Sunday, March 1, 2020

Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings


Irony was fun about a decade ago, seemed to have its peak in about 2010 before the political discourse shifted abruptly and boots on the ground politics seemed pressing. But now, recoil, irony is back with people wearing clown makeup and being disingenuous online. Irony is a scapegoat for so much. A means for someone to deflect and quagmire conversation by being deeply unclear. Carpenter feels like a game of "well I know that he knows that I know that he knows..." en abyme. 

Carpenter knows this is dumb, and knows that we know he knows this is dumb. But us all gripping chins wondering on which floor precisely the middle finger is resting. Our cerebral assessments of navel's swirl that 5 years ago couldn't have been less interesting now return in way that feels apt to the political moment. Because we're exhausted. And perhaps what Carpenter is actually trading in is the feeling of exhaustion. Can you imagine being forced to explain these to someone? Explain politics now to someone?

Because people often don't think this is dumb:
"Interactive art, of which this is, like Web 2.0's [...] the system shifts from content generation to interactivity itself, turning itself into interface for the user themselves to self produce, the turnkey-op entrepreneurial dream, in which as long as the structure is up and running "content-revenue" will self-generate, [...] because like Scanlan on Sehgal, even mediocrity is acceptable to a public so long as it has a hand in it."Read full Urs Fischer at JTT

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