Blurting In A & L
Art & Language and the Investigation of Context
Blurting in A & L: Art & Language and the Investigation of Context
by Thomas Dreher
I Art & Language
I.1 The History of an Artists´ Group
I.2 »Functional Change«
II A »Concept of Alternatives«
II.1 »The Paradigm Shift«
II.2 »Comparative Models«
II.3 Index Systems
III Blurting in A & L
III.1 Origin and Form
III.2 »A Learning Context«: »Proceedings«
III.3 Ontological Relativity
III.4 New Rhetoric
III.5 Internal Refraction for an Expansion of Outer World Relations
III.6 »The Problematics of Ideology«
IV Social Criticism
IV.1 The Fox
I Art & Language
I.1 The History of an Artists' Group
In 1965, Terry Atkinson (1939-) and Michael Baldwin (1945-) meet for the first time at Coventry College of Art (today the faculty of Fine Art, Coventry University). Their co-operation begins at the end of 1966. The work consists initially in the production of texts and drawings in the form of diagrams and maps. At that time Baldwin had been working with mirrors and texts which were to form a substantial part of the basis of the co-operative work produced by him and Atkinson. The texts of Atkinson and Baldwin address questions regarding methododological questions that are mainly founded upon analytic philosophy. In November 1967, Baldwin's text »Remarks on Air-Conditioning« is published in Arts Magazine at the instigation of Robert Smithson.1
In 1967, David Bainbridge and Harold Hurrell exhibit cybernetic »models« in their »Hardware Show« at the London »Architectural Association«. The exhibition leads to the collaboration of Atkinson, Baldwin, Bainbridge, and Hurrell.2 In May 1968, the four artists found Art & Language Press (Coventry), which publishes texts - signed and in limited editions.
In 1963/64, Ian Burn (1939-1993) and Mel Ramsden (b. England, 1944) meet for the first time in Melbourne, Australia. At the end of 1964, Ramsden moves to London, Burn later in 1965. In 1966, Burn and Ramsden work together for the first time in »Soft-Tape«.3 In 1967, both move to New York, Burn in July and Ramsden in October.
Together with Roger Cutforth (1944-), Burn and Ramsden found the »Society for Theoretical Art and Analysis«. From 1969 to 1970, its »Proceedings«4 discuss questions of how the status of art can be defined without recourse to form and object properties.
In May 1969, the first issue of »Art-Language« magazine is published with texts by Atkinson, Bainbridge, and Baldwin, as well as Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, and Lawrence Weiner. In April 1969, Galerist Seth Siegelaub shows a copy of this edition to Ian Burn in New York. Beginning with the second issue (February 1970), »Art-Language« also publishes texts of the New York artists and authors Burn and Ramsden.
In June 1969, the New York Dwan Gallery also shows »22 Sentences: The French Army« (1967), two artist books by Atkinson and Baldwin, at the group exhibition »Language III«, as well as »Six Negatives« (1968/69) by Burn and Ramsden. This first public 'collaboration' between the English and American members of Art & Language is more or less accidental and unplanned.5 In April 1970, several texts by the English and American members of Art & Language are published in the catalogue of the »Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects« exhibition organized by the New York Cultural Center.6 This first common museum appearance of both the English and American contributors to Art & Language was organized by Ian Burn and Joseph Kosuth, who took curatorial roles in the organization of the exhibition.7
I.2 »Functional Change«
Ian Burn's article »Conceptual Art as Art« was published in 1970 in »Art and Australia« and gave an early overview of Conceptual Art:
Once art is abstracted from its form of presentation and becomes strictly the artist's idea of art, it can, like science and philosophy, become serious and completely concerned with its own problems...one could separate the analytic or strict Conceptual Art from the work which is of a Conceptual appearance by stating that the intention of the former is to devise a functional change in art, whereas the latter is concerned with changes within the appearance of the art.8
However, this »functional change in art« was more closely related to questions regarding the form of presentation than Burn wanted to admit in 1970 - and than he had already admitted in »Soft-Tape« in 1966 (see Section I.1): A cassette recorder presents a text read by a voice that is just loud enough to be perceivable by visitors at a normal distance. The voice is, however, so quiet that the text can only be understood from a short distance to the sound source. Among other things, the following can be heard:
We suggest that an observer's relation to an art-work cannot be a formal one; if observation is to be assigned a more active role it must be a functional one.9
Observation and conceptualization are not two separable aspects of one process: As Burn wrote in 1968 in »Altered Photographs«, through conceptualization, perception can be differentiated into several levels of observation with different stages of abstraction - or, perception never occurred in any way except through the formation of patterns of perception (see Section III.3) and of a »grid« comprising different »levels or stratifications«: »...it's the grid which structures our perceiving.«10
In his »Introduction« to the first issue of »Art-Language« in 1969, Terry Atkinson presented the model case of a text that is presented in the same way that a drawing on paper would be in a glass frame.11 With the text work »Print (2 sections A & B)« (1966)12, the text presented in such a manner posed its own questions regarding its status at its place of presentation: Does its two-dimensional form of presentation - the white sheet of paper - make it a work of art or does the work as text draw consequences from Marcel Duchamp's Ready-Mades? Not only are the medium differentiae of painting, sculpture, drawing problematic for the determination of the status of art, but so are other general morphological criteria.13
Questions concerning the determination of art based on uniqueness, and above all on skill or craftsmanship and visual appeal, have been replaced in object art by questions concerning the condition under which objects are chosen: These objects need not be unique, the conditions under which they are chosen need not be art-specific. In object art, semantic criteria of selection (for example, the selection of unique objects or of reproduced objects because they are relics or consumer goods), as well as the method and place of presentation, play at least as great a role as visual appearance does. Since questions concerning the definition of art and the selection of exhibitable objects according to morphological criteria became problematic, artistic work can no longer be limited to an object area that is only comprehensible in phenomenal terms. If an artist no longer takes the established »framework«14 - one that ties the function of art to the presentation of objects at exhibitions - for granted, then he can see his work as consisting in the search for an alternative »framework« for art to function in or as art. This search can begin with an analysis of the basic social and economic conditions of the »institution of art«15 , including art criticism, the art trade, and the organization of museums.
The texts of Art & Language, which examine their own preconditions within the context of art, can be reintroduced into the area of art by their authors in such a way that they become recognizable as the results of artistic work: As a work-cum-text, it is placed within the »framework« of the work of art at an exhibition, so the greater »framework« consisting of the basic institutional conditions of art (including exhibitions) is put into question. In 1970, Burn and Ramsden present these connections as follows:Our strategy is to maintain that this work, i.e., the arguments maintained in this paper, not be simplistically a member of the aggregate art-work, but rather that it be an inquiry into the mode of these arguments vis a vis their status as art-work. Such a strategy may hold forward some expanded notion of the function of art-work.16
...the operating of art is a network for which galleries, social convention, art criticism and art theory etc. ought all to be taken into account; all of which may be open to possible clarification, and all of which operates as part of the 'hard core' sustainers, which are the prime concern of art.17
II. A »Concept of Alternatives«
II.1 »The Paradigm Shift«
In 1970, Terry Atkinson devalued preconceptual and conceptual works in his article »From an Art & Language Point of View«.18 Atkinson assumed classical philosophical points of view regarding material objects (George Berkeley, John Locke, and René Descartes) in his differentiation between material macroscopic objects and microscopic objects that need to be reconstructed theoretically. The ontology of macroscopic objects he presented was intended to provide analogies for the reconstruction of properties of objects that can only be viewed through a microscope.19 Atkinson claimed that this approach constituted a »meta-position« held by Art & Language in questions concerning objects.20
In criticising »From an Art & Language Point of View« in »Atkinson and Meaninglessness«, Michael Baldwin makes the point that Atkinson should give up his directing role, since it has no legitimacy. As a foundation for his claims, Baldwin presents the basic problems that systems claiming to be free from contradiction have:It is fairly clear that Atkinson moves with formal orthodoxy. This is associated with a formalist programme. But formalism doesn't work either[.] Godel's theorem, has shown that for 'wider' systems, completeness implies contradiction.21
For theoretical reasons, the program of a framework of thought that is meant to be free of contradictions is given up:[t]he problem shifts from one of 'refutation' or 'prohibition' to a problem of admitting or resolving inconsistencies between associated 'theories'.22
Atkinson's demand for an Art & Language »meta-position« can thereby be designated a question of art theory.
From the stage that the discussion reaches in 1970, the English and American members of Art & Language draw the following consequences in 1971/72: Thomas Samuel Kuhn's differentiation between »normal science« and »philosophy of science«23 is translated to the differentiation between »normal criticism«24 of »normal art«25, on the one hand, and an art theory, on the other hand, that adheres to epistemological possibilities. The epistemologically-oriented discourse replaces paradigms of »normal criticism« with alternatives that cannot be eliminated in comparison through better arguments. A history of the continuation of a shift in art paradigms - e.g., from painting to object art, from abstract expressionism to Pop Art and, finally, to Conceptual Art26 - is replaced by the members of Art & Language by a criticism of a »normal art« that is supported by »normal criticism«. The criticism of »normal criticism« leads to the expounding of the problems of the basic conditions that supported an art history of the change of paradigms in post-war art. The expounding of the problems of these basic conditions in the discourse of Art & Language presupposes raising the level of criticism to that of the »philosophy of science«. Raising the level of reflection to »theory-trying« is intended to prevent the discussion of alternatives from resulting in new paradigm shifts: The stylization to the only authoritative system, i.e., to a paradigm, is counteracted by the tension between alternatives, since this keeps the discourse on methodological questions open.27
Thomas Samuel Kuhn, Karl Raimund Popper, and Imre Lakatos differ in their representations of the processes of the replacement of a theory with a new theory: According to Popper, falsification is a prerequisite for replacement28, while, according to Lakatos, an only partially proven »surplus of content« is already sufficient.29 Kuhn, for his part, presents the process of replacing a theory that shows signs of anomalies by a new one as an irrational process which is dependent upon the decisions made by scientists to switch to the new, seemingly advantageous theory, all at a stage at which the new theory is not yet fully proven.30 The versions of Popper and Lakatos are repeatedly referred to by members of Art & Language, while Kuhn's concept of paradigm change is mostly employed for the reconstruction of a state of the artworld that must be brought to an end.31 Lakatos and Paul Karl Feyerabend provide justification for the »concept of alternatives« by demanding that counter-concepts be employed lavishly in a »pluralistic methodology«:We must...proceed dialectically, i.e. by an interaction of concept and fact (observation, experiment, basic statement, etc.) that affects both elements...Do not work with stable concepts.32
Burn and Ramsden present »the interplay of alternatives« as the decisive criterion for bringing about a change in the present-day artworld in »Comparative Models, Version 2« (1972) (see Section II.2)33. They concur with Atkinson and Baldwin in demanding that the artworld's »materialist-character/physical-object paradigm«34 should be replaced.
