Edward Shanken

ArteXetrA = Art + Etcetera


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ES 8 June 2009

I believe that by opening our hearts more fully to ourselves, we can open our hearts more fully to other beings and to the Earth. While attempting to integrate joy and wisdom, I discovered that joy contains its own wisdom, and vice versa. Ultimately, I try to love everybody and tell the truth. I am best known for my writing about art and technology, which is informed by my artistic practice as a pianist and dancer. Into the light!

My academic work seeks to create and share knowledge. Over the years, my intention has shifted to focus on integrating joy and wisdom. Like Jack Burnham, who thought of art as a “psychic dress rehearsal for the future,” I’ve been especially interested in the ways artists create working models that allow us to get a taste of alternative futures in the present.  Throughout history, artists have often developed and employed emerging technologies and scientific ideas in this pursuit.  Burnham also thought of artists as “deviation amplifiers” and I admire how artists are involved in “perverting technological correctness” to use the words of Raphael Lozano-Hemmer.  By deploying technology in a metacritical way, artists offer profound insights into emerging technological modalities and social practices. Although many artists are superb problem solvers, many are also outstanding trouble-makers, who identify problems and push them to a state of hypertrophy, so that they cannot be ignored. This idea also parallels Alva Noë’s notion of art as a “strange tool.” I believe that art, at its best, offers deep insight – a type of knowledge that Gregory Bateson likened to wisdom – that can help build a more compassionate and peaceful future.

I hope you find the contents of this site insightful.

Site History:  My original site was created in 2000 using Netscape Communicator’s web editor.  From 2004-2008, I used the same basic design for artexetra.com.  In 2009, I decided it was high time for a change and chose WordPress to organize my website.  artexetra is a dual homage.  ARTEX, developed by artist Robert Adrian with IP Sharp Associates, was the first computer networking platform designed for use by artists.  artexeta is also palindrome inspired by palindromephile and kinetic artist François Morellet.  In my work as an art historian/art futurian, I like to look at things both forwards and backwards…

For more information about me, please see my Bio/CV.

Cheers!  Ed Shanken


Written by Edward Shanken

16 October, 2008 at 7:34 am

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