On the Post-Visual
And where you can divine, there do you hate to calculate.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra
The speed of light is faster than the speed of thought. The visual emerges and spreads more quickly than the verbal. The contemporary eye distinguishes subtle nuances in colors, textures, forms, facial expressions and landscapes. Lagging hopelessly behind the eye, brain and memory will hardly be able to reproduce the names of the artists. What has been seen cannot be classified in terms of artistic genres, for any three-dimensional object is reduced to a small flat image on a monitor.
Contemporary blogs exhibit an endless stream of the post-visual. High art is mixed with the vulgar, the abject with the lofty. Everything is accorded equal value and thus is simultaneously devalued. The techniques include mild irony, absurdity, excess, surprise, melancholy, mystery, texture, whimsy, strange combinations, collecting, and destruction of the commonplace. The purpose of all this is to seek out exotic food for reddened eyes.
The redundancy of form in virtual reality elicits a reduction of all corporeality in actual reality. Radical minimalism thrives: art has shifted into the realm of the speculative. Architecture cannot do this. In turn, it declares the absence of form through the use of glass. It redistributes energy into the area of ecology and communications. Incompleteness – blurring the boundaries of form – makes one concentrate on material, texture or ornament. A poetics of randomness is actively developed. Architecture is the slowest of the arts; an illustrated blog, the fastest. The more quickly the visual message is produced, the more formalistic, rich and ornate it is. On the contrary, the slower the creative process, the stronger the reduction, the refusal.
No theory of art in old sense of the phrase is possible. The system of the post-visual is mobile and unstable. There is no time within it, no origin or evolutionary vector. The system of the post-visual cannot be fixed at a certain point, its style, trend and technique determined. It is impossible to generalize, to establish links between phenomena: a hermetic, personal history of art is required for each object. The post-visual consists of an infinite number of subjective realities, of solitudes stunned by the roar of cosmic emptiness and ready for the future.
1064º Goldsmiths Guild