Korakrit Arunanondchai/Alex Gvojic There’s a word I’m trying to remember, for a feeling I’m about to have (a distracted path toward extinction), 2016
This lecture addresses a recent exhibition phenomenon associated with time-based art: the striking preponderance of beds, beanbag chairs and other horizontal viewing platforms in the staging of such work. Indeed, in black box galleries around the world, viewers have been increasingly solicited to go horizontal. What might these new modes of display tell us about contemporary cultures of work when compared to historical examples from the 1960s -- and particularly with respect to the mass phenomenon known as “burnout” in the present? Might such novel conditions of reception shed light on the shifting ratio between humans and computers in what the ethnographer Marcel Mauss called nearly 100 years ago, the “civilization of latitude”? Departing from Niki de Saint Phalle’s She (1966) – an immersive media environment presented as a recumbent, female figure – the paper argues that lying in the gallery chimes with technologies of work post-internet; namely, our incorporation of its media platforms and the generalization of the network as a ubiquitous and ambient resource.
Pamela M. Lee is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. Previously she held the Osgood Hooker Professorship at Stanford University. Her recent publications include Think Tank Aesthetics: Midcentury Modernism, the Cold War and the Neoliberal Present (MIT Press, 2020) and The Glen Park Library: A Fairytale of Disruption (No Place Press, 2019). Lee is an editor of the journal OCTOBER; her talk this evening is part of a thematic cluster devoted to the subject of "Burnout."
This event took place on October 19th as a live Webinar at 6:15pm ET (New York time).