II.2 »Comparative Models«
In »Comparative Models«, Ian Burn and Mel Ramsden criticize two issues of Artforum magazine: the December 1971 issue in »Version 1« and the September 1972 issue in »Version 2«.35 In »Version 1«, Burn and Ramsden present their pages of commentary between the pages of Artforum, which are hung in three rows. Both the commentary and the commented text passages are covered with orange transparent film. In »Version 2«, the Artforum pages are hung in one row that can, according to the installation plan, cover three walls of an exhibition room. Although this is the ideal case, the pages can alternately also be hung on the walls of several rooms.36 According to the installation plan, the 11 pages of commentary text appear above or below their respective pages. The comments are described as »annotations« in the installation plan.
In »Version 1« Artforum is derogated as a medium for `modernist´ critics - for Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, and Rosalind Krauss, in particular. The journal is taken to represent a monoparadigmatic art theory. By stipulating that artistic work should always produce material objects, this theory assigns critics and artists to their respective places.37 The art theory of »modernism« defends its right to assign these places by identifying itself as a expert culture. This expert culture supports a normative formalist aesthetic that excludes, among others, Pop Art and Minimal Art.38
Burn and Ramsden criticise that high modernism was established in the art world by Artforum as something which functions to exclude different conceptions of artistic work. In »Comparative Models«, Artforum and the »concept of alternatives« (see Section II.1) are presented as opposing models in the artworld.
In producing a 'criticism of art criticism' by means of annotations by artists, »Comparative Models« contradicts the distribution of roles between critics and artists that modernistic art theory attempts to establish. Burn and Ramsden exchanged the roles of the criticized object and the one who criticizes by including the »established model« as an object meant to be criticized in the »model of a possible artworld«. When this exchange of roles is exhibited in the context of art, the possible change of the established institutional context is anticipated in this same context: The practice of the deconstruction of normative values, as well as of social processes connected with these, begins with the embedding of the argumentation in the context that needs to be changed.
»Version 2« comments on Artforum's tenth anniversary issue. This issue published, among other articles, Rosalind Krauss' »A View of Modernism«, a further development of views of »modernism« on 'film viewing'39 (which Greenberg and Fried excluded); Max Kozloff's criticism of Conceptual Art (»The Trouble with Art-as-Idea«); Lawrence Alloway's »Network: the Art World described as a System«; and Francis V. O'Connor's »Notes on Patronage: the 1960s«. Ian Burn and Mel Ramsden provided annotations for these texts. Michael Corris (b. 1948) and Terry Smith (b. 1944) were also involved.
Krauss' und Kozloff's contributions are annotated with arguments on the »'theory-ladenness' of experience«40. The annotators support the theory-ladenness of experience with their own stimulus-oriented reference theory, which is based on Bertrand Russell and Willard van Orman Quine (see Section III.3), as well as with Thomas Samuel Kuhn's discussion of the relation between perception processes and paradigms.41 The annotators also set the theory-ladenness of perception against the idea of an experience that has supposedly not been subjected to theory. Modernist critics, such as Greenberg, had supported this view. Krauss, in her further development of the argument, had in fact shown how experience depends on conceptions of perception processes, but Max Kozloff held to the same idea of an experience without preconceptions when he reproached Conceptual Art for taking on an indifferent position towards experience by making random theoretical statements42:There is exemplified through Artforum an overt appeal to 'experience', an appeal which assumes that experience is a 'fact of nature' rather than a relatively localized means of knowing. Experience is not a thing-in-itself but depends on being 'known by us'. In short, it is dependent on some means (paradigms, theories) of interpretation.43
The contributors to Artforum are characterized as standing for »one set of monolithic categorical paradigms«44, which prevent a dialogue between alternatives:An Art & Language 'programme' may be developed non-paradigmatically - issuing from open pluralistic and alternate generating procedures.45
Alternative uncircumventable methods of seeing cannot, according to Quine, exist next to one another in the same way that different art theories can. The methods of seeing are learned within a social context and only to a limited extent open to discourse. One can, however, via models of perception processes, discuss the way in which methods of seeing and that which is seen are connected (see Section III.3). According to Kuhn, paradigms and methods of seeing are closely connected to one another and change when paradigms change: These are methods of seeing within the context of research - they must be differentiated from pre-scientific and uncircumventable methods of seeing that are learned early on within a social environment. The difference between the two is that, with the former, new theories result in new methods of seeing: Both are, in their own way, 'theory-laden'.46
II.3 Index Systems
The eight file cabinets of »Index 01« (1972) present something like a compendium of the work of Art & Language. They were shown at documenta 5 in Kassel for the first time.47 The metal cabinets with six drawers each contain index cards with texts written by members of Art & Language that were published in »Art-Language«, »Analytical Art«, art magazines, and catalogs. Manuscripts are also included.
For »Index 01«, all the texts were divided into text sections and each section was assigned index numbers. On the narrow side of the drawers, which also form the outer front side of the file cabinets, the index numbers are printed. These numbers are also printed on the texts of the index cards in the drawers. Group-internal and external readers have marked the relations between indices with the three evaluations »+«,»-«, and »T«. These stand for »compatible«, »incompatible«, and »not comparable« or »transformational«. These evaluations are found on photostats on the walls. Next to each index (in the first column) one finds the evaluations (in the third column) of different readers, who are assigned numbers (in the second column). A »key« provides information on the evaluation system. It is located in the uppermost drawer of each file cabinet.
The linkage between two indices or constituents that are both evaluated with »+« also receives the evaluation of »+«. If the two indices that are to be linked are evaluated with »+« and »-«, then the linkage receives the evaluation »-«. The connection of indices that received an evaluation of »T« with indices that were not evaluated with »T« (i.e., with »+« or »-«) receives the evaluation that is not »T«. This last point was, however, the subject of controversy among members of Art & Language.48
Visitors can relate the text fragments or passages in the drawers and their evaluations on the walls to one another. »Index 01« creates relations between the texts of the group and provokes readers to evaluate these relations in the way suggested in the »key«, in the same way that the model readers did for the notations in the photostats or to produce alternatives to these. In principle, all readers were invited to find ways to discover pathways through the material in the filing cabinets with reference to the limits set by the wall display. Relationships can be established between different model reader evaluations and between one's own evaluations and model reader evaluations.
In »Index 02«, which was shown a short time later in »The New [British] Art« group exhibition at the London Hayward Gallery for the first time,49 the presentation system of »Index 01« was systematized. The wall display system is based on six matrix sheets that list the evaluations of six readers. The indices of all compatible sections are listed under »(+)«, the indices of all incompatible sections are listed under »(-)«, and the indices of all sections that cannot be compared are listed under »(T)«. The six matrix sheets are reproduced often enough for there to be sheets so that each index that is contained in one of the »(+)« index card groups can appear as a heading over the matrix sheets. In the »(+)« group, the index that appears in the heading is erased with white-out.
The evaluations of »Index 02« adhere to formal-logic criteria of symmetry and transitivity:Symmetry: If n is compatible with n + 1, then n + 1 is also compatible with n.
Transitivity (example): If n and n + 1 are compatible and n + 1 and n + 2 are incompatible, then n + 2 is also incompatible with n.50
Relations between evaluations of relations on the six matrix sheets become interesting in »Index 02«: Comparisons between evaluations made by different readers allow for conclusions to be drawn concerning evaluations that are not compatible with one another. In this way, each following reader can check if his evaluations are compatible with the model reader evaluations or not.51
III Blurting in A & L
III.1 Origin and Form
Mel Ramsden had worked with Michael Baldwin and Joseph Kosuth on the installation of »Index 01« in Kassel (see Section II.3). The project »Blurting in A & L« was seen by all the contributors to Art & Language, whether based in New York or in England as a drawing of certain implications from the first two »Index« projects (see Section II.3). It was significant that for Art & Language, »Index 01« and »Index 02« were seen as conversational engines, referring both to themselves and the world. They were conceived, in other words, as models for reflexive and non-reflexive conversation expansion. »Index 01« and »Index 02« was seen by those who collaborated in its production as a model for "a place to work" – a site of some sort of »production-as-reflection«. The Indexes have been described as "home for homeless art".52 One of the implications of the Documenta Index (01) and the Hayward Index (02) was that Art & Language examine the discursive exchanges in which they were involved. For the New York based contributors to Art & Language, the conversational base was going to have to expand.
Michael Corris and Terry Smith, an art historian originally from Australia, had already participated in the production of the manuscript for »Version 2« of »Comparative Models« (see Section II.2). In an article in Artforum in February 1973, Preston Heller and Andrew Menard, who in 1972 had both been students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn53, defended the basic arguments of Art & Language against Max Kozloff's »The Trouble with Art-as-Idea« (see Section II.2). In 1973 in »Blurting in A & L«, Corris, Heller, Menard, and Smith appeared as co-authors with Burn and Ramsden.54 Joseph Kosuth provided three quotes as annotations within a period of five months.55
»Blurting in A & L« was undertaken as a collaboration between contributors based in the USA and those based in England in taking up and expanding the logic of the Indexes. There were two initiatives which attached themselves to the notion of »Blurting«, one in New York that is the subject of the present discussion, the other Blurting x (index al) as »Going-on« in Great Britain. Both were open to commentary and revision from either of the places in which the Art & Language project was located.
The members of A & LNY continued and developed the index systems (see Section II.3) with a practice rather than a »diagram« using »annotations«. The »annotations« were drawn up between January and July 1973 as comments that were part of a »set of short statements or remarks« (p. 1). Corris and Ramsden assigned »subject-headings« to the 408 »annotations« or »blurts«56. These »'user oriented landmarks'» (p. 2) were sorted and numbered in alphabetical order. Thanks to the numbers, »blurts« with identical »landmarks« can be distinguished from one another.
Under each »blurt« references appear to other »blurts« in two groups: The group marked with an arrow refers to »blurts«, the reference of which is labeled an »implication« (see below) and which forms »a strong context« (see pp. 2 and 10) because their connections appear to be conclusive to the evaluating model readers. »Blurts« listed under »&« are only loosely connected to the »landmark«and they can also lead the reader away from the »strong context«. An »annotation« never has a reference in both the arrow and the »&« group. In the introduction, this is presented as a matter of »choice« and not as a »dialectical negation between '&' and '[arrow]'« (see p. 5).
