Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Somebody in NY is watching?

After all our Yokelist rants trying our damndest to demonize New York, and all that, we were surprised to find that New York gallery Exit Art has been hosting a series of art talks by some so-called Institute for Aesthetic Research. Which ain't us.

We would optimistically like to think that this Institute is a sign of our movement catching on – rather than just a random coincidence. Or, say, New York ripping off another idea from the provinces and pretending it’s their own. (See Boston's "The Big Picture" versus New York's copycat "Lens.")

“The Institute for Aesthetic Research is not a physical place nor an official organization,” Exit spokesperson Lauren Rosati kindly explains, “it was the name given to a series of 5 events at Exit Art that are hosted and organized by David Baumflek and Daniel Lichtman.”

Evidence of our influence? The Institute for Aesthetic Research includes an aesthetic research website. There they explain that “IAR is a program of public events, talks and discussions focused on Art, Economics and Institutional Critique. It attempts to translate the traditional role of the ‘think tank’ into the sphere of cultural production and visual art. As the traditional think tank situates itself between the academy, special interests and government, the IAR will consider how to place itself critically within the circuits of distribution and legitimization of aesthetic objects and ideas. The IAR will itself be an experiment in the dynamics of cultural-political discourse. These five weekly meetings will culminate in a collectively-produced publication that explores the possibilities of cultural production in contestation, or outside the realm of Neoliberalism.”

Unfortunately we don’t understand what all those fancy words mean. So we’re hoping that in fact, they’re a knock off of Mexico’s Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas – also known as the Institute of Aesthetic Research.


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