Karl-Heinz Klopf

Peter Weibel

RUINS OF REPRESENTATION

On the exhibition Expand from Karl-Heinz Klopf and Sigrid Kurz at Grita Insam Gallery Vienna, October 2000


Today you are the witnesses of a paradigm change in art. From the ruins of representation to the practices of processing.

Present media art is not concerned with the production of pictures which facilitate the continuation of art history, nor is it interested in plundering and therewith satisfying the bourgeois hunger for pictures like the heroes of video art in the 1980s did. The fact that the processes of signal and data processing, from the targeting technology of the military to the bank transactions of international concerns, play a central role in modern society gives us critical insight into the consequences of the processes on which our society is based. An aesthetic of processing, of the networks and targeting technology, co-ordinated with present processes, has replaced the pomp of the images of the past. This is the only way in which art can re-civilise particular areas of the military-commercial complex of the information society. The aesthetic method which they [media artists] use is connected with modern media strategies, namely the various mediums of film, internet and television. This work, which we could call a practice of cross-media, is co-ordinated with the current practices in the global media realm. The global information forum found in the net is the new reference framework, the arena of action, and no longer the picture-frame.

Karl-Heinz Klopf and Sigrid Kurz have, appropriately, not used the classical studio venue as the starting point for their exhibit. Instead they chose the extended studio offered by the present information society, that is, the web-site. The web-site and the project is appropriately named Expand because the artist’s field of operation has expanded from the closed object of modern art to the open field of action offered by the post modern. Luckily there is technology available which is capable of allowing an extension of the field of operation and field of action and which therefore supports the emergence of a new concept of art. New communities emerge through the global communication community. Until now communication communities were built upon biological, geographical or social criteria, for example, common beliefs, relationships, family, language, class affiliation, profession etc. Now we are experiencing the development of communication communities which are based purely upon technical conditions. The art of Klopf and Kurz extends itself in this area of technically determined communication communities. From the studio into the net, from a picture in physical space, from physical space to the data realm. The locally bound modus operandi for production and reception in classical art are expanded into non-local, telecommunication, action and living spaces. In order to appropriately illustrate this concept of art, this speech has been sent to you from a telematic, non-local and non-present observer.

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