There’s something about General Idea that always felt ahead of its time. Videos like “Shut the Fuck Up” (1984) foreshadows the mashup culture of today but with a decidedly anti-establishment feel, even though they were obviously designed for the capitalist art market.
Recently on Hyperallergic, An Xiao’s “Cover Art, or Vito Acconci Gets a Follow Back,” made the case for artists who choose to directly reference or re-stage existing artworks. She draws a comparison between derivative works and cover songs. This may be an apt comparison, but she glosses over an important fact: most cover songs are terrible.
In his latest edition of Hypermedia, artist Artie Vierkant explores ideas of surveillance and sousveillance in the work of artists Jill Magid, Steve Mann, Josh On, Ryan McKinley, and Trevor Paglen.
Hypermedia: Critical Issues in Contemporary Media Art is a column written by artist Artie Vierkant for Hyperallergic. Each article discusses an existing or emerging theme in practices at the intersection of electronic media and the arts, drawing from the contemporary and the historic, the pervasive and the obscure.
The Internet has bred a certain degree of cultural democratization — citizen journalism, revolts aided by the use of Twitter, the rise to fame of Soul’ja Boy, etc. The same is true to a degree in art, but for the most part older methods of working stay cribbed in older methods of distribution.