The process of picking up the threads of a project from 14 year ago, Faux Conceptual Art, is quite interesting. I’ve been framing the works, re-photographing them and creating new pieces. Looking at four works I see similar themes and ideas emerging. The pieces, Fibonacci Series With Calculators, Sit On, Price List and Not Here, have never been exhibited other than being presented on the web. This is a very strange idea. The whole web site, Faux Conceptual Art is a work that is a proposition. It is also in some measure a critique of the art market. Since re-engaging the works I am plodding along at a leisurely rate like a sort of anthropologist trying to piece together what I was thinking. This becomes fairly interesting because the world has changed, art discourse has advanced, and I have gone through many stages in that time.
there’s an opening for an artist’s residency in Marseille, France at Peter Sinclair’s cap15 compound. It’s a large studio space around 1000 sq ft. The offer is for up to 6 months. The rental is 420 euros a month. It starts in September. Contact: (petesinc(AT)nujus.net).
The 4th screen, a handheld and mobile devices festival curated by Tamas Banovich, will be included in the Pocket Film Festival at the Pompidou Center in Paris, FR. http://www.festivalpocketfilms.fr/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=91
I’m looking at the works I did fourteen years ago to understand what I was trying to get at. The works were done as I was beginning to work with the internet. One of the web sites I created was called Faux Conceptual Art. I was thinking about the burgeoning business of counterfeit products such as watches and designer label products coming from China. Since I live a few blocks from Canal Street in New York, I am aware of all the counterfeit products being sold on the street. I thought that the fakes were a very interesting by product of globalism. They also functioned as a linguistic game. The game is about a shift in the idea of creativity. It also extends the 1980’s discussion of appropriation into the 1990’s debate about intellectual property. The shift in creativity is subtle. This also has it’s basis in the famous essay by Walter Benjamin, Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction. What Benjamin says is that art loses its’ “aura” when it is reproduced. The discussion is about the qualities of an artwork. This presupposes that art is about a unique object, a masterwork. The copy supposedly has no “aura.” What conveys uniqueness or the quality of art to an artwork? This becomes a central question for every generation of artists.
I called this piece 3-In-1 done in 1994, a fake Joseph Kosuth. Actually it was a restaging of the Kosuth piece that put the three separate elements (photo, chair, Photostat) into a frame making it into a single discreet art object. The original piece by Kosuth titled, One In Three Chairs has three separate parts.
There’s a terrific discussion on http://post.thing.net concerning legacy conceptual art. Look though the comments section on the right. In particular Joseph Nechvatal and Blackhawk have been adding very incisive texts and commentary.
Information theory is constantly butting up against property rights. That was the premise behind Faux Conceptual Art http://www.artnetweb.com/projects/fauxcon/home.html
This work is a giant Xerox of the price list for Joseph Kosuth’s show at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1993. It’s a bit of an anthropological artifact. Leo Castelli is dead and the gallery is no longer open.
The work functions as a perfect market indicator. It strips the art down to it’s most basic which is a brand name (Joseph Kosuth) the description of the work, and its' price. Kosuth himself titled the series, the Thing-in-itself is found in its Truth through the loss of its immediacy I, II, III, IV, etc…
The piece is a system or a procedure or a set of instructions. The instructions are to draw a spiral on a board. Using four cheap calculators, create the Fibonacci series. Write the numbers on the spiral as you go along. When the calculators can no longer calculate the numbers the piece is finished. It’s a closed system that is somewhat like the logical abstraction for a computer program, a set of instructions that is executed.