Still Making Art – Volume Two @ Studio ORAC, Amsterdam

Avoidstreet (Eduardo Leòn), Paul Barsch, Deborah Bowman, (Amaury Daurel and Victor Delestre), Tilman Hornig, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Anni Puolakka, Natalya Serkova, Still Making Art

On the New Verity of a Project

I

A contemporary work of art gives way to a project in which it becomes embedded, so that the question of its creation and development can be approached from pragmatic positions. It may seem as though the project now takes the place of a museum, appropriating the verity and endowing it with certain individual objects of art at its own discretion. In a certain sense, it will already be a different type of truth, just as the documentation, that has a fundamentally different type of aura. In contrast to the museums, bringing the development of the work of art to the end, the project is aimed at building up both its own dynamics and the dynamics of its parts. The verity of the project is the truth that accelerates rather than slows down the processes of growth and deformation of the overall structure; it is constantly moving and changing. This is such a truth that keeps up a multitude of variables, creating the illusion of a common flow; the truth in which A becomes equal to non-A. In short, it is such a truth that cancels itself and can continue to exist only thanks to this cancellation. In a certain sense, this is the verity of Internet, and projects successfully operating on the Internet, in turn, skillfully utilize the same principles.

II

A project is a structure to which the concepts of quality, efficiency, resources, objectives, scope are applicable. It is purely pragmatic: counting traffic, changing social network activity graphs, increasing audience, frequency of feedback… In turn, the work of art inside the project, contrary to the opinion of skeptical supporters of previous types of truth, does not depreciate and does not cease to be art. More precisely, of course—it diminishes in value and ceases to be! We are talking about value and type of art, produced for many years, on one hand, by the truthful concept of modernity, on the other—by legitimation through museum institutions directly dependent on this concept, and third—by the concept of the author, that has privileged access to truth. A project that includes a work of art increases its own instrumentality, and simultaneously includes the same object in other projects (just as the same exhibition documentation appears in different blogs, often of very different subjects) and allows it to remain conceptually mobile. For this reason, it is impossible to put a equality sign between the project and the archive—these structures are distinguished by their instrumentality: if the archive is, first of all, a withdrawal and preservation method, then the project is a method of communication and transformation.

III

Due to its peculiarities, the project exists on the same plane with the mass media. This means that it shares the field and takes on all the features. The project may be charged all the same charges as the media, all while sharing the same success. Structurally, there are practically no differences between them and the most important similarity can be distinguished. This similarity is in their common end goal, namely in capturing as large areas of influence as possible. The only fundamental difference between the medium of mass communication and the individual project is contained in the current prevailing situation of the difference as such: content may differ. The fundamental mobility and variability of the project provides it with the ability to absorb completely different content. This, in turn, brings us back to the question of the functioning of art within the project. For a project as a method, the principle of ethical evaluation cannot be applied, but this principle can be applied to the content of the project. This means that the analysis of the project of art implies an analysis of its individual parts, and the rejection of such analysis, in turn, will indicate a false view of the project as one that, regardless of its content, has some meaningful characteristics.

IV

The above described allows us to say that today the project is the only method that can counterpose to mass media as an alternative and be compared by a magnitude of impact and scope of the agenda. A separate object of art does not have a resource that would allow it to oppose itself to the mainstream discourse of the “communicative flow”. This means that art that consciously opposes projectivation and thereby consciously leads itself to the media periphery can be defined as one, that picks reactionary and conformist policies of action.

Still Making Art (2013–present) is an art franchise and community development scheme founded by artists Simon Boase and Aaron McLaughlin. Still Making Art has materialised as sculpture (Stijl Making Art), a club night (Still Making Art International Music Services), an exhibition platform (Still Making Art) and an unassembled support structure (the Still Making Art Foundation).

Still Making Art – Volume Two was curated by Aaron McLaughlin (@britafilteredfutures @stillmakingart)

Natalya Serkova