In October of 2015 Max Ryan interviewed me about museums and technology. Over a period of time we wrangled the responses into the following exchange for publication. With his permission, I've reproduced it below for those interested.
In time for tomorrow's Cloud-Based Institutional Critique meeting, I'm posting this selection from Jill Lepore's magnificent New Yorker article "The Disruption Machine." It is one of several readings we'll be discussing.
"Ideas that come from business schools are exceptionally well marketed. Faith in disruption is the best illustration, and the worst case, of a larger historical transformation having to do with secularization, and what happens when the invisible hand replaces the hand of God as explanation and justification. Innovation and disruption are ideals that originated in the arena of business but which have since been applied to arenas whose values and goals are remote from the values and goals business. People aren't disk drives. Public schools, colleges and universities, churches, museums, and many hospitals, all of which have been subjected to disruptive innovation, have revenues and expenses and infrastructures, but they aren't industries in the same way that manufacturers of hard-disk drives or truck engines or drygoods are industries."
I've proposed a discussion group entitled Cloud-Based Institutional Critique to The Public School in New York City. The schedule and location are still TBD, though I hope it will span several meetings in which people in the New York art community can debate the current issues related to the fusion of technology enterprises and traditional arts organizations/roles.
If you're interested in attending, check out the official page over at The Public School's website and register as "interested." Stay tuned.
If you're a gallery, project space, etc... and you'd like to host, I'd love to hear from you.
Few corners of the art system remain untouched by the utopian solutionism of tech entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley logic. Rhetoric about “liberation,” “transparency,” and new “disruptive” digital models have begun to dominate debates that have raged in the arts for centuries, from the museum’s relationship to the public, the artist’s position in the art market, and the role of pedagogy and criticism in an ever-expanding, ever-commercialized art world. Recently several well-known examples have sparked passionate arguments from all sides. But is the art system broken? And who, exactly, is rushing in to fix it? And what are their interests?
This class is designed to be a forum for discussion of digital technologies and their relationship to arts institutions, with a particular focus on both their theoretical underpinnings and the practical applications of various new models now in existence. We aim to gather a diverse set of perspectives to work through their roles, motivations, and ideologies to better understand implications for artists, writers, and arts professionals.
Provisional syllabus includes selections from Evgeny Morozov, Astra Taylor, Jaron Lanier, Dardot & Laval, Jill Lepore in addition to various artists' texts, critical essays, and relevant press coverage.