»Comparative Models« (see Section II.2) present the relationship between Artforum and Art & Language as a dialogue that the reader can continue in the form of a 'dialogue with the presentation of a dialogue'. The index systems of 1972 (see Section II.3) present the discourse of Art & Language as a 'dialogue' evaluated by model readers. They enable further readers to create relations between model readers and the 'dialogue' between excerpts of the discourse of Art & Language. »Blurting in A & L« seeks to `expand´ the contents of the filing cabinets into a (partially) self-reflexive discourse that includes, as it were, an informal version of the wall display within itself; it puts the reader in the position of continuing `the dialogue through the presentation of further dialogue´ 57 'against', 'next to', or 'with' the available »pathways«. Compatibility criteria for the relations between relations of »Index 02 (II)« (see Section II.3) are replaced by conditions of semantic implicature for the interpretation of the pathways that have been noted down in the form of arrows and »&« symbols. Transitivity as a reader condition is possible (see p. 3), conditions of symmetry do not apply (see p. 9).58
According to Mel Ramsden, the Indexes and subsequent projects including »Blurting in A & L« played a decisive role in continuing the transformation of the basic elements of the discourse of Art & Language; in 1971, the discourse's basic elements, which had been developed in adherence to analytic philosophy, began to be transformed by several approaches taken from the »Philosophy of Science«. At the same time, several »Philosophy of Science« approaches (Paul Karl Feyerabend, Thomas Samuel Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, and Karl Raimund Popper) offered means of dealing with the Art & Language discourse, which had become confused:...I do see the handbook as a necessary catalyst...The internal pandemonium/contradictions of the Annotations were one way of ridding ourselves of the objectivist/atomist model of discovery.59
III.2 »A Learning Context«: »Proceedings«
In »Blurting in A & L«, the following approaches recur as theory-constituting elements that already appeared in the »annotations« of the »Comparative Models« and in the manuscript »A Dithering Device«, which contains »Version 2« (see Section II.2):
- The theory of »'theory-ladenness' of experience« (see annotations 3, 195)60 is once again used as an approach for the criticism of »experience« in Clement Greenberg's and Max Kozloff's art criticism (see annotations 123, 127, 130).
- Imre Lakatos' discussion of Karl Popper's »methodical falsificationism« (see Section II.1)61 (see p. 9, annotations 131, 132, 190)62 once again provides an important element of the argumentation.
- The differentiation between an art that is tied to an art-theoretical paradigm and an art that reflects theoretical alternatives (see Section II.1)63 (see annotations 1, 2, 3, 131, 216, 246)64 once again serves to characterize the difference between Art & Language's and current art practice.
- Imre Lakatos' term of »heuristics« and his term of a »model« 65 recur (see annotations 135-139, 190, 191, 253, 261, 373).66
- Pragmatics are once again - and, this time, in greater detail - picked out as a central theme in a way that makes clear that more than simply an expansion of the questions of syntax and semantics is at issue; the problem is posed that the Philosophy of Language (including the approaches of Art & Language) needs to de- and reconstructed via Pragmatics (see Section III.4) (see annotations 80, 95, 96, 102, 107, 276, 277, 337).67
- Edmund Husserl's term »Lebenswelt«68 is used in further theoretical connections as a designation for a social practice that is based upon intersubjectivity (see annotations 45, 58, 60, 217, 218, 250, 263).69
- The dialogue between equal partners who present argument and suggest alternatives is once again described as a learning environment and a learning process70 (see annotations 9, 28, 84, 108, 110, 117, 196, 205-216, 272, 377).71
Precursers for the following theory-constituting elements of the »annotations« in »Blurting in A & L« are not (also) found in »Comparative Models«, but (only) in other works by members of Art & Language:
- The stimulus-oriented reference theory of Willard van Orman Quine recurs with an explicit reference to his term »stimulus meaning« (see Section III.3) (see annotations 176, 196, 327, 355, 357, 361).72
- The Philosophy of Ordinary Language recurs, above all, in references to statements made in Ludwig Wittgenstein's »language games« and in questions about the attainment of »certainty« 73 (see annotations 83, 88, 90, 103, 198, 203, 204).74
- Chaim Perelman's New Rhetoric (see Section III.4) is again presented as an approach that identifies pragmatics and dialogue in argumentation75 as an independent problem area next to semantics and syntax (see pp. 10, 15).76
- The term »blik« for non-rationalizable statements was already adopted by Richard Mervyn Hare's appendix to Anthony G. N. Flew's »Theology and Falsification«77 (see annotation 74, 75).78
New and explosive theory-constituting elements for the »going-on« of the Art & Language discourse are:
- Reflections on »annotating« (see annotations 17, 18, 19), »blurting« (see annotations 76-80)79, and »information retrieval systems« (see annotations 179-186);
- The »conversational implicature« of H. Paul Grice in the critical reception of L. Jonathan Cohen80 (see pp. 2, 6, 15; annotation 391, cf. annotation 76)81;
- The problem of the »concatenation« (i.e., linking) of »blurts« (see pp. 2, 6, 8, 13, annotation 117) in relation to questions concerning »proceeding«, »going-on« (see pp. 6, 7, 8, annotations 292, 293, 294)82;
- The term »problematics«, used for the first time in specific reference to Louis Althusser83 (see annotation 282).
III.3 Ontological Relativity
»At the foundation of belief lies belief that is unfounded.« 84 (see annotation 90, cf. annotations 83, 266)
Willard Van Orman Quine derived the »indeterminacy of translation«85 (see annotations 38, 176, 300, 365) from the following reconstruction of the connections between perception and word usage:
»Stimulus patterns« 86 reduce sense stimuli to patterns. The triggering sense stimuli cannot be reconstructed from the patterns. The connection between word usage and »stimulus patterns« is learned within a context, and is dependent upon how actors point at objects and talk about them.87
»Ontological relativity« is a condition of the »indeterminacy of translation«. Quine demonstrated the reasons for »ontological relativity« with the example of a researcher who wants to learn a previously unknown language from natives. According to Quine, the researcher cannot, based upon the relation between word usage and the »stimulus patterns« that he has learned with his mother tongue, switch into a second language as if it were a second mother tongue. Therefore, in order to learn the new language, the researcher needs to transfer the way that he has learned, in his own mother tongue, to perceive the outer world via »stimulus patterns« and to communicate with others about the outer world. The researcher's translation cannot shake off the consequences of this transfer:
The language researcher must, first of all, subordinate the »stimulus meanings«88 he has learned with his mother tongue (see annotations 327, 355, 357) comprised of »ranges of stimulus patterns«89 to the language usage of the natives. He must then test to what extent he has to vary his conception of reality in order to communicate with the natives in such a way that they react to his statements in the expected way. If a researcher wants to talk to another researcher from a different language community about his experiences with the same group of natives, then both may find out that their hypotheses on the meanings of the terms used by the natives differ. However, both hypotheses can lead to the expected relations of the natives. The researchers have no other possibilities for checking their hypotheses. According to Quine, the impossibility of experiencing foreign cultures without reference to one´s own learning environment of childhood shows that »ontological relativity» cannot be circumvented.90
References to Quine's »ontological relativity« are supplemented in »Blurting in A & L« with quotes from and references to Ludwig Wittgenstein's »On Certainty« (see annotations 83, 90, 266). Certainty in the sense of immediacy and evidence91 cannot be attained if one holds a consequent doubt. Certainty proves to be dependent upon knowledge, which is handed down via speaking acts in communities. Certainty is, therefore, dependent upon »Weltbilder«92 that are, for their part, discernable from »Lebensformen«93. These vary depending upon the social context. Wittgenstein and Quine do not resolve questions of experience94 by recourse to immediate primary experience, but by recourse to social contexts in which ideas of the world can be formed.
In »Blurting in A & L«, the expounding of the problems of experience by Wittgenstein95 and Quine serves to question the basic art criticism assumptions of Clement Greenberg's »modernism« (see annotation 130) and of the social criticism-oriented contributions of Max Kozloff (see annotations 123, 127, 130) on the observation of (art) objects. Art & Language replaces »observation of art»96 with reflections on the »non-observability of observation«97 and with a 'model (of types) of world-observation'98 (see Section III.5).
III.4 New Rhetoric
In »Blurting in A & L«, a great number of the »annotations« pick out as a central theme processes of reflection that are meant to release »surface-clusters« (see annotation 338, cf. annotation 390) from »blurts« (see annotations 17, 18, 19, 74, 76-80). The reflection of »blurt«-relations is itself embedded in the »blurt« paths as a »blurt«. A »meta-art«99 (see annotation 292) with life value-external means of reflection has become a »language environment« (see annotations 201, 202) that is constituted by means of mutual relations between annotations. In this »language environment«, possibilities of self-imbedding in the artworld are presented as conditions of the latter´s transformation from the inside through »theoretical practice«: Imbedding of the Art & Language »language environment« in the context of art is, however, not understood in the sense of a subordination under the conditions of art as one of its »instances« (see annotations 33, 34). Rather, forms of presentation are sought that introduce the dialogue between Art & Language-internally contradicting alternatives into the artworld in such a way that the reflected alternatives become recognizable to observers as perspectives on a different possible practice. By means of internal self-questioning, a pattern for the questioning of others and the outside world arises: An operation of internal dialogue (see annotation 111) is externalized as a test case for the artworld (see annotation 34).
Although, with self-imbedding in the artworld, the outside world is the chosen environment, it should not be accepted without criticism: »Why leave the club, why not change it?« (see annotation 32). The environment requires criticism in the form of criticism of the artworld, not only in the form of criticism of art works or of their established mode of functioning but as criticism of decisive context conditions of art that would otherwise be accepted without being questioned. The raising of the sights of the critical approach of the Art & Language discourse, first to the art-work conceived functionally and second to the »art framework« that guarantees its functions (see annotation 33), entails that Art & Language discourse contains a dialogue between alternative »frameworks«.
In »Blurting in A & L«, questions concerning the relations between content and the means of argumentation are explicated by recourse to Charles Perelman's New Rhetoric.100 According to Perelman, a speaker addresses an ideal audience (see p. 10), i.e., he adapts his way of speaking to his conception of the audience's reactions to his form of speech.101 In the course of his speech, a speaker should pay attention to certain effects, such as, e.g.: If, from time to time, he presents his arguments in too detailed or complicated a manner, this can also have a negative, backlash effect on the audience in respect to the speaker's arguments it has previously heard and understood - the general impression of the speech is impaired. The form of speech, the content, and the attitudes of the listeners to the course of the speech are all aspects that cannot be separated from one another.
