The Artist as Avatar

Comparable to a painter who transfers his worlds in the form of images to the screen, Thomas Feuerstein projects images of the world into the artist. The world is thus not represented as a visual object by the artist, rather the artist him or herself becomes the object of his or her art. The artist thus creates a double of himself, an artificial artist, who allows him or her to work on the ambiguous phenomena of our time. This working technique points to a technicalisation of the world which, in the outgoing 20th century, shows us the world as having been transformed into a surface where all objects - be they tables, cars, entire cities or living creatures - appear as readable and encodable texts. Science, technology and industry program our everyday life contexts, decode nature and invent new alphabets in the form of new products. In this way, according to Feuerstein, the whole world has become world literature. The notion of the subject in terms of the notion of the artist here proves itself to have plunged into crisis. The artist has coagulated into a multiple personality where various fields of discourse intermingle, and from which heretical voices speak. Thus far, the artist understands him or herself as a polyvalent text which explores model functions and viabilities of the artistic subject in the context of social discourses. As in the work Tausch des Öffentlichen, the artificial artist can be a virtual electronic agent or avatar with the help of a neural network programme. He or she can operate at the interface of private memory and media-world events by placing news reports of a press agency into a different context online, interpreting them and processing them into a novel, as a kind of chronometer of society. In the EUGEN - Hire all my information project, the genetic value of information of the artist him or herself, too, can become the subject of the artistic work. Instead of feeding traditional information in the form of images or other artefacts into traditional data banks, such as libraries or museums, the artist writes his/her own pieces of information, genetic texts or DNA into a gene or sperm bank (California Cryobank). In the project Biophily, the hybridisation of such imaginary drafts, symbolic thinking, and real facts and events so symptomatic of post-modernity, which is now hitting against its (millenium) limits, forms another starting point that recurs in terms of an intermixing of cultural, mythical and technological fields. The "exhibition text" for Graz (2000-3. ArtSpace plus Interface) has been compiled from individual modules and refers to the state of the media-subjected individual that has been flooded by discourse and information. It attempts to form a knot by interweaving single threads with each other - with the knot representing the situation of the artist as symptomatic of an increasingly contingently experienced world.

english | deutsch

english | deutsch