Failing By Faction: How Diverse Are Internet Communities? For those who have about an hour to kill, the Dave Hickey lecture above is worth a gander both for his ideas on the development of art viewing, and his thoughts on the Internet.
To begin, Hickey describes the American art discourse as informed by a conflict between ideas proffered by the 15th century church — that the existence of an image needed to be validated by god — and Paganism, which at its heart is about imbuing objects with power. As such, the prevailing belief in the US that works of art need to be validated finds its roots in religion. I’d suggest this is a simplification of America’s relationship with art though Hickey adds to a little to his thesis as he goes on. “Stupid money” — that which supports sameness and mediocrity because it knows no better — is a thorn in the side of the artist who wishes to challenge the status quo, he tells us.
We are at a point now where the primary benison of this democracy is being challenged. Twitter, Facebook, and social activism. At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.
They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away. “I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress. Anil Dash.