The University of Houston School of Art and Blaffer Art Museum present a new installment of the annual lecture series, ‘Till Now: Contemporary Art in Context’
Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and New Media, Northeastern University
Thursday, March 30
Reception 5–6:30 pm, Lecture 6:30 pm
Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design Theater
Drawing on the recent record-setting survey of Pipilotti Rist’s work at the New Museum, Sutton’s talk presents a close reading of Rist’s work arguing that the distinction between analog and digital image media is not ontological, but rather scalular—registered in degrees and subject to increases in speed, volume and spread. The result is that distinct from those artists whose durational works remain in dialogue with the grammar of lens-based images (namely photography and film), Rist begins to outline the difficulties and interferences of new media—networks and software. Continuously working against the medium’s established commercial conventions for image refinement, sound synchrony, and material stability, Rist’s artworks revel in the format’s glitches, revealing the denigration of its quality controls. In doing so, her works offer a contemporary feminist methodology (not just replacing male protagonists with female ones) to counter the modernist notion of authorial mastery in contemporary art.
Gloria Sutton, author of The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie-Drome and Expanded Cinema (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015) is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and New Media at Northeastern University. A Research Affiliate of the Art Culture and Technology Program at MIT, Sutton is the inaugural editor for Art Journal Open. Her current book project provisionally titled, Pattern Recognition: Durational Conditions of Contemporary Art, provides a critical analysis of the rise of network culture within visual art after 1989.
This lecture is part of Till Now: Contemporary Art in Context, a year-long speaker series hosted by the University of Houston School of Art and the Blaffer Art Museum that brings together leading voices in the field of contemporary art. Through public talks and intimate seminars and studio visits with UH students, internationally recognized scholars, curators, artists, and critics will investigate the idea of the contemporary as both a temporal and aesthetic framework to broaden critical understanding about how we situate current artistic practices.
All lectures are free and open to the public. Directions and parking information can be found here: uh-art.com/thecontemporaryproject/
Funding for Till Now: Contemporary Art in Context is generously provided by an Innovation Grant from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston.