The cultural framework and biopolitics of capitalist globalisation has resulted in an increased concentration on the body as a site of production—in contemporary art as in life. Just as the historical avant-gardes sought to overcome art’s autonomous and isolated relationship to society by way of inviting in the ‘praxis of life’; so do contemporary artists whose focus is bodies and subjectivities. In an ever-emergent bio-economy, it is not just the body, but subjects and their lives that are crucial to value creation.
The Internet increasingly structures our experiences of the world. The web is approaching omnipresence, absorbed into the everyday, as our material lives are heavily mediated by its attendant applications, algorithms and software. Everything is in flux, including the presentation and distribution of our own selves—both online and offline.
Subversive interaction with various digital media seems both necessary and apparent within contemporary art. From the possibilities afforded photography by digital image manipulation and proliferation, to the incorporation of aspects of online experience into material objects, there is a porous border between the online and offline worlds, if there even remains a border at all.
A range of authors and artists address these concerns in the second issue of Dissect Journal, as submissions reflect on the structures and oppositions that continue to colour debates in and around digital art.
Our first issue explores the ways in which contemporary art can interact with the urban landscape and inspire varied experiences of public space. How is public space produced? Who defines it? How does it relate to contemporary art? These are some of the questions addressed by both writers and artists.