\ Joshua Decter \ Lari Pittman \ David A. Ross \ Peter Schjeldahl \ Benjamin Weil \ Q&A \

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    "Television has always been an aggregate of bodies, institutions, and transmissions in continual transformation."
    -- Jonathan Crary

    "The one thing to say about art and life is that art is art and life is life, that art is not life and that life is not art."
    -- Ad Reinhardt


Today, it is possible to consider painting to be as much about distraction as television, and television to be as much about absorption as painting. Yet it's the notion of a third term which is most intriguing: an intermediary territory between the more discrete experiences that painting yields, and the more collective social experiences contrived by television. What are the worlds created by painting and television?

Painting is a "screen" that transmits. Television is a "screen" that transmits. Television is a visual field that absorbs. Painting is a visual field that absorbs. Television is all around us, it is a kind of social tissue. Painting removes itself partially from the discursive flow, yet it is also a form of social communication. Television projects itself into and through the texture of everyday life. Painting is projected into the texture of everyday life, and creates a pause. Painting lays a trap for our looks, and our gaze is either laid into or laid upon the screen that is the canvas. Television reaches out to touch our look, our gaze, and we reach out to caress its' immaterially material, ubiquitous glow. "Screen" is a rhetorical gesture: a doubling of the exhibition inside the site of the exhibition.

The Dia Art Foundation is now hosting an interesting project on their Web site, and I think it relates to some of the aforementioned ideas. Although I have harbored some skepticism about the work of Komar and Melamid work for many years, their project for the Dia site, entitled "Most Wanted Paintings" is oddly compelling. They are attempting to poll people from various countries about their "taste" in painting. The questionnaire asks you to respond to questions such as: What is your favorite size painting? Answers are then tabulated along with responses by others from your particular country, and the results are then uploaded on the Web site for all to see. The United States, France, Germany, and other countries are now represented. Browsing through the Dia/Komar and Melamid last week, I noticed that the majority of French respondents indicated that their most-desired size for a painting happened to be TV size; for the Americans, refrigerator size.

In conclusion, one of the interesting things for me in attempting to re-think the relationship between painting and media culture generally, and television in particular, in the question of velocity. Velocity in terms of how we read images-- the speed at which they come to us.

Now, here's Lari Pittman, who is going to show some slides....

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