Antique and New Rhetoric present the inseparability of sentence meaning and figures of style or rhetoric: Modes of speech are important elements of an argument. They are, therefore, more than simple elements applied to sentence parts that convey messages. Argumentation sequences that refer back, as well as anticipate, replace the chains of proof of the natural sciences that perform the additive process from one verified element to the next verified element ad infinitum. If the 'speech' is to fulfill its purpose, these sequences cannot be allowed to irritate or tire an audience.102 Figures of style also determine the dialectics (see pp. 10f.) of speech and counterspeech in dialogue.103
In the discourse of Art & Language of 1973-74, Perelman's New Rhetoric is placed in opposition to the program of disambiguity of Richard Montague. Montague requires a canonization of sentences as a prior stage to translation into a logical-semantic language104 and thereby does not treat figures of style as parts of sentence meaning105:Pragmatics isn't an approach where you start from an ideal set-up and then put it out in the world - willy-nilly - in order to 'pragmatize' it. - Montague probably went as far as anyone in respect to formalizing pragmatics, but, you can still say all Montague did was give a slightly pragmatized semantic framework...106
In »Blurting in A & L«, pragmatics play a role as a dialogue in the sense of a dialectic between speech and counterspeech on the following levels:
- as a process of »blurt« production, in which »blurts« react to other »blurts« (see annotations 17, 18, 19);
- as content of »annotations«, in which the dialogue between participants is presented as a model for a dialectic between alternatives (see annotations 2, 4, 38, 65, 80, 95, 131);
- as a form of presentation of the »blurts«, which are meant to create a situation in which contradiction, agreement, and tension between approaches are supposed to prompt the reader to develop further approaches: the dialogue between readers and the text is presented as an anticipation of future dialogues between readers:It might be good to present users with a situation where they can make constructs themselves; programs are out. You are offering the reader a range of choices, he's got several pathways to choose from...'making tracks' is problematic in the same way as our own problem of how-to-go-on is problematic. You make choices between items in a list. You have to reflect on how you want to go on. (p. 7)
Art critics' discourse on experience is identified as being presented in the form of text set in a monologue fashion, the claims of which cannot be seen in relative terms; this discourse is countered with a discourse that is determined by speech and counterspeech and that originates from the »interplay« (see Section II.1) between alternatives (see annotation 376): The established form of discourse, i.e., the means of argumentation, is already identified as being false before the subject matter of argumentation is addressed. Art & Language draws attention to its discourse practice as a model for a process-oriented, constantly self-revising form of the justification of art (see annotations 39, 78, 104, 108, 110, 111, 385)!107 The means of justification becomes the decisive constitutional form, while the result remains open.
III.5 Internal Refraction for an Expansion of Outer World Relations
In »Blurting in A & L«, some »blurts« enquire about the pragmatics of »annotating« as a tension between the dialectics of speech and counterspeech, on the one hand, and as a surface, or writing, on the other (see annotations 18, 19, 78, 91, 259, 333, 382). The problem is explicated of whether, in »blurting«, one remains on the level of »surface-structures« (see annotation 18), or if, due to the existence of multiple »pathways« between » blurts«, »set[s] of contexts« (see annotations 10, 102, 103, 236, 275) are created, the multireferentiality of which (see annotation 202) can be limited to certain »(deep) belief-structure[s]« (see annotation 19) or to certain »intensional beliefs« (see annotation 71).
This question, then, leads to the question concerning 'internal frameworks', i.e., internal refractions, in which the relationships between surface structures and deep structures are picked out as a central theme. The answer to the question about the relations between possibilities of openness to one's environment and for possibilities of self-orientedness is that relations to others and the outer world cannot come into being without possibilities for recourse to sufficiently complex internal refractions on levels (of reflection). Internal-external refractions can be fed back to the internal refractions thanks to »multivariate recursive operations« (see annotation 146) insofar as these are differentiated in a sufficiently complex manner. In this way, the reintroduction of the environment is organized in the form of »an internal model of its environment» (see annotation 243): The proximity of this theory to the System Theory of Niklas Luhmann - cf. internal-external refraction and system-environment refraction, as well as recursion and reintroduction - is obvious.108
In mediating the »Philosophy of Science« (see Section II.1) via art-theoretical and art-sociological problems, members of Art & Language pose questions that make apparent that the actual problem here is the creation of 'models for (methods of) world-observation'. This problem must be addressed before answers to questions concerning the »observation of art« (see Section III.3) are sought (see annotations 52, 150, 190). The frameworks of thought of theory/methodology, of institutional basic conditions, and of intersubjectivity are experimented with in different combinations in the test case of the artworld. However, at the same time, possibilities for new and unforeseeable relations to the outer world are created through the differentiation of the levels of theory, through the complicated nature of the theory-internal relations and the possibilities of self-reference:Because we don't have a specific extensional range we can point at, it doesn't mean our extensional range is empty. What it does mean is we don't have a set of references to work from. The strategy is therefore to deal with an intensional context in order to see what happens to extensions...By giving intensions purpose, our conversations may have observational and practical consequences without these being specified...: our conversations may therefore have their reference or extension in a learning situation, even though our locus of articulation is one of 'sense' or 'intension'.109
In comparison to Burn's (self-)characterization of »the analytic or strict Conceptual Art« of 1970 (see Section I.2), Art & Language's position in 1973 is both expanded through reflexive internal refractions and 'pragmatized' on three levels:
- the level of self-presentation as discourse in a process, as an ongoing dialogue between Art & Language participants that offers textual results only temporarily. In 1970, »the artist's idea of art« as »abstracted from its own form of presentation« (see Section I.2) had been the central issue110;
- the application of the group's own theoretical approaches in a criticism of the context of art that puts the theoretical premises and the social basic conditions of art in relation to one another;
- the general openness for application possibilities that also brings with it questions concerning basic social conditions that had previously not been considered relevant for the investigation of the institutional basic conditions of art (see Sections III.6, IV.1).
III.6 »The Problematics of Ideology«
Some »blurts« reflect a »Lebenswelt« that is based upon intersubjectivity in learning environments (see annotations 78, 110, 187, 188, 210, 215, 218, 337, 381). In 1974 in »Draft for an Anti-Textbook«, areas of interaction are differentiated from a capitalistically organized culture that expects from its recipients' a »passivity of contemplation«111 , which leads to a renunciation of the reflection of social and ideological factors that support this culture: The actor becomes a consumer, areas of interaction are dissolved and replaced by the organization of spectacles.112
Art & Language's criticism of ideology is based upon a »Them/Us« differentiation113 , as well as upon the finding that art cannot be separated from the »ideological framework« of the social factors that support it.114 Carl André's view that »Art is what we do, culture is what is done to us«115 is transformed by Burn and Ramsden in a manner that is not realistic, i.e., »Art and culture is done to us«, but rather counterfeit: »Art is what we do, culture is what we do to other artists«116. The idea that artists, as producers of art, also exercise control over it (»Art is what we do«) is contradicted by the economic conditions of the distribution of all cultural goods. Critical artists in the seventies break away from this illusion through expanded means of reflexive self-orientation in the artworld (see Section IV.1).
Since 1972, the members of Art & Language often use Willard Van Orman Quine's differentiation between (1) »ideology« and (2) »ontology«117 in the sense of a difference between (1) »epistemology (reflection on the constitution of communicable knowledge)«118 and (2) its application to object areas. In the discourse of the members of Art & Language, the definition of the artworld by means of a paradigm appears to be 'false ideology' in a double sense:
- in the sense of an art-theoretical determination of an »epistemology« that, in the same way as »normal science« (see Section II.1), reduces every further discussion of art to a question of interpretation within the institutionalized framework of thought;
- as a determination of social and economic factors that divide culture into decision makers with their own interests, on the one hand, and an audience (including artists, see Section IV.1) with a strongly reduced capability for making decisions, on the other.
The term »problematics« is used within the context of Art & Language as:
- on the one hand, in the sense of the »Philosophy of Science« (see Section. II.1) as the problematics of the reflection of epistemologies, along with their historical context119;
- on the other hand, along with Louis Althusser, in the Marxist sense of a differentiation between an »ideological« and »scientific problematics« as a question of the switch from the »problematics of any ideology« to the »problematics of ideology« 120 (see annotation 282):...we attribute primacy to ideology (what we are committed to as a part of our ways of dealing with the world conceptually, committed to as part of our conceptual system) and not ontology (what we are committed to in the sense that we believe it to exist in the actual world or in some other possible world). It's no longer enough to simply 'discover' problems in the world, we have also to admit that the realization of those problems is itself problematic, i.e., an ideological problem.121
From the position of this switch to the »problematics of ideology«, the »annotations« on »art« and »painting« in »Blurting in A & L« appear to relate to the change from the rhetoric of art criticism to questions concerning the contemporary institutional basic conditions that are prerequisite to the art genre of painting; they also appear to relate to the implicit claims, art-theoretical legitimacy, and their distance to the position of Art & Language (see annotations 32, 252-258, 359, 366) of these basic conditions.
At the same time, the members expound the problems of the implications of their own »theoretical practice« (see Section III.4) from a position that is endogenous to the »problematics of ideology« (see annotation 289). The intention is to avoid the appearance of being a 'guardian' of the 'correct' art practice (see annotations 256, 265). The 'internal observer'122, who cannot deal with theories as an external problem that concerns his self-conceptualization and, without which, he could not orient himself in his or any dicsourse123, is not only a problem of academic discourse. The examination of the »problematics of ideology« is a question of acquiring possibilities for making a decision between alternative means of observation of the world (as means of reflexive self-orientation into the world) and between alternative means of action in the world.
IV. Social Criticism
IV.1 The Fox
In 1975-76, the approach of the self-referential and reflective refraction in 'internal frameworks' (see Section III.5) is, above all, differentiated in the contributions of Ian Burn, Michael Corris, Andrew Menard, and Mel Ramsden in »The Fox«124. The internalization of contemporary conditions for the reception of culture forbids a criticism of society in the form of a criticism of exclusively external conditions125: »...either you see your own status as problematic or shut up.«126 »Spectacularly elitist art« for »a privileged middle class« has become a part of international and corporation-organized mass consumption. On the side of the artists, it is equivalent to an internalized consumption behavior that orients itself according to, as well as to an »artist-as-bureaucrat« who manages his personal career127. According to their own descriptions, the members of Art & Language were also not able to escape from these methods of behavior of contemporary artists: Social criticism, therefore, begins with a criticism of the »panoptical prison of our own making«128.
