Download Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s by Pamela M. Lee PDF

By Pamela M. Lee

Within the Sixties paintings fell out of time; either artists and critics misplaced their temporal bearings based on what E. M. Cioran referred to as “not being entitled to time.” This nervousness and uneasiness approximately time, which Pamela Lee calls “chronophobia,” lower throughout events, media, and genres, and was once figured in works starting from kinetic sculptures to Andy Warhol motion pictures. regardless of its pervasiveness, the topic of time and Sixties artwork has long past principally unexamined in historic bills of the interval. Chronophobia is the 1st severe try and outline this obsession and learn it relating to paintings and technology.

Lee discusses the chronophobia of artwork relative to the emergence of the data Age in postwar tradition. The accompanying swift technological changes, together with the appearance of pcs and automation methods, produced for plenty of an acute experience of historic unknowing; the probably speeded up speed of existence started to outstrip any makes an attempt to make feel of the current. Lee sees the perspective of Sixties paintings to time as a old prelude to our present fixation on time and velocity inside electronic tradition. Reflecting upon the Nineteen Sixties cultural anxiousness approximately temporality, she argues, is helping us historicize our present relation to expertise and time.

After an introductory framing of phrases, Lee discusses such themes as “presentness” with appreciate to the curiosity in platforms concept in Nineteen Sixties artwork; kinetic sculpture and new varieties of international media; the temporality of the physique and the spatialization of the visible picture within the work of Bridget Riley and the functionality artwork of Carolee Schneemann; Robert Smithson’s curiosity in seriality and futurity, thought of in gentle of his analyzing of George Kubler’s vital paintings the form of Time: comments at the background of items and Norbert Wiener’s dialogue of cybernetics; and the never-ending belaboring of the current in sixties paintings, as noticeable in Warhol’s Empire and the paintings of On Kawara.

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And memory has an especially important role to play in this scenario. For memory—and perhaps more critically, its larger relationship to time— might well counter the ideological force embedded in notions of progress, technological reason, the fallout of which is the culture of technocracy. Marcuse cited Adorno on the issue: The spectre of man without memory . . is more than an aspect of decline—it is necessarily linked with the principle of progress in bourgeois society. Economists and sociologists such as Werner Sombart and Max Weber correlated the principle of tradition to feudal, and that of rationality to bourgeois, forms of society.

31 To envision Marcuse taking up residency there—ambling the gentler trails of Torrey Pines or taking in the refreshments of the Pacific—might seem a gross paradox in light of his politics. And yet his presence, as well as that paradox, would prove critical. For in 1955, Marcuse published Eros and Civilization, a book of signal importance for the Counterculture. In it he attempted to read the history of civilization through the history of repression in what was then a particularly innovative marriage of Freud and Marx.

57 Roszak could easily be taken to task for generalizing the degree to which American youth in the 1960s lacked knowledge about the “tradition of radical politics,” but his assimilation of Marcuse’s account struck a deep chord nonetheless. With an argument that pays direct tribute to the critical theorist (he would devote a chapter to both Marcuse and Norman O. Brown), he presented his challenge to the Counterculture. The challenge is how it might mount an affective front against the technocracy and its larger appeals to scientific authority, for “the technocracy easily eludes all traditional political categories.

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