Friends of Art History Visual Culture Lecture Series 2018-2019: Didactic Art in the Information Age
Living with an abundance of searchable information literally at our fingertips seems to produce two contradictory epistemologies: everything is obvious and knowable now and everything is too diffuse and complicated for individual comprehension. Digital technologies produce a confusion of scale. Data are compressed, made small, for dissemination through networks, but this litheness produces a simultaneous “too muchness,” information overload.
In light of this, this talk considers the function of didactic aesthetics in contemporary video art. Analyzing two examples—Herman Asselbergh’s Speech Act (2011) and Hito Steyerl’s How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File (2013)—Anable suggests how didacticism is related to questions about the role of information, art, and critique in the present.