The social criticism of the American members of Art & Language follows the views presented in Daniel Bell's »The Coming of Post-Industrial Society«129, as well as Guy Debord's »La société du spectacle«.130 Bell's description of the connections between organization, research, production, and economy in internationally-operating corporations131 serves as a scheme for the description of contemporary basic conditions. Debord provides insights into the connections between work, distribution of work products, and consumption in organizations of spectacle.132 According to Debord, organizations of spectacle result in an increasingly self-dynamic alienation that is created by the affected parties themselves. This is »pan-optical prison of our own making« (see above): »...the products of our labor are separated from what we do and become something what is done to us.«133
The application of the approaches of Bell and Debord to the analysis of the role of the artist in the society of the seventies leads to a concept of the art context that is 'expanded' by general economic conditions: The artworld is shaped by the conflict between the artistic role model and art works as products: Artists believe that they are creators within a product- and performance-oriented society, while art works have become a part of an international distribution system of cultural goods, i.e., of a »bureaucratic corporate industry«. This industry has freed itself from product-oriented distribution via the means of the organization of spectacles in media corporations. (Equally-priced) art works are treated as substitutable elements of this system of the organization of spectacles.134 The analysis of the connections between forms of artistic presentation and forms of museum presentation, which leads to contemplation135, as well as the »bureaucratization and new corporate marketing techniques (involving art criticism, the trade [art] journals, galleries and museums, art schools and all)« is explicated by members of Art & Language in their criticism of the contemporary basic conditions of art, in particular in the case of the centralization of the distribution systems for post-war art in New York.136 In addition, the members interfere with this centralization by making known the hidden interests of decision makers137 as well as through discussions that are held within the criticized context.138
All but two of the New York collaborators in the Art & Language project lost or abandoned all but retrospective contact with it. 139 By 1976 ‚The Fox’ was terminated in New York on the votes of the majority of its participants and absorbed into »Art- Language« (»The Fox« No. 4 = »Art-Language« Volume 3/Number 4, October, 1976). Ian Burn returned to Australia to begin »Union Media Services«. Mel Ramsden and Mayo Thompson moved to England and the dialogue continued as it always had, in collaborative practice with Michael Baldwin, Philip Pilkington and Charles Harrison. »The indexing project continued and continues in various forms today.« 140
Thomas Dreher, July 2001/April 2002
All abbreviations used in the footnotes contain a reference to the author (the author's or editor's family name only), as well as, following a colon, the first noun in the title and the year that the printed edition listed in the bibliography was published, or that the manuscript referred to was written.
English Art & Language authors appearing in the references: Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin, Charels Harrison, Graham Howard, Harold Hurrell, Kevin Lole, Philip Pilkington, David Rushton, and Paul Wood.
American Art & Language authors appearing in the references: Ian Burn, Michael Corris, Roger Cutforth, Preston Heller, Andrew Menard, Mel Ramsden, Terry Smith, and Mayo Thompson.
Althusser, Louis: Pour Marx. Paris 1965/1986.
Anderson, Alan Ross/Moore, Omar Khayyam: Toward Formal Analysis of Cultural Objects (1963). In: Wartofsky, Marx W. (Ed.): Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Proceedings of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science 1961/62. Dordrecht, S.117-143.
Art & Language: Blurting in A & L (1973). New York and Halifax (Page numbers in the text refer to the Introduction. Annotations are referred to by their numbers. An online version was installed in 2001 by the Karlsruhe Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie: URL: http://container.zkm.de/blurting/annotations.html).
Art & Language: Method 4.3 (1977). In: Art-Language. October, pp. 50-54.
Art & Language: o. T. (1973). In: Mantura, Bruno (Ed.): Contemporanea. Kat. Parcheggio di Villa Borghese. Roma, p. 101ff.
Art & Language: Proceedings I-VI (1974). Kat. Ausst. Kunstmuseum Luzern. Lucerne.
Art & Language Institute: Suggestions for a Map (1972). In: Szeemann, Harald (Ed.): documenta 5. Kat. Ausst. Museum Fridericianum und Neue Galerie. Kassel, pp. 17.16ff.
Artists Meeting for Cultural Change: To The American Art Community from Artists Meeting for Cultural Change (1976). [dated: December 14, 1975] In: The Fox. No.3, pp. 43f.
Atkinson, Terry. From an Art & Language Point of View (1970). In: Art-Language. February, pp. 25-60.
Atkinson, Terry: Introduction (1969). In: Art-Language. May 1969, pp. 1-10.
Atkinson, Terry/Bainbridge, David/Baldwin, Michael/Hurrell, Harold: Status and Priority (1970). In: Studio International. January, pp. 28-31.
Atkinson/Terry/Baldwin, Michael: Art Teaching (1971). In: Art-Language. November, pp. 25-50.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: The Index (1972). In: Seymour, Anne (Ed.): The New Art. Exhibition Catalogue. Hayward Gallery. London, pp. 16-19.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: On the Material-Character/Physical-Object Paradigm of Art (1972). In: Art-Language. February, pp. 51-55.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: Paradigms. Draft 2 (1969). No place of publication, typewritten manuscript, signed. Archiv Philippe Méaille, Luxembourg.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin: La Pensée Avec Images (1971). In: Art-Language. November, pp. 51-69.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin: Michael: Some post-war American work and Art-Language: ideological responsiveness (1972). In: Studio International. April, pp. 164-167.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: Unnatural Rules (1972). In: Art-Language. February, pp. 1-27.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: Air-Conditioning Show/Air Show/Frameworks (1967). Coventry, Art book, Edition: 200 copies, signed, dated, and numbered.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael/Harrison, Charles/Pilkington, Philip: Handbook(s) to Going-On (1974). In: Art-Language. June, pp. 1-130.
Baldwin, Michael: Atkinson and Meaninglessness (1970). In: Art-Language. June, pp. 30-35.
Baldwin, Michael/Pilkington, Philip: Art-Language (1973). In: Studio International. October, pp. 261-266.
Bell, Daniel: The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. A Venture in Social Forecasting (1973). New York.
Bürger, Peter: Theorie der Avantgarde (1974). Frankfurt a. M.
Burn, Ian: Conceptual Art as Art (1970). In: Art and Australia. September, pp. 166-170.
Burn, Ian: The Art Market (1975): Affluence and Degradation. In: Artforum. April, pp. 34-37.
Burn, Ian: Buying Cultural Dependency. A Note on the Crazed Thinking Behind Several Australian Collections (1975). In: The Fox. No.1, pp. 141ff.
Burn, Ian: Dialogue (1991). Writings in Art History. North Sydney.
Burn, Ian: The Role of Language (1991). [First published in the »Altered Photographs« edition, 1968]. New in: http://members.tripod.de/ThomasDreher/3_Konzeptkunst_Art_Lang3Bild3b.html. New with slight modifications in: Burn, Ian: Dialogue. Writings in Art History. North Sydney, pp. 120-124.
Burn, Ian: Minimal-Conceptual Work 1965-1970 (1992). Exhibition Catalogue. The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Perth Cultural Centre. Perth.
Burn, Ian: Pricing Works of Art (1975). In: The Fox. No.1, pp. 53-59.
Burn, Ian/Cutforth, Roger/Ramsden, Mel: Proceedings (1970a). In: Mc Shine, Kynaston L. (Ed.): Information. Exhibition Catalogue. Museum of Modern Art. New York, pp. 32-35.
Burn, Ian/Cutforth, Roger/Ramsden, Mel: Proceedings (1970b). In: Art-Language. June, pp. 1ff.
Burn, Ian/Cutforth, Roger/Ramsden, Mel: Proceedings (1970c). In: Art and Australia. September, p. 168.
Burn, Ian/Lendon, Nigel/Merewether, Charles/Stephen, Ann: The Necessity of Australian Art. An Essay About Interpretation (1988). Sydney.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: »Art is what we do, culture is what we do to other artists» (1973). In: De Decker, Anny/Spillemaekers, Fernand/Maenz, Paul (Eds.): Deurle 11/7/'73. Art and its Cultural Context. Symposium. MTL-Gallery. Brussels, unpaginated.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: A Dithering Device (1972). Typewritten original, no place of publication. Philippe Méaille Archive, Luxembourg (incl. (pp. 30ff) »A Heuristic Simplification (H.S.)« in cooperation with Michael Corris and Terry Smith, except for a few changes identical with »Comparative Models, Version 2«, Collection Sol LeWitt, Wadsworth Atheneum, Wesleyan University, Hartford/Connecticut).
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: The Grammarian (1970). Signed, numbered, and dated copy. 50 copies. No place of publication noted.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Comparative Models, Version 1 (1972). Text manuscript (Mel Ramsden Achive, Banbury).
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Problems of Art & Language Space (1973). In: Art-Language. September, pp. 53-72.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: A Question of Epistemic Adequacy (1971). In: Studio International. October, pp. 132-135.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Some Questions on the Characterization of Questions (1972). In: Art-Language. Summer, pp. 1-10.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Soft-Tape (1980). [First version 1966.] New in: Fuchs, Rudi (Ed.): Art & Language. Exhibition Catalogue. Stedelijk van Abbemuseum. Eindhoven 1980, pp. 17f.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Four Wages of Sense (1972). In: Art-Language. February, pp. 28-37.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel/Smith, Terry: Australia 1975 (1976). Banbury/New York/Sydney.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel/Smith, Terry: Draft for an Anti-Textbook (1974). In: Art-Language. September, pp. 1-110.
Burn, Ian/Thompson, Mayo: Why are we more interested in you than in your art-work (1976). In: The Fox. No.3, p. 113.
Cohen, L. Jonathan: Some Remarks on Grice's Views about the Logical Particals of Natural Language (1971). In: Bar-Hillel, Yehoshua (Ed.): Pragmatics of Natural Languages. Dordrecht, pp. 50-68.
Corris, Michael: Another Look at the Social Dimension of Indexing (2001). In: URL: http://blurting-in.zkm.de/e/another_look.
Corris, Michael: Yet another Palace Revolt in the Banana Republic? (1975). In: The Fox. No.2, pp. 143-153.
Corris, Michael/Ramsden, Mel: Frameworks and Phantoms (1973). In: Art-Language. September, pp. 38-52.
Debord, Guy: La Société du Spectacle (1992). Paris 1967/1992.
Dreher, Thomas: Aktions- und Konzept Kunst (2001). In: URL: http://members.tripod.de/ThomasDreher/1_Aktions-u.Konzeptkunst.html
Dreher, Thomas: Art & Language. Kontextreflexive Kunst im Kunstkontext...(1997) In: Institut für soziale Gegenwartsfragen/Kunstraum Wien (Ed.): Art & Language & Luhmann. Wien, pp. 41-84 (New in: URL: http://members.tripod.de/ThomasDreher/3_Konzeptkunst_Art_Lang.html).
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Heller, Preston/Menard, Andrew: Kozloff: Criticism in Absentia (1973). In: Artforum. February, pp. 32-36.
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Johnston, I./Tate, P.: Alienation and Theories of Art and Science (1972). In: Analytical Art. June, pp. 18-25.
