Urs Fischer Treats Reality As If It Were Software

by Art Fag City on October 28, 2009 · 28 comments Newswire

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
We had a great view of New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni talking to the press this morning.

Opening today, curator Massimiliano Gioni spoke to the press about Urs Fischer's new show and work. As I mentioned on Twitter, he described Fischer as an artist who treats reality as if it were software. To be clear, this is a rather overstated (and garbled) way of saying representation is malleable.  We already know that.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    Yeah, but is Fischer writing the source code or is he just Photoshopping reality with the preset plugins? And his software still needs pretty expensive hardware to run; e.g. big bux galleries and museums.
    Love the big wool-ball that Hottie Gioni is hiding behind, is that one of Urs’ pieces?

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    Yeah, but is Fischer writing the source code or is he just Photoshopping reality with the preset plugins? And his software still needs pretty expensive hardware to run; e.g. big bux galleries and museums.
    Love the big wool-ball that Hottie Gioni is hiding behind, is that one of Urs’ pieces?

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    +++

    He pirates it from his friends?

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    +++

    He pirates it from his friends?

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    On second thought, he probably means that reality is the thing that makes the makes the work. This makes more sense, but he’s still incorrect.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    On second thought, he probably means that reality is the thing that makes the makes the work. This makes more sense, but he’s still incorrect.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    Or perhaps through Urs’ manipulations, akin to a programmer’s manipulation of the ‘reality’ of a computing environment through language, exposes the structures and received ideas about our reality, our ‘perceptual scaffolding’.

    Urs is a reality hacker, an ‘Invisible’; the computing reference does seem a bit specious or at least artificially profound.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    Or perhaps through Urs’ manipulations, akin to a programmer’s manipulation of the ‘reality’ of a computing environment through language, exposes the structures and received ideas about our reality, our ‘perceptual scaffolding’.

    Urs is a reality hacker, an ‘Invisible’; the computing reference does seem a bit specious or at least artificially profound.

  • http://couldyoujustholdmeandnotsayanything.com jeffrey heart

    “treats reality as if it were software”

    isn’t software already a part of reality?

  • http://couldyoujustholdmeandnotsayanything.com jeffrey heart

    “treats reality as if it were software”

    isn’t software already a part of reality?

  • http://www.rydavidbradley.com Ry David Bradley

    reality is a biological program, surely, for everybody.

  • http://www.rydavidbradley.com Ry David Bradley

    reality is a biological program, surely, for everybody.

  • http://ghostfuk3r.com ghostfuk3r

    @Sean – “reality hacker” – great term for Urs Fischer – think it was Mondo 2000′s original name for their magazine back in the day, but had different meaning in the computer hacker world. Was more about digital hackers effecting some kind of change in reality with their actions. was more politically motivated.

    controversy aside from all the recent new museum haters – think Gioni’s description is pretty apt and interesting. think there are a number of different unconnected artists that are experimenting with this idea – from Improv Everywhere to Urs Fischer. reality tweakers are popping up everywhere. the hippies had hallucinogens, we have ambitious and elaborate pranks.

  • http://ghostfuk3r.com ghostfuk3r

    @Sean – “reality hacker” – great term for Urs Fischer – think it was Mondo 2000′s original name for their magazine back in the day, but had different meaning in the computer hacker world. Was more about digital hackers effecting some kind of change in reality with their actions. was more politically motivated.

    controversy aside from all the recent new museum haters – think Gioni’s description is pretty apt and interesting. think there are a number of different unconnected artists that are experimenting with this idea – from Improv Everywhere to Urs Fischer. reality tweakers are popping up everywhere. the hippies had hallucinogens, we have ambitious and elaborate pranks.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    @ Ghostfuk3r: Yes, Mondo 2000 adopted a lot of the hippie/yippie language, as did Grant Morrisson in his ‘Invisibles’ story, I think this is the same language that is getting adopted here. Hacking/absurdism/pranksterism can also be a political act in itself, but entering the context of a museum is not exactly fucking with one’s reality. Like entering a church and being surprised at all the God references.
    Who’s hating on the New Museum? I love it, even the misfires are generally fun. They are a little too dependent on the wall texts though.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    @ Ghostfuk3r: Yes, Mondo 2000 adopted a lot of the hippie/yippie language, as did Grant Morrisson in his ‘Invisibles’ story, I think this is the same language that is getting adopted here. Hacking/absurdism/pranksterism can also be a political act in itself, but entering the context of a museum is not exactly fucking with one’s reality. Like entering a church and being surprised at all the God references.
    Who’s hating on the New Museum? I love it, even the misfires are generally fun. They are a little too dependent on the wall texts though.

