Contemporary Conditions are Badly Known
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The title is derived from Peter Osborne’s phrase “Contemporary Art is badly known”, that appears on the opening page of his book Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art (London: Verso 2013, p.1).
In this talk, rather than discuss post-media conditions as such (the post-medium conditions for artistic production), the notion of ‘contemporary conditions’ is preferred to indicate the characteristic features of the historical present. (I said this in the abstract, but actually I think I can still be said to be addressing the conditions for postmedia art.)
In the context of this event, my contention is that rather than concentrate on futures or whether something is sustainable, new or sufficiently different, the notion of the contemporary poses the question of when the present of a particular work begins and ends. Like Osborne, I am stressing the conditions, and contemporaneity to be a condition (to stress its mode of being, its ontological status).
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