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Kozloff, Max: The Trouble with Art-as-Idea (1972). In: Artforum. December, pp. 33-37.
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Lakatos, Imre: Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes (1970). In: Lakatos, Imre/Musgrave, A. (Eds.): Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge, pp. 91-196.
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1 Dreher: Art & LanguageUK 2000, pp. 184ff. back
2 Harrison/Orton: History 1982, pp. 15ff. back
3 Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Soft-Tape, cassette recorder, cassette, text board, in: Burn: Dialogue 1991, pp. XVf., 191ff.; Burn: Work 1992, pp. 6,11f.,30; Burn/Ramsden: Soft-Tape 1980. back
4 Burn/Cutforth/Ramsden: Proceedings 1970 a-c. back
5 Harrison/Orton: History 1982, p. 24.
Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: 22 Sentences: The French Army, Precinct Publications, Coventry 1968, art book, 24 pages, signed, dated 1967 (dates of imprint and signature are contradictory), and numbered, printun: 200 copies.
Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Six Negatives, no place, 1968-69, art book, 15 pages, signed and numbered, printun: 50 copies. back
6 Karshan: Conceptual Art 1970, pp. 10-28, 62ff.,72-75,95f. However, the English members present themselves as »The Art & Language Press« and the American members as »The Society for Theoretical Art and Analysis«. back
7 Burn: Work 1992, pp.16, 97. back
8 Burn: Conceptual Art 1970, pp.168, 170. back
9 Burn/Ramsden: Soft-Tape 1980, p. 18. back
10 Burn, Ian: Altered Photographs, 1968, four sheets, offset lithographs mounted on cardboard, signed, dated, and numbered, printrun: 25 copies (the text on one of the four sheets in a revised version in: Burn: Role 1991. cf. Dreher: Art & Language 2000, Chapter 2.2; Dreher: Art & Language 2001, IV/Abb. 1,2,3,3b; Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, p. 78, unpaginated (illustration 5)) back
11 Atkinson: Introduction 1969, pp. 3f. back
12 Atkinson, Terry/Baldwin, Michael: Print (2 sections A and B), 1966, Offset, in: Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 295-302. Illustration in: Dreher: Art & Language 2001, II/Abb.1. back
13 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Grammarian 1970, p. 5; Burn/Ramsden: Question 1971, pp. 132f. back
14 Atkinson/Baldwin: Show 1967, chapter entitled »Frameworks«, unpaginated. back
15 The »institution of art«: The networking of systems/subsystems, trade/the art trade, universities/art history faculties, the press/art criticism, museums/art departments (and art museums) (»the artworld«) (Cf. Bürger: Theorie 1974, p. 29). back
16 Burn/Ramsden: Grammarian 1970, p. 2. back
17 Ramsden: Notes 1970, p. 88. back
18 Atkinson: Art & Language 1970, pp. 26-44,50,53. Atkinson criticizes the works and views of, above all, Robert Barry, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Pulsa, and Ian Wilson. back
19 Atkinson: Art & Language 1970, pp. 45-53. Microscopic objects can only be seen, not touched. Atkinson dealt with questions of their qualities (pp. 46f.) in a fashion analog to macroscopic objects: »Unobservables doubly presuppose observables as essential to both their conceivability and their confirmation...« (p. 49). back
20 Atkinson: Art & Language 1970, pp. 36. back
21 Baldwin: Atkinson 1970, p. 30. Cf. Nagel/Newman: Proff 1959, p. 6: In 1931, Gödel proves »that it is impossible to establish the internal logical consistency of a very large class of deductive systems - elementary arithmetic, for example - unless one adopts principles of reasoning so complex that their internal consistency is also open to doubt as that of the systems themselves.« back
22 Baldwin: Atkinson 1970, p. 33. back
23 Burn/Ramsden: Questions 1972, p. 8; Burn/Ramsden: Problems 1973, p. 54; Lole: Progress 1971, pp. 22, 24. Cf. Kuhn: Structure 1962, in particular pp. 10, 33, 35f., 136, 143f. back
24 Atkinson/Baldwin: Pensée 1971, p. 59. back
25 Atkinson/Baldwin: Post-War 1972, p. 165. back
26 At the latest in art history since the end of the fifties, a history of the succession of art paradigms contains a suppression of alternatives if it does not lead to a reconceptualization of Intermedia Art. (Dreher: Aktionskunst 2001; Dreher: Performance Art 2001, in particular pp. 20-67, 407-447). The pluralism of artistic strategies for the (re)combination of media forces any art history that is neither satisfied with tracing the type of artworld nor with drawing public attention to certain lines of development via spectacular group exhibitions and art criticism to pose more fundamental questions. back
27 Atkinson/Baldwin: Paradigms 1969, Part II, pp. 1ff.; Atkinson/Baldwin: Post-War 1972, p. 167. Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Models 1972, first page of text: »The possible model is intent on revealing a change in paradigms. As a consequence of this it will introduce the concept of a paradigm shift and not necessarily characterize the form of a new paradigm.« back
28 Popper: Society 1957, pp. 13, 260, 263, 363; Popper: Logic 1962, pp. 33, 75-92, 100, 112-121. back
29 Lakatos: Falsification 1970, in particular pp. 116-121; Lakatos: Popper 1982, in particular pp. 160f. back
30 Kuhn: Structure 1962, pp. 150-158. Cf. Lakatos: Falsifikation 1982, pp. 89f. back
31 Imre Lakatos: Art & Language: Blurting 1973, annotations 2,131 (cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 16); Johnson/Tate: Alienation 1972, pp. 23f.
Karl R. Popper: Art & Language: Blurting 1973, annotations 190, 295; Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 23 incl. footnote 6. back
32 Feyerabend: Method 1970, p. 36. Cf. Feyerabend: Method 1970, pp. 26f. on »a pluralistic methodology« by means of »a principle of proliferation«. Also: Lakatos: Falsification 1970, pp. 119-122. Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 31f. back
33 On »concept of alternatives« and »interplay of alternatives« with identical formulations: Art & Language: Blurting 1973, annotation 2; Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 16. Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Art 1973, unpaginated (Punkt 14). back
34 Atkinson/Baldwin: Material-Character 1972. back
35 Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Comparative Models, 1972:
Version 1: 57 pages (typewritten pages with annotations by Burn and Ramsden (Burn/Ramsden: Models 1972), as well as pages of Artforum of December 1971), orange transparent film, plexiglass, Collection Vicky Remy, Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne. Illustrations in: Dreher: Art & Language 2001, I/Abb.6-7.
Version 2: 11 typewritten pages with annotations that Burn, Corris, Ramsden, and Smith prepared from September to October 1972 (Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972), 96 pages of the September 1972 issue of Artforum (Tenth Anniversary), hanging plan, Collection Sol LeWitt, Wadsworth Atheneum, Wesleyan University, Hartford/Connecticut. back
36 Cf. illustration in: Maenz: Jahresbericht 1973, p. 12. back
37 Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 116f., 157. back
38 Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 127-135, 137f., 143ff., 150f.; Dreher: Performance Art 2001, pp. 23-26, 462f. back
39 Film viewing not in the sense of a processing of film codes while watching a movie, but rather in the sense of a sequential viewing that remembers that which has been seen before and puts it into relation with new aspects. (Krauss: View 1972. Cf. Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 134f.; Dreher: Performance Art 2001, pp. 23ff., 462). back
40 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 22 with footnote 3, pp. 51f. These problems also play a role in the criticism of O'Connors remarks on perception (Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 57-61). back
41 Kuhn: Structure 1962, pp. 110-128. Cf. Feyerabend: Method 1970, Section 4, pp. 36-45. back
42 Kozloff: Trouble 1972, p. 36: »...it seems a matter of indifference whether any experience takes place at all.« (Kozloff's indifference regarding the different artistic strategies that have, in part, already been subsumed to the term of Conceptual Art and, in part, are newly attributed to it by him, create the general impression that is criticized by him. The opposing view: Heller/Menard: Kozloff 1973, pp. 32, 35: »...empirical criticism [including Max Kozloff's criticism of Conceptual Art] is, by definition, incapable of determining the explicitness or accountability - in the end, the art-status - of nonreistic [e.g., conceptual] work.» back
43 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 35f. back
44 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 39, cf. p. 50. back
45 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 39. back
46 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 35f., 51f. Cf. Kuhn: Structure 1962, Chapter X, pp. 110-134 (both refer to Hanson: Patterns 1958, as well as Atkinson/Bainbridge/Baldwin/Hurrell: Status 1970, p. 28). See also: Feyerabend: Method 1970, in particular pp. 47, 50. back
47 Art & Language: Index 01, 1972, eight file cabinets with six drawers each, index cards with texts by members of Art & Language, photostats for a wall installation, Private Collection Zurich (Conception: Michael Baldwin). Illustrations in: Dreher: Art & Language 2001, II/Abb.2,3,4. back
48 Michael Baldwin, letter to the author, December 4, 1986: »There was some debate concerning the behavior of 'T' in this connection, and I'm still not entirely clear.« back
49 Art & Language: Index (02) I, 1972, six file cabinets with eight drawers each (each drawer contains 64 index cards), 42 photostats, mounted, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich.
Art & Language: Index (02) II, 1972, four file cabinets with three drawers each, index cards with texts by members of Art & Language, 320 photostats for a wall installation (with white-out marks) mounted on cardboard, Collection Annick und Anton Herbert, Ghent.
For the wall installation, texts were first selected from »Index (02)I« and then the matrix sheets were created. »Index (02)II« »was compiled the other way round«: »The game was, therefore, with Index (02)II to find texts which exemplify the relations indicated in the matrix.« (Michael Baldwin, E-mail to the author, August 8, 2001).
»The original paste-up of the wall-display« is contained in Index (02)II: »The Hayward (2) [=(02)1] wall display was a photostat of these.« (Michael Baldwin, E-mail to the author, August 13, 2001). »Index (02)I« was exhibited in »The New Art« exhibition, Hayward Gallery, London, in 1972.
