The Institute of Art History at the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon will publish the 11th issue of the ARTis ON journal. Titled Excess and insufficiency of video, it will examine the role the latter plays in current art practices.
The excess defined by the use of video in the first decade of this century and its seeming plenitude have not granted any unity whatsoever to the medium, the latter scattered into issues such as the rejection of high-tech and the employment of the obsolete, memory, and the archive, manipulated found footage, or the relationship between documentary and fiction. Video has become a privileged medium, and its critical deployment in diverse cultural practices has retrieved the structuring insufficiency of a modern-world test agent.
Throughout the last decade, we have witnessed a transformation of such state of affairs, as video became integrated into heterogenous sets and assemblages. Even though expanded cinema could serve as an antecedent by breaking the screen's two-dimensionality, dividing the former and agglutinating other performative elements, it encompassed a compositive logic associated with a subject matter. Present-day installations are comprised of objects, documents, images, elements which keep their independence and relate to one another in particular, even obscure ways. Selecting these elements within the whole produces conflicts and diverse epistemologies. It is at the heart of such heterogeneity that video finds a place among other agents (Pierre Huyghe, Jenna Sutela, Laure Prouvost, Walid Raad, Pedro Barateiro, to mention some sufficiently heterogenous instances). Its agencying, thus, is the product of a differentiated set, its effectivity distributed over this ontologically heterogenous field. As there is some component of each element/actant disconnected from the whole of the installation, video retains an efficacy of its own which is susceptible of further iteration in new contexts in the most radical instances. As such, it participates in a non-totalizable aggregate, although it connects with other agents. Such porosity can become the actual manifestation of its insufficiency.
On the other hand, in some videos by other artists (Ed Atkins, Cécile B. Evans, Hito Steyerl, Ryan Trecartin, Gabriel Abrantes, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Alexandre Estrela, Otolith Group, very differentiated from each other), projections assume an exclusive or central role. They oscillate between 8K CGI (computer generated image) or ever-recycled, internet-bound poor images; however, it is the presence of digital image and its social, political, or perceptive practices, as well as its offs and its absorption of the world, that manifest an excess which overlaps a constitutive absence. It is as though the insufficiency of the digital contributed to its continuous regeneration before it substituted things, beings, and materialities in an infinitely circulation that became the language of contemporaneity, which is dangerously defined by the logic of capital. These artists' enquiring of the excess is a critical one, removed from a supposed self-sufficiency. Within the overwhelming hegemony of the digital, the possibilities of non-identity are looked at.
This ARTis ON issue seeks to reflect on matters raised by current video practices and their subsequent considerations in art history—less its antecedents or the history of neo-vanguards than the most recent productions.
The submitting articles must articulate the aforementioned topics or others considered relevant within the scope of the issue. We invite art historians, art critics, curators, artists, and those interested to submit their articles until 21 September 2020, following the journal's guidelines:
The results of the peer-review process will be announced before 2 November 2020.
Featuring in the journal's Varia section, small articles unrelated to the subject matter will also be accepted before the same deadline.
All contents must be sent to the following e-mail addresses:
ARTis ON is an open-access journal indexed in DOAJ, ERIH PLUS (European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences), LATINDEX and is a CROSSREF member.
CFP: ARTis ON journal, Issue 11: Excess and insufficiency of video. In: ArtHist.net, Jul 5, 2020 (accessed Feb 25, 2021), <https://arthist.net/archive/23366>.