I am a person whose current book often influences their writing style where, whether consciously or unconsciously, i mimic the specific expression of certain ideas that can be found in the author’s particular writing style, whether it be short Vonnegutian quips, or as is the case (and has been despite being nearly a year since completing his most famous novel, Satantango) of Laszlo Krasznahorkai, long rhapsodious sentences that carry and sway on and on, bordering on garden path in their methodology but ultimately creating a long string of cohesive thought which in retrospect seems incomprehensible to believe is one single sentence, but the use of apostrophes and conjunctions in a virtuosic manner is revealed to be an incredibly powerful tool and thus it’s longstanging impact on how I write.
“In post-Fordism, there exists a permanent disproportion between ‘labor time’ and the more ample ‘production time.’” — Paolo Virno1 Lights Out, Wyatt Niehaus’s first solo show, was held last Saturday evening at Retrospective Gallery, the relatively new venture between Joel Mesler and Zach Feuer (opening in January of this year). The space was filled with temporary transplants from New York City and the surrounding area, feeling like an emptied out Soho loft, a facade broken
This is an interesting (not necessarily in a positive way) take on a show that asks some interesting questions without taking any particular stance. In context of the particular questions of labor and production, a milquetoast artist-slash-lax-marxist cum tech wonderer approach is some what lazy. Though I will grant that perhaps the artist is just genuinely not prepared to make judgements on the transition of physical labor from man to machine. He seems to be more concerned with simulating the work of supervisors from a safe and neutered distance of a gallery. However what Niehaus is observing is nontheless interesting; the state of production labor in a technophilic world that shifts the amount and importance of human labor in places where the hand was the core. Now the core has essentially become the digits of unknown code writers and pen holders jotting down any flaws of the machine. Obviously there is a very strong scent of the removal of low level labor in this situation, one which would make for some very enthralling art, but Niehaus does not seem to want to commit to this particular read of the work at the risk of perhaps sounding too outre, heaven forbid the highest class craftperson take solace with a lower class.
And likewise, the author of this review, La Marre, seems more concerned with the topics one would see in Wired magazine, or Popular Science from decades ago; The Language of Machines. about which he cites a few buzz pieces that amount to little more than applying Borroughs and randomized literature to the context of machines (which is the least revolutionary/new idea to be gleaned from this work). Granted, again, this is an interesting concept, but in terms of writing it serves as a tangental way for La Marre to tack on an editorial that wouldn’t fit in any publication tailored to this subject, but because the art is sort of about it, he can tack it on the end of his review. a very common pattern, all things considered.
and because of this, La Marre seems symptomatic of the machine worship culture of today, in that when presented with a work involving the relation of people and technology and what the rise of it means for people, he will be more concerned with what the machines can do rather than what they can do for people. perhaps i’m being somewhat outre for asserting that, while this is interesting work, it is squandering potential dialog about the relationship between man, the machines that have replaced them, and those who control the machines.