Illustrations of both versions of »Index (02)« in: Dreher: Art & Language 2001, II/Abb.5,6,7,8,9,10. back
50 Letter by Michael Baldwin to the author, December 4, 1986; Harrison: Art & Language 2001, p. 128; Harrison/Orton: History 1982, p. 33. Cf. Michael Baldwin, E-mail to the author, February 8, 2001: »The (+), (-), (T) relations are transitive, symmetrical and commutative in 02....if (a) [arrow] (b) is (+), then (b) [arrow] (a) is (+); if (a) [arrow] (z) is (+), then (b) [arrow] (z) is (+) and vice versa. This symmetry/commutation is (occasionally) interrupted by (T): if (a) [arrow] (b) is (+), (b) [arrow] (a) is [+], (a) [arrow] (z) is (+), in some cases (z) can be (T).« back
51 Atkinson/Baldwin: Index 1972, p. 17: »...an index-searched item belongs to the class of things 'a' such that for distinct x and y it is possible that x learns a from y; i.e. [the cultural item=] a (E[xistential quantor] x) (E[xistential quantor] y) (x [not the same as] y and [modal operator for possibility] (x learns a from y))...« According to Atkinson/Baldwin/Harrison/Pilkington: Handbook(s) 1974, pp. 40, 44, footnote 1, Anderson/Moore: Analysis 1963, pp. 130-142 is the source for this formalization of learning processes. »X« and »y« can be the model readers (or their entries on the matrix sheets), who view the different indices as being compatible with an index. A model reader (or an author of a matrix sheet), and a recipient »x«, could »learn« the evaluations of a model reader »y« if model readers could be recognized via conscious processes. The entered evaluations are, however, only traces of the mental activities of the model readers: A recipient »x« can only partially reconstruct the decisions of a model reader »y«. back
52 Michael Baldwin/Mel Ramsden, e-mail-attachement, 12.4.2002. back
53 Harrison/Orton: History 1982, p. 38. back
54 Art & Language: Blurting 1973, p. 14. back
55 Harrison/Orton: History 1982, p. 39. (Illustration of »Blurting in A & L«: Dreher: Art & Language 2001, II/Abb.12. back
56 »to blurt = to utter a statement without any syntactic & semantic limits on what constitutes the statement. The notion of blurting goes back (to 1972) to a problem about the production and generation of discourse in AL, the 'proceedings' [see Section III.2].« (Philip Pilkington, letter to the author, July 19, 1987).
»...the idea of a blurt originated in the operation of 'breaking up' the texts for Index 01, 02 [see Section II.3], etc. It was never possible in this operation to know what the limits of text fragmentation were. We asked questions like, 'What is the smallest feasible unit for treatment in the index?' The answer eventually was 'Some blurted phrase or sentence, perhaps', 'Why would we not include something you blurted yesterday'...and so on.« (Michael Baldwin, E-mail attachment to the author, August 9, 2001) back
57 Dialogue should be understood here as quasi-dialogue through reciprocal relationships between presented sections and readers, not as speech and counterspeech. back
58 L. Jonathan Cohen, who is referred to in the introduction (see pp. 2, 6, 15), proposes an alternative to the »conversationalist hypothesis« of H. Paul Grice in the analysis of its »logical particles of natural speech such as 'not', 'and', 'if, then', and 'or'«. It is a »semantic hypothesis« that explains the »particles« »without recourse to a theory of conversational pre-expectations«. Grice supplements the »logical particles«, which he understands in a purely truth-logical sense in natural languages, as well, with conversational pre-expectations, while Cohen presents the truth-functional meaning as on lexical meaning among others: »and« (and, with it, the »&« relations in »Blurting in A & L«) has not only »a conjunctive [function]« (in the sense of junctors of truth logic), but »a connexive [function]« as well (Cohen: Remarks 1971, pp. 50f., 56f.). The question of whether conversational or semantic implicature is relevant or not is important for the interpretation of the »&« and »arrow« relations in »Blurting in A & L« (as a logical implication or as a lexical 'if, then' semantics).
Cohen shows that »&« cannot be reduced to the »truth-functional constant '[conjunction]'«, because, in sentences, the order of that which is mentioned before and after the particle »and« has consequences for the meaning (see p. 6; Cohen: Remarks 1971, pp. 54-59), while »symmetry« (see Section II.3) would contradict this criterion of meaning-relevant order.
In some »blurt« combinations, the »truth-functional constant« »implicature« can make sense as an interpretation of the »[arrow]« relations (see p. 2). The criterion of »transitivity« should then also apply (see p. 3).
Mel Ramsden confirms this in an E-mail to the author on August 18, 2001: »The combination of '&' with symmetry and 'arrow' with transitivity certainly made some problems.« He adds, however: »There were nothing but problems.« ...and refers to the openness of the »Blurting in A & L« project: »...the 408 blurts are only a fragment of the possible blurts. So there could be many more versions of 'Blurting in AL'.« Between the logical stringency of a plausible theory for implicatures and the group process of »Blurting in A & L«, relations are conceivable that, for Ramsden as well, can evidently only partially be reflected in self-referential »blurts«. The online versions' possibilities for discussing these questions again enable »many more« »possible blurts«.
Truth-functional implication: p [arrow] q = if p, then q; no p without q. The implication is then, and only then, false if p is true and q is false. back
59 Ramsden: Annotations 1973, unpaginated. back
60 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, p. 22 with footnote 3, pp. 51f., see Section II.2. back
61 Lakatos: Falsification 1970. back
62 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 68f. back
63 Feyerabend: Method 1970, pp. 26f., 36. back
64 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 4f., 16, 68ff., 72, 79f. Also: Atkinson/Baldwin: Post-War 1972, p. 167; Burn, Ian/Ramsden, Mel: Index (Model(...))), 1970, in: Burn: Work 1992, p. 96. back
65 Lakatos: Falsification 1970, pp. 132-138. back
66 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 5, 10, 15, 18ff., 37, 68. Also: Johnson/Tate: Alienation 1972, pp. 23f.; Lole/Pilkington/Rushton: Aspects 1972, p. 40. back
67 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 36f.,79. Also: see Section III.4. back
68 Husserl: Problem 1986, pp. 220-292. Jürgen Habermas discusses the term »Lebenswelt« from the writings of Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schütz in the context of the terms interaction, communication, and Wittgenstein's »Lebensform« in: Habermas: Literaturbericht 1970, in particular pp. 188-259. back
69 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 20f., 56. Also: Atkinson/Baldwin: Art 1971, p. 25; Johnston/Tate: Alienation 1972, pp. 21f. back
70 Cf., e.g., Lakatos: Falsification 1970, pp. 123,132; Lakatos: Popper 1982, pp. 167f.,173 with footnote 102. back
71 Cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 1,21,27,37,73f. Also: Art & Language Institute: Suggestions 1972, pp. 17.16 (i); Atkinson/Baldwin: Art 1971, pp. 31; Atkinson/Baldwin: Index 1972, p. 17; Burn/Ramsden: Questions 1972, p. 9. back
72 Cf. earlier versions of a stimulus-oriented refernce theory that still followed Bertrand Russell: Burn: Role 1991, p. 120; Burn/Ramsden: Question 1971, p. 132. See Section III.3. Cf. Dreher: Art & Language 2000, Section 2.2. back
73 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, p. 125, No. 30, pp. 160f., No. 203f., p. 193, No. 370f., pp. 193f., No. 374f., p. 197, No. 391f., p. 210, No. 455. back
74 Cf. Pilkington: Delinquency 1971, pp. 15,17; Pilkington/Rushton: Aspects 1972, pp. 39,41f.; Pilkington/Rushton: Introduction 1971, p. 4; Rushton: Asserting 1971, pp. 7-11. back
75 Perelman: Pragmatics 1971; Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca: Traité 1970. back
76 Cf. Lole/Pilkington/Rushton: Models 1973. back
77 Hare: Appendix 1998. back
78 Baldwin: Problem 1973, p. 21; Lole/Pilkington/Rushton: Aspects 1972, pp. 38ff. back
79 Cf. Atkinson/Baldwin/Harrison/Pilkington: Handbook(s) 1974, pp. 11,26,41. According to Michael Baldwin (telephone conversation with the author on June 29, 2001) »Handbook(s) to Going-On« contains older text material. Also, Mel Ramsden was familiar with the English members' terms »blurts« (see footnote 56) and »concatenation« (see below) prior to the realization of »Blurting in A & L«. Michael Baldwin, E-mail attachment, August 8, 2001: »Mel spent some time in England in 1972-1973, and he took these terms back to New York.«. back
80 See footnote 58. back
81 Cf. Baldwin/Pilkington: Art-Language 1973, pp. 261f., 265. In relation to these problems, and with reference to H. Paul Grice, but not specifically with reference to conversation implicature: Rushton: Asserting 1971, pp. 7, 12. back
82 Cf. Art & Language: no title, 1973, pp. 102f.; Atkinson/Baldwin/Harrison/Pilkington: Handbook(s) 1974, pp. 10, 12f., 29, 35, 38, 42f., 45ff., 50, 53, 71, 88, 105f.; Baldwin/Pilkington: Art-Language 1973, pp. 262ff.,266. »Concatenation« still as an only linear-arranged »surface-structure«: Atkinson/Baldwin: Rules 1972, p. 15.
»Concatenation«, Michael Baldwin, E-mail attachment to the author, August 8, 2001: »It has its origins in the so-called 'Polish notation' of [Jan] Lukasiewicz used extensively by Arthur [Norman] Prior [e.g., Papers on Time and Tense. Oxford 1968]. It was a concatenating modal logic: 'C' is 'if', 'P' is 'it is possible', 'N' is 'it is necessary'. You can write CPx,y = 'if it's possible that x, then y'. You might write CPPPNPx,y= 'if it's possible that it's possible that...it's necessarily possible that x, then y'. It also comes from the writing of Leo Apostel who seemed to suggest that language can work from a to b (or c or...) - that we make meaning as a practical act of going-on...Another influence was Donald Davidson's 'Bob+Carol+Ted+Alice' (not the film!). This is concerned with the question how indexing a sentence might bear upon its meaning.« Michael Baldwin, E-mail attachment to the author, August 9, 2001: »And what is going-on made of? Some form of concatenation - x is 'next to' y and has a 'temporal aspect' (only an aspect): x [arrow] y (Bxal).« back
83 Althusser: Marx 1968, p. 196. back
84 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, p. 170, No. 253. back
85 Quine: Epistemology 1971, pp. 79-82; Quine: Relativity 1971, pp. 29ff.; Quine: Word 2001, pp. 27, 54, 72-79, 206, 221. Cf. Lauener: Quine 1982, pp. 87-97. back
86 Quine: Objects 1971, pp. 155ff.; Quine: Word 2001, pp. 31-51. back
87 Quine: Word 2001, p. 8: »Different persons growing up in the same language are like different bushes trimmed and trained to take the shape of identical elephants. The anatomical details of twigs and branches will fulfill the elephantine form differently from bush to bush, but the overallresults are alike.« back
88 Quine: Objects 1971, pp. 155 ff.; Quine: Word 2001, pp. 32-40, 44ff., 56f. back
89 Quine: Objects 2001, p. 155. back
90 Quine: Relativity 1971, pp. 48f.,52-55; Quine: Word 2001, pp. 31-35, 45f. back
91 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, pp. 160f., No. 204. back
92 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, p. 139, No. 93ff.; p. 154, No. 167; p. 171, No. 262f. back
93 Wittgenstein: Untersuchungen 1982, pp. 24, 28, 139 (I, § 19, 23, 241). Cf. Habermas: Literaturbericht 1970, pp. 231, 241. back
94 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, p. 173, No. 274. back
95 Wittgenstein: Gewißheit 1994, p. 146, No. 130, p. 162, No. 213. back
96 Luhmann: Weltkunst 1990, pp. 7ff., 20f., 40,4 2. back
97 Dreher: Art & LanguageUK 2000, pp. 196f. back
98 »Model (of ways/means) of world observation»: Dreher: Art & Language 2000, Kap.4; Dreher: Performance Art 2001, pp. 407-419, 423f., 437f.
