Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Big Show 2011, Epilogue: What Wasn't in It?

by Robert Boyd

We know at least some of what didn't make the final cut in The Big Show. We could see it at the Salon des Refusés. But that's not what I'm going to talk about. The work in the Salon des Refusés was a lot like the work in The Big Show, just not as good (on average). But I wonder where the computer/internet based art was? Where was the electronic work? The data visualizations? The lack of work of this sort makes Houston's art scene look rather old-fashioned. Of the 120-odd pieces in the show, only two of them were videos, and only one of the pieces was a computer generated image (that I could determine).

Ray Ogar, Errors Uploading Me: How Tumblr Broke Maps of My GPS, 2010 (from #notmethough)

 I am not trying to advocate for art that uses contemporary technological tools per se. I don't necessarily think it is better or even more relevant than painting or drawing. But the thing is, Houston seems to have a lot of this stuff happening--lots of artists are dabbling in it. There was a recent show of social network art at Box 13 called #notmethough that was interesting, and I was blown away by Exurb's installation Input/Output at the Joanna. So there are plenty of artists in Houston who are doing interesting work with computers, with software, with the internet, etc. It feels like a real movement developing.

So why weren't there any works like this at the Big Show? Was it just that few or none were entered?   If so, then video artists and computer artists--you have to step up next year. You won't have control over the tastes of the judge, but the more new media work that is entered, the harder it will be for even the most reactionary judge to ignore it.


No comments:

Post a Comment