• Stonefeather

Privileged Art

March 15 - Luke Fowler, Florian Hecker and Susan Philipz.


I was feeling optimistic as I entered Adam Art Gallery last Friday - oh what a disappointment. I gave every ounce of effort to enjoy it but could not find a single iota of connection with any of the pieces. It all felt very contrived and led more by the narrative of Stephen's desperate and ambiguous text than anything. It conjured in me feelings of frustration, that 'art' (including music) has succumbed to the subscription culture of 'who's who' in the global fraternity. As I walked around Florian's 'Formulation' piece I was initially intrigued by the use of space and blue panels, but that novelty diminished pretty quickly. Yes i get the re-imaginings of previous works and 'gradations of scale introducing variances of sonic matter and timbre'...FFS. Am I totally missing something??? ... I really really hope that I never sign-up to this club of using a poetic vernacular or narrative to celebrate my own privileged output (crap). I prefer the work to speak for itself. Disclaimer: My sincere apologies if I offend anyone, that is not my intention. My intention is to be honest and any repercussions are yours.


Composing music using algorithms...privileged, academic and personally -boring. Isn't music and art supposed to have some emotive or cultural purpose other than a technical experiment for the sake of advancement of ego? A couple years back I met a senior Music academic from USA who exploited data from Nasa (algorithms) and ran this data through a music software program to compose an orchestral piece of music - meh. I watched a TEDX talk he presented with the same piece - the reaction from the audience was embarrassing. There was a pitiful spattering of a dis-jointed applause. Yes maybe it wasn't intended for audience engagement, maybe it was a personal curiosity/discovery...but then don't have expectation of audience enjoyment or investment. Lacking in emotion and only connecting with the cerebral 'elite'. A novelty of momentary 'wow-ness' and then on to the next high-brow 'wow' idea...

I am going to sit this 'Passages' installation right beside the Christchurch shootings right now inside your readers mind and ask this ... "How does this Passages installation contribute meaningfully to the greater development of humanity?" Yes if we analyse really, really, really, really closely at the authors/composers aspirations to focus the audience on micro-gradations and spatial responses...who the fuck cares? ...the privileged. We (curators and subscribers) seem to be promoting the trivial and mediocre to the ridiculous status of something that expects people's time and participation.


He toi whakairo, he mana tangata - Where there is artistic excellence, there is human dignity...where is the excellence here? In the speaker arrangement or use of a 24 channel mixer? Is this supposed to inspire me in some way? It might have in 1972...but anyone can do this shit now with a laptop and a few speakers...This is a series of academic experiments by privileged celebrities, celebrated by privileged curators. Again I make no apologies here. I would love for somebody to 'enlighten' me. But I will only invest my limited time into something culturally and substantially meaningful (which is a challenge in itself!). These pieces seem more about celebrating the individuals who are grasping at the outer regions of the art-world's granular rings. Surely there is still some hearty content that we can use for fodder instead of collage's of someone's hand-held footage that I have NOOOOoooo connection with. Even with Chris Ulutupu's gallery showing...I didn't get that either sorry. Again to me the written text gave more context than the work itself?

On a positive departure however, I felt more connected and inspired by all of your works that I observed in the morning. E kore e wareware i a koutou ngā aitua nō Ōtautahi. Moe mai rā koutou.

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