  • http://ghostfuk3r.com ghostfuk3r

    “Like entering a church and being surprised at all the God references.” – no doubt, and good point. institutionally sanctioned reality hacking – wtf? but you have to admit the gallery crater last year was on point.

    agreed on the new museum – every misfire is a gem – i dig the bravado they have in a climate where bravado feels out of fashion.

  • http://ghostfuk3r.com ghostfuk3r

    “Like entering a church and being surprised at all the God references.” – no doubt, and good point. institutionally sanctioned reality hacking – wtf? but you have to admit the gallery crater last year was on point.

    agreed on the new museum – every misfire is a gem – i dig the bravado they have in a climate where bravado feels out of fashion.

  • atalluto

    this picture is truly hilarious.

  • atalluto

    this picture is truly hilarious.

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com amory blaine

    He’s obviously a product of cut-and-paste thinking and, for this one exhibition (and I usually don’t speak with such language), shit is lame. I’m not one to go after someone for theft or some sort of appropriation, but in the cases on display at the “New”, there’s not much new to see. His take on Anastasi’s 1966 works from the Dwan Gallery were sparkling at Shafrazi, but at the New it is hardly interesting. The mirrored pieces seem to be clear mash-ups of Koons and Artschwager, but I have a hard time maintaining interest for longer than one dance. It’s fun froth for me, but just for a moment. I can’t think about it for long. And the melted, bended lamp-post and piano and crutches are discount items from Kippenberger’s local Salvation Army. At some point, it strikes me as a cart of incredibly laborious and expensive objects at the end of a phone call that is nothing but a dial tone. Perhaps it’s a cynical comment on “nothing new”, but maybe Massimo has it right. We have here an artist without a message. What else does he not have?

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com amory blaine

    He’s obviously a product of cut-and-paste thinking and, for this one exhibition (and I usually don’t speak with such language), shit is lame. I’m not one to go after someone for theft or some sort of appropriation, but in the cases on display at the “New”, there’s not much new to see. His take on Anastasi’s 1966 works from the Dwan Gallery were sparkling at Shafrazi, but at the New it is hardly interesting. The mirrored pieces seem to be clear mash-ups of Koons and Artschwager, but I have a hard time maintaining interest for longer than one dance. It’s fun froth for me, but just for a moment. I can’t think about it for long. And the melted, bended lamp-post and piano and crutches are discount items from Kippenberger’s local Salvation Army. At some point, it strikes me as a cart of incredibly laborious and expensive objects at the end of a phone call that is nothing but a dial tone. Perhaps it’s a cynical comment on “nothing new”, but maybe Massimo has it right. We have here an artist without a message. What else does he not have?

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    Despite what I think of the Urs Fischer show, there are questions raised by recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and by the likes of James Wagner regarding the program at the New that deserve an investigative look. Why are they against transparency? Why is Jeff Koons curating as exhibition of works from the collection of board member Dakis Joannou? How is it that two artists represented by Gavin Brown are given huge exhibitions within a year of each other (nobody else has any good artists?). Does being an “Art Museum” make you immune from questions of financial dealings that someone like AIG or CITIBANK are now required to divulge as part of their “societal responsibility”? Does this information have “aesthetic value”? We’re not “haten’” the New, but it would be enlightening to get a few answers.

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    Despite what I think of the Urs Fischer show, there are questions raised by recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and by the likes of James Wagner regarding the program at the New that deserve an investigative look. Why are they against transparency? Why is Jeff Koons curating as exhibition of works from the collection of board member Dakis Joannou? How is it that two artists represented by Gavin Brown are given huge exhibitions within a year of each other (nobody else has any good artists?). Does being an “Art Museum” make you immune from questions of financial dealings that someone like AIG or CITIBANK are now required to divulge as part of their “societal responsibility”? Does this information have “aesthetic value”? We’re not “haten’” the New, but it would be enlightening to get a few answers.

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com amory blaine

    Wait a second, is he “the next Jeff Koons”, or “another Jeff Koons”? I’m confused.

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com amory blaine

    Wait a second, is he “the next Jeff Koons”, or “another Jeff Koons”? I’m confused.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    @ghostfuk3r: Sorry, I don’t admit the gallery crater was on point. I thought it was abject and inane. What good is institutional critique (grr..where’s my gun..?) if the institution is spending $250K on it? People went gaga over what, at the end of the day, was just a gallery getting paid to replace its floor.

  • http://seancapone.com Sean

    @ghostfuk3r: Sorry, I don’t admit the gallery crater was on point. I thought it was abject and inane. What good is institutional critique (grr..where’s my gun..?) if the institution is spending $250K on it? People went gaga over what, at the end of the day, was just a gallery getting paid to replace its floor.

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