YYZ Artists' Outlet
Toronto, Ontario

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YYZ in the 90s



One could say then that when technology is embodied in an artwork, technology is no longer what it claims to be, but has become an amenable object, amenable to the interpretation and valuation of the people affected by it, viewers who, as has already been stated, are freed from the demand that they either buy it or not, comply or reject, collude or denounce. As an amenable, rather than a utilitarian object, the artwork itself never acquiesces to any mutually exclusive polarities it seems to manifest. A collegial interaction, in which the viewer contributes equally to meaning and interpretation, is made possible, rather than a relationship in which the artwork is an authority and the audience is a voyeur. An amenable object does not require that a distinction be made between what is objectively true and what is subjectively true, between what is real and what is illusory. Such distinctions are made for the purpose of implementing a plan of action. If either artwork or viewer is relevant to each other in terms of implementing plans of action, then either artwork or viewer becomes a means to the other's ends. Using something as a means to an end is itself a technological process. Technique would then unfortunately be an ideology that determined the interaction between audience and artwork.

Art intervenes between technology and fundamental survival not by proving technology so dangerous it must be extirpated, not by conceding it is so powerful that it is the best medium through which to comprehend our condition, but by constantly embodying the difference between the cultural realm and the technological realm. Technology can be perceived for all its limitations relative to the cultural realities it denies. If the arts do not insist that technology be perceived as a found object, malleable, revisable, unfinished, culture will have abdicated its power.


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