»Weltbeobachtung« Luhmann: Gesellschaft 1997, pp. 1114, 1118. back
99 Burn/Ramsden: Grammarian 1970, p. 4. back
100 Cf. Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, pp. 6, 21, 45; Lole/Pilkington/Rushton: Models 1973, p. 31 with footnote 11; Pilkington/Rushton: Bibliotherapy 1973, p. 32. back
101 Perelman: Rhetoric 1971, p. 146; Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca: Traité 1970, pp. 22-30. Cf. Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, pp. 21, 24.
Here, the term 'conception' stands for a reconstruction that resystematizes experiences with reactions to speech forms, one's own reactions not excepted. back
102 Perelman: Rhetoric 1971, pp. 146f.; Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca: Traité 1970, pp. 23ff., 34-39, 229. back
103 Perelman: Rhetoric 1971, p. 145; Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca: Traité 1970, pp. 6f., 46ff., 64, 71. back
104 Link: Montague-Grammatik 1979, pp. 17f. Cf. Art & Language: Proceedings 1974, unpaginated (Proceedings I); Baldwin/Pilkington: Art-Language 1973, pp. 263, 265. back
105 Perelman: Rhetoric 1971, p. 148; Perelman/Olbrechts-Tyteca: Traité 1970, pp. 561-580. back
106 Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, p. 14, cf. pp. 6f. Cf., on the other hand, Baldwin/Pilkington: Art-Language 1973, pp. 263, 265. back
107 Cf. Corris/Ramsden: Frameworks 1973, p. 50: »The community infrastructure - specifically within Art & Language - is important enough for us to be more concerned with each other's behaviour than with evaluating each other's results. The aim is an adequate programme of sharing and learning without presupposing that we will someday all turn into almighty frontiersman artists. This notion of formulating adequate grounds for conversing has a heuristic role in the art community, assuming, that is, we can change the members of that community from tourists to students.« back
108 Luhmann: Systeme 1987, pp. 22-27, 230, 604-607, 617, 619, 640f., 660. back
109 Burn/Ramsden: Problems 1973, p. 70. back
110 Since 1968, however, Burn has presented, in works with several parts, text sections that present, with the work concept, problems of conceptualization and their consequences for work presentations. In the work concept of »Four Sheets of Glass and Three Sheets of Acetate (a description)«, he also explicated the problem of dialogue (Burn: Work 1992, p. 76). The explication was, however, at first limited to the mentally activated viewer as a possible participant in further conversations about conceptions and realizations. Conversation is presented as the shift from the one-way communication of the isolated, unchangeable work to a two-way communication that makes the viewer a participant in the dialogue. back
111 Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, p. 99. back
112 Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, pp. 91-97. back
113 See »Index 002 (Bxal)«, 1973 (as indicated by Michael Baldwin/Mel Ramsden: e-mail-attachement, 13.4.2002); Ramsden: Annotations 1973, p. 3. Cf., among others: Burn: Dependency 1975, p. 143; Ramsden: Practice 1975, pp. 68,70. back
114 Burn/Ramsden: Art 1973, o. P. (4.). back
115 Rose/Sandler: Sensibility 1967, p. 49. back
116 Burn/Ramsden: Art 1973, unpaginated (title). back
117 Quine: Notes 1980, pp. 131f. (However, Quine also meant - and the members of Art & Language explicitly do not follow him in this point (see below): »Ideology thus seems to involve us in the idea of an idea. But this formulation may well be dropped, and with it the term 'ideology'.« However, Feyerabend: Method 1970, p. 47, points out the relevance of the problem of ideology for »Philosophy of Science« (cf. Feyerabend: Method 1970, pp. 80f.) The terms »ontology« and »ideology« in the discourse of Art & Language: Atkinson/Baldwin: Material-Character 1972, p. 55; Atkinson/Baldwin: Post-War 1972, p. 164; Atkinson/Baldwin: Rules 1972, pp. 9, 26; Baldwin/Pilkington: Art-Language 1973, pp. 262, 266; Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 24,38,79; Burn/Ramsden: Wages 1972, p. 35; Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, p. 93; Howard: Relativity 1972, pp. 56f.; Johnston/Tate: Alienation 1972, p. 21; Lole/Pilkington/Rushton: Models 1973; Pilkington/Rushton: Relations 1972, p. 20 with footnote 1. Cf. Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, p. 143, 366f. with footnote 135. back
118 Art & Language Institute: Suggestions 1972, p. 17.17 (i). back
119 Art & Language Institute: Suggestions 1972, p. 17.17 (i), (vii). Cf., e.g., Lakatos: Falsification 1970, p. 46. back
120 Althusser: Marx 1986, pp. 196f. back
121 Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 79f. back
122 Dreher: Performance Art 2001, pp. 20-23, 403ff. back
123 Cf. Dreher: Performance Art 2001, pp. 20-26, 428-438. back
124 »The Fox« was published in New York. The first issue was financed by Joseph Kosuth. From 1975 to 1976, three editions were published. American members of Art & Language were in charge of editorial work: Ian Burn, Mel and Paula Ramsden (Art & Language: Method 1977, pp. 50ff.; Harrison/Orton: History 1982, pp. 40-49). In addition, a large number of the texts was written by (former) members of Art & Language (Terry Atkinson, Michael Baldwin, Karl Beveridge, Kathryn Bigelow, Ian Burn, Carole Conde, Michael Corris, Sandra Harrison, Preston Heller, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Lynn Lemaster (Baldwin), Nigel Lendon, Andrew Menard, Philip Pilkington; Mel Ramsden, David Rushton, Terry Smith, Mayo Thompson, and Paul Wood), but also by artists such as Sarah Charlesworth, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, and Carolee Schneeman.
On the contemporaneous development of Art & LanguageUK, see: Dreher: Art & Language 1997, pp. 50-56 (New in: URL: http://dreher.netzliteratur.net/3_Konzeptkunst_Art_Lang.html). back
125 Burn: Art 1975, pp. 34ff.; Burn: Works 1975, pp. 55,58; Ramsden: Practice 1975, pp. 66f., 71, 78, 83. back
126 Ramsden: Practice 1975, p. 71. back
127 Burn: Art 1975, p. 36. Cf. Ramsden: Practice 1975, p. 73. back
128 Burn: Art 1975, p. 34. back
129 Burn: Works 1975, pp. 58f. back
130 Ramsden: Practice 1975, pp. 66, 70, 72. back
131 Bell: Coming 1973. back
132 Debord: Société 1992, in particular, Chapter I: La séparation achevée, pp. 13-32. Cf. p. 22: »Le spectacle se soumet les hommes vivants dans la mésure où l'économie les a totalement soumis. Il n'est rien que l'économie se développant pour elle-même.« (Cf. Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 212f.,225). back
133 Menard/White: Media 1975, p. 112. back
134 Burn: Art 1975, pp. 34ff.; Burn: Works 1975, pp. 54f. On the role of the artist, cf. Burn/Ramsden: Device 1972, pp. 61-67. back
135 Menard/White: Media 1975, in particular p. 105 on »an Architecture of Contemplation: neutered walls, neutered white space; works hung in a line, separated, rather than ganged up vertically. In other words, instead of being an integrated part of a whole (the period room), each individual art work became an autonomous, self-contained world of its own.« cf. Corris: Palace 1975, pp. 152f.; Smith: Art 1975, pp. 100f.; Section III.6 on »passivity of contemplation«. back
136 Menard: Are 1975, pp. 38ff.; Menard/White: Media 1975, pp. 110f. The »MOMA [= Museum of Modern Art, New York] International Program« for »traveling shows« is criticized in: Burn: Art 1975, p. 36; Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Draft 1974, pp. 90-97; Ramsden: Practice 1975, pp.78,80. The art trade and its centralization in New York is criticized in: Burn: Art 1975, p. 35; Ramsden: Practice 1975, pp. 68, 73, 77. back
137 On the one hand, this was expressed in the cooperation of many members of Art & Language in the Artists Meeting for Cultural Change artists' organization (1975-77/78; Burn/Thompson: Art-Work 1976; Thompson: Method 1977), e.g., in their criticism of the exhibition policy of the Whitney Museum of American Art (Artists Meeting for Cultural Change: Art 1976; Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 219f.). On the other hand, it was expressed in articles published in Australia: On January 18, 1974, Terry Smith wrote in »Nation Review« about the connections between the American art trade and the management of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The occasion was provided by the purchase of Jackson Pollock's »Blue Poles« at a price that was 800,000 dollars over the estimated value. Smith was sued by Max Hutchinson, the art trader selling »Blue Poles«, even though the connections mentioned here were already well-known. This attempt to dispose of Terry Smith as a critic of the Americanization of the Australian artworld, and the findings of the committee of the Australian Parliament that was appointed to investigate the National Gallery management's purchase, are recounted and interpreted by Ian Burn in »The Fox« (Burn: Dependency 1975). back
138 In 1975, Terry Smith organized public discussions that were held at the Australian stations of the »Modern Masters: From Manet to Matisse« traveling exhibition supported by the American Alcoa Foundation, which featured numerous loans from American collections. William S. Lieberman, the »Director of the Department of Drawing« of MoMA, was the catalogue editor and exhibition architect of »Modern Masters«. He attempted to prevent Terry Smith's public discussions from taking place in the exhibiting institutions. These discussions were, as was evident from the Art & Language posters, also directed against the Americanization of the Australian artworld. Liebermann's efforts to ban the discussions were, in part, successful. (Burn/Lendon/Merewether/Stephen: Necessity 1988, p.188f.; Burn/Ramsden/Smith: Australia 1976; Corris: Look 2001; Dreher: Konzeptuelle Kunst 1992, pp. 220ff.; Smith: Review 1975). back
139 Art & Language: Method 1977, pp. 51ff.; Harrison: Essays 1991, S.123f.; Harrison/Orton: History 1982, S.47-50. back
140 Michael Baldwin/Mel Ramsden, e-mail-attachement, 12.4.2002. back