Technical-Aesthetic Aspects of Thingness in Contemporary Art
Looking at a growing digital infrastructure, it seems paradoxical to emphasize just the importance of thingness. However, immaterial data streams also depend on interfaces that can be physically grasped – or rather: wiped. On the one hand, I turn to the question of thingness against the background of current interdependencies between technology and aesthetics in contemporary art. On the other hand, I will explore the topic with a view to discourses of thingness in the past two decades, which have identified fundamental changes in relations between animate and inanimate actors – between things and people, but also between things and other things – in art, social and media studies in particular. In the following article, I attempt to trace the soft contours of a current thingness with the help of artistic works by Oliver Laric (on view at the Schinkelpavillon, Berlin in 2019) and Benjamin H. Bratton’s stack theory (The Stack, 2015).
Upcoming contribution (German) in: Oliver Ruf / Lars C. Grabbe (ed.), Technik-Ästhetik, Zur Theorie techno-ästhetischer Realität, Bielefeld: Transcript 2022, pp. 317-333.