific histories, practices, and imaginations. I draw on historical and theoretical methodologies from prosthesis studies and art theories, aesthetics and art history, psychoanalysis and media theory, art criticism and cultural studies. Through this approach, I revisited the question of relationship between human and technology, which means not only the support, alternative, merge of technology to human but also the amplify, extension, augmentation, enhancement, and incorporation and/or excorporation of human through the power of technology. Especially, in this essay that question was represented as a kind of problem of tendency, technostress and technopleasure. But originally this research have an own aim in the field of art theory. Therefore, I needed to find the prosthetic tendencies of visual art dealt with new media and/or new technology in the center of contemporary art. This putted me on my way toward showing how Vostell's and Nam June Paik's art works in the 60s art world reveal the ironic and complex responses to new mass media, for example TV. And then I discussed the collective memory, remediated memory, or prosthetic memory(A. Landsberg) can be criticized by Sherman's and Kentridge's works of art. Finally, in reflecting the latest contemporary art practices, I argued that one of the aesthetic character of contemporary art is the prosthetic beauty. In this context, the prosthetic beauty means a kind of uncanny perception, the co-existence of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the technological fragmented and stitched re/presentation of the historical objects, images, texts, and bodies.

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.