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By David Joselit

Paintings as we all know it's dramatically altering, yet well known and demanding responses lag in the back of. during this trenchant illustrated essay, David Joselit describes how artwork and structure are being reworked within the age of Google. less than the twin pressures of electronic know-how, which permits pictures to be reformatted and disseminated without difficulty, and the exponential acceleration of cultural alternate enabled through globalization, artists and designers are emphasizing networks as by no means earlier than. probably the most fascinating modern paintings in either fields is now in response to visualizing styles of dissemination after items and buildings are produced, and once they input into, or even determine, varied networks. Behaving like human se's, artists and designers type, catch, and reformat latest content material. artworks crystallize out of populations of pictures, and structures emerge out of the dynamics of the flow styles they'll house.

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Moreover, folding, like the computer technologies with which it is typically allied, is scalable: not only can it generate a building’s plan through the modulation of structural members, but it is a technique for folding the site into the building and the building into the site.  .  . Blob form is determined not only by the environment but also by movement. . 29 The blob is more than a biomorphic shape: it is a surface alternately undergoing intensification and relaxation, stickiness and smoothness, singularity and multiplicity.

But by tethering things to meanings, such analysis participates in the very p o p u l at i o n s 45 processes of reification that the progressive wing of art history has devoted itself to critiquing. Assigning a meaning is merely another way of setting an artwork’s price in the currency of knowledge, transforming it into a certain kind of commodity for collectors to buy and for museums to “sell” to their audiences. In his influential concept of the architectural promenade, Le Corbusier offered a different model for encountering art that suggests a centrifugal versus a centripetal practice of interpretation.

Flying in the face of many conventional assumptions about price and value, its very appeal lies in the fact that it seems to resist ordinary economic rationality. In part, this is because the quality of difference it vends may be reproduced and traded without appearing to lose its original value. Why? Because its “raw material” is not depleted by mass circulation. To the contrary, mass circulation reaffirms ethnicity—­in general and in all its particularity—­ and, with it, the status of the embodied ethnic subject as a source of means of identity.

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