harsh – Reading03

Reading Naimark makes me deeply uncomfortable. It's not because of the complexities that arise in the definitions of "First Word" and "Last Word" art, I'm okay with that, it's the deep level of ambiguity between these two terms that hits the uncanny spot. I get it, Naimark is trying to argue that the very nature of the relationship between art and technology means that it's almost impossible to say what's "First Word" and what's "Last Word", and this questions my assumptions about technology as an artistic medium to a very fundamental level. I've always assumed that Real art is First Word, art that is not afraid to experiment, art that tries to expand the field and its definition, art that uses new media as exploration, or uses old media in a new way.

But, Naimark sheds doubt upon this whole worldview - isn't art done with high skill, in an established setting also art? And isn't art playing with technology just that? A form of play?  I guess a conclusion for me is not about the medium, but about the effect of the art. Does the art make a comment on society and the way we operate? Is it aesthetic? Does it move people? If so, yes, it's  both First Word and Last Word, but then I ask, why all this playing around with technology?