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Amor immortal, toward Media’s ‘Expanded Field’

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2019, 57(), pp.215-245
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.57.0.08
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : April 15, 2019
  • Accepted : May 11, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Jong-Chul Choi 1

1미야자키 국제대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

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.

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