U.S. Consulate Talk at the American Space


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This morning I gave a talk, organized by the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, to a group of design students from EASD Deià (Escola d'Art i Superior de Disseny. The talk was presented at the American Space BCN in the Biblioteca Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra, beside the Fabri i Coats art center in the Sant Andreu neighborhood.

 
 

Aquest matí plujós l’hem passat a l’American Space de la Biblioteca Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra en companyia de l’artista estatunidenc Peter Freund, que ha reflexionat sobre les imatges en l’era digital (creació, manipulació i ètica) amb estudiants de batxillerat artístic del Deià Disseny. Aquesta activitat forma part del nostre programa escolar, Connect-US 🇺🇸.

 

The aim of the talk was to give some idea of how digital tools, which (as we know) tend to serve the lie (Fig. 1) - both the big and the little - can be (re)directed in the service of truth via an artistic practice. Here we had to do a bit of careful distinguishing of fact from truth, and for a model of art-making I landed on détournement. I talked first about the power of recontextualization to leverage the internal inconsistencies within representation. In that framework, I touched on the process of image recoding and glitching. To illustrate the points, I shared an online gallery of work by my U.S. students (Fig. 2).

After the presentation, several of the students from this Barcelona design school - some quite excitedly - came up to chat and shared perspectives on the question of art that were a fairly far cry from traditionally restrictive ideas of design. One student, for example, rejected the exclusively decorative and communicative use of design. Another talked urgently about fashion, its real and potential relations to contemporary art, and the importance of critical research, controversy, and debate.

Fig. 1 A digital tool that comes up daily on my Instagram feed, no better or worse than another….

Fig. 1 A digital tool that comes up daily on my Instagram feed, no better or worse than another….

 

Fig 2. Detail from  student web gallery .

Fig 2. Detail from student web gallery.


Fig. 3 U.S. Consulate tweet.

Fig. 3 U.S. Consulate tweet.