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SMS Alum Dan Creahan in Conference Panel

SMS alum Dan Creahan is participating in a panel at Northwestern University this Thursday and Friday, May 18-19. See abstract below.

Caleb Larsen: A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009)

Daniel Creahan

Ordinary Media: Always-On Formats, Genres, Aesthetics

Northwestern University

Caleb Larsen’s piece A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009) draws on the possibilities of “always on” computing to create a work in “eternal transactional flux,” as he describes it, a piece that uses both readily-accessible technologies and the discursive history of the 20th Century Avant-Garde to level its critique. The history of the artist’s contract allows Larsen to stipulate the conditions of the work’s consumption, and its existence as an art object, providing certain guarantees frameworks for how the work proliferations. Used in conjunction with a widely-used, and always accessible commercial platform, Larsen turns the act of exchange into the function of the work, ultimately subverting any accumulation of value for the current owner.

My proposal explores the historical context of Larsen’s work, drawing in particular on the practice of both Marcel Duchamp and Robert Morris, among others, to frame Larsen’s work within the context of fine art, and how this discursive understanding, in tandem with the technology used, allows an exploration of the limits of his field, while simultaneously using these same limits to challenge the field’